Wednesday, September 23, 2015
When I was at Big Bend National Park earlier this year, I fell in love with Texas and wanted to take some home.Do you do that?Along the shore of the Rio Grande river, the border with Mexico, I found lovely smooth stones.These glistening pebbles had tumbled, rolled, and moved along the river bottom and finally landed in the sun on the shore.I scooped them up, each one different, perfect in their own beauty.I took them to show my son who informed me that I had to return them.Not allowed.I found some outside the park but they were jagged and unworn and had no character.They had lazily sat in the sun, travelled hardly anywhere and didn't smell like the river.I still have them but....
The same thing happened in Maine this past week.I am not a trashy souvenir hunter.Please don't ask me to buy those little bags of pine needles that sell in shops all along the coast.Or Taffy or even Lobster rolls.I want Maine.How do you buy the rolling waves, the pine trees swaying, that perfect jogging path, the sight of white sails against a bright blue sky?How do you keep those things to turn over in your mind? I had no idea but in the strangeness and mystery that is my life, I found something so perfect and unexpected.
It was on the way to the airport that we stopped at a Goodwill store to browse.I had already picked up a few extra books that were stuffed in our bags but I found the shelves calling anyway.I picked up a small dollar book that someone had donated unaware that she/he was giving me the experience of Maine that I wanted to hold .
The cover of this book of haiku and other types of poetry brings it back.Each poem was written in the presence of the shade of those pines, the scent of the bay, the cry of a gull.They are simple and a great gift to my soul.This small book rests on a table by my bed so I can see it and remember.It is called "shorelines" and the wandering poet is Kirsty Karkow.A few lines:
"Lonely, I watch
an osprey's high dive
into dark water
its quick shake and flight
with empty talons."
a moose lifts antlers
dripping with weeds."
Monday, September 21, 2015
This morning is cool and lovely in Georgia ; it is good to be home from Maine.There is a perfect pink rose in full bloom by the porch and the Mexican heather is lush and beautiful. But the New England coast where we stayed was so different and beautiful, with ocean and bay scenes everywhere.And there, I found a heavenly running path.Pine smells, gentle waves, soft pine needles and shredded bark underfoot.The path was shaded and mostly flat.If I lived in Belfast, I would be on it every day.Running nirvana.
I must admit that I caught myself looking at signs that offered apartments for rent.I know that's crazy, since I have already moved to New Mexico in my mind but the bay, boats and laid back friendliness of the natives was very appealing.
The Buddhist monk who celebrated the marriage ceremony that gave my niece her new spouse, passed through Belfast on her way somewhere else, stopped in her tracks and stayed for thiry years now.I can see that.
The shining couple stood with their backs to the bay as white sails drifted by.The sun was shining and the lapping of the small waves on the shore was peaceful music that couldn't have been improved. We took deep breaths before we started and breathed in the beauty and released distractions. A breath, a wave.Calmness.
In the ceremony itself, Bonnie, the celebrant, spoke of marriage being a practice.I have thought of that often since then.Right now, I have three spiritual practices: the Liturgy of the Hours, which keeps me connected to the Scriptures; Centering Prayer, which empties me of self twice a day and the Rosary which puts me in the loving presence of my Mother.These are spiritual paths that I have been led to that keep me connected to the Real, the eternal world which is not this one.This is what enables me to love as He loves and be a vessel, though a very imperfect one.
How can I make marriage a practice as important as all the others?Those words of hers spoke deeply to me for a reason and I intend to find out where all this leads.