On shaky ground...

I spent the better part of today walking, trying to clear my racing mind and settle into the silence where the healing lies. Into the woods to walk the trails I went listening to nothing but the sound of slightly damp, dead leaves crunching under foot. Each step a possible slip on the bed of leaves masquerading as solid ground. Flickers of sunlight danced through moss covered tree branches teasing me with the fleeting chance for clarity. I breathed in the scent of fall rather than the dead of winter and walked until I found myself right back at the beginning of the trail, no less lost than I had been when I started. “To the beach then,” I told myself . I wandered the shoreline while the rising tide lapped up over my sneakers pushing me up into the soft sand, forcing me to face the uncertain path I am walking. There wasn’t much I could do other than carefully place one foot in front of the other into the sinking sand, acutely aware of the constant shifting sands below me. “Why is it so hard to get a solid footing today,” I yelled out . Seagulls and ducks squawked and cried seemingly at my clumsy attempts to make my way down the beach. At last I reached the jetty and could climb onto the solid rocks leading into the sea. Some wet spots, and a jump from one to another now and then, but for the most part solid ground. My body relaxed some and I stood and breathed in the cold, salty air while the waves rolled by me and onto the shore behind me. Watching it I actually felt unsteady as if I were on a ship rocking back and forth, which after my one and only cruise experience is not a comforting feeling. I turned then and made my way back down onto the sand and took comfort on a log that seemed to have just been waiting for me to show up and sit awhile. So, I sat. And I sat. Until I understood. It took hours of this day, but finally I understood. Solid ground can be shaky and slippery sometimes threatening your footing. Sinking sand can make you work to keep your balance, and in the dark woods flickers of light may be all there is to light your path. I don’t like when the sand shifts under my feet, or the light isn’t clearly leading the way. It scares me, this daring me to continue on in spite of the uncertainty. That’s the trick though isn’t it? To keep moving on your path even when the ground shakes, the sand shifts and the light is dim, even with my fear. I sat some more on that log that held me in my lostness, until I was ready to stand and start again-one foot in front of the other. On my path. Wherever it may lead…

A Morning Walk

It's been quite some time since I last visited these pages. Life happens I suppose and so time slips away with my focus on other things.  

My recent birthday had me reviewing the last year and looking forward to the next as it always does and I realized just how unsettling this last year has been. I'll spare you the details, and instead acknowledge that as I am finally settling into a new home, I am finding the energy and inspiration to get back to the current path my journey is taking me on.

On my morning walk today I took a trail through the woods that lead to a path along the shore and up over the dunes.  Although the temperature was mild the cold wind blowing mist off the water and ice was biting.  Not cold enough, however, to keep me from exploring this new place and finding treasures. With each step, I was curious to see what was around the bend in the shoreline or on the other side of a dune.  In fact, thinking I might have seen a turtle way out beyond the ice, and knowing that it's common to find stranded sea turtles this time of year I even slid my way out across snow, ice and well, yes pools of seawater before realizing it was not, in fact, a turtle.  I clumsily made my way safely back to the sandy shore grateful that not only was there no stranded turtle, but I too made it back alive and well, albeit slightly wet and cold. 

As I continued to make my way back from my adventure I stopped a moment to offer thanks, grateful for the sand, sea,  trees, wind, all of it.  And in that moment I stood, ocean before me, woods behind me and thought, "I'm so insignificant."  The power and the beauty of each of the pieces of nature around me seemingly so much more than I could ever be.  So I thought, turned back to the woods and headed toward home.  

I walked listening to the creaking of tree limbs against the wind and feeling the way the pine needles softened the ground beneath my feet in a sturdier way than the shifting sands of the dunes, and I wasn't just me walking through this place.  I was this place just as the trees, the pine needles, the sands, the sea and the winds were.  We were each of us part of it all, and I knew in that instant I had been wrong.  I am significant.  Just as all of these parts make up this incredibly amazing and complex world, I too am a part of that.

I am significant, and I have a responsibility to honor not just that which I walk through or among, but myself and every other being I meet along the way.  Today I honored the trees, the sand, the sea, the winds...and I honor myself living among them and a part of them.