"Life comes in spits and spurts, ebbing and flowing, rising and setting....etc. We believe we are permanent somehow, even though we watch everything around us go through the stages of life - birth, existence and finally death." ~Trish Shields ( trish-shields )
I consider myself a fairly accomplished photographer and usually don't have too much difficulty finding the words to convey my feelings. But today I needed a stunning photo of Goose Spit and I didn't have one so I entered the amazing world of Google. There I found this image that sums up everything going on inside of me; a bit of magical light, some dark, overbearing clouds, a few bits of silence and at the same time, some never-ending movement creating a sense of rhythm that matches my heart. This photo was taken by Trish Shields and she deserves full credit! It turns out that Trish Shields is also a very accomplished poet and her words were the exact ones I was looking for inside of myself. I love that about writing (and art in general) that there can be connections, words spoken and images created by another that simply speak to you as if the artist had known all along exactly what you needed, at exactly the right moment.
Trish Shields would not know that Goose Spit has been my go-to place since I was 14. Even now, from far away, when I close my eyes and pull up the vision my pulse slows, my breathing regulates and a sense of calm overcomes me. It is as if I am actually there in every sense; sight, sound, smell, taste and touch. As I lean up against the breakwater I scootch my butt around making a perfect indent into the gritty sand. I bring my knees up, dig my feet around until the sand holds them firm and then I lean back into the bumpy logs looking for the right fit, close my eyes and soak in every single sound I can hear, every single smell I can smell and every breath of wind I can feel. I am not actually there, yet I am. I can feel the warmth of the light on my face at the same time I can feel the chill in the breeze coming off of the water. When we were younger we used to go from the ocean side of the spit over to the bay side in order to cool off or warm up. There is not a more perfect place on earth!
Today I need the spit. Today I need a few moments to centre myself in order to carry on with life. This is a challenging thing to do on the heels of death. Many of my friends know exactly how this feels as we reach that age where new life is all around us while at the same time death is knocking at the doors of many we know and love. The stages of life. There has been no other time in my life where I have experienced the newness of life in such abundance. Seven grandchildren ranging in age from 1 year to 14 years - these last fourteen years have been full of new baby loving, toddler snuggles and teenage hugs. There has also been no other time in life where I have experienced the never ending sense of loss. We have already lost many friends from our teen years and many of our relatives are writing their final chapters. There is a constantness in hearing these same stories from our friends. The stages of life. They are all around us.
The busy-ness of life has subsided in these later years but it has been replaced by the "ebbing and flowing, [the] rising and setting". I am working hard to embrace it all and accept the stages as they come and go. But it is hard. Especially today.