Ruminature #4: Reflections

Being on or in the water in the Adirondacks is like being in a cathedral to me. It's so easy to breathe in life's beauty and glory. I have just four weeks to go before my next visit, and I'm in countdown mode. Lake Clear, Adirondacks, 2010.

 

Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.John Muir

Last summer when I was in the Adirondacks, I cried the first time I set out on a hike. My parents had both so recently passed away, and as I hit the trail, carrying a canoe with my boyfriend, heading under the canopy of tress, I was overwhelmed with joy. And I burst into tears because I realized at that moment that I was going to have so many more happy times in my life I would never share with my parents again. It was confusing.

But it was healing, too, to be in the place I love so much, to be surrounded by the stoic grandeur of decades-old trees. To be in lakes whose shapes haven’t changed much in the hundreds of years since Americans discovered them (and probably even more hundreds of years that the native Americans had lived there).

When the water reflects only the endless blue sky, it’s easy to breathe deep and feel the wondrous gift of being nothing but a blip in the history of humanity—to free myself from the burden of consciousness, the weight of the ego. The shimmering planes of water and sky remind me I am large only to myself and those who love me; to the ancient world I am merely a being for the short time I am here, momentary and forever new.

About stacy

I am a writer, author, mother, former magazine editor (last at Redbook), optimist, and, above all, a searcher. I'm still searching for whom I'm really meant to be, after a series of very jarring losses: a divorce and house disaster that led to a book (Falling Apart In One Piece); a week after the book came out, my parents suddenly fell gravely ill, I resigned from my job (and, apparently, my career), my son went into crisis, my parents then rapidly died four weeks apart, and my boyfriend (who had moved in with me and my son just weeks before the book came out) began the painful journey of realizing we couldn't make our relationship work (that story unfolded on this blog). Since then I've been trying to figure out what's next. Or, in other words, how to fill in the blanks.
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9 Responses to Ruminature #4: Reflections

  1. Stasha says:

    That is a beautiful capture. Both as a photo and a picture of a moment you capture with words. Nature will always bring the calm.

  2. cynthia morrisey says:

    Stacy you write so beautifully and eloquently – I am loving reading your posts .. and this picture is absolutely fabulous. Enjoy the beauty and splendor of your life

  3. Molly says:

    It sounds like a “thin place” — have you heard of this term? It’s a Celtic thing … a way to describe a place where the veil separating the ordinary from the holy is “thin.” http://www.thinplaces.net/openingarticle.htm

  4. [I posted this reply earlier (from my ipad) and I think I was unsuccessful… so I shall try again from a “real” computer; I apologize if it appears twice!]

    Dear Stacy,

    I must begin by saying I read your memoir a year ago and devoured your story, journey, process and words of wisdom. I was impressed and inspired by your resiliency and clarity. At the time, I read it as a working mom and a wife, looking to explore the journey of another woman who might share some of my own joys and struggles.

    I recently reread some of my underlined passages (as I frequently do when I love a book)… but this time I read the words not just as a working mom and a wife, but a daughter grieving the recent death of her father; my dad passed away 3 months ago after a short but well-fought battle with brain cancer. He was just 63 years old and we were incredibly close. As I wade through this grief which is deep and sticky and layered, your words were all the more pertinent and inspirational for me.

    Now, as I visit your blog for the first time I see we share the loss of a parent.

    I understand your post completely. I am dealing with this very same issue– how to accept the paramount role of my dad in my life, always, but that there will be no new memories created; he is paramount, but only present in memory. It’s a rather difficult concept for me. And it’s why I also find myself weeping often, even during moments of joy– or maybe precisely because of the joy that is bittersweet– because it can’t be shared with my father.

    Thank you for all of your inspiring words.
    I enjoy your writing and grow from it.

    Sincerely,
    Meredith Resnick
    (I write about this experience, my grief and related issues on my own blog: http://www.aMotherSeeking.com)

    • stacy says:

      Meredith, thank you for taking the effort to re-post! (It didn’t show up, you are right.) And thank you for honoring my words with such lovely words yourself. I am so happy to meet you, and so sorry we share this loss that we are both carrying. But I do find comfort in writing, and exploring the sorrow, instead of bottling it up. All of life is interesting and worth paying attention to; if we see it all, instead of just what we want to see, I think we have our best chance of being free to live in the moment and be who we are meant to become. Lofty goals, I know. But what else should we do with our one precious life? Here’s to love and wisdom and honoring the memories of those who showed us the way! xx

  5. Right there with you. It is often during times like those, outdoors experiencing a beautiful spot, a memorable experience, that I feel the loss of someone who was once close to me, still in my heart. It’s either a feeling of I wish she could experience this with me or sadness that she will never again have the opportunity to see and feel what I still can. Thank you for the beautiful share.

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