Down by the dock in Maine, for more than a decade, has been this piece of driftwood.
It sits on this mossy outcropping of ledge, looking out at the sea from wHence it came (side note, I looked up whence (lower case ‘h’ because you can’t find it with an upper case one) and it turns out we humans have been using it all wrong for, like, ever! Even Gandalf blew it in Lord of the Rings when he wanted to cast the ring back into the fires of Mount Doom “…from whence it came”. I know! Who knew? Well, ‘today-i-found-out-dot-com’ that’s who. ‘Whence’ means ‘from where’… so ‘from whence’ means from from where. It’s like a linguistical stutter step and I didn’t even know know it.)
The piece of wood from who knows where has been in the same spot for years. I love it, and I don’t want to lose it. And, yet, it sits precariously on the ledge and is totally exposed to storms of winds and rains and snows.
But it doesn’t leave.
I have thought of moving it to a more sheltered area, and have even thought of bringing it inside – it is just so beautiful and sculptural – but I haven’t. It just seems to want to be right where it is.
Can wood be content?
This morning I bolted out of bed and greeted the world outside with slippered feet, and reading glasses entangled in wild hair.
The sunrise was bellowing in purple tongues and I needed to greet it before it palmed its magic in a partly cloudy day.
When the world was gifted with new light, I noticed this piece of wood again, and wondered, not for the first time, if it would survive the winter in place or be gone when I visit the waterside in spring.
I’ve been unsettled lately, as the move to Maine gets closer and more real.
Is it the ‘really’ the right move?
Will it be our last move, our forever place?
Will we see enough of those we love, be able to be a part of the youngest lives – the newbies in our family, and extended family.
Can we build a life here, make enough magic here.
Hanging with this broken piece of salt-bleached driftwood this morning, the answer came.
Dummy. You can’t know these things, can’t plan for them and expect all those plans to come to fruition. You don’t usually think this way. What’s going on?
And I thought of clichéd shifting sands, of kids growing up – not just mine, but nieces and nephews and the children of friends – of times a’changing… of lives and worlds transmogrifying into the what’s next and realized…
Nothing is changing,,, because everything always is.
We drift and find places to land and be, and then we drift again. And not just to physical places. If we are fortunate, and we can stay open to new ideas and the perspectives of the natural world and our fellow humans, our own beliefs and mindsets and cores are constantly evolving.
If we are really fortunate, our world is periodically rocked and soul shaken as some sort of transcendent dawn grabs hold of us and whispers a new reality in our ear, one we could not have seen coming, but that changes our lives magnificently.
The key is to be open to it.
Being open to that which cannot possibly be known from where we stand and all we know right now.
And so I have been, and so I will be.
In the mean time, I will enjoy the undulations of the drifting… and the landing…. and the drifting….
And the fact that a piece of wood just called me a dummy.
Thanks for readin’.
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