Solo Retreat: Avila Center, Durham, NC

photo of a pathway

Photo by Johannes Plenio on Pexels.com

A morning walk through all the trails before it gets too hot. Gravel paths crunch and remind me for some reason of previous trips here with the retreat group. The paths lined with mulch are pleasurable too, in a different way–squishing pliantly beneath my foot, quiet compared to the gravel. As I walk along the stream, frogs unseen plonk into the water at my approach–one from high up off a tree branch overhanging! Crows caw and squirrels chatter angrily as they scrabble around and around the bark, chasing each other with squirrel anger at the trespass. As I often do, I ponder how this place exists whether my eyes are witness to it or not. Here is the life of this mushroom: unobserved from beginning to end. I watch a red leaf flutter to the the ground and appreciate that I am the sole witness to this in the entire world. Later in the walk I ponder how life back home has proceeded without my presence all weekend, and so it shall when the day arrives that I exist no more.

 

Longing

I long to be untethered. Loose upon the world. Floating in a warm stream, flowing, my hair fanned out behind me. A halo around my head. Ears dulled to the external and filled instead with the whooshing of my own heartbeat.

Untethered. Unraveled. Undone. Unguarded. Against the grain of common acceptance.

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Sea Musings: Carolina Beach, NC

White foam marbled the flank of the wave…rich and fatty

The warmth of the water never ceases to astound me. Growing up in Northern California, the ocean was bone chilling, hostile, rocky and foreboding. This one is velvet, rich and supple, its danger in its quiet seduction, hoping that you are unaware of the grasping hands of the rip, caressing you tenderly away from shore before you even realize your fragile mortality.

Each time I struggle with the deep, hot sand at the end and when the dune summit is reached…I gaze so longingly one last moment as sad as if I know it will be my last.