Saturday, November 2, 2013

Whose Other Side Is Salvation


We went for a walk today, into the woods, and found strung high above our heads, the skull of a deer. At first glance, coming across a thing like this, your gut tells you it's a warning. But, on closer inspection, the quiet, the utter silence feels more like a beckoning, a call from somewhere within; a remembrance perhaps. But, of what?

I'm not sure what is going on in the world in general, but in the small corners of my social network, people seem frazzled. Things breaking down; computers, cars, relationships. Even a few nervous breakdowns posted right out there for all to see. People are on edge or exhausted, overworked and under-rested, about to snap. It feels as if everyone is taking in a tremendous deep breath and holding it with no exhalation in sight. I'm feeling this energy, too, mine in the form of some inexplicable need, a weariness, a restlessness. Change is coming, the leaves are falling, the light is different, the stars are brighter, our souls that much closer to our surfaces.

Standing there, beneath this beautiful creature, I realized there is nothing I can do to anticipate what comes next and I think this is the lesson. To let go and be open to what awaits. Trust this incredible universe, trust myself, and be patient. The answers are on the way, the decisions will be made in their own time, the right path marked, as with the leaf strewn path beneath the skull. There is nothing to fear. I believe these set backs and hold ups are happening for a reason. It's time to stop holding on to the rope of the boat that brought us here and step fully onto the new shore.

 In Blackwater Woods by Mary Oliver

Look, the trees
are turning
their own bodies
into pillars
 
of light,
are giving off the rich
fragrance of cinnamon
and fulfillment,
 
the long tapers
of cattails
are bursting and floating away over
the blue shoulders
 
of the ponds,
and every pond,
no matter what its
name is, is
 
nameless now.
Every year
everything
I have ever learned
 
in my lifetime
leads back to this: the fires
and the black river of loss
whose other side
 
is salvation,
whose meaning
none of us will ever know.
To live in this world
 
you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it
 
against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it
go,
to let it go.

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