Thursday, August 18, 2016.
Arrival home: Midnight, amid the singing of every song we possibly could, my son and I. A successful technique in keeping awake and in the diversion from the fact that we were leaving the lake – a place in my soul that every time I am there, it feels like my own. But I have to admit that coming home is just as exciting as the beginning of holiday.
The storms never came. My ex-husband joined my son, my mother and I. I discovered a few things that really a person should know, but I like life lessons expressed in nature. I like living faith. Somehow there is nothing quite like praying ones gratitude to G-d when viewing the red morning sunrise or being caressed to sleep by the steadiness of moonlit waves. Such things are around all the time, these bounties of the earth, independent of myself or any of my selfish efforts. Their existence is independent of my own. I did not make them or dream of them. They are. And they had nothing to do with me. And, they are far greater and more important than I will ever be.
But the care of lakes and trees and mountains and all of that really is dependent upon a person. (This from a lady who stole flowers to toss in her lake. Hmm. Hypocritus Maximus.)
It was early Wednesday evening when I took my last walk along the beach, forgetting momentarily about the flowers until twenty feet later, past the scene of my crime I realized my eyes had caught a golden yellow object among the shells which were cast upon the sand. Turning with dread on one shoulder and a strange happiness upon the other, there it was – the short stemmed black-eyed Susan from my practice throw! Quickly I grabbed it again with a bit of the sickening mixture of laughter and dismay at the thought of what it meant. I continued my walk.
Until I saw the long-stemmed golden yellow flower. I hurried to it as I did not want it to get washed away. Snatching it up I wondered as I prayed. Do these flowers which I had tossed into the lake – do they represent that all sins, all the past, are not forgiven? Does it represent that the horribleness of some of the experiences, some of the sins of others which I experienced, does it mean that I must carry a few with me the rest of my life? Does it mean I will never know the identity of those sins whether they be my own or of others which had so greatly impacted my life?
I kept walking. Now I know that theological Christian scholars will tell you that the Bible says that our sins, our pasts, are washed clean. Done. But at that very moment on the sandy beach with two of the six flowers in my hand, I “settled”. I settled for four of six. I could carry two.
I kept walking with those Susans who had managed to ride the waves for twenty-four hours, thinking and praying to G-d about the past. “Ok,” I decided. “I can live with that. If I have to live the rest of my life knowing that one-third of that which I wish to be washed clean never really will be, then I am ok with that. I can figure out how to wear those two particular scarlet letters, whether they be of my doing or of another, upon my soul.
I was not seeking forgiveness. I was not seeking to forgive others. I just wanted to not have the entire canvas of my life colored by the stains of the past. I continued walking in this new settlement between G-d and I, making my choice of faith firmly with each sandy step. I felt smart!
I wish I could say for certain what stopped me. Was it the site of the feathers? Was it the beauty of the muted pink sky? Was it the steady drumbeat of those waves, baptismal in its chant with the shore?
I held those water-drenched, stolen flowers with the bitterness of emotions. I could hang unto them. I could braid them into my soul as I had to each individual flower like the beginning of a centerpiece I could always display. Forever.
Or… I could try again.
I found the long grey white feather of a seagull, itself water-logged and anchored in the sand. I grabbed a limp green strand of one of the beach plants, separated from its roots either by the wind or another robber such as myself. I braided them together in this bizarre creation of flower, plant and feather. I again kissed the flowers good-bye, flinging them as far as I could into the wind of the pink sky.
Two feet! Again, my bouquet returned to the shore…
I had envisioned my bouquet riding majestically further and further, carried by the stallions of current, to sink into battle with the icy depths of the lake. Boom. Done. War over. But, the flowers, now drenched and pounded into the sand and shells for a second day, had begun to let loose of their petals. One by one, the golden bits of those flowers were released into waves. One by one they were plucked and swallowed.
With a smile upon my lips and tears in my eyes, I thanked my Father.
It was time to go home.
May your holidays continue, in your hearts, in your souls, in the essences of your being.
And be better than I: Don’t pick the flowers.
#thebrickdandelion #thebeautifuljourney #wavesandflowers #nostorms #thankyouGd #imjustme