I am sitting here at the edge of the ocean trying to be present with all that is arising like waves within me, not trying to placate, not trying to talk myself out of any feeling that comes up within me, not trying to do anything except create room for it all and the compassion to hold it buoyant as the ocean.
The ocean’s waves are so large right now, as if tailor made to hold the heights and depths of what I am feeling.
The ocean is so vast. It teaches me how to be vast.
The ocean meets the sky as a friend, reflecting it without changing its own nature, in a gentle exchange. Can I find a way to be with the atmosphere around me with compassion while still staying fully seated in my being?
The ocean is a healer. So are the prairies, so are the mountains, so are the forests and the meadows, the lakes, the rivers and streams, the rolling hills and the desert sands. And those who dwell within them, the fish, the birds, the mice, the deer, all of us living as best we can.
Home now, I sit looking out at the mountain, remembering my walk by the ocean, up on a bluff and down on the dune and onto the wet sand where the surf raced to greet me. And the mountain tells me it will be here long after I am gone. That Li Po poem: ‘…Here we sit, the mountain and I, til only the mountain remains.’ That is a comfort, yes. Both the mountain and the ocean will be here. But in what state?
I begin to see the real core of my sorrow: that try as I might, I am failing to keep the healer safe, failing the mother that holds us all.
I know it is not all up to me. But there is some responsibility here, to work with those who also recognize the way nature needs us to play fair and find ways to live fully without desecrating life itself. And to somehow reach out to those who don’t see that in a way that speaks to them more deeply than the fears that blind them.
But even in saying that, I am not greeting the sky, am I? I am telling the sky to be like the ocean. Yet if I say ‘Que sera, sera” what happens then? To all of us, and the generations that follow. And that is the heart that is broken here: my grandmother heart. For whatever comes to pass may not impact this woman in this body overly much, who knows? But my children and their children and their children. There are babies whose lives I am passionate to save, as avid as any ‘right-to-lifer’ in my desire to keep the planet healthy so that those generations of babies may live! I feel in this loss of an election, I have failed. Babies of our species and others as well. All the plunder and poison.
So I am disheartened. That’s what I am. Just as my mother before me would get disheartened that all her efforts — and she did work hard — sometimes felt for naught. But the waves in the ocean tell a different story, how they slap the shore a little further each time, and then with equal grace recede for a time, only to come again.
Having lived decades beyond her, I can see that my mother’s efforts were not for nothing. She played a small part in a big arc of history. So I can be disheartened, and I can be blind to my part, but I can trust that living my intention with spacious presence and compassion will be enough. That I am not in charge of the outcome, only my way of being in this world.