Friday, August 9, 2013

Savoring Life

I went for a walk yesterday morning.   It was about 40 degrees, so the fog was on everything, but lifting in the sunrise.  I don’t know how we got so lucky to have September weather the first week in August, but it’s golden.  

My heart and head were both swelling, with the details of the day, and with the enormousness of life.  Usually they don’t both hit at the same time.  But on this particular morning they did.

photo by Rachel
And in the afternoon, a worn out young man trudged up the outfitting steps.  I knew he was coming back early, I had already spoken with a deputy. 
 Because I’m a mom, I opened my arms to him, and ….probably because  I am  a mom, he stepped into them and started to sob.  I think I could feel the grieving brother's heart breaking right through his chest.

In another story--one of our Gunflint Trail neighbors who has been picking blueberries around here all his life, went out a week ago, and hasn’t come back.  His truck, parked in his favorite picking spot, is still the only clue.

You know, usually, I’m all about figuring how to minimize risk, avoid death at all costs.   And while that’s a really good point (and I’ll continue to make it….remember, I am a mother to the core)…… that is not THE point. 

Here I am on the periphery of all this grief, and it strikes me that the main point has to do with the way we live.  Those fine young men were in the boundary waters because they have always shared a profound love for this place.   And when I’m 82, I hope I still have the spunk and independence to drive my truck up to the BEST spot in the woods, and pick my own blueberries.

 As a witness to this incredible sadness,  I  feel a strange combination of melancholy and reverence which isn’t completely comfortable, but it does feel like my heart is running at full capacity.   I cannot control all of life and death. It's simpler than that.  I can look around, I can be kind, I can feel grateful for where I live and who I am with, I can vow to savor it all for this lovely day.