Tag Archives: land sea and sky

walking on the water

Not far from the house is a dock/bridge that winds back and forth across the marsh, out to the channel. One can take a walk upon it, as many folks were doing, or fish from it or bring a boat up to it at several points. The thing about it that struck me so was its solidness. One could jump high, land hard, and feel no shuddering. It was steadfast. It did not move, though the sea and land beneath constantly ebbed and flowed, rose and fell with the tide. Fish darted and flora swayed underneath us, never still. But, the pier pathway remained stationary.

I love the marsh, the briny, almost too much smell that means life is coming to be. I have sweet, sweet memories of marshes below Mobile, aside St. Simons. I find them the most nurturing of views.  Marshes are the home of all my gentle beginnings.

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a new blue

The beach was windy, a bit cool most of the week. But, Sunday, after walking in the morning, we decided to take a evening turn toward the pier. As soon as we hit the beach, it assailed us. The sea was blue, shining blue…a blue we had never seen at that beach in the 35 years she had been coming or the times I had been there, or at any of the beaches on the Gulf, Georgia coast,  South Carolina coast, North Carolina coast, Cape Cod, Maine, California, Hawaii, Mexico, Costa Rica, the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, etc. It shone from under the now calm waves. The blue seemed to be illuminated. It was ethereal and breath-taking. It pulled my head and body around toward it. I walked staring into that blue and not ahead of me for miles. It made me feel something at once old and new. The color caused me to taste a season of life so long ago I could barely bring the detail of it to mind. But, I was young and the place it brought before me was sheltered and mine to explore.

For hours we tried to name the color, make associations. An artist and  a writer could not call it anything but Other, entirely other.

It seemed a Presence. A compelling, Know I am here.  With you in your own attempt to be other than you are. 

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inside, OUT

I live in a very conservative,  constrictive, state. One can barely stretch, much less move. Often, dialogue and discovery are not encouraged, exploration is portrayed as an Enemy to be corralled, even eviscerated.

I love dialogue and discovery. I love learning, pressing paradigms, considering alternative options and better, innovative, new ones.  My kids are like me, my natural ones and my spiritual ones. They like the tension and the questions and the freedom of exploration.

Yesterday, while we sat before my fire, eating our down-home butter beans and squash casserole,  some of my kids and I looked at photos from a famous photographer…many of the shots taken at festivals in the Pacific Northwest. My son, the wanderer want to be, keeps begging me to take him there…my daughter, not naturally, pulled these shots for us to see. We stared at the foreignness that does not frighten them AT ALL: the glorious landscapes and the free-falling, high-flying folks.

“Take us,” they whispered.

I nodded gently, yes.

We are surreptitious in the way we wind in thoughts and images and mindsets more free. We play the music that calls such from us, we paint and write and dream.

My son presently wears his hair longer than mine. My adopted daughter, who helped us design costume yesterday, wrapped her hair in tartan plaid and bore it about all day as if she were a proud Kenyan or guru in India.

Some folks look strangely at these two…truth is, they are brave and strong enough to be – on the outside all they are within.

Dang, I admire them.

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forward motion

Sometimes it is a shift in posture, a leaning in. Sometimes, a word that spills out, unnoticed. Sometimes, there is a prolonged connection, a glance that seems to see beyond and through some veil. All these actions point a boat, a life, downstream, make it possible for it to gain and sustain forward motion to journey on in God.

Those are the places I know to pray. When the boat is in the river and its nose is turned downstream, you paddle/pray, not to press the boat forward, a good stream, certainly the river, will move the boat along fair enough, but one paddles to guide the boat’s path. Nose forward boats go along, but paddling or holding a rudder fast helps marshal the stream for journey.

There are many boats, that I know by name, presently turning nose toward gravity’s fall. Many are just now taking on provision for journey greater, steeper or anew. In the last few days, I have so felt the spirit’s call to pray, to hold some things in place, to press a skewing nose more toward the streams central flow.

I think about the times that I have been trusted, had the privilege to captain friends down our small river. I usually give those most un-used to river rides to Trent, my son. He can read that river. He can see it dip and puddle, where I cannot. He loves better it and so  knows it more. My 16-year-old is the surest guide I know upon our swiftly flowing stream, his namesake.

So, as these boats nudge their nose out, I think of Trent. I remember the watch of his eyes, how he takes notice, what gives him pause and what tips him off that joy and rush will meet his violent  steer into the almost too soon appearing gap, and its water-born-fall that buoys a boat on air and droplets suspended to lower places.

River God… swell and rise, swiftly ferry. Help me see and hold what my eyes can gain. Help me love and know You more, that I might guide safely all who hand me a paddle and ask I ride along.

I’m missing the river – my guide, my teacher. But, it’s unseasonably cold, too cold to ride as of yet.

Who is up to ride along the next warm day?

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