03 March 2010

joy's gift

I just finished reading the book I thought perhaps I came to this island to write.

It came into my life the day before last as a gift from a gift -- from Joy. Her path and my own intersected the day before that -- just one week after she and her family arrived here. She knew and I knew without a word, that the hushed melodies that called each of us to this time and this place were harmonious. Her story and my story, her song and my song -- although different -- are uncannily similar. The rhythm and tone and resonance of her heart, which has also leaned like the head of Spring's tulips toward the light of love, grace, simplicity and freedom, beats in concert with my own.

In this Lenten season, which for me began with a decision to stand hard and fast on the bedrock of Love, I have received gift after gift after gift. I thank You. As I have stripped, surrendered, let go and lost pieces of myself, I have retrieved, renewed, rediscovered and newly uncovered pieces of me.

Thank you.

You have filled me once again with hot cereal, granted me courage and serenity to shed the shell I have outgrown, to stand in the rain and to make room for something new. You have looked into my eyes, reached into my heart and in the midst of confusion and doubt, You have not only assured me that I am okay, but I am loved. From ashes, You have indeed called forth beauty. You have helped me to see a steadfast sun. On the heels of despair, You have brought forth Joy.

And Joy, she lent me the book I read today -- a simple book that articulated the story of the last year in my life with refreshing succinctness and breathtaking clarity. It infused words where I had few and attached meaning to that which I could not fully grasp on my own.

As I've listened to the rhythm of my heart, it has nudged me toward abstruse silence and solitude... to an island.
Yet in my heart's recesses, I have sensed companionship. I have sensed the presence of seen and unseen partners in this pas de deux. Troi. Quatre. Cinq... dans ce pas de beaucoup et un peu (pardon my French, s'il vous plait).

Over fifty years ago, a woman sat and reflected on a beach much like the one right outside my window. She collected the shells I have collected these last 215 days. She listened to them, looked to them, and wrote down a movement in their symphony. In her song. In my song. In Joy's song. And I imagine, in yours too.

Like all good things, I know the gift I received earlier this week was not just for me. Today, I partook. And I was rapt. And I wept. And I was blessed (thank you). And now, with the open hands and heart with which I received this gift, I release it to you.

Anne Morrow Lindberg's, Gift from the Sea.

If it is time, and you have not yet been met or been moved by this book, I pray you will pick it up, pour it over and then pass it on. And if it found you some time in your past and its season has returned, I pray you will scour your shelves, refresh your spirit, and let it speak to you again.

It is written. I'm relieved.

A love story was penned in the ancient of days. It has been told, and shared, and retold, and it will continue to be. I feel peace in today's assurance that although I am often -- gratefully -- in solitude on this island, I am not alone. With grace and good pleasure, I may rest and I may dance in this melodious sea of the known and unknown with partners seen and unseen. And in so doing, I may receive and release its boundless gifts.

The tide is rising, and it feels good.


Juli said...

this is one of jon's mom's favorite books. good reminder. will get on reading that right away. speaking of great books. have you read walking on water by madeline l'engle? it leaves me speechless and filled up with words to things i didn't know how to express before.

Abi T. said...

Walking on Water... mmm, enticing! I'll put it on my library wish list. Any others?

Melissa said...

Paul Long's exec assistant gave that book to me and I enjoyed it...but I doubt I really appreciated it at the time. I'll have to dig it out of the boxes and read it again...