October 22nd, 2009

space - andromeda galaxy

After midnight -

I am in Inverness.  I read there would be meteor showers after midnight, so am thrilled that though the fog had rolled in when I went to bed and all was mist-wrapped that now, it has cleared and the stars and constellations are visible as can be.  I haven't seen any falling stars yet, but I hear the whoo of an owl and the moo of a cow,  and birds splashing in Tomales Bay.  The waves were pounding in when I arrived but now the water is quiet and still except for an occasional dunk and rise.

I wanted to turn sixty in Inverness so here we are.  Everyone has been telling me to really celebrate this birthday, so my intention has been to see mountains, desert, ocean, and bay and so I have.  Last night we enjoyed a fire in the fireplace.  Well, actually embers are still aglow.  It is still night.

Someone asked me how old I feel.  I said twelve.  I think sixty is a return to that time of confidence and knowing.  I also notice how aware I am of inside and out, inside myself and outside, and inside where I am staying and outside, awareness of myself as an individual and of myself as part of a whole.

And so now back to the stars.  And now the song "After Midnight" starts rolling in my head.  Eric Clapton has appeared.  I still hope to see a falling star.

heart's desire

Evening -

I actually turn sixty tomorrow. I started celebrating early because I think there was something in me wondering if I would really make it. Now, I'm a little over four hours away. The moon is a crescent in the sky and the fire is crackling. The waves are tapping the shore.

There was a seal head on the beach this morning with part of the collar bone. The tide came in and took it out.

We rode on the motorcycle along Tomales Bay to Nick's Cove for lunch. Mainly I watched the bay as we moved along, but my eye was also caught by a horse dipping his mouth to a pond, and I somehow felt that horse, that mouth, that drink of water running down my throat in a way I haven't felt before. I wondered why it felt so important, that moment of so many, and I think it was about intimacy as though the horse felt, me, too, as we passed. It was connection, tossed and shared.

After being in Death Valley, I am also more aware of water, of each drink, and water seems the most special nourishment of all. I continue to read about Death Valley, needing to understand the enchantment captured there. Perhaps it is seeing the rocks so exposed, the stones, the honoring of evolution and age that allows me to sit quietly and feel and honor the marrow in my bones, the action and activity residing there.

I am now clear that beginning tomorrow I will start getting younger. I've reached my peak and now there is a reversal, a chance to be young with the wisdom and knowledge garnered through time.

The place we are staying in here in Inverness was probably built in the sixties and is lovingly done, and is also all weird angles so walls slant out and the roof lifts and the eye is drawn upward even as it is drawn outward for there are windows everywhere and a skylight over the bed. I am in the reading "room," a space on the second floor that is cozy with room for a chair, table, and shelves filled with books.

This place is Ladybug Heaven. I have been wrapped in ladybugs each time I sit outside. They tickle and have a stronger presence than one might expect from the size. Yes, we are in a sun belt here and have been able to sit outside with bare arms and feet and it is clear this is the end. The air, except where ladybugs gather, is brisk.

We are on the San Andreas fault, so keep crossing from one continental plate to the other as we travel up one side of the bay or the other. Nearby is the Earthquake Walk where you can see how much the earth moved in the 1906 earthquake. It was quite a shift and no matter how many times I walk it, each time I am impressed.

October 24th is a day of awareness. Here is an article by Bill McKibben on what we might do to show our support for honoring the earth in what are now essential ways.