When I have this "alone-time", I usually look back over some of my journals, to reflect upon my reflections...and lest this sounds like so much naval-gazing, let me tell you that I am often amazed by what I find...at words I wrote a year ago or two or three...and I find small gems tucked away in pages long since forgotten. Like these words of Diane Ackerman in her wonderful book, Deep Play:
"To the (Australian) Aborigines, geography is memory. Every mile sings, every mountain speaks of their ancestors' journeys. Nothing is irrelevant, nothing is lost to death. All things partake of life's spirit and vitality, the land is vigorously alive, unseen forces flourish, and all have a special site (or Dreaming Place) that is a spiritual place for them and their ancestors."
...which led me to think about places which have fed my spirit over the years...
- Sam S. Lewis State Park, just outside of Wrightsville, PA, where, high on the hill overlooking the Susquehanna River, I took my three children in the middle of the night many years ago to watch the total eclipse of the moon...
- Chaco Canyon in New Mexico, the site of the Anasazi nation, an advanced civilization closely parallel to the Aztecs which build amazing structures in the southwestern desert and suddenly, completely disappeared, leaving only the ruins of those beautiful structures behind...
- the isle of Iona, off Scotland's northeastern coast, cradle of Celtic Christianity, and home of the Iona Community, its wild and rugged beauty barely touched by the encroachments of civilization and alive with the spirits of those gone before...
- Well of Mercy retreat center in Harmony, NC, a place of serene beauty and nurturing comfort begun by two Sisters of Mercy and staffed by incredibly giving and gifted people...
- the winter beach almost anywhere, when the wind and water and waves all combine in a symphony which rivals any written by my favorite Mozart...
- the Masaai Mara, that incredible landscape of every imaginable shade of brown, beautiful in its scope and alive with its animals, it takes the breath away.
- And, of course, Healing Ground, with its beauty in every season, its wide-open welcome, achieving that alchemy of power and peace.
|The Masaai Mara|
|Heading home at twilight|
...which I hope will lead you to think about places which feed your spirit, places to which your memory returns again and again for nourishment and comfort. For as Askerman said, geography IS memory...or so I've found.
And while I was letting the winds of the Spirit blow through, I found myself composing words which I now keep in the front of my notebook, as I prepare again and again to write.
prayer before writing...
Holy One, Creative & Creating Light,
hold and nurture and comfort me this day.
Breathe into me a bit of creative energy,
that i might write from my heart and soul,
from my depths- the ocean inside.
You are my Source, my Hope, my Peace,
my Standing Place.
From you i draw strength, power,
imagination, creativity, wonder,
And though i can neither understand
nor explain your presence,
i know it...feel it...welcome it...
i gather it close to myself,
let it enshroud mt...
i lose myself in its wonder, its reality.
i dive into its depths, enthralled by
both darkness & light,
buoyed by the sense of rightness,
of holiness, of wholeness.
And as i permit myself to float on the tide
of your ineffability, as i breathe in the
sweetness of your reality, all of life
becomes a YES.
And if i may share yet another quotation from Diane Ackerman, one which hits very close to the bone of this sometime writer/poet:
"...poetry is a kind of knowing, a way of looking at the ordinary until it becomes special and the exceptional until it becomes commonplace."
Poets speak what has been
forgotten...the deep inner
wisps of eternity.
We are a vertical species, we humankind.
Not only in our posture, our way to meet the world-
upright, standing as we do on our own two feet-
but in the way we raise our eyes skyward,
seeking something far beyond ourselves.
towers- though safety there is more
illusory than real.
We climb corporate ladders, rising to the top…
become top dog, king of the hill, high & mighty…
convinced that power
lie above us…somewhere…
forgetting – if we ever really knew-
that even from the mountaintop
we see the world spread out at
our feet waiting for our
presence, our engagement,
our caring, compassionate involvement…
down in the trenches…
getting our hands dirty…
and falling on our knees to
Elizabeth Hinson-Hasty: The accumulation of wealth of the people at the top of the unemployment ladder is linked to the poverty experiences by those at the bottom.
And all of this meandering is just to say, this is LIFE...with all of its frustrations and foibles, its joys and celebrations, its ongoing challenge to LIVE FULLY...whatever is happening. And if we can do that, my friends, we can know that we are well and truly alive.
May your day be filled with wonder and meaning...and may you dwell in the certainty that you are loved. love, linda