Monday, July 6, 2009

LISTEN WITH YOUR WHOLE BODY ... listen respectfully

The wind has brought cool air and a shower of rain to the Ledge and most of the area between Seattle and the peninsula upon which we live. If you shared this morning with us you would hear the high treetop choir of wind sweeping Makani, a sound that is deeper and fully than the ringing within my me. It's very cool on my feet as I peck away on the keys, this old laptop is now sharing space with the toaster oven and the kettle burner. Adjustments to our living are sometimes simple ... when my opu rumbles for a bit of a snack I easily reach for the dish of freshly picked strawberries, warm the kettle for a third cup of tea or toast a slice of bread just a step away.

We enjoyed a full day after the 4th of July and languished in the tiredness of travelling the night before. To celebrate we left the Ledge, expecting the bombs bursting in the air from fireworks in the neighborhood. Rather than sealing up the Vardo against the sound and smoke we packed up Scout with food and drink and drove along the canal shore roads of the Kitsap Peninsula. The day was pleasant, we listened to each other, told stories of places and people from our pasts and road with an easy pace. When our route took us to Kingston we paid our fare ... increasingly more money as the summer sets in and boarded the ferry Puyallup heading for Edmonds. I choose to ride the ferry from the small comforting space of the car rather than climb the stairs to be with the other riders and the smells that taint. Pete and I were parked in the lane near the rails on the car deck, a perfect spot to lean over and enjoy the ride and feel the incredible gentle ride across Puget Sound. The captain of this ferry was sure and slow about his or her departure from the docks. The movement was nearly undiscerned ... we were out and cutting waves before we knew. We ride ferries often in this life we live from the Ledge. This ride was one of the most gentle of rides in many years. We huddled together and enjoyed the company and the warmth of a summer afternoon.

Our destination was Everett, a town we have known for decades. The old mill town is home to friends we have loved for a long time. They have housed us during hard times and kept our best interests close as life has cycled up and down. We do the same for them and without doubt that caring sustains a friendship and we listen to each others tales, laugh at our moibles and those of other humans we know. There on the sidewalk of the old mill town our friends joined me, their masked and sensitive old pal who cannot be inside their house. We chatted, gossiped and laughed. Desserts on small white dishes were served and for that I lowered my mask, until the rockets and fireworks of the city's annual display filled the sky. It was a surreal experience. When the smoke had reached the point where my tolerance meters read "Enough" I said, "I've gotta go into the car." My friend and I did a modified hug ... knowing the hair spray and scent she wore (she had been to the parade and taken herself outside for the day) would not be approachable. I stayed up wind from her as we talked. "I'll tell Pete you're heading in." Compromises and adjustments are made all the time. Life is like that. These friends have made hundreds of adjustments for us when we lived with them as a place of refuge. Sometimes they don't adjust to my needs. Then, it's up to me to adjust. Masks work, meditations that include the rings of protection and mindfullness help. I listen to my body, hold my face in a comforting image and remind her ... "It's all right dear soul," when the requirements of one more adjustment must be made. "Stay, still ... all is well." I waved a good-bye from the air conditioned safety of Scout and watched the fireworks. America. The anthem of which is filled with 'rockets red glare and the bombs bursting in air ..." It's an odd legacy of warfare bred into the fibers of a nation that makes for a perilous flight. Maybe just as Anna Paint suggested, "If Pete Seger's This Land is My Land was America's anthem things could be different ..." I listened with that thought as she said it. It resonated gently with me. Sitting in the car that July 4th night, I wished something like that would truly be the way America listened to it's birth lullaby. Perhaps the First People would wish something different again. I listen to the treetops sing and don't reach a word ...

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