November 5: The mountains welcomed us. The trees tossed orange and red confetti at our feet. Quaint cottages offered hearth and rocker. My church had arrived at venerable Shrine Mont for our weekend retreat. Someone sighed, “It feels like the whole world has left us.” Exactly.
November 6: I leaned forward at such an angle that an observer would have imagined a defiant headwind. Except all possible observers from the retreat leaned the same way, hiking with me up the mountain along Cross Trail. At last we reached our destination: an observation platform and four flights of wooden steps without risers or sides. And I’m terrified of heights. But I’d come so far. Up, up I went, clutching the handrails and denying the ground below. I reached the top (which wasn’t really that high) and snatched my views. Then, backing away from the railing, I hugged the white column rising through the platform’s center. It soothed me and fortified me for the descent. When I touched down, I looked back up at the platform. Then I understood the name of the trail; the column that settled me was the upright of a cross.
November 7: Mountain frost visited us on Sunday morning, but wind and clouds stayed in bed. So when we assembled in the outdoor Shrine for worship, sunshine lifted our voices and warmed our bodies. How, the pastor asked, had we found Life in Abundance this weekend? She urged us to roll our words into paper scrolls and slide them into a community mosaic. I dithered. Then I knew. For the first time in 20 months, our congregation sat here together, shoulder to shoulder and heart to heart. My word was “Joy.”
November 8: Back home, in a shaded bit of garden with a rock-lined path, a mom, grandmother and a new-walking boy wandered among the ferns. They moved slowly, not only because of the toddler’s pace, but also because they were exploring. As I walked by, the mom nudged a resting log with her foot. The little boy squatted and looked. “Yes, there!” His mom called. “Do you see the worm?”
November 9: Thirty years ago today, in a sunset-shimmering church, Kevin and I stood among family and friends to commit to each other our lives and our love. Sure, things can get scratchy at times. And one of us snores. (That would be me.) As I think about those thirty years, I wonder: Am I a better person because Kevin is in my life? I am. Do I savor the thought of thirty more years? I do, I do.
November 10: Trees lining the beach road sparkled like sprinkles on Halloween cookies. The forest floor glowed tangerine and even the bay was Caribbean blue. The white ribbon of sand trimmed the ocean in neon. Everything was erupting in color. . . . I think I’ll wear my funky spare sunglasses on the trip back from the beach too.
November 11: I spied a lone fisherman in his boat below the bridge where I walked. His fishing line stiffened and bowed with promise. I paused. Sure enough, he reeled in a silver fish as long as his forearm. After securing his rod and removing the hook, the fisherman took a selfie: fish and fisherman, cheek to cheek. Then, seconds before freeing the fish to swim again, he applied to its nose a grateful kiss.
Readers, to receive notifications by email each time I make a post, just scroll all the way down this page (next to the “word cloud”), look to the left and click on the black button that says “Join Me!” And if you think a friend might enjoy these, please share the Delight!
If you’d like to browse my past essays, please consult the “word cloud” featured at the very bottom of this post. Find a theme or two that interests you and sift through the sands. Or learn a bit more about my Blog by visiting my Welcome page. You’ll also see links to my four published essays. I’m glad you’re here!