? An affair of the heart ?

In Spirit by Melani Marx

This morning I got up early, washed my face, slipped on my clothes and made a cup of hot milky tea in my insulated travel mug. Grabbing my current favorite handmade tea mug from the cupboard I slipped into my car and drove to what has become my current, favorite morning place.

I sit on the beach. Or a bench. Lean against a stone outcrop or cross legged on the ground and drink my first cup of hot tea outside in the presence of Nature. Of Beauty.

Once my tea is sipped and savored, I stash my cup – well hidden in the bushes along my path – to collect when I travel back toward the remainder of my day.

There is something deeply nourishing and informative about traversing, sitting in, wandering the same place almost daily throughout many seasons and years.

The “bones” of a place stay the same, yet the landscape shifts every day.  Small things are noticed, witnessed, revealed.

There is a rise and fall. A rhythm that is discerned. Felt. Engaged with. Settled into and astonished by.

A relationship is created. An affair of the heart so to speak.

A steadiness and soothing ebb and flow like the tide. Observed. Integrated. Assimilated.

Sometimes, like this morning it is so quiet and still you can hear the plop of a gull as it lands on the water far below. The skittery water sound as a small water bird takes off. The quiet shush, shush, shush of the tide slowly coming in. The chitter of birds in the trees on the other side of the head. The call of gulls, cry of an eagle, the steady wing flap of a cormorant as it flies low across the water.

Other mornings I have heard the quiet huff of a porpoise surfacing or the gentle splash of an otter circling and playing as it gathers food, its inquisitive eyes catching mine.

Some mornings the clouds are dark, low, hovering. Rain coming down. Storms brewing or blowing hard across the land. Trees shaking, groaning and bending. Branches flailing and cracking.

There may be fog so thick, almost solid that obscures all but the closest objects.

At certain times of the year there may be an ethereal mist that floats along the water clinging to the shore and trees… dissolving in the rising sun.

This morning it is sunny. Blue sky. Not a cloud to be seen. The sun warm, the air cool on my bare arms. Quiet. Still.

Like any dear and cherished friend this place is both refuge and sustaining support. I come to it with whatever is present in my heart and all is welcomed. All is held in reverence and honor.

We are each in relationship with the rest of the Cosmos. With Nature. With the Earth. With the rest of the myriad of inhabitants on this magnificent planet.

We are also in the most intimate of relationships with ourselves.

We inhabit our own skin. Live in our most precious bodies. If we listen deeply to our heart and soul we come to know ourselves better than anyone else possibly can.

This ability I have cultivated to observe and welcome all of me has come with practice, enormous amounts of self love and unconditional acceptance of every snarky, fearful and mean bit of me as well as the luminous light and love radiating from within.

I have become my own beloved.

This has been fostered in Nature. Nurtured by time, commitment, patience – engangement. With an open and curious heart. Like any other long-term and valued relationship.

This shift we are longing for in the world toward equity, kindness, acceptance. These must start within. We cannot mend the divide without until we begin to restore and repair the divisiveness within.

We cannot give what we do not have.

This is the Summer of Love. Unconditional self love.

Join me. Wherever you are. Whatever you are doing.

Start this minute.

Appreciate yourself for showing up this morning. Or not. Do it wholeheartedly. Both are useful. Each has its own gifts.

Holding you in love and appreciation, sitting on the bluff. Watching the day gain momentum and speed. In love…