Read ~ 4 minutes. Listen ~ 9 minutes
It seems like ages since I've been outside walking. Between smoke-hazed days and torrential downpours I just often have sat and looked out the window and not felt like venturing out. But today as the sun broke through the clouds, the rain stopped. I came out to our newly opened park. It's been closed for over 2 years, since we were in peak Covid.
It's strange. As always, you can never come back, as they say that everything changes and it's true. Even being here, everything has changed. There's more fences. There's more signs warning about the boundaries and the limits of where we are and are not allowed to go and how we are allowed to get there ....
I'm holding that gently, knowing that there are reasons, good reasons in some cases, for why that is so. Reasons that have roots in, to be honest, the deeply colonial history in which so much of what we live in is based. It's the kind of history that we often ignore. And I'm trying to do better at remembering the roots of who we are and how that impacts everything that happens now
I live on a boundary. It is the boundary of 2 countries and 3 nations. And we have not always lived in easy partnerships or easily neighbourliness to be honest. Not-with-standing the words that are printed on this border crossing about being children of a common mother and how these gates are never closed. But in truth these gates are gates.
There are reasons for gates ....
Mostly I am simply pondering everything. Everything I'm encountering. The leaves that are autumn and yet not autumn. It has been so warm that the colours that we expect to see at this time of year are very faint. Just now some of the trees that would long be resplendent in orange and red and yellow are just barely tinged with that, mostly still showing green or having simply dried up and dropped.
Those smoky skies came with drought. It’s been so dry here. The leaves on the trees are green but the grass has been brown. This is not how it normally is here at this time of year.
But this started really as a reflection today about simply being out. The air today feels so clean. There’s a particular smell that is such a west coast smell. The ocean meeting the trees and this time of year there’s a autumn smell. It is the leaves that have dropped, decomposing. It’s all here.
(Sound of a single engine airplane flying overhead.)
This border crossing also sits below a route for airplanes to the local airport. And the traffic now has increased again. During so much of Covid, when the borders were essentially closed, it was quiet. And now there’s many, many cars.
I feel like there was so much that we have learned, or we learned for a moment. And I’m trying to hang on to that. Kind of like when you go to an inspiring talk or workshop and come away thinking “Yes, yes! I’m going to do that. I’m going to take that away with me.” And then find that life just flows back in and we forget the new things, we forget the ways that we made a commitment to living better, to living more alive, more intentional with our lives.
I’m trying not to let it all go, all the lessons from this pandemic. All of the moments of wonder and challenge. Things that challenged me, things that made me think about who I am in the context of who we all are. And how we live together and how I want to live in community, live in common purpose with other people, with creation. How I want to use my time and my gifts. And it's attention. It’s a struggle. And I often feel isolated even now.
And yet in this moment of pause, of sitting in the beauty of this day, in this late afternoon as the sun is starting to slide down towards the western horizon .... I’m just noting the beauty and hanging on to my gratitude. For all of it .... For this moment. These thoughts. That’s all.
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