We had a restful, magical, beautiful, and healing trip. Never have I felt a getaway so deeply when it was so short. From departure through return Ken and I had a vacation mentality and it was glorious. Lots of sleep, long walks, a boat ride, clambering around rocks and snorkeling each day. Nathan was at home and fine, and we were AWAY.
Before I left my Spiritual Director and I agreed that I would focus on light as a new spiritual practice throughout my time away. My goal was to be mindful of the light, to pack away images and strength from all that light and bring them home with me. Of course with light comes darkness.
When we first moved into our house Nathan was a newborn and the family next door had kids who were much older. Their oldest child was a boy who could ride a two wheeler and was allowed to ride down the sidewalk to the Dark Spot formed on the path by a shady tree overhanging the way. He had to stop and rest at the Dark Spot while adults caught up with him, or if he was alone he had to turn around at that point and come home. Either way the Dark Spot was a punctuation point for a pause. And so I’m talking about the dark that accompanies the light. My Dark Spot is a moment for rest and reflection and reconnoitering and deciding on next steps. Forward or back? Rest longer or move on? Doesn’t it feel good here in the shade when the sun out there is really pretty darn bright? I found myself walking from dark spot to dark spot in the heat of the day as I pushed myself physically and took the rest I also needed.
My spiritual director and I also talked about the under water feeling that my treatments sometimes produce in me. That feeling of moving slowly and with some difficulty, exhaustion, and lack of inspiration. I added to my spiritual discipline of observing light and dark the spiritual practice of observing light and darkness while I was in the water. What a perfect place for that with my love of snorkeling and all the snorkeling I was able to do.
When I was a kid I used to go into the pool just to hold my breath face down and see the water sparkle and reflect on the bottom. How much more so when the bottom is undulating sand and there are fish swimming by.
It isn’t possible to catch pictures of those water colors I loved, but do know that I was constantly on the lookout for those blues and greens and mixes of the two. In every hue, in every changing moment I was there.
Dear source of light – Alexa thanks you for the the richness of her time away and the joy of her return. She thanks you for the endless displays of light and the appreciation of dark as a time for rest, reflection and recuperation. Thank you for the glory of snorkeling with all the corals, fish, and other creatures there. Bless the sea which gives life and heal the sea from our excessive human use and abuse which were both visible much too often. Bless Alexa’s return for Chemo round 5 starting tomorrow.