I am at Seabrook Island and St. Christopher’s for a brief respite. The sun continued its perpetual resurrection this morning. It rose from it’s grave to kiss every storied grain of sand with warm lips. The salty moisture captured in these earthly kernels is temporarily offered up as a sacrifice to the sun’s embrace until, of course, the sun grants reprieve this holy evening. Perhaps a storm will haste this process.
Here, the feathered clouds are white backdrops for the simple shapes of bird wings. Butterflies roam and nestle in flowered perches. Deer graze lazily at the forests edge by daylight or moonlight.
The constant wind caresses everything. It reforms the dunes in ancient ways. It caps the ocean’s waves and causes the reeds to become like a conductor’s baton.
In this symphony the seagulls are French horns, the steady waves drone in the low end of an orchestral organ and children playing in the distance ring bells with their laughter.
It’s not silent on this island. It’s never silent. The sun, the wind, nature’s orchestra pull my thoughts out and threaten a cacophony that has become dangerously normal to my life. I am like these waves: coming, going, crashing…coming, going, crashing…I am never silent.
The voice of God is upon these waters; the God of glory thunders.
I’m writing from the screened porch of this cottage. It feels safe in here somehow as if the elements are exposed to me but not in reciprocation. There is still much more exploring of this island to do but I start with the interior. I drift in and out of my head rhythmically with these waves, this wind, these leaves and those birds. The pages of my mind turn backward and forward. The non-silence thankfully brings meaning.
There is something very unambiguous here. Equivocation is my normal coping mechanism but such defenses seem unnecessary, even useless. This cottage and this island demand nothing of me except to just exist. Both simply beckon and house a sense of being. I’m not a human ‘doing’ here; I am a human ‘being’ here. I will soon return to a world of expectation but for a brief moment I can sense the beauty within.
I’ve always struggled with self-identification. Richard Rohr says the dilemma to my personality type is that I’m trapped in myself; I live as if I wasn’t in my own body and in my own soul, but were standing alongside and watching myself perform. He says that one of my tasks is to listen more frequently and carefully to the voice of my own feelings instead of doing what promises recognition from the outside. I’m grateful for Rohr’s insights into what feels like a consistent theme.
Revelation sits on the watery horizon and I am in pursuit of her, not knowing what secrets she holds about me nor for me. Fortunately, she is not very elusive on Seabrook, here at St. Christophers. Instead, like her sister the mystic Sophia, she is rapt and rich and everywhere. I am beholden to nothing and everything all at once. Sadness and joy are medicinal tools; this island is a surgeon and I am a patient. I pursue.
Have you ever felt so absolutely overwhelmed by something, anything that you want to vomit? As if throwing up is the only appropriate response to nervousness, excitement, fear, danger, exhaustion or perhaps laughing so hard? In contended loneliness, I vomit thoughts about myself, God, this world. Even so now in response to the non-silence. I am both fearful to share such things and am compelled all at once. I hope to leave equivocation on this island but am also resolved to leave it regardless of wherever I am.
I came here a bit restless but when I leave this screened-in porch or this beach or these haunted woods, perhaps I will leave rested. I came a bit arrogant, perhaps leaving a bit more humble. I came a bit destitute, perhaps leaving a bit richer.
I’m going to go exploring a little more now and with a greater sense of contentment. I’m unplugging again. Back to the island…