Hello old friends,
I’ve been warming up to the happy thought of writing to you here again and the near-year since I have last written has left me uncertain where to begin for too long. The truth is, I have written to you, I just never posted anything! So, without any further ado, to begin again, here are a couple of excerpts that I wrote along the way, carrying you with me in my heart and mind:
A dark December day, 2022, journal excerpt from my Diary of a Woman Healing in our Slice of Wilds:
By most measures, yesterday was not a good day. At the beginning it found me, after four hours, still not finished attempting to catch up on dishes after nearly a week of no running water—one boiled pot of water brought up from the river a gallon at a time had me feeling worn.
Shortly after that my face, amongst the rest of the front of my body, received a high pressure spray from a busted water pipe and worse, when I turned my face, it went straight into my ear. I’m tending to the ache tonight. Sigh.
Then, before I had a chance to get out of my drenched clothing, someone I used to trust shared some choice words from their heart with me—beneath a winter rain.
“Stay in the Breath,” I told myself. I let the tears. The phone rang. “Everyone is safe but the car won’t start.” Back out into the winter rain, beneath a darkened sky hiding moon and stars, I went (this time in dry clothing). I was thankful for a little quiet, even in a car shooting out like a bullet. It occurred to me then that the easiest sentiment to surface could be: “today is not a good day.”
But that wouldn’t have been the truth.
I knew one more time, I am not alone. I did not have a companion physically by my side but for some years now a more real presence in the world has whelmed my senses and my knowing.
I have found the sentience of trees more profound than one I thought a bosom friend. I have found the earth I walk upon more alive than I often allowed my own heart to imagine, let alone receive. I have found the sky above more able to move and sustain my hope than sheer words spoken with verve but lacking substance.
Are these things my god? Some days in error perhaps, but on the truest days they are simply, exquisitely, a creation as verdant as I pray to be. They are good company, alive and enlivened. They are, available to all, at all times. We are not alone.
Be this true as it may be, I know it begs the question and gives rise to the pain of need for fellow human connection, for flesh-to-flesh interaction. I do not protest! I long for the purest force of it all, and yet…that longing is the very reason and gateway through which we can get even a glimpse through eyes that do not diminish our circumstances as bad vs. good.
It’s the very reason I could be walking along a path in the woods (“alone”) one moment and surrounded by three (human) “strangers” offering me safe embrace a few moments later (true story). Yet, on the days and years, that we do not have the miracle of physical companionship for which our deepest hearts ache for, a song still plays.
It sings to our heart, mind, soul and entirety that our days aren’t bad as opposed to good. The day in which we breathe the breath of life, the trees and our earth’s unending variety of vegetation are singing this song. The ground beneath our soles vibrates with this song. The sky is the never ending harmonizing sphere. I’m remembering and recognizing and memorializing this, with you today.
“When all your desires are distilled
You will cast just two votes:
To love more,
And be happy.”
“All that is left to us is a choice — to answer or to refuse to answer. Yet the more deeply we listen, the more we become stripped of the arrogance and callousness which alone would enable us to refuse.”
―Abraham Joshua Heschel
A wee bit lighter January day, 2023, excerpt from my Diary of a Woman Healing in our Slice of Wilds:
For all the grandeur we get to live in here in the Pacific Northwest, one would have to turn a blind eye to not see that this wilderness surrounding us is looking a bit lean and faded these weeks. She makes me think of a storm tossed lady. Her branches are all strewn about from the torrents of rain, snow, ice, and violent winds. The fir needles are listless and lack the luster of their Spring betrothal song, when there is unity thriving within them, and the life sap flows bringing vibrant hues and what I can only equate to stamina in their limbs.
For now, they are limp and tired and blown. It will not always be this way. They will surge with life again, they will return to their fullness, but today I see them here as they are, after many storms. It seems as though I can almost hear a groan in the twisted pines near the icy river’s edges, the ones who take the brunt of the wind that howls through the canyon the river cuts. They have turned their face, and they have also driven down their roots deeper, sturdier.
I reach out and touch them as I pass by this winter morning. I see them, I feel them and deep in my belly I know that in the Spring that same twisted tree will seem to twirly dance in the morning light at the water’s edge and I’ll dance too.
Holding vision for another side or even the wonder in the reality of a tired us and world around us in the now, is no denial of hope. It is the way to the surest footing in Hope’s great and mysterious landscape.
Remembering and letting my heart exalt in these truths made me want to share them with you today too. It informs my soul that, no matter what we’re going through, there is another side. I hope it heartens you as much as it does me.
And here’s a prayer we can share in, if you want to, towards that end…
“Dear Lord, grant me the grace of wonder. Surprise me, amaze me, awe me in every crevice of your universe. Each day enrapture me with your marvelous things without number. …I do not ask to see the reason for it all: I ask only to share the wonder of it all.” ~ Abraham Joshua Heschel
Thanks for being here. I have much to share of where I’ve been this past year but am still in a process of letting that unfold a bit at a time. In the meantime, here’s me smiling at you from a recent kayaking excursion that made me happy.
Leave a comment for me and tell me about the beauty and happiness you’ve been finding on those days we might too quickly call “bad”? OR, tell me what has been wooing you towards the remembrance that there is “another side”?
I’m with you in the adventure, releasing my own arrogance and callousness like Heschel talks about, ever growing in wonder and I’m sending you much much love!