Monday, September 01, 2008

To quiet the mind and open the heart

It would appear that I have disappeared since returning to Vancouver.  But, the fact of the matter is, I picked up and left for sunny California in search of a last carefree summer.  I should have been working on my correspondance courses which started in July; I should have been preparing for the on-campus courses that are to start tomorrow (What!?); I should have stayed and reconnected with old friends and old haunts.... But, I was on a quest.  I needed to quiet the mind and open the heart, to feel the pulse of life around me and inside of me, to be excited and silenced by the everyday.

I think I found that, to a certain extent, in California.  When facing the wide open ocean off the beaten path in Guadeloupe, I felt as though I was the only person in the wide, wild world.  I felt free, unburdened by anything, yet not lonely.  I was simply alive.

The journey from San Francisco to Los Angeles, through coastal villages and mountain passes, was exhilarating, overwhelming, soothing.  The little moments of connecting with others and with nature are ones that I'll never forget.  I'll remember the little girl who skipped over to me, proudly displaying a tiny baby crab cradled in her tiny palm.  I'll remember the two boys chasing after seagulls and brown pelicans in that small brown patch of sand overlooking the ocean.  I'll remember the older boy, all but three years old perhaps, running alongside the younger one, pointing to him and delightedly proclaiming, "Baby!!!"  Oh, my dear boy-child, if I could bottle up that innocence, that sparkle in your eyes, the big scary grown-up world would just recede and give way to a magic land.  I'll remember the father walking along the pier with his young daughter, holding hands, her sundress iridescent in the sunlight, flowing in the seabreeze.  I'll remember the old man sitting at a roadside cafe, who greeted me as though we were friends from long ago, who, with his booming voice and bright smile, instantaneously made my task of dragging my suitcase ten blocks not so daunting.  I'll remember the sad sealion hiding in the rocks in the restless sea, alone and mournful, weathered by time and living.

And now, I'm gearing up for the next phase in my life. Part of me feels as though I'm regressing by being a student again.  Shouldn't I have figured out what I want to do with my life by now? But, I've realized that figuring out what to do is an ongoing goal, a plan that I'll undertake for as long as I live.  And the important thing is that I journey on, plan for what I can, and accept the unknown with a quiet mind and an open heart.

* As usual, I promise to post pictures in a later post... and I might actually follow through this time!

1 comment:

  1. I hope you follow through with the pictures!!!

    Sounds like your summer was well lived! Good luck as you get back to the nuts and bolts of the rest of your life.