Seagulls

I must keep reminding myself,
this is not just about me; nothing
I have done or failed to do,
it was timing, good or poor,
none of us could have predicted
just how and when the changes
this precious earth needed
in order to cleanse herself
of one species’ avarice and greed
over those of all others, well,
it was bound to come;

I sit here contemplating seagulls
I once used to sit and watch
on the causeway to Mount Desert
Island with her icy emerald waters,
tides flowing in and out,
leaving small crustaceans for them
to pick and peck, dashing
these hapless shelled creatures
upon granite boulders again
and again, breaking them
Apart;

A metaphor, a sign, an understanding
that the shell of my own seclusion
contains tiny cracks and, if dropped
from the great height of self importance,
bursts open, freeing its vulnerable center,
naked and helpless in the face
of what cannot be known by a mind
desirous of plans;

Timing may be not to my liking,
but surely as the cycles of nature
assure me that change is inevitable,
so we shall soon be on our journey
to another place where, surrounded
by forest and stream, a homecoming
of sorts awaits to stitch us back
into rhythms of season and soil.

photo: Chris Johnson

30 thoughts on “Seagulls

  1. Lovely reflections Bela. I too feel this was inevitable (karma) for the harm we have done. We are so vulnerable to nature, and she is rising up to assert herself. The cycles and rythmn of the seasons reassure and bring ease. Stay safe. ๐Ÿ’•

    1. Yes, karma. Clear, isn’t it? Hope we collectively heed this particular call, or what comes next might be far less within our desire to cope. We *are* vulnerable, totally. I think of infant anythings, the wobbly-legged foal or tiny fledglings soaring or hitting the ground. We are no less at the mercy of Mother Nature, only we have these minds that tell us we are otherwise at different times in our lives.

      People ask how we can leave these islands so many dream about. 17 years total is a long time to be separated from our root stock, and it’s clear that now’s the time to return to that particular garden. I was visiting our ranch there a few weeks ago. During that time, it was often freezing temperatures and the boiler even went on the blink, though we do have a nice woodstove there, so I simply fired it up, put a huge pot on to heat, and took sponge baths for a few days until a plumber could come and fix it. It helps that we have wonderful neighbors who insisted I come and enjoy their huge bathtub, which i did every couple of days. Undaunted by that event and the snowy mornings and icy winds, I relished my time in the high desert country. Scat signs showed me that the elk came near the house, as did deer. And coyotes circled the house just before dark one night, howling and yipping. Golden eagles and falcons soared in the sky, and it truly felt like a homecoming. It was thrilling. So despite the challenges of altitude (7500′) and the seasons, once again – even the proximity to anything resembling a town (this is even More secluded than we lived in the Maine woods and on the north shore of Hawaii Island), we truly do look forward to our new adventure!

      Blessings, Val. Take good care, and thanks for stopping by and taking time to offer your thoughts. Aloha โค

      1. Root stock. Yes!! I feel the pull of Scotland – the rocks and the sea especially. We must follow those deep connections and longings. And in the meantime bide our time with a sense of purpose and supporting others who have a long way to travel. ๐Ÿ’•

      2. Indeed. You serious about heading back, as in to live? I loved Scotland when I was there years ago. Summer Festival in Edinburgh, all magically lit up on the hill. Stayed in a castle in Kirkcaldy as well, friends of friends were renovating. Slept in a feather bed, oh my! Loch Tay too. Such beautiful countryside, glorious dikes everywhere. Great memories! ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ’ž

  2. Wonderfully written, Bela. So many of us totally agree with you and your sentiments.
    The metaphor about the Seagulls is so strong and beautiful.

    I love the photo too, so peaceful and goes so well with your your poem.

    miriam

    1. Many thanks, Miriam. I am so glad you enjoyed the seagull metaphor! And the photo of our sweet canine companion totally clinched it, for me. He’s a Blue Heeler (Aussie Cattle Dog), and he’s ALWAYS up for adventure! My husband took this picture of him ‘from behind,’ giving a feel for how he is ever ready for ‘what appears over the horlzon.’ Perfect.

      May love and blessings follow you! Aloha โค

    1. Yes, David, truly. We do heed that call, those of us who have known for some time that things are getting too far out of balance. Out of hand. Your ‘stories on the train’ really point to this, though that might not be your objective in writing them. But i am grateful for the perspectives they bring, though you and I could not lead more diverse lives, geographically speaking. And isn’t that the point, to realize that, no matter where or how we are in this world, *this* joins us. This event. Whether we are frozen in fear or liberated through our awareness that there is a much larger metaphor at play, All of us are affected. May we awaken to a deeper connection to what truly sustains us. I have a feeling you know as well as do I (perhaps better) that it will not be something as intrinsically lacking as money.

      Blessings, dear one. To you and yours! โค

  3. Nature is already changing. I have never seen so many robins as I do now on my occasional early morning walks. And the trees are full of bird sounds. (K)

    1. Indeed! Oh, my gosh. Here in Hawaii, coral reefs that were dead just a few weeks ago are suddenly showing signs of life again, right down to an increase in the number and varieties of fish! Skies are so blue, and it’s not just because the volcano stopped erupting for the time being! Scores of planes once delivering tourists to our shores are in hangars or rerouted. It is like riptide sands pulling back to reveal sharp a’a lava rock underneath. Perilous to witness just how dependent Hawaii is on tourism. And though these islands can be sustainable – we do have abundant resources, if we chose to live more simply – it is unlikely a voluntarily transformation will take place ‘overnight.’ There is serious deep-pocketed greed gobbling up every square foot of shoreline for yet more hotels and condos and to what end? An infrastructure depedent on foreign oil, fighting solar every step of the way. A light rail to ameliorate gridlock in Honolulu, suspended for lack of funds while the state figures out how to tax outer islands more to support its continuation. Ever-increasing costs of housing and living in general. So we are like a micro model of the macrocosmic mainland. This virus has been a wake-up call here no less than ‘there.’

      Stay well and blessed. We are so lucky we have creative outlets! Hell, I’ve even picked up paints again after a zillion years! โค

      1. I had a huge argument with a friend once about why our economy required us to keep producing more and more rather than figure out how to be sustainable. I think it comes down to supporting rich peopleโ€ฆand all the people who want to be one of them..which are most people, to be honest. We have to change our thinking in order to survive.

        Iโ€™m glad you are painting and look forward to the results!

      2. Right spot on. Heard some cool Hawaiians doing a rendition of this last night. Forgive the ads. But. It encapsulates your viewpoint which is clear to anyone who has ever been caught in that particular bear trap: https://youtu.be/L_jWHffIx5E

        At least we have perspective. How lucky we are! ๐Ÿ‘‹๐Ÿผ

  4. Beautifully expressive, Bela. Similarly, I feel this all was inevitable, we were on track for a ‘correction’ … Nature stepping in to correct the balance. It is a hard thing to face, but there is no other choice. We must stand to face the new day, whatever it may bring. I’m voting for Light! โค
    Your pooch is very handsome. ๐Ÿ™‚ Take care.

    1. I love that all my gardening and earth loving friends are showing up for this post. Thanks, Eliza! Anyone working close to the land cannot help but notice humans are far out of sync with the rhythms of other life forms. And the handsome pooch you mentioned, now snoozing next to me as I write, is one of my very best teachers. Sound asleep, totally relaxed, but ever vigilant and ready for what comes next. Nothing like a monkey mind to drive him crazy.

      Dogs are so in the moment. This boy, Mister Peanut, went on a long hike with his dad this morning on the mountain. Yet when he arrived home, it was almost as if none of that ever happened. What now? What what what?! He has been a challenge to raise to his third birthday just passed, but he’s finally settling in. We will soon be on 14 acres where he can ‘work’ to his heart’s content! These heelers really do need jobs. But what a love.

      Yes, being a Mainer, you do see seagulls! We have none on these islands, nor are we likely to see any in New Mexico where we’re going to live. ๐Ÿ˜‚ Still, I never say never, as I’d never have thought I would live to see everyone in masks, everywhere I look. Strange days, and if a green unicorn passed in front of me, I’d hardly blink at this point.

      Be well, dear one. Blessings and peace. โค

  5. Beautiful and telling poem about these times. Mother Nature has put humanity on notice. I wish I thought we would listen and wake up!

    1. Many thanks, Sue. I have wished that very thing for most of my life! Perhaps now we’ll see some shifting, late to the table as humanity can be. Blessings. ๐Ÿ™๐ŸŒŽ๐ŸŒฟ

  6. A beautifully thoughtful muse dearest Bela..
    Indeed the shell is but the housing and we each now are being asked to get comfortable within it..
    Those who are not so comfy within their own space are being tossed and churned in their emotional sea..

    Some are being broken, while others are finding a new sense of freedom as they float with the tide of the ebb and flow..

    Time.. I wrote a poem only last night expressing my thoughts on Time, when the clock was pointing its digits to the twilight hours ๐Ÿ™‚

    And yes this journey for those of us who were ready perhaps years ago, yet still uncertain how it would all unravel still were taken by surprise..

    Nothing much has changed within my own reality apart from missing our visits with my granddaughter and familyโ€ฆ

    I spent some wonderful time today on the plot, then got the fence preserving paint out and began painting panels that were looking worse for wear..
    I re-potted some flower seedlings and planted some
    sunflower seeds..
    Our world dear Bela has always resided within that ‘other Place’โ€ฆ And Gaia, knows what she is doing..

    I hope all is well with you, yes the timing could have been better for youโ€ฆ But you know Belaโ€ฆ You followed your heartโ€ฆ. And so all is as it should be.. And all will unfold in its own time..

    Sending Huge Hugs across the water Belaโ€ฆ I hope those icy winds soon bring warmth and sunโ€ฆ

    Love and Blessingsโ€ฆ With oh so much LOVE ๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿ™๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ’–

    1. Thanks so much for your thoughtful reply, Sue. I hope it is not long before you can re-join your sweet granddaughter. Midnight poetry, eh? ๐Ÿ˜‰ I used to do that a bit. Now I treasure sleep too much. But I do realize a lot of women ‘our age’ experience insomnia. Thankfully that would be a rare occurrence for me.

      You know, life hasn’t changed that much on a day-to-day basis, at least for us, seems you as well. But for so many people, this is going to have devastating long-term consequences. I was just talking to somebody who was saying yes, their debt is postponed, but it will all pile up until they will have to take out a reverse mortgage. Then they will be at the mercy of the banks even more so than before. What a mess. But you know, and you knew and I knew this was going to happen. We just didn’t know how or what. In the end, I think the banks and the financial institutions are going to start crumbling from all the cracks they’ve collected these past decades. It should be interesting. All the more reason we want to be well in place on our little New Mexico ranch where we can just hunker down to a simple life. Hawaii has been fun, but it really is not sustainable. So expensive, and doubly expensive to be in business for oneself. So we look forward to a little more simplicity.

      Take good care dearie. May blessings shower upon you! ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿค—๐ŸŒŽ๐ŸŒฟ

  7. What’s happening with the market generally, Bela, is the whole thing seized-up? That’s certainly the case here in England from what I’m reading. Whilst it’s not illegal to buy and sell houses, viewings are banned, and most Estate Agents (Realtors) are closed anyway. One can only presume that demand will gather and suddenly flow as a wave once the restrictions are lifted โ€” certainly for cash buyers, although banks are tightening criteria for low-deposit borrowers. It’s the uncertainty of it all, don’t you find, that can rather blight the otherwise exciting prospect of moving home? I must say, the legal process of buying in England (far less so in Scotland) lends itself to delays and changes-of-heart in buyers. We really need to update the system so that transactions occur more swiftly and irrevocably. We also need a huge downward correction in our absurdly inflated housing market. I’m afraid we’ve all been suckered by the banks โ€” but that’s a long and (doubtless familiar to you) story. It’ll happen, you’ll be in NM ere long, howling with delight like a coyote as Trump gets led out of the White House by the National Guard in November. Words fail me with that idiot. H โค

    1. I don’t know where to begin, my friend. With the idiot-in-chief, financial corruption or the r.e. market! Will try to answer the last first. You know I do not disagree with the former points. You are well in tune, as usual.

      Houses are still being bought and sold. Things have shifted from in-person to online or video tours. I don’t know what the borrowing situation is with the US banks currently, though I do know interest rates were at an all-time low for borrowers, last I checked. (There’s plenty of money to be had, don’t you know, they’re simply printing more of it. ๐Ÿ™„) I bet you didn’t think you’d see what’s coming up in your lifetime, but there you are. It’s going to be interesting.

      We have certainly had solid interest in our house. I also lowered the price significantly recently as an incentive. We are ready to be on our way. But meanwhile, Chris has work continuing, and as he said, we could really stay here indefinitely and be OK. So thank the powers that be, we are well-positioned. He has built a well deserved reputation in this community for quality even with the smallest jobs.

      It is so unusual, here in Hawaii, to find a place where everything has been done (and done Right) already to a restored plantation home. Often the work is totally slipshod, mold and rot simply cladded or often painted over with cheap paint that will soon reveal the flaws to create even more problems and expense. Termite damage simply ameliorated in the cheapest way to disguise it. We have gone through this place with a fine toothed comb, used quality materials as well, as we thought we would be here for life. We have no doubt, nor do most people who know of it, that it will sell. It’s just a matter of time. And so we wait. No crystal ball. Americans are funny lot compared to the Brits, tell us we Can’t have something and we want it even more (though perhaps that’s human nature, as well). But practically speaking, we are world-wide destination and many wish to retire, particularly to our part of the islands. We live in a desirable area. I will surely let you know when we are on to the next adventure!

      Thank you so much for your support, as always. I appreciate your friendship! ๐Ÿ’ž

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