Why I write

01-17-2016 | Lindsay

It was a wind-whipped, changeable afternoon.  Clouds and rain gave way to sun, then swept in to shower some more and left again on another breath.  The swirling duet of rainfall and sunlight fit my mood as I looked over the winter-ready garden and the never-quite-occupied horse barn toward the forest.  I was thinking about the perpetuity of change, the ever-receding horizons of the land of transition, and trying to make my peace with it.  The lacework of cloud shifted, and gold light caressed the water droplets trembling on the paled leaves of the dogwood and the brown honeysuckle vines, making them shine like tiny crystals suspended in the current.  There is beauty in that, I thought.

The evening too was a wonder as the earth spun slowly and the glowing sun turned the western sky orange, then magenta, then burgundy behind the narrow purple veils of wafting clouds.

Some days earlier, Kate and I had talked of the sometimes dizzying effect of living right up against one another as we have chosen to do, when the shifting variables of each life can set off ripples or tidal waves through the whole pond.  Each of us has our ways of riding through the ceaseless weather.  An openhearted desire to learn about one another, a willingness to know and be known, to understand and be understood, the vulnerability that is the requisite for grace: these are the only rudders we have.

So I have been thinking about this, how it is that life is one long transition, how each threshold is prelude and practice for the next; how we are continually confronted with the choice of whether or not to go through, knowing that each door makes no promises, as Adrienne Rich succinctly notes.  Also, as each year passes, that how we live is how we die; and how human community is a breeding ground, a hot house, of opportunities to live riskily, to plunge through the next door with heart open and pounding.

I mean not only our day-to-day human community; just as much the wider world community and the community of Earth and all its wild inhabitants.  These call me to feel the heartstrings that connect and to live in that awareness. We’re all swimming to the other side.  But in midst of the turbulence, preoccupied with staying upright, I forget.

Luckily, I walk around almost daily in the communities of this small mountain. Amazing things happen.  I write about them.  A friend writes back, and I am reminded:

I receive your Rolling Ridge emails each month and open them with anticipation, wonder and awe. As the new year begins, I just wanted to express my thanks for your beautifully crafted words. They transport to Rolling Ridge where I can breathe in the crisp Autumn air, see the misty woods and moonlight shadows and hear the crunching of the leaves underfoot, the owls hoot as well as the silence. 

Thank you for allowing me to "eavesdrop" on your community and share in the wonders that are Rolling Ridge. It gives me hope to know that as my spiritual community struggles to live in and make a difference in this world, you are struggling to do the same. 

Colleen Walsh-White