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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Spiritual Attachment Amid Spring Distraction

O, Glorious Morning in May!

Is single vision possible in the spring? Narrow focus? Can anyone achieve or even attempt it? Look here! Oh, look over there! The door opens . . . the sun floods in . . . outdoors beckons. . . .

Bruce worked yesterday at the bookstore, and David was on hand, also, working in his gallery (photos soon, i.e., as soon as he feels everything is ready), making freedom’s clarion call almost irresistible, and the only reason I settled down to paint the new railing by the entrance was that we were expecting a friend’s visit, and the hope of seeing her kept me at my task until it was done.

Helping the paint dry....
Can you read the shadows on the wall?
Picnic ground on the bluffs
Didn’t Sarah deserve a reward then for her patience? I thought so, and we made a little expedition to Peterson Park, where by chance we met a Boston terrier from Chicago. (That was fun for all concerned!)
Lake Michigan
Next stop was to see our friends (and their pigs) at Bare Knuckle Farm. (Hi, Abra!) Then a visit to Northport Nursery for beautiful blue lobelia. I don’t worry about finding geraniums before Memorial Day, but lobelia can be elusive, and an opportunity cannot be allowed to slip past.

(A plethora of parentheses, you see. They indicate a distracted mind, don’t you think?)

Time, work, and nature will make this a garden
Home at last to water my straw bales and to breathe in their sweet scent, anticipating the tomato plants I’ll be getting from the Bare Knuckle folks and remembering the giant collard plant – one plant – that gave and gave and gave two years ago when I had my first straw bale garden. (Must have collards!)

We met friends for dinner at the Bluebird in Leland, and that brought back a flood of memories, as did seeing many other friends there for dinner, companions from earlier Leland days, older now, as are we. After dinner, we took the traditional stroll down to the harbor for sunset. 

The river flows out into the Big Lake
Stephanie said, "Every sunset is beautiful."
Memories, going back in time, anchoring one in place. David will always be a “Leland person,” his memories there going back to 1957, but it’s different for me, because in Leland (coming from Kalamazoo) I was only, first, his girlfriend, later, his wife. When a Northport friend whose Leelanau family goes back four generations told me years ago that I was a “Northport person,” I felt proud. I’m happy in Northport, where my bookstore was born 20 years ago, right on Waukazoo Street. But I’ve never lived in the village.

So my “spiritual home,” as David puts it, is not in any city or town. Not in Northport, Michigan, or Paris, France, not in Chicago or Cincinnati or Kalamazoo or Delton. It’s here on our few acres surrounded by orchards and woods. Back when we still lived in Leland, David had his studio here in the farmhouse, and I had my first garden, and the only water we had for drinking was what we hauled in. A rain barrel and many trips down the hill to the creek and back up with full buckets kept my garden alive. Our old dog loved to lie under the basswood tree in the backyard and watch me work in the garden. Now Sarah loves the same spot.

Pots to fill
Under the basswood tree. The messy but venerable old silver maples, one in front, another in back of the house. Back roads and places without paths. My old farmhouse, my country neighborhood. St. Wenceslaus Parish, Fischer’s Happy Hour Tavern. My front porch and my backyard. My clotheslines. My meadow.

This is the place I love, my home ground, my spiritual home, my anchorage. Here the distractions fall away. Its center holds me.

It is a whole world...

,,,in every season


BB-Idaho said...

Being unfamiliar with Leland, I checked around a bit. So, that is
the place where the great lake
submarine photo controversy started by Dr. Werner Unterseeboot
occurred. Not surprisingly, the
date of the article was April 1 . :)

Kathy said...

It's good that you know where your spiritual home is, and that you feel so connected. Wondering how many on this earth can say the same thing?

Dawn said...

I haven't found my spiritual home yet. There are many places I feel connected with but I don't live near any of them now, or for the past many many years. I've moved so much I don't really know where my place is. But I'm sure I'll recognize it when I get there.

P. J. Grath said...

How many spiritual homes have been lost to natural disaster (flood, hurricane, fire), war, and "development"? Or illness, old age, or financial misfortune forcing people out into little lifeboats? I don't mean to be depressing here, only to say that not a day goes by I don't feel gratitude for being HERE, NOW.

fleda Brown said...

I love your photographs, Pamela. They're so expansive and mellow, just like your posts. Thanks.

P. J. Grath said...

Thank you, Fleda. That means a lot to me.

Laurie said...

I love this post, Pamela. It's so "you" - bright, loving, faithful, aware, grateful, thrilled ... So so often lift my spirits.

P. J. Grath said...

Laurie, sometimes I need to lift my own spirits. It's easy for me to get bogged down if I don't look around and see where I am and how lucky I am to be here.

Kathy in Oz said...

What a beautiful post, Pamela. Thank you.

P. J. Grath said...

Kathy, I'm glad we can visit each other through words and pictures.