The fall/winter rain rhythm returned last night. The to/fro rhythm of the Port of Seattle ships continues in front of me.
Today, the last of the cruise ships of the summer season returns.
Reading John O’Donohue’s Beauty: The Invisible Embrace synchronicity strikes again:
“The old people used to say: everything that is on the land is in the sea; if you ever saw a mermaid on the shore, you had to be very careful because she would try to get you to come between her and the ocean, then she would drown you. There were also stories about lost treasures and secret villages under the sea. All this mystery was echoed in a memorable poem we learned in school. It had the unforgettable first line: “a ship arrived from Valparaiso.” The very sound of the word ‘Valparaiso’ conjured up images of all that was foreign and exotic, a dream-world which had mysteries and wonders beyond our wildest imaginings. Somewhere on the other side of our ocean its waves were breaking on the magical kingdom of Valparaiso.
“The human heart is always drawn beyond the here and now. Human presence never finally gathers anywhere; we are never simply or clearly here.” – p. 218
On any other day I would observe the ships, boats and ferries moving to and fro. Thanks to O’Donohue I now wonder where each vessel is coming from or going to. What is their Valparaiso? What treasures did they bring today?
While contemplating the treasures I notice the droplets of the night’s rain on the sea oats in our deck planter. I try to see through the prism of a rain drop to the cruise ship. The macro and micro vibrate in my vision. The present, past and future vibrate in my thoughts.
The weather rhythms of Seattle are different than what we were used to in New Hampshire. In fall/winter NH the weather alternated through three day cycles. Three days of storms and then three days of sunshine. On Bainbridge we get all the rhythms in a single day. The skies clear about 10 pm. Around 3 am the clouds come in and we get our rain from 4 am to 7 am. Then the marine layer over the Puget Sound slowly lifts and around 3 pm we have sun breaks (not an East Coast partly cloudy, but a Pacific Northwest sun break). Slowly the skies clear as darkness arrives and then the cycle repeats. For months on end.
I realize I need the rhythms of the hours of the ships moving to and fro to dream of Valparaiso while also peering through the hanging rain drop on the sea oat.
But it is the last line that stops me this morning “human presence never fully gathers anywhere”. The simple oscillation of my view through the rain drop (the here and now) to the thoughts of the journey of the cruise ship (past and present) makes the assertion real. Where am I? What a simple question that so long as my thoughts are swirling has no easy answer.