To know a physical place you must become intimate with it. You must open yourself to its textures, its colours in varying day and night lights, its sonic dimensions. You must in some way become vulnerable to it. In the end, there’s little difference between growing into the love of a place and growing into the love of a person.
~ Barry Lopez
I’ve been thinking a lot about place lately. Place as in where I live. Place as in the earth, the ground I walk on, the water that surrounds this peninsula that is technically an island.
Thoughts of place come up for me every spring, a little like the plants poking their heads up but also a little like the trash the former owners left behind. Every spring, without fail, Coors Light cans and other garbage rises up from under the pine needles in the woods or the dried and fallen grasses in the marshes. A piece of plastic sticks out. I pull. It turns out to be a large, black, plastic covering of some kind. With it are the bottom of a seat (a cushion) and a tire. The rubbish around here comes in odd combinations. Household stuff piled in an old boat. Planters filled with old tires. A greenhouse filled with plastic. If you’ve been following me since we moved here, you know all this. You know about all the trash we’ve cleaned up and hauled out of here (over 5 tons!!). As I recently commented to someone, I sometimes think the cleaning up around here is my yoga. It’s certainly a regular practice. It is also part of this place, like it or not. The hope is to leave it better than we found it. I think that way globally, too.
It’s not surprising to me that place comes to mind this time of year. We moved here in the spring, having closed on the house in April and moved in May. A new adventure, new lands and worlds to discover. And a leaving behind of a place that I loved for many reasons, the most important being that of leaving behind loved ones who live there. Yes, I go back for visits and that’s lovely. It is also lovely to visit that place and walk the trails I used to walk nearly every day.
If you follow me on Instagram, you already know that I stumbled on the opening quote early this morning and that it got me to thinking more about vulnerability, surrender, and open-heartedness. This — intimacy, vulnerability — has been an ongoing theme this year. It goes well with my own word/theme for the year. Listening. To listen deeply, you have to open your heart, surrender the idea of listening in order to respond, and allow intimacy or connection to happen. You have to be willing to receive, but also willing to give (your time, your attention, your openness, and the gift of non-judgment).
There is a way that nature speaks, that land speaks. Most of the time we are simply not patient enough, quiet enough, to pay attention to the story.
~ Linda Hogan
Place, the land, does tell a story, doesn’t it? Many stories. We have to be willing (“patient enough, quiet enough”) to listen, to walk or sit or just be with awareness.
In other news… As you might have noted from my Silent Sunday post, asparagus season is almost upon us. I found four spears sticking up out of the ground about an inch or two, not yet ready to be picked. A cold front moved through late yesterday and that has slowed the growth. I’ll go out before sunset and check, but I don’t think I’ll be picking any just yet. We need warmer weather to speed things along. I’m not in any hurry. The heat will arrive soon enough. Full-out asparagus season will arrive soon enough, too.
This particular spring reminds me a little of our first spring here. It was chilly when we closed on the house. The cold was how we found out the heat pump wasn’t working. We spent a couple of days and nights here, cleaning up after the closing, and by the last night, we were pretty cold. We hadn’t prepared well for it, bringing only one blanket with us. I think we were lucky to have the blanket. Things were so chaotic at that time. It’s a wonder we remembered to bring the air mattress, the sheets, the pillows, and the blanket. Besides, M and I had each other. We all know that cold nights are good for cuddling.
I reckon that’s about it from me on this windy, bright and sunny first day of April. April, it seems to me, is coming in like a lion. Very blustery. There is rain on the way tomorrow. I think it’s part of the low that’s developing off the coast. Not a nor’easter, they’re saying, but possibly a bomb cyclone, whatever that means. Not much to us. Wind and rain. It’s the folks north of us that might see snow from it. Even that is pretty if-y.
I’m going to go out to the dock for sunset this evening. You’re welcome to join me. Sunset is at 7:26 PM. I’ll probably go out about thirty minutes before that. It’s chilly (the high was only about 45°F today) so you’ll probably want to bundle up, including hat and gloves. It’s cold by the water.
Be good, be kind, be loving. Just Be. 🙂
A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy: 1,041) Soft tissues. I’ve caught the cold that M had last week. My poor nose got the brunt of it with all the sniffling and sneezing. 1,042) The quietude of the early morning hours, just before sunrise when the world appears to be asleep. 1,043) Soothing soups. 1,043) Ice cream, because my sore throat feels so much better when I’m eating ice cream from the local, organic, very-friendly-to-the-cows, dairy. It’s medicinal. Right? 1,044) Zooming with my grandsons. “Zooming” is appropriate in more ways than one. They are toddlers and they zoom-zoom all over the place. 1,045) Porch naps. I go out when the sun has warmed up the porch and sit in the anti-gravity chair pretending to read. It’s medicinal. Right? 😉