The day began as I departed from St Louis at dawn and drove to my home town of Chicago. Some people think the drive a horrid one, I love it. I am on the open road, enjoying the countryside, the old farms, the big sky, the rising sun, and the quiet. I trust my time here because I know it so well. I know this journey literally and figuratively. This is time when I strengthen the bonds I have within my own self and also the ones I have with my Creator.
My first stop is forever the lake. It is where I am most at peace and where all of life and every bit of nature seems present and clear. I allow whatever it is that will take place to simply occur. The wind blows, the snow falls, the rains pours down upon me, the sun warms every portion of my being. This is well-being, it is a path of non-resistance, it is a path of openness and great reception….I listen to my heart talk and it is tender and vibrant.
There is nothing as refreshing. There is nothing that comes close to eliciting a lifetime of my memories. I’ve grown up here. I have had every happy and sad moment recalled here. I call it as it is known–the Lake– but in my poetic heart, it is the sea…..a deep sea that is like an ocean with every bit of depth and mystery. It is a place like no other I have ever known in this world. I have been here for first kisses, long walks, bike rides, deep talks, checkers, and laughter, and swimming, and surfing, and sailing and sunning and skiing, and snow adventures. I’ve been here to rejoice and to mourn. This is where I screamed out my agony when I lost my mother, it is where I cried hard when my dad died.
No matter what, I come here and find my faith is vivid, my heart restored, my footing solid and my hopes ignited. I love the way that the weather overtakes me and reminds me of my place in the world. I return to my favorite church and their gardens and the prayers pour forth from my heart with a divine inspiration that is familiar.
I arrive and feel the sense of sadness but also the warmth of the family and friends who come together to share not only tears but the joy of memories behind those feelings of grief. These people are a portion of my family. I love them and care so very deeply about how they are and how they will continue to be.
It all matters.
We celebrate the life now gone from here and the longevity of it. We mourn that, no matter what age, it ended too soon……we wanted more time. We cry together. We laugh at the knowing of who it is that we have loved and what they brought to our lives. We eat, we drink, we are merry…..with heavy hearts.
We are a people of inner reserve and strength and depth that we have learned generation by generation. We are strong and mighty. And so, too, are you…and yours.