Winter at the beach appears quiet, but as you walk toward the shoreline, the beach teems with life—the skies and sand full of birds: pelicans, cormorants, grebes, terns, willets, sanderlings, egrets, gulls. You see them poking their long beaks into the sand for crabs at the surf line, or bobbing and diving in the water just before the waves begin to roll to their crest. Somedays when I look out, there are hundreds of birds floating in the water.
During the fertile season of the summer and early fall, I spent most of my waking hours away from the beach meeting new people, building new professional relationships, creating new art. The last couple months have pulled me back to the beach to review—to scan over all I’ve done and determine what truly speaks to me as a creative, as an artist. The pendulum of outward focus having swung so far that it must self-correct—pull back its pioneering to store up for the winter. I find myself putting away the winter squashes of ideas—the ones that will keep for a time—and gathering up the crop of apples and pears to preserve them for later when the crisp burst of their sweetness will pierce the salted meats of winter.
|Photo by Kathleen Keagy|
I knew it was coming. The astrological calendar for November said Mercury retrograde and with that communication, travel and the “go” of the fleet-footed messenger slows, giving us time to look back...to reflect, reimagine, revise, renegotiate, redo...in all areas review.
So I have been back walking the shoreline at the beach, writing in my journal, meditating, cooking, cleaning. But this, too, feels unnatural having ventured out so far. I feel a bit like the genie who has been let out of the lamp and then after granting the three wishes is commanded to wait in the lamp for that unknown day when someone’s curiosity and desire will release the magician once more. What it difficult about this image is the reliance on the external catalyst. But we are not alone on our journeys. Sometimes it does require patience, allowing others their right rhythm and path.
Like the winter beach my days may look a bit quiet, but I am hard at work sorting the crop of experiences I have collected and deciding where I will focus my energy when it is time to press on again. This time with more focus and more clarity—my nets not cast so far wide, but rather falling deep into waters teeming with life, with stories to be told.