I feel so lucky all of a sudden because my mind is reeling with all the places where I have felt true peace. Most of them, I have no photos for…like the beaches in the Southern Lau group of the Fiji Islands…beaches so deserted I had absolutely no problem believing mine were the very first human footprints in that sand…ever.
Or a baby sleeping on my chest. Or cat or dog or….
Or the aftermath of beautiful love-making. (Yes, I said it…and definitely no photos of that.)
In my everyday life, one of my favorite places to get calmed and grounded in peace is the porch swing at our Mountain Retreat. It’s not just the view, though it does look out over a beautiful, peaceful valley.
There is simply something magical in the energy right there, in that spot.
We have all taken naps there. It’s just that peaceful.
BUT here’s what this challenge really brought up for me. A week from now, on December 8th, almost 39 years ago, we lost John Lennon.
It was a heartbreaking day for me but there was a gift in it I have been grateful for again and again all these years.
I remember the moment I found out so clearly. I was stuck on a bridge in typically frustrating commuter traffic…stop…go…stop…go, when I noticed that every one of my pre-set radio stations was playing a John Lennon song. Uh oh.
I knew what that probably meant. Sure enough, I heard the official announcement when I switched to NPR (National Public Radio).
I burst into tears.
You know how when you are driving, especially slowly, you catch movements in the cars right around you. We were stopped and something in the car just on my left caught my peripheral vision. I turned to look, my make-up running tears streaming, and found a young man half my age, looking right back at me. He was also crying. We locked eyes for an intimate eternity, and there is no doubt in my mind, we were sharing the same devastating moment. It was confirmed when we both rolled down our windows and realized we were listening to the same song on our car radios. Imagine.
It was almost as if our intense connection spread because around us, there was a small cluster of about 8 cars that did not move for several minutes, even though the traffic ahead had opened up. No one behind us even honked.
I don’t know how to describe this but other windows must have been rolled down too because through the air, floated snippets of Instant Karma, Imagine, and Whatever Gets You Through the Night from pumped up radio volumes all around us.
A strangely and powerfully peaceful moment…
For years, I have shared this story as an illustration of the truest form of human intimacy. An example of how we can be completely connected with anyone, including total strangers…no judgment, no bias, no words even necessary. We can connect with almost anyone through shared pain or shared joy. It’s the same experience we have when we make eye contact with someone else who is also watching a baby, or kitten playing, or a Mama duck herding her ducklings across a road. There is complete peace in those moments, sadness or delight….because for a moment, we know that we are all in this together.
Just imagine finding enough ways to co-experience this level of harmony…that we might actually save ourselves……….
To some who read my blog, today’s post may seem a bit lazy. But hear me out, OK? I try to write something every year, on both Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day, to thank Veterans for their service, and to honor those who gave their lives for their country.
This year is no different except that I can’t really think of anything new to say today.
So I am including a few of the posts I already wrote, even though I still don’t know how to make it easy for my reader to simply click and read. I suspect you will have to copy and paste. (Open to feedback here…)
I also realized this year that I have no idea how many of my readers (supposedly, there are an amazing 486 of you) are Veteran’s yourselves.
I’d love to hear from any of you willing to share that about yourself. I’d be honored for the chance to thank you for your service to your country, no matter the circumstances (drafted, just needed a job, or a passionate commitment to a cause). And no matter the country.
Please read as many of these posts as you want and I really do appreciate comments of any kind. I want to know I am earning all the attention of all 486 of you.
And if you actually read all those others, here’s one, also in honor of today, but way, WAY lighter, I promise!
I had the same thought as V.J. ( https://onewomansquest.org/2019/10/16/candid/ )
I immediately remembered this series of photos of cousins meeting for the first time.
No clue what they were watching but they both look pretty serious. And it was not the first time I caught a glimpse of my grandson’s protective nature!
It can be hard to get bumped out of the Best Friend position…that is until you realize what you have inherited…
A new BEST FRIEND of your OWN!!
Happy Birthday Sweet Patty! I dearly love you and am so glad he found you!! (But, let’s ditch him for a bit on your next visit and have some serious Girl time!!)
This post is all for you. Been gathering PINK for you since early Spring!
Love you And Happy Birthday!!!
(Try clicking on any photo. It should enlarge!)
Bucket list: stick my feet in the Pacific Ocean
Check and done ✅
(Not my photo but of someone I dearly love…)
I already LOVE this week’s challenge!
First the DATE! How fun! As a kid, I always told everyone 9 was my favorite number.
Also, as a kid, the word “stacked” meant something very different than the way Nancy Merrill is using it here. Don’t worry. If you are old enough to remember that use of the word, I will spare you any “R Rated” photographs…but here’s a word picture for you.
My last name was Bessey, which got mean-girl turned into “Busty”……because I wasn’t!
I was the very last girl in my P.E. class to wear a bra! And boy, did I get teased about that. But understanding just a little about genetics, even in junior high school, I knew a time might come when I deserved the nickname Busty. My mother, aunt and grandmother were all…uh, hugely STACKED. It just happened to each of them a bit later in life! Where are those Mean Girls now, huh?
Back to what I’m sure Nancy intended with this challenge…
It has taken me all week to figure what I might have in my life that is “stacked”. I have been completely blank…even last Saturday when we went to the Farmer’s Market. I actually took pictures but never equated the two things. Duh.
Then a trip down to the beach did not trigger an idea…duh.
Next, I house-sat for friends and took a bunch of photos out the kitchen window, trying to capture the interaction between a feisty squirrel and sarcastic Blue Jay! Uh duh.
And again, with the Universe shouting in my ear, on the long drive home, listening to early morning radio, there was a delightful debate among the D.J.’s about the piles of rocks one finds while hiking the Pacific Northwest trails. One suggested these stacks were Art. Another, a memorial. And the third, irate by the way, insisted they were trail markers, both directional and as a warning to indicate some difficulty.
I still could not figure out any thing in my life that was stacked. It wasn’t until going through old photos that I started to get a clue. First I spotted this…a wonderful house on Alki Beach called the Flower House. Check out the STACKED rows and boxes of flowers!
That made me think of our Mountain Retreat. Look how many stacked railroad ties that are holding it all together!
This reminded me of a trip we took this summer to Glacier National Park. We stopped for gas and I fell in love with this stacked rock wall.
You know, denial is a funny but powerful thing. I had all these hints and arrows pointing, but I STILL had not remembered the most obvious example of “stacked” in my life. There’s a good reason for that. I don’t want to think about it, but maybe confessing it here to you, will inspire me to get off my you-know-what and finish a massive task I took on 5 years ago.
I love our Casa in the mountains but parts of our paradise can be pretty gray, barren of vegetation for long stretches of the year. And though it serves an essential purpose, one of my least favorite views out of more than half the windows, is the massive stacked rock wall along the whole back of the house and driveway. It is actually a work of art in its way but it’s just bleak, all year round.
So I took it upon myself to brighten it up! I am NOT a gardener of any kind. I plant Primroses every year because they are the laziest, easiest thing I could find to bring color into my suburban yard. But we are at elevation at the Casa and very few things survive winter and the deer….except certain succulents!
So for years, I have been experimenting with just a few types at a time. Those amazing plants grow practically right out of the ROCKS. And so far, some have wintered well, and apparently are not of interest to our wildlife population.
But this wall of stacked rocks is over 60 feet long! It may take the rest of my life but little by little, I’ll get them all decorated!
Now I understand why I completely “forgot” about this example…literally right in my own backyard!
Whew! Stacked indeed!
Thanks for reading and I so love comments!! Especially from those Readers I have not welcomed or interacted with yet.