The moon had been luscious and so very full the night before. It was said that the tide would be extremely low. The air was tingly and unseasonably warm. It was a Saturday. All of these things conspired so I packed up and headed over the hill…
But let’s go back a few days further to set my state of mind while I headed to the beach. I was speaking to Elena
the other day when we touched on the ‘love is everywhere’
project. She smilingly asked me if I was making these images or was I really
finding all of these heart shapes? I reassured her that although I do usually post-process by tweaking levels and saturation to make these hearts pop a bit more, they do indeed present themselves to me all of the time. She then said something like “well, that’s got to mean something.” Although possibly said lightly, it stuck with me and swirled in with the other thoughts that have been brewing in my head lately.
…as I drove that quick twenty minutes over the mountain to the beach, I sang out loud with the windows down and the sunroof open and soaked in all of the beauty. Felt so alive. So present. It was indescribably beautiful.
I pulled into the little spot right at the sand and was stunned to see a big long swath of dark smooth beach that stretched out further than I had ever seen. I hurriedly set down my things, spread out a blanket, grabbed the camera and headed straight to the distant shore break.
I imagined as I walked at which point in my steps, on a different day, I might be under the waves. Visualized diving under, my hair floating out behind me in the current as I kept going. The wet packed sand was unusually flat and surprisingly empty of treasures. Maybe a small pebble or broken shell here and there. I did notice the outline of one rock right at the edge of the foamy sea. I thought to myself “a heart rock” and silently chided myself…”silly girl - no way”. And then, there it was.
I do believe I squealed out loud when I got to it. I looked around with what I imagine was a dumbstruck smile. I could barely believe it and I was standing right there.
I slowly headed back to the blanket, knowing what awaited me.
I had brought my Sun Magazine
with me and the theme of the January issue is, in fact, love. From a myriad of angles. I had already read through it - even given away two copies by then - and knew the words that were held inside. Things like…
“Love demands this: a balletic, impossible leap over the river of your worst fears. The only alternative is to stay on the riverbank by yourself…I leapt” – Alison Luterman
“So a relationship is a great gift, not because it makes us happy – it often doesn’t – but because any intimate relationship, if we view it as practice, is the clearest mirror we can find.” – Charlotte Joko Beck
But one of the things I read that resonated with me most deeply was in this month’s interview (online here
“Falling in love is not a rational process. All I know is that something deep in me knew that being with Thanissara was important. I believed that together we could do wonderful things and continue to grow spiritually. Still, grasping at the “other”, however beloved, will bring suffering. Ultimate fulfillment is found by recognizing the empty and transient nature of all things, whether you are alone or with others.” – Kittisaro
Big words. Words that struck me profoundly. Freed me in a sense. Helped me to realize that, yes indeed, love is everywhere but the most important place for it to reside is within. If you cannot love yourself, the core of your being, then the love that flows out of you is too easily tinged with need. Too expectant of something in return. I have heard and read words like these many times before but I finally do feel them to my bones. My journey thus far, this issue of The Sun, the most recent heart rock and so much more have helped me to clarify what all of these hearts I stumble upon have been trying to tell me.