A big kiss
“How about getting some nature?” Came the invitation this morning as Patience and I checked in and started organizing the day.
Brilliant. I thought.
Hours later, munching a burrito on an overlook in the campground which surveys a wide meadow and mountainside beyond, I was struck at first with the absolute silence, and some moments later by the chatter and chirp of forest critters.
I wondered, had I just been noticing a calm, or am I so adjusted to freeway sounds and city noise that I tuned out the birds and squirrels in favor of hearing the serenity?
September has gone by in a blitz, more literally for some than others, the world and my place in it seems surreal.
I dreamt again last night, vistas from high above a mountain lake, sloping green hillsides dropping down all around, my vantage point overlooking beautiful foliage with vines and red flowers looking up to the sky.
Later in the same dream, seated at a table in soft worn round stones at the ocean’s edge with others, writing and studying. An island, or some other side of the channel not far away, dark with pine trees against a luminous low grey sky.
Whales were dancing, leaping high into the air. Grey whales, then orca flying gracefully, leaving almost no splash as they disappeared back beneath the surface.
Surfers in the foreground looked on, just admiring as they paddled about in their full-body black attire. A great wave lifted up, majestic as the water was quite smooth with only calm ripples to break up its otherwise mirrored surface.
The wave rolled toward us and we began to realize our feet were about to get wet. We scrambled our table and chairs back up the beach as the wave gently rolled in, and then returned to our station as it subsided.
As it did so, I could see my friend Terri lying facedown in the water along the textured bottom. Friends jumped to help her up and she rose as if from a trance, only mildly disoriented for the action. Her face had been down in a submerged pool of water even more still and clear than the perfect ocean itself.
As she passed me on the beach, I knew that she had been meditating there in the shallow depths.
I woke early and meditated in the dark, then rested again, then rose again with Patience and LaBradford for our morning meditation heartbeat at 7 AM.
First order of business for the day was breakfast, a quick smoothie and then out the door to retrieve the car from service. We stayed a bit inside the service bay, playing backgammon on the touchscreen while the charge topped up on the car for our trip into the mountains.
We drove from the service station, mostly back roads into the town of Ramona where we stopped briefly to empty the leg bag (daytime urine drainage) at the back of the Mercado/liquor store parking lot. A minor spill left me barefoot for the rest of the drive, fortunately baking soda was to be had in the quaint little establishment.
I was happy to leave a couple dollars behind, looking at all of the shuttered buildings and wondering how much of this had been the result of the pandemic.
Thanks to my dear friend Katie, grief has been with me today. We listened to her podcast this morning, as I did so I could feel the sadness for the two raccoons I had seen dead on the road side yesterday. Moving through the world today I can find plenty to feel sadness for.
We left the little town and traveled on, the health food store at which we had hoped to find baby wipes to finalize our cleaning was among the casualties of the day. We drove until we found Don’s grocery, a large establishment at the junction of two country roads. The lady ducked in for supplies leaving me to survey the passersby coming and going.
Folks were putting masks on as they neared the front door, a couple moved without hesitation or face covering, another man came wearing a windscreen, more eye and face protection than anything else. So many different experiences moving through this collective grief we are living.
On the way home, just as we finished descending from the mountains, a great American flag, probably 20 feet in length drifted lazily on wind at half-mast reminding us to remember and honor the service of our great Supreme Court justice, now having left us for points beyond.
Tonight we start the second book in our little household reading group – a Guide for the Perplexed – seems a fitting title for these times. As I said before, “my place” in this world seems surreal to me.
Nonetheless, like an arrow my intention and attention sharpens every day to pierce the confusion and land one big kiss at the heart of the beloved.
God gets to know things, we just get to ask questions…