Friday, May 20, 2011
May 20, 2011 ~ Day 161
Meditations At Sunset
Once my husband returned home from his "Bike to Work" day, exhilarated from the ride and ready to be with our children, I quietly (and with his warm encouragement) left our house and journeyed with little fanfare down to the edge of a local cliff where I could watch the vast Pacific as the Sun set on May 20th.
I caught the last of its burnt orange radiance just when the glowing orb appeared to descend beneath the water, as it does every day when our planet has spun just far enough away from the Sun at this longitude and latitude. There was no green flash this evening, at least not one that I noticed.
Still, I made certain to imprint upon my memory the colors of tonight's sunset - pale pastels as it turns out; a light pink, a blue-grey mist of clouds below melting into the quicksilver sea. Dark silhouetted birds surfed the coastal winds - seagulls, crows and pelicans. A solitary fishing boat bobbed on the water at the horizon line.
As it happens I've been reading a book called "The Road" by Cormac McCarthy this week, in order to help my first private tutoring pupil with his Humanities work. He is a sophomore in high school and they've been recently studying humanization and dehumanization, along with the World Wars from the 20th century and the question of what life on Earth would be like after a third World War.
So the apocalyptic suggestion of tomorrow's Rapture as made by Harold Camping has made its mark even upon my tutoring work and I've had plenty of time to think over how lucky I am to wake and breathe each day. To see the blue ocean, taste its salt upon my skin as I walk along the rugged cliffs that frame its vast power. To really gaze in awe at what a bird looks like soaring through the air, its wonder of bone structure and feathers allowing it the wonder of flight.
At the same time I am struck by how significant a role humans have played in the endangerment of many species, including shore birds and fish, and I feel a deep and unsettling conviction that if our world (and by this, I mean human existence on the planet) ever does come to an end, it will be by our own hand.
This is surely something that most humans on the planet agree upon by now. We have temporarily restrained nature to some degree, but in the end we may well conquer ourselves and nature in her infinite power and patience will win.
What then, is the meaning of a flawed human life? What is the blessing and the promise of a small and fractious newborn who knows only to yearn for milk and human touch?
Why are we given this gift and the power of thought, if only to squander it in the end? I wonder why we taste the beauty of consciousness at all?
As always, the same simple answer arises. It is always, always the same answer.
Not just the love of another human being ~ not just romantic love, love of friends, love of children, love of animals. Rather, Love as an energy. Love as the invisible essence that fills the air between bird and sea, between sea and shore, between shore and this manmade truck in which I sit and type.
Sometimes I wonder with anger where God is. I wonder how such terrible things can happen in the world, and how any loving force could allow the death of children or the breaking of hearts.
Then I remember that God is another word for Love, and Love is everywhere. Love was in the tsunami wave that hit the Japanese shore, in the people driving along that shore, in the air above that shore, and in the horrific aftermath. Love is right here next to me in this truck, and all around always. Someday I *will* die - and I believe that the Love I have given and received, the Love that has blessed my life… it will all still be right here.
Love is like the ocean in front of me, in all of its many forms. If you heat the water it evaporates and turn into vapor, forming clouds. If you cool that vapor enough, it becomes moisture or even ice and returns to the ground as rain, hail or snow. The water cycle makes a great metaphor for where the energy of Love is at all times… it is in flux, all around us.
There are so many things I wish that I had experienced or accomplished in my life by the age of 35 that I did not - and so many things I DID do that I truly wish I had not done. It would be easy to lose hours or weeks in regret, but why waste that precious time?
Here I am meditating on this darkening sky, these rippling waves. In the end, even if this is all there is for me and tomorrow brings the End of Days - which I very seriously doubt - I know that I have succeeded in the most important thing - giving and receiving Love.
In some way then - just as ANYONE can- I've already glimpsed paradise. Shared my own private connection with the Divine… for which I needed no prophets, and no Rapture.
Upon reading this post to my husband, he played me the song that had sprung into his mind while listening - a tune by Bjork called "All Is Full Of Love". It made a nice accompaniment.