I marvel at how the once soft, fluffy sands have become hard and unforgiving in the winter’s chill. I’m alone with my thoughts save the sounds of the surf crashing behind me; the sea hidden behind a shroud of darkness that allows me to focus on that music and the Universe exposed around me. I sit in the chill, gazing up at Gemini hoping to see the faint streaks of light created by the end of things likely born long before man was a dream. I give thanks in each passing blur as I am reminded of my own mortality, my own beginning, and my own end. I am reminded of the distance between the two, and I am grateful for this step in the journey of remembrance.
Through the shivers and the wet feeling of coldness upon my skin, I realize I love this place. I love the drawings I see as my mind connects the dots on Heaven’s canvas. I love the bright gaze of Jupiter staring down at me as I stare up at her. I love the orange flicker of Betelgeuse lighting my way toward the Hunter I’ve loved so much since my youth. I remember gazing up at his belt, staring at its perfect alignment and marveling at how the dots seemed so close together, yet were so far apart. I remember realizing then that what we see from where we stand can make all of the difference in how we think.
God I love this place.
I walk through the paths others have cut through forests created long before I was born. I embrace the stiff silence that allows the wind to make music through the brittle, dead leaves on their Mother trees. I notice how both seem to hold on to what was, neither truly wanting to admit that the time of their union has passed. It’s a certainty that the winter wind will separate those who cannot seem to let go on their own, and that the tree will sleep and the leaf will fall, lightly, to return the gift it has been given.
I cross a stream. Little tufts of earth peek through slowly moving surface of crystal clear water, reflecting Heaven’s gaze. I notice how everything reflected seems the opposite of what I see, and I wonder which is the truth. Am I seeing things as they are, or am I seeing things through a reflection in my mind that is the opposite of how they are? Whichever, I continue walking, realizing that time and space can change everything, including the distance between giant stars that likely pay no attention to each other.
I allow the cold winter winds of my life to separate me from my leaves. I let go and say goodbye as they drift away toward their destiny. I know those things I think, those things I see, are mere reflections that exist only in my mind. I am a man, after all, and can enjoy a view through both tainted eyes and the crystal clear waters of Love that exist in the calm stillness I dive into. Both exist for a reason, and a purpose to which both can be known.
God I love this place.
Here I sit. I’ve done nothing on my to-do list, yet I’ve given birth to an entire universe. To whatever blesses me with these words, I am grateful. To whatever inspires me to see beyond my flesh and bones, I am grateful. To the power that takes the ingredients of a man and makes them so very special, I am grateful. To my eyes that see and my heart that feels, I am grateful. Though I am no longer who I was, I am grateful for who I am. To the music I dance to and the voices I hear whispering lightly in my ear, I am grateful. To the scars and the wounds as well as the dream I had that gave them life, I am grateful. To the love and kindness offered that has held me steady, I am grateful. I am grateful for it all.
So I sit, in peace and in stillness as the Sun shines gently through the window, its glow changing colors through my closed eyelids. I inhale its warmth that contrasts nicely through the chilled morning air, realizing both in the same moment. I realize the stretch of time that has brought me here, the limitless experiences and infinite possibilities of what “now” has to offer. The raised bumps on my skin tell a truth, a truth that says, “Yes, you are on your way.”
God how I love this place.