Islands are Places we Visit.
For a day, a Lifetime, a year.
These places slow us down, fill us up, calm us, quench us, nurture us. Remind us of Lost Spaces and Found Friends. Dried Flowers, Oregano, the Shifting Sands of Time.
The Horizontal Emptiness: Quiet Latitudes where earth and sky blend, in seamless & harmonious misty pearl & granite.
There’s something beautiful about the Pacific Northwest Gulf Islands. Something not shared by the Tropics, the Prairies or any other ceremoniously industrialized culture. I first remember feeling this on a trip to Pacific Rim – then, not a National Park, simply called “Long Beach” – on Vancouver island, circa 1972.
We had all finished with High School; there was a Pregnant Pause while we, as young adults, considered our impending voyages and destinies in the machinery of Modern-Day life. I went out to Long Beach on the invitation of a friend, drove out on my motorcycle. Walked a long, long path down a tunnel of trees into an unbelievable land of windswept light, ocean air, and the continuous roar of pacific surf.
What my friend – already stationed there for a week – invited me into, was a place of letting go, a place of timelessness. A place where the engines of City Living were illegal, annoying and unwanted. A place where you could open up your senses to the vastness, the sparkling beauty of Big Nature and sense something beyond spoken words and named names. None of the psychedelic music of this era could ever capture the full ambiance of this place; it had to be captured by the Open Mind of the Moment, the Quiet Heart of the deeper pulses of Man, pulses that Long for, and know of – as Kabir states – The Ocean Within The Drop.
So, Nature, our Pilgrimages to these Spots, the relationship that survives and thrives – on a cellular level – with the healing unguents of the naked Elements, is my Religion Of Choice. If I can believe in Anything, I can believe in the Nature of Nature. The serene essence of what speaks to us through the nameless beauty of the voices in the Natural Landscape. Skyscape. Seascape.
Perhaps it’s one of the few reminders of who we deeply are, inside ourselves. Deep inside the Protocols, the Agendas, the Layers, the Architecture of Family, Roles & Relationships; deep beneath the Deadlines, the Schedules, the Itineraries. Something inside aches to be still. To be opened. To be Heard, Felt, Spoken, Expanded, Healed, Relieved, Lived, Exploded, Loved, Held, Nurtured, ‘Wombed’, Entombed in the Gentle Hands of the Embrace of this very central, potent and indescribable Lover.
Once again, “Island Life” has reclaimed my Soul. Fed me – the Deep Me, the Interior Me, the Central Me. Reminded me of the Gentleness, Beauty, and Undying Hope at the Center of Things. Inspired me with the Noble, Sensuous Curves of Mother Nature: woman of all women, Mother of all Mothers – all on Mother’s Day, to boot.
And … this was not meant to be a Mother’s Day tribute, but perhaps, in an intuitive, subtle manner, Mother winds her way into our hearts. Nature is both a Fierce Warrior & Gentle Mother; these facets she has, two of many. Perhaps Mothering and Mother’s Day embody a deep, significant need in all of us to be nurtured — at a level, quality and depth that is difficult to convey in words.
“Nature” is not far from “Nurture” … perhaps the challenge is to know our own Nature, and to find our own Nurture, deeper than where the hands of earthly Mothers can reach.
Nature is at best a Mirror, which can reflect, define, acknowledge – the serenity, wisdom, peace and beauty we all contain at our core. This – to me – is the real gift that we’re surrounded with, both in the Nature of Nature, and in the True Nature of Humans: the reminders of the essence of our Real Self, our True Gift, and our Definitive Journey.