Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Missing the sea and New England

At this time of year, I can't help but to reflect back to New England.  Back to New Hampshire and walks on North Hampton or Rocky Beach with Boar's Head in view. I borrowed this photo from the Queen of Arts blog, a fellow altered arts creator and lover of North Hampton.
While fall in South Carolina lasts longer and is balmier, it's the grey November skies I'm more familiar with as they're punctuated by the stark branches already bereft of leaves.  It's a time of withdrawal, a time to return to the inner landscape of memories, hopes, dreams.  A time to step out of the hustle and bustle, the playful summer days, to turn our thoughts to deeper meanings found in the quite in- between spaces, the duende moments and the themes of our lives.  As a New Englander, I enjoy this aspect of life, the quieting down to allow the deeper thoughts and resonances to rise to the surface and add a powerful and profound coloration to our lives.  As the vibrancy of summer and then the fall colors fades, it allows us to break free from the clutter and noise of the world to those very still places where our true soul leanings lie.
The countryside and coastline of New England on those brusque November days, bittersweet, a tad lonely, slightly melancholy are a type of prerequisite for New Englanders as they prepare for the harsher clime of a northern winter.  But beyond such a sense, within it, is a rich enchantment, a call on less frivolous powers within us, a summons to our resourcefulness and creativity in dealing with whatever may come, a Nor' Easter, weeks of isolation, a solemn but valuable aspect of life many people are afraid of, but which I feel makes me live even more vibrantly, more fully alive on a day to day basis than the more carefree, fun and social aspects of summer.
I welcome this time. This liminal time, a very portal to remind me of what's valuable and too often forgotten when things move at a hectic pace. A step aside reveals how temporary and surface pleasures don't last as long as those rich and vital stores of meaning only revealed when we dig deeper.
Layers of meaning and numinosity are found in the quiet gray places. The fire in a hearth burns more brightly against such a contrast, the pleasure of small things: a cup of hot cocoa, someone hands warming ours, a light in a window... all offer warmth, closeness and connection with the subtle, simple, yet crucial times which enrich our lives. A few brief words spoken on a windy day on the seashore, our breath visible in the cold shimmery gray light, are deepened in meaning, when heard away from the clatter and pace of civilization's demands. 
This is when I love the  ocean best.  In the fall,  in one of those halfway places, those transitional times when a certain kind of subtle magic ripens and adds depth and dimensions to our lives.

1 comment:

  1. Lovely post. It seems you and I have switched places. I'm from SC and have relocated to MA. The winter coziness up here is nice. Still, I miss the year-round visits to secluded waterfalls in the mountains.


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