The grass had been replaced by moss which had grown painstakingly around the trees in the shaded grove. My friend, with whom I agreed to take a ride “out East” needed to talk with several of the residents so I took a stroll in the silence while she discussed. Three swans floated on the lake in-between occasional surface plants that broke the ripples of the water. I felt the presence of Nature as She breathed with me in synchronism on Her Path. I walked to the gazebo and the swans glided towards me. Unbelievably, I felt enveloped, cared for and loved in solitude without anyone nearby.
Discussions of peace during a reflective afternoon. Casually walking down quiet streets of a sleepy LI coastal town. Reflecting on life, living, pretense and want. Discussions about peace and its refusal…or is it just a lack of awareness? We didn’t agree or decide. Yet, as I rounded the corner, the antique shop message embraced my consciousness just enough for me to connect with a smile…
A sunlit, breezy August afternoon in what could be Umbria or Toscana brought back memories and reflections of wonderful days living in Italy. Today, however, was a forty minute drive on Long Island to Greenport’s Raphael Winery with a tasting of Rose Pinot Noir and a blackberry-licorice laced Cabernet. It was a day when Nature’s whispers calmed my soul and reminded me of Her Peace that surrounds us if we choose to look and feel Her warmth.
Lunch with a former student who just came back from Greece. I didn’t vacation this summer, so her stories of sun-drenched beaches, hot white sands and cool Greek personalities, drifting with the politics of the EU tingle my memories of when I lived in a very different Europe.
She offers me a bright red gift bag with a big smile before our sesame bread with tzatziki, Greek salad and Greek pizza in a Mediterranean restaurant whose decor of stucco walls and music of the tzouras and outi help me feel the warmth I miss in this too-harried world.
My afternoon is caressed by her young, energetic smile and kind words of encouragement. Meal dissipates like dreams into the Long Island humidity as we exit the restaurant and embrace with words of “see-you-soon.” I open the bag as I wrestle into my sweltering car and find a small bottle of genuine ouzo…the non-imported kind to quench a thirst for culture and a little magnet in the shape of a sailboat to bring my dreams back to me from the Aegean Sea. Efcharistó!
In the early morning hours when dawn spills from the darkness, I am reminded, amid our tangled lifepaths, to whisper a prayer or two to a Power Much Stronger and Larger than Me with the belief that It will hear.
Last summer, I planted one Lemon Verbena in a hopeful butterfly garden without design along with three rose bushes. Of the three rose bushes, one had totally died and only one is still left without blight. This summer that one rose bush produces now for the second time copious, colorful blooms. The verbena, without any intervention from my questionable green thumbs, have multiplied into an army of purple buds, attracting butterflies and bees. Our wishes often arrive, not as we may have projected, but with work and desire, rewards can be just as satisfying.