Monday, August 22, 2016

Not the blue sky, the grey one

I did not have my phone in my pocket on Saturday morning as I looked out at the grey horizon, the grey clouds, the grey lake. So I did not take a picture to contrast with the photos of blue waves and pink sunsets from earlier in my week on the rocky shore on the west side of Washington Island, Wisconsin. But it is that grey shore, the grey sky, the grey water that I have tried to hold in my mind as I journey back from vacation to daily life.

Grey comes in many shades of dark and bright, in the depth of the distant drizzle and the darker rainstorm moving west with the wind, in the mottled rocks and the active waves. It becomes part of your very gaze. It is the peaceful light cast on your retina, the panorama encoded in the neurons of your brain. It's restful, it's focused. It is breath and air and Spirit, calm and active in the midst of all that lives between heaven and earth.

My breathing is calm and shallow as I think about it. This moment, that moment, and the next one, the next one. They curl into this one, observed and treasured, and carry me into tomorrow. I hope.

I looked and looked and shed a tear or two, then got in the car on Saturday morning and drove home. After a stop for breakfast and a rain-soaked ferry ride, I took a few minutes to reset my daughter's Facebook password while parked outside a fancy kitchen-goods store near Ephraim in Door County. We got French fries at McDonald's in Sturgeon Bay, and later, filled the gas tank north of Manitowoc. Hours later, after the last few agonizing miles of city traffic on Cicero and North Avenue, we pulled up at the curb by our own overgrown backyard and were drenched by another downpour while unloading the car.

For two nights now I've woken up at three or four and listened for the waves and the wind. My imagination is that good--I seem to hear them as my worries seek the comfort of wind and intimate water.

This moment, and the next one. This.

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