Inland, a half day’s travel by car from the ocean, paradise nestles in the valleys between the low, blue mountains. You have to wander off the Interstates to find it. But if you do, you’ll discover that the time lost wasn’t lost at all.
You’ll see what a man with some land and a tractor can do. You’ll get to breathe clean air, and see bright laundry drying on a line in the sun behind a white frame house, two-three stories, with a wide, deep porch and gingerbread trim, the kind that’s been in the family for a couple generations.
You’ll discover that tire swings still hang from thick maple limbs, that barefoot boys with fishing poles know the whereabouts of creeks and the women plant gardens full of vegetables and flowers for the beauty of it and for its provisions.
Get off the beaten path now and then. See what lurks behind the green exit signs. You never know; you just might stumble into paradise.
Always, the darkness passes. We awaken from our dreams to find ourselves snug in safe harbors, awash in possibilities.
Always, a light shines to guide us. Always, sunrise spreads a new day across the limitless sky, waiting to see what we will choose, who we will be, what we will ask and give.
The least we can do is to be true, to choose our highest, to ask and give it all. Dare it. Watch the Yes respond. And if you should fall short, as we so often do, remember, always the darkness passes. Always, sunrise brings a new day.
Sail into the wind. Dare to leave the shore, the known arrangements of pebbles and sand, of mown lawns, smooth roads. Risk the waves. Let the salt spray sting your face as the sea leaps up to meet you.
Why are you here, if not adventure? If not to press forward into the next revelation, and the next, and the next? Why else does the sea of secrets stretch from horizon to horizon?
Sometimes, if you stand very still and keep your focus on what, exactly, you want, it will wash up all around you.
It may not be quite what you had imagined. It might be larger, louder, richer, brighter.
It may come rolling in on you , crashing into your reality full speed. It may nearly sweep you off your feet, roaring Yes and calling your name.
You never know. Everything is possible.
The white hot sun still blazes. But now the tide begins to rise, and with it a subtle change permeates the atmosphere. The worst of it is over. The heat is tempered, the humid air sliced by a wisp of breeze.
It’s only a matter of hours now until the night settles in. Then stars will spread themselves above this sea and all will be dreams, and the moon will write her path across the water. And the tide will fall, and rise again, and fall.
Even when the clouds spread themselves thick and low, the earth glows with her long, summer green. It pushes up from the shores of the rivers and lakes and wetlands. It billows above us, its soothing hue softening the heat of the days. It rolls from the crops in the fields. It drinks the breeze and returns it to us freshened.
It shelters and feeds the ten thousand creatures. It nourishes our spirits and sings of how vibrant life can be.
And now, in these days of the long green, it reaches toward its fullness and whispers to us its peace and joy.
“Sunshine! Sunshine! We love the sunshine!” The wild little sunflowers sing their song in rounds. Wave after wave of the happy chorus dances across the fields from the first light of dawn until dusk falls.
They feast on sun. They revel in its light. They reach for it, growing taller and taller, their petals full open to its warmth. It fills their every cell and spills out in rays of gladness.
Their centers overflow with it, their pollen coating the legs of bees who dive into blossom after blossom, dizzy with the plentitude they find there.
And the flowers laugh, and their bright song goes on and on.
You could be forgiven if you didn’t notice. Summer’s ribbons of color sweep past for mile after mile: The purple thistle, the yellow sunflowers, the dusty pink of crownvetch , the wild daylilies’ orange. Beyond them, an endless depth of trees dancing in sun and shadow.
You get mesmerized by the road, by the monotony of the engine’s drone, by the soft hum of tires on pavement. Your thoughts travel ahead of you to your destination, to what you might eat for dinner. You fall into daydreams.
But if, for a moment, you were to awaken, you would suddenly see that you are rolling past miracles that stretch ahead of you for miles.
Because words alone cannot tell you, child, how much you mean to me, how I cherish you, how I laugh with you in your joy, how I weep with you in your sorrow, please accept this small token of my love.
May its tenderness whisper to you of the gentleness with which I hold you in my heart. May its beauty prove to you that, even in a world strewn with trials and thorns, you are not forgotten.
I, who create worlds upon worlds, know your name. I dance within your every breath. I know your every thought and each of your desires. I am with you in your suffering and in your hours of celebration.
Because words cannot contain me, I send you this token of my love. May its fragrance sing to your soul and bring you peace.
Except for the laws of nature herself, they speak their piece and sing their songs without regulations or rules.
The send up fireworks in celebration and joy for the gift of their independence.
They worship as they please in bright carols sung to the Yes. Their petals are flags of freedom.
They stand tall, in dignity and grateful pride.
“May all sentient beings be free,” they sing. “May all sentient beings be free.”