Saturday, February 18, 2012

At the onset of this week's Winds of Change time, I was gathering up my letter writing materials at Peaks Cafe, where I had enjoyed the company of the two owners, Lisa and Ellen, as they worked on a picture puzzle of Slavic decorated Easter eggs while I wrote to my dear friend Loanne.

I packed my shoulder bag, donned my turquoise patterned fleece vest, button-up, grey wool sweater, wool hat, and mis-matched gloves, and headed out the Cafe door. I meandered up the hill towards home, walking the winding "back way" road, taking you all with me. Just this morning, I had seen two male cardinals, or perhaps the same cardinal, from both living room and kitchen windows, harbingers of a day of Self love. I crested the hill, and as I followed the northwest turn in the road, I heard chickadees calling, smelled the scent of mud as I felt the squish of soft earth under my boots, saw bags of garden soil in neighboring yards, and spotted newly turned flower beds. In the distance, between seaside roof tops to the south, was the glistening sea, beckoning me to her.

When I arrived at my doorstep, I entered my kitchen, pausing long enough to put down my shoulder bag and pocket a small pair of binoculars, returning to the out-of-doors and the short, ribboning roadway to the ocean side. Following the lead of some other calling, I clambered across rocky beach to a sheltered stand of ledges, finding a perfect shelf to sit on, facing the receding tide. 

The play of sun in and out of clouds patterned the sea with long slices of white glitter and muted slate grey in whatever way sun and cloud tagged the sea. I closed my eyes, feeling the sun's warmth caressing my face, releasing any tension into a slow and easy smile. It has been weeks since I've formally meditated, as moment-to-moment has become a meditation on Aliveness, so the stance my body was taking was like a homecoming, a familiar invitation to stillness, silence, and peace.

As I was let go, there was the sensation of the middle space of my body, from shoulders to hips, expanding into grey ocean like ripples, the very ones before me, as my head and my legs remained solid. I returned, laughing with a gull I heard overhead, wondering if he saw me, this head floating above water, with legs bent in a sitting position. I peeked open my eyes, seeing the sea, and closed them again, to the very same sensation of head above water, and feet planted firmly on rock solid earth. Was I dissolving into the Beingness that Tony Parsons describes? And is it my head - my  mind - and my legs - my movement through this world - that are resisting this transformation? I laughed again, opening my eyes to the moment before me.

Soaking in warming rays, I took off my hat and gloves, then removed the binoculars from my sweater pocket and lifted them to my eyes. Out on the sea was a flock of maybe 30 ducks, most of them looking to be younglings to my untrained eyes. They swam westward together, intermingling, then one by one, disappeared under the waves, only to emerge again, repositioning themselves, instinctively improvising this dance over and over again. Putting the binoculars down, I gazed at the large rocks by the water's edge, some splayed with seaweed, others wet with sea spray, and one particular formation glistening like seals huddled together, shapeshifting from rocks to seals and back to rocks again.

I took up the binoculars, looking to where I thought the ducks would be, and they had disappeared. As I scanned back over the waters towards the east, they had backtracked and were turning back around, heading in the direction I had first seen them swimming. What were they doing? I thought. "Simply being," came the answer, "riding the Winds of Change" without a need to how or why. And so have we, I thought, during this shared hour and a half. 

Please feel free to share your experience of the Winds of Change time or your thoughts on my experience in the comment section of this blog. Namaste.


  1. Wonderful write up, Claire~~much appreciated by your land~locked friend. And I’m delighted at the thought of a letter from you arriving soon! Here’s how the morning went for me…

    As WoC was beginning, I was coming to accept that the time was not going to flow the way I had envisioned. I’d wanted to be well on my way to the hot springs, roughly 100 miles from home, so I could end our time together soaking in the natural artesian mineral water. Instead, at 8 a.m. MST, I was about to make a needed phone call. I paused and greeted you all, made the call, took my things to the car, kissed my sweetie good~bye, and drove off.

    As I wound my way out of town, snow~covered mountains everywhere I looked, I let go of my frustration, realizing that sitting in the hot springs with you all was no better than driving with you, but for the part of me that continues to judge events according to my preferences. I let that go and opened to the day unfolding as it would, including the deer and the llamas I passed.

    I merged onto the main highway that carried me west over La Veta Pass (9,400 feet) and wound me down into the stark beauty of the San Luis Valley. Averaging 7500 feet above sea level, the SLV is one of the highest mountain desert valleys in North America and one of the largest (125 miles long) in the world. It’s vastness is made all the more apparent by its low population and the relative lack of human structures~~so spacious.

    I drove past Mt. Blanca, a 14,000+ peak obviously named for the snow that covers it most of the year, turned north toward The Great Sand Dunes National Park and facing a particularly beautiful series of jagged mountain peaks, snow~covered as well. Gradually the Dunes came into view at the mountains' base ~~yes, sandy~colored and rising like small mountains (compared to the 14 footers) from the valley floor. I turned west again, crossed several cattle guards, stopped to pee on the side of the road, was blessed by a coyote crossing in front of me.

    I turned north again onto the road dubbed “The Cosmic Highway” for the unusually high number of UFO sightings. As I passed a billboard with a beautiful picture of the Earth and the words, “Our home” above and “Take care” below, my clock told me WoC was ending. I said farewell, but kept you all in my thoughts until I was in the hot pools.

    When I arrived at the springs, the air temps had risen to the upper 20s. I walked slowly through the cold air in nothing but a bathing suit, chose as usual the hottest pool, stepped in and found it hotter than usual at about 112 degrees. Only for the hearty, which meant we had it to ourselves for a good hour or so until they were able to cool it down to its usual 108 degrees. I sat in the water, looking at those jagged peaks, breathing the clear, thin air, knowing the thought of all of you was helping me stay more fully present. I said good~bye and dissolved into the heat.

  2. And thank you, my friend, for the picturesque road trip through the largest desert valley in the world and onto "The Cosmic Highway." How apropos for our ride together on the Winds of Change, every step a discovery of Aliveness, as you let go of judgment and entered into the unfolding of the day. Bravo!