My seasons are varied...they are also tried and true. This does not mean that I know who I am or where I am going-not really a bad thing. My seasons often blend with my soul...and my soul often drifts in the currents, rolls with the tides, and bursts with the blows of whales. I so often get lost in the world and once in awhile I just have to stop...breathe in~ and breathe out~ and get my heart, my mind, and yes...even my soul back in sync with the tides. It is the true rhythm of life. The tides are the constant of life. Yes, my heart is governed by the comings & goings of the tide.
I have often referred to Cape Point as my soul place. I believe that we are kindred spirits, soul mates of sorts. I have seen the seasons of the point and they much match mine. Spirits are like tides...they have their highs and their lows. The winter whales drifting by coincide with my drifting mind and the pelicans of fall mirror the sereneness that I get from this environment. The shells that I pick up remind me that only I know me and only I can protect myself with my own shell. My foot prints in the sand right along side with the prints of the gulls and shorebirds bind us throughout all time and around the globe. The by-the-wind sailors that I pick up off the shore in summer gives me hints that destiny gives me my direction and the sea pansies that I "pluck" from the beach give me my "bouquets". Sea turtles aid me in keeping dreams alive--but not necessarily keeping them mine. The red knots pass their hopes and dreams to me as they briefly pass through...to their own seasons. Sea glass pieces that I find show me inner beauty in the most ironic of items. Sanderlings share their joy and enthusiasm with me, but yet always make me realize that they will always be here...somewhere...along this stretch of beach, but I will not. They will carry on for me...And in my meandering thoughts of the day I will think of them. And the horse shoe crab...it revives hope and teaches me about the resiliancy of life over eons of time. A very passive survivor in ways I would love to learn. It lends faith and revives hope. The winter months at the point bring the time for reflection as many desert the shores...but here I am, still there, and absorbing what is me. A very peaceful time at the point. The dunes, the breeze...it IS this environment. And it is where I find inspiration. These are the seasons of the point, hence the seasons of me. They are varied. They are tried and true.
At different times in our lives someone always quips us with a saying or a piece of advice that for some reason or another stays with us for a lifetime. In a feel good & comforting sort of way it is strange, but yet eerie at times because you know there is meaning there somewhere...perhaps just not evident yet. The quip has not reached its time yet, but only been planted. Some of these quips may have great meaning in our lives & lead us down paths that are obvious. Other quips may only lead to a meandering thought process that takes us on small journeys in our lives. A karma journey.
My mother once told me that on some days you just have to make your own sunshine. While I knew what she was telling me and I did apply it to my life several times since --sometimes successful and sometimes not-- there was always an effort there to get it to work. But this was just one of many quips that have stuck with me. But karma being karma it pops back from time to time.
Yesterday it popped back in on my way to work. A very dreary and very rainy morning. Chilly, damp, and drab. One of those days that you just keep moving with the flow because you just do. As I headed out the door shielding myself from the rain drops there were three American robins in the yard. Two were pursueing their ways around in circles as they chased one another and "quipped" each other while the other stood on the sandstone bench singing--really singing! They were not concerned with the rain coming down on them. While I was watching these robin life events take place a Song sparrow sang. I looked up and there he was on the bill of my pelican weathervane--singing as it slowly swayed with the breeze giving direction that he cared nothing for. He was not concerned with the rain coming down. After driving just a short piece from the house on the back road and not moving at a fast pace at all (rain tends to do this to me) I heard the loud call of an Eastern meadowlark. I looked over to the road side to see it perched triumphantly on a fence post with its yellow breast shining like the sunshine rising. Its head thrown back in all glory of the song it belted forth. And the rain...it still fell. At the end of the road at the stop sign there was another fence post. Atop of it sat a male Red-winged blackbird--shiny & glossy with his red epaulet flaming red with majesty! And from his throat he proclaimed with all of his heart a "o-kee-ree" that rang with sunshine!
I knew karma had come around...and I heard mom saying "some days you just have to make your own sunshine...". The difference here was that the birds did not have to make their own sunshine --they were the sunshine! They were the sunshine that I was missing on that day. It was there the whole while--I just was not seeing it. And while I sometimes feel that I have to work so hard to apply that theory--the birds never do. They just are...They see the beauty in all! Clouds or sun, cold or hot...The beauties of life are simple and the sunshine is always there...We just have to stay in touch and not wander off to far in the dark.
My heart...yes... has been to the very edge. My soul has been there with it - each time recovering with hesitation. This hesitation of returning becomes much longer with each trip to the edge.
Some birds just overflow with their environment--they ARE their environment...body, mind, and soul. There is no hesitation there--they just are. And this "just are" is what pushes me to that edge...they make me "see" and they make me "feel". Have you ever really and truly "felt" beauty? It puts that big lump into your throat and when you swallow the tears well up into your eyes and you feel that great lump in the pit of your stomach as you realize that you are holding your breath. Its a feeling that I never want to recover from...it is the "feeling of life"...of "being"... It is what lets ME be ME...I want to be ME...
Have you ever seen & heard a flock of sandhill cranes fly over? The mere sound of their voices wells up into my chest. Its a beauty of freedom and of true wildness. It is of being--just being...It is of grace.
Have you ever heard the calls of a flock of tundra swans in the evening and could only see their silhouettes as they flew over, hear the whirring of their wings, and the bobbling of their long necks? By the hundreds? I have... The sound of their voices will haunt you with truth and certainty...the certainty that your soul will never recover... I don't want it too. I took flight with them that night and I WAS...just WAS... They grasped the dusk and made it their own that night. I was an intruder on the edge.
The peregrine falcon that sat on the driftwood stump day after day on the outer banks at the point--in sleet, rain, and wind-- and yet endured because it was a true & tried spirit. It showed me endurance and how to embrace life. This WAS a true peregrine falcon in the environment that it should be in. It was true...it was life...it was an environment of its own!
The brown pelican that I flew with...we are still flying...side by side. Companions. And the great shearwater that flew in out of nowhere over the open ocean still soars out there, shearing the water and carrying many a heart on its back.
And not of flight of the air, but of flight of the deep...the humpback whale off of the point...the one that "showed me fin"...Thank you...carry my heart, my soul, and my spirit into the depths with you...for a moment, I was ME.
These "souls" epitomize "true life" for me. The epitomize a whole environment within themselves and lets us have brief glimmers of their "just being". They take you to the edge...they make you feel...and hope that we NEVER recover!
Physically--I have walked this path many times. Spiritually--I have walked it many more. And at the end of this path is where I come into being...just being. Just being I am content--it feels so universal to everything...all of life.
As I walk down the path I can feel the promise...the promise of a deep sigh. By the time I reach mid-path the whispers of the sea oats begin and a little further on I hear the beckoning of the surf. The sound of the surf flows over my heart just as it rushes and flows over the sand. And just as the sand absorbs the sea water..so too does my heart do the same.
I pass just beyond the dunes and deeply breathe in--I breathe in the freshness and heaviness of the life flowing air. All weights are lifted off of my shoulders and released with the retreating waves. Yes, I am.
I have become so much a part of this environment that physically or spiritually I am always here- and here I am real. I can feel, I can express. I can be...and I can also be ME. I can be in the waves and the surf, I can be in the breeze and in the sea foam, I can ride the wings of terns and gulls and I can rollick with the bottlenose dolphins. I have spouted with a humpback and I have also flown with cow-nose rays...I have drifted with cannonball jellyfish and rode the sails with By-the-Wind Sailors. I have leaped with a giant sting ray. I have traveled the currents with the sea hearts and more solemnly I have waved and whispered with the sea oats. Sea turtles have taught me of faith and pelicans and have taught me of patience.
Here I am, I just am, just beyond this path....just being....
I am a true lover of summer...of the bright sunshine, the warmth, the glow, the long days, the color and the aroma, and all of the song...birds, insects and what have you! The droning of the annual cicadas...It is summer! The love of summer is a love that I have always had and there is little doubt that this love won't depart til I depart this earth. And then I know that I will BECOME one of summer. Guiltily, I do not share this same passion with winter - even though I was a winter baby. I am just not fond of cold, damp, windy, and blustery days...there are no colors and life seems monotonous in a huge way. There seems to be lots of void. As a nature lover I know this could be no further from the truth...I feel guilty at times for not being as passionate with the winter as I am with the summer. Winter IS a part of nature...part of that revolving circle of life. This winter has found me shivering more and grumbling more about the cold and dreariness of the season. I have been finding myself slipping further and further away from my realm of nature. I have been hiding from it--trying to burrow in warmth and by doing this I have been missing out on natures wonderful realities that are right before me.
And then one day --a very cold day I will add--a man came to my check-out counter in the store with his purchases. One of the items he laid in front of me was a book by Thoreau, whom I am very familiar with...At that moment he decided not to purchase it. Left at the counter after he left I started perusing it. As I flipped through the pages a chapter leaped out at me. It was titled A WINTER WALK. The title--it spoke to me, it tugged at me. The book went home with me that night as I decided to read that chapter to try to get back in touch with the true heart of things--regain my appreciation- make amends and find peace with winter. As I read I felt my heart warming. It was leaping and I felt distant memories re-kindling in my mind like the stirring of glowing embers returns to flames. Thoreau spoke of some of the wonders that I once knew, but somewhere in the jumble of human life they just got mis-placed. Yes--those winter starry skies--they are of the prettiest of starry skies. So clear, so crisp, and within reach--or so they seem. It has been a long time since our eyes met, however. The silence of a winter night (or morning) is so pure. Just the mere thought of that purity comforts me and helps me to feel the peace of winter. By the time I reached the end of that chapter I felt a connection akin to a realm that is only in our reach if we let ourselves be reachable...
I lost my way but was re-directed by a stranger who was directed by some other realm..was he just a passage way or did he find a path he was seeking also? Was it faith or irony?
The next day as I was driving to work I noticed the sun glistening over the snow covered fields. The trees spoke in sharp contrast to their surroundings. Suddenly my heart began to swell and the sun began to shine (if only mentally). My eyes suddenly opened to a scene of peace and pure sereneness...and I SEEN. It was a landscape at rest- you could actually see its restfulness and deep-sigh breathing--and it was breath taking. It was calming. It was soft...I grinned, I sighed, I made my peace with winter...