Somwhere in the San Juan Islands.
The events of this past year have pushed me deeper into the arms of God. To the world it looks like I am hiding in a cave. I am in a cave but not hiding, exploring. I’ve left as much of the world behind as I can possibly manage so that I can make my way through my own insides unencumbered, through the universe to God.
God is such a comfortable place. As I type, I am sitting with my feet up and on my lap is a squishy blanket acting as my desk. It’s snowing outside, but so lightly you really have to be still to notice it. The tiny particles are so slight they swirl more than fall and the few flecks that actually make it all the way down to the ground look like dandruff on horizontal places. A dark branch, red steps. Here the tiny white shows itself. Most of the snow seems to prefer to meet up with its own kind in the vast shimmering bay, a lightshow of water with no seams.
Tiny birds flicker. This curvy, twisting, resilient tree won’t take no for an answer and has made its way over the water’s edge despite the rocky places. The tiny birds drink from her open leaves. I wonder if it is fun to drink at the top of the tree without having to bother to fly down. God provides and they delight in it.
I LIKE THAT
THIS IS YOUR LIFE. NO NOISE. NO STRIFE.
What am I going to do about …?
LET’S WORRY ABOUT THAT LATER.
How do the tiny birds know where to go? Do they know what they are doing? Such tiny movements, so fast, boing boing boing, branch to branch and such tiny little heads with tiny little eyes that flick back forth, back forth so immediately—in less than a blink and flit! They are off, on another branch. Flit flit flit. I know it is such a reckless observation to wonder if they know what they are doing. But I am sitting here wondering that. I cant make heads or tails of it, infinitesimal movents here there and everywhere. 3 birds dart in and out of the tree with a precision and purpose I cant calculate. What exactly are they accomplishing with this random and erratic movement? As much as I observe I cannot understand what they are doing. I am the idiot, the fool, the outsider. And I am happy to get on with it.
We’ve rented this cabin for the weekend. It’s new. A modern extension of a much older home uphill. Its so quiet here the only sound I’ve heard for the past 2 hours is the clickety click of the keys, which I like, and the sound of my own swallowing, which sounds grotesque. I like the coffee but I loathe the swallowing and now that I’ve noticed it I can’t stop swallowing. My senses seem particularily acute just now. I seem to be the only thing here making a racket. Tile doesn’t make noise. Neither do brand new, flawlessly installed large pane windows. If I were to open the window the outside display would come crashing in and at some point, I will welcome it. But for now I am under the illusion that it is just me and God in here and I can’t imagine wanting to disrupt this.
Modern structures are flawlessly quiet. This is not a farmhouse. There are no ghosts here yet, no hissing pipes, no cranky appliances, no overburdened floors. Even the plugs here are quiet which suddenly strikes me as odd. In my own farmhouse the plugs talk to each other all night long, complaints of use and abuse. I suddenly realize how much I demand of my plugs and feel the need to pack up, rush home and thank them incessantly.
My ability to notice anything is so dependent on God and my ability to shut up. Shut up Molly! That’s one of the things I tell myself with great frequency, along with ‘oh shit’, ‘wow’ and ‘cool.’ I need to tie a string on my wrist to remind myself to up the usage of ‘thank you.’ I use it pretty frequently but my happiness and the use of ‘thank you’ go hand in hand, and for the most part, of recent, I have been down in the dumps. Note to self: don’t forget to say thank you.
Second note to self: don’t forget to shut up and notice all that is right in front of you, just waiting to raise your happiness by you saying ‘thank you.’
Isn’t it odd that we’ve gotten it all wrong? Once again. We are taught that saying ‘thank you’ is a nice thing to do for another person. When really, it is the path to your own happiness. The fliting of the birds made me realize that. Again. Just now. I knew that. But I forgot. Again. Do the birds realize that it is their job to remind me of this? If so they have executed flawlessly. Thank you for flitting about, constantly and relentlessly, in a way that demands my attention. And I kid you not –suddenly there is not one bird on the tree outside this window. I’m looking. I’m looking. I’m looking. Their host tree, the one directly in front of my gaze, is empty. I smile. There is no way this is coincidence. The tree was so full of life, a constant display and appearantly what was once out there is now in me and not out there.
Just now it stopped snowing and this feels like an unbearable disappointment. It feels like the show is over. But I’m not ready for it to be over. Oh! There one is! And now another! Flit flit. Oh, and the snow is back—much lighter than before. Everything in the universe is in balance, even when I’m not. Curtain call, encore. Better enjoy it.