Monday, July 7, 2014

Nature's Heartbeat

"Life is occupied with perpetuating itself and surpassing itself; if all it does is maintain itself, then living is only not dying."

That quote is from a random book I read over the weekend while staying at George & Diane Steed's guest house in Friday Harbor (my brother's wife's grandparents). I can't remember the name of the author, but I'm pretty sure the book is titled Voluntary Simplicity, or something similar of that nature. Reading it, as it was published before the mass of home computers and cell phones, was fascinating. In fact, the Steeds are facinating. The guest house had no TV, no radio, not even a clock, and I loved it. You could hear the crashing of waves from time to time, as they're out on the north end of the island just off the water, and it felt like a heartbeat; that I was snuggled safely in Nature's womb. Dan would still fiddle on his phone, but I completely powered down. We played Chinese checkers over decaf coffee in the morning, and listened the birds outside our window before bed. It was glorious. 

I visited mostly with Diane. She is so interesting, very well read, and curious, and happy, and kind. Dan and I noticed, as we were laying down for a nap one of the afternoons, how much of a treat it was to visit with people of the Steed's generation. We don't get to visit and hear stories from octogenarians very often. The stories we get are from books, or movies, or TV shows. They're often fabricated, or embellished, or extreme, or third party accounts. To hear from real people about their experiences, is a special treat. If I lived in Friday Harbor I would want to visit them all the time. Listening to their stories is like being told unique secrets. Secrets that so few get to hear. 

Life happens in the blink of the eye and each moment I get to spend hearing other people's life stories, the things they've seen, the lessons they've learned, the views they have formed - especially those with some experience under their belt - helps mold me into a more compassionate and open minded person. And it helps me grasp the enormity and the subtleties of the human journey. 


While we were there, we had another rainbow sighting, again with no rain. She popped up while we had been watching the 4rth of July parade, and had to sneak off to do venom. Dan's mom drove the venom down from her fridge and as I laid in the back seat of the car, and Dan dropped the drips into my nose, with my head hanging out the door, I looked up and saw my friend the rainbow. If I had not been upside down, I would never have seen her. Sometimes, even when you don't know it's there, you're being protected, watched over. 

And finally a picture of one of my best buddies, my niece Isla. 


If you look to the back, between Isla and my head, you can see Dan in the background. 

Happy 4th!






1 comment:

  1. jessie, I love the thoughts in this….we all need more quiet and real conversation. I'm of the generation between yours and Diane's but I remember staying with my grandmother in the summer and the days were so slow….full of reading and small chores and maybe getting to listen to the radio if one of her favorite programs was on…lots of time to think. Glad you had such a restful weekend….Isla is so cute! Jennifer

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