Ancient Egyptians believed that upon death they would be asked two questions and their answers would determine whether they could continue their journey in the afterlife.  
The first question was, "Did you bring joy?"  
The second was, "Did you find joy?"

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Where All Our Journeys Begin

I have this thing about water...can't get enough of to be in the ocean, in the bath, in the rain, waterfalls make me crazy.  The sound of water~nuts about it.  Water lapping on the shore, gently or violently and rain on the roof, falling softly or in downpours.  I had a babysitter once who would put me to bed and then take a shower...the bathroom was on the other side of the wall from where I laid my head...and it calmed me right down and carried me gently off to sleep.  Genius.

The house I grew up in, in Virginia was on the Lafayette river, a pretty to look at, nasty to swim in tributary of the Chesapeake Bay.  It was okay that we couldn't swim in the river, cuz we were lucky enough to have a pool to cool off in in the blazing August heat, and around the pool was a deck that sort of went out over the bank of the river.  Under that deck was my special hiding place....I'd climb through holly and brush, and go under the deck to the very edge of the river and sit and contemplate life and the loneliness of childhood.  But even though I was a lonely kid there was something about being by the water's edge that was always soothing, something that made the world make sense.

Recently I've found a place here in Seattle that I can go and sit near the water's edge...a place that always feels like it is just mine, well mine and Toby the dog's.  These days I don't so much contemplate loneliness per se, but my journey from those melancholy days sitting by the Lafayette River to my current state of place and mind living in the Pacific Northwest and really falling in love, for the first time with my own life, and I think about my gratitude for the friends and family that I have and in this, as in all things, water and the land it meets is still a great teacher, a great soother of my soul.

Why?  It has to do with this...I love the simple way water laps upon the shore, meeting and retreating, caressing and then giving the shore it's gentle space to catch it's breath.  And as the water ceaselessly makes a kind of love to the sand and rocks, kissing the feet of water birds and eager humans, the sand stretches up to meet fertile soil, and out of that soil grows giant trees and flowering bushes which make oxygen for us all to breath while at the same time giving shelter and food to countless critters and shade to many more.  And it is this order, this natural order that makes sense to me...and I think that living well could be as simple as remembering that we are all connected, we all share the same air, the same sunshine, the same deep well, and if we lived like the trees and soil and sand and water, gently caressing and nurturing and loving those beings who grace the shores of our life we might just have a chance at being happy.

1 comment:

Tina Rowley said...

Brilliant. I must go take a bath instantly.

You = Wise.