Gratitude and Grace

Sunday morning, we rose early to a moist wrap of fog and flotilla after flotilla of pelicans flying by our deck by the bay.  We counted fifty pelicans in some of the groups, and there were also individuals, couples, and smaller gatherings of flight.

We didn’t know if it was a wider circle than we saw coming from the sunrise and heading west so we were seeing the same ones more than once, or whether each one was unique to us, but I was reminded of Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring where she pointed out that DDT was destroying our wildlife.  Rachel’s book saved the pelicans, osprey, and other creatures and birds, and now we watched groups of as many as fifty birds swoop by, some high and some low just skimming the water.  It was as exhilarating as a fireworks display, and quieter though we did hear the swoosh of wings.  

One seal bobbed in front of our deck, also entranced.  

It’s a different rhythm in Sausalito than West Marin and yet again there’s the rhythm, motion, and comfort of the waves and changing tides.  We took this week to reflect back on over fifty years of knowing each other and what that means.  We honored how we each contain both young and old. As Steve’s doctor reminds him, we’re not in the “young sapling stage of life”, and yet, there is a resilience, a reception as of the waves reaching and changing the shore.

It’s been a beautiful week as the planet shifts now in its reception of light. I feel refreshed and invigorated, calm and motivated, both young and old, as my individual wave connects with other waves and this whole planet we share.

A friend proposes we give ourselves time with photos and texts of and about Black people, note what comes up and how we feel.  How do we embody the experience of another?  How do we cultivate presence in ourselves while we take in and empathize with the experience of another?  How do we reap kindness and root?

The fog is in this Monday morning where I live, and I’m grateful for the wrap as I give my heart space to open and feel a little more of the gift of each breath and the gratitude that nourishes each life as we pause to open and receive.  I believe I need to give myself time for reception and absorption, and so I do.

These are complex times as we navigate opening to lives other than our own. May we be kind.

Saturday morning sunrise over San Francisco Bay
Saturday morning
Birds of Paradise facing the rising sun
Ivy finds a spot to root and grow

And then I stopped taking photos, and seeped in simplicity absorbing what’s written and taking place in and on my inner and outer walls. Gratitude and grace – two pillars anchoring unity and diversity in ourselves as shown in rocks.

In a Zen garden!