The soft muted colors of the morning sky pull against the horizon to the point just above the mountains where the wind catches it. It is the kind of horizon line that distorts the timing of sunrise. The tide is drawing to the west but it is no match for the wind out of the east. The wind is laughing. I know it. I can’t hear it over the sound of it cutting through canyons, up the arroyos, through the spines of the cactus, and out of the mouths of the gulls, but it is laughing, I am confident.

All night, the mast light of the 47’ sailboat anchored in the harbor swayed 20 degrees in each direction, cutting the shape of a wedge and telling me that the seas had not changed. I imagine this cove can be peaceful. I imagine the surface can be still, but I imagine those are uncommon times and that it feels like a mistake, incomplete, a warning.

When I was young, the wind never blew unless a hurricane out in the Atlantic was forcing its way towards land. The fact that the hurricane needed water to stay alive made me think the storm was alive. It is like the shark, it needs to move to survive. I always understood that.

I don’t know what this place used to look like 1000 years ago, or back when the oversized relatives of the gulls that are laughing at me overhead were here. I don’t have any idea what it will look like when my boys are old, I only can see today. But that is enough. I don’t need to. I don’t need to control through my expectations or through my fears, I can just be. I can be the one who adapts.

I like that there is a small tree growing above me. The roots of the tree are not visible even though the dirt is shallow and erosion has taken just about all of its foundation and the whole root mass is overhanging by 15 degrees. It should fall. The wind should dry the roots and kill the tree but it doesn’t. The tree holds on. It grows as it can and it inspires the other trees. I imagine it calling back to the bushes that don’t see the possibility “hang on, you’re tougher than you think.” I imagine the bushes agreeing.

It makes me think about the quote from Lawrence about wild things and self-pity. It makes me think of how strong people can be.

It makes me grateful.




About thelinkschool

The Link School provides the kind of quality academics that will help students engage, expeditions and projects that help students expand, service that help them look beyond self, and spiritual development that helps them deepen.
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1 Response to Grateful

  1. ahhh James — such poetry and insight — thank you for sharing. When we lived on the lake there was a pinion pine just off the deck that was twisted by the wind and bent to the will of the sun — i loved that tree and it’s shape that looked untethered, but was deeply rooted in the rocky soil of this valley. It taught me so much our freedom from self-determinism. That tree did not “choose” to bend to the left or the right, to twist or to rise erect. It was the law of tropism — the photo-tropism: drawing of the leaves to the sun, the hydro-tropism: deepening of the roots towards water, the geo-tropism: it’s innate desire of its roots to seek deeper — that shaped its beauty. Aren’t we all like that? Love drawing us into shape — the shape of our careers, our families, our sense of community and purpose. We are not self-determined creatures — we are Love-drawn creations. Thank you for this reminder — sending love to you all — so grateful you are home. xoxo

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