“ Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.” – Ryunosuke Satoro
I needed to hear the ocean today, to sit near the shore at the edge of the world as the waves roll in, the sun’s late afternoon warmth on my skin. The sky is that perfect summer blue with just a few languid wisps of soft white cloud to mar it. I can see a happy black and white dog in the surf, he has found a large piece of driftwood and keeps dropping it at his mistress’s sandy feet so she can throw it back into the water again and again. A meandering family walks by, broken seashell falling out of one son’s pocket, to land on the seawall, an abandoned shard separated from it’s ocean home. Behind the bench I’m sitting on, the blackberry bushes have given up the last of their berries and now big, fat spiders have moved in, spinning webs among the thorns. I’m acutely aware that summer is fast turning into fall, there are swathes of dark brown leaves and now-empty seed pods being blown by the soft breeze, eddying near the edges of the path, their dry rustling in perfect harmony with the rhythmic sound of the oncoming waves.
These days that are passing way too fast are why I find myself on benches scribbling down random words of poetry or singing the haunting lyrics of Leonard Cohen’s, ” Hallelujah”. Last evening I found myself at English Bay with a swelling crowd of strangers singing his beautiful words as Michael Corber & Friends performed while the sun set and left the sky awash in darkest peach. Many of us had tears in our eyes and others were stopped in their tracks in awe of our flash mob hymn. In the recent past, one might have found me enjoying the singer’s beautiful rendition but not participating – not only are the seasons shifting but so am I. I feel like I’m leaning back into humanity’s embrace, the fear of the other or unknown, falling away like ash, revealing heaven on earth. I’m reaching out to the world with my writing as well as here in my own neighbourhood – I’ve noticed that there are people whom I’ve said “hello” to for years but have never asked their name, I’m starting to now and often, we end up hugging or sharing tears. Recently at our local Farmer’s Market, I saw a young woman trying desperately to comfort a young man who was openly crying. As I made my way to meet my Mom at her favourite market stall, she indicated to me that she was aware of this sadness among the colourful fruits and vegetables. No one else seemed to notice the pair and I felt compelled to do something I would not normally do, I walked over to them as they sat on the curb and asked if they needed a hug. I caught them by surprise and even though they did not want to share their sorrow, they thanked me for my concern. My Mom also made her way over to them after making her purchases, asking if they needed any help amidst the many shoppers who chose not to. This subtle shift announced itself this summer in the pink of the evening sky, in the lone gull chick’s first flight into adulthood and in the many poems that have left their traces on my heart – the Universe’s ancient text revealed if we are ready to see…
Journal Entry: December 07, 2004 – Olas Altas
While we were at Cafe San Angel we saw the man who plays a small plastic pan flute. He sells a small service and the flute lets people know that he is in the area. Terry & I love the sounds that he produces from this plastic (!) instrument. We stopped him today to ask him where we can buy one, he said he would bring us one to buy tomorrow here at the cafe.
Journal Entry: December 08, 2004 – Olas Altas
I didn’t think that I’d have anything to write about so soon but it seems that each day in Puerto Vallarta yields many things that I want to capture on paper. Yesterday afternoon we went for a nice beach walk. We re-visited two of our beaches where we hung out the most, Los Muertos and Burro Beach. We walked barefoot in the water and checked out the pier. What a glorious afternoon! We did find ourselves back at Cafe San Angel again this morning and Terry bought his flute! I was so touched that this gentle Mexican man went to so much trouble for us. Once again, I feel very blessed.
How grand we have the ocean to replenish our souls, the trees to sing our songs, and the sand to comfort our feet. It does seem Fall is already here, even though the temperature would say nay. We are living in a world now where communication is not humankind to humankind. Everyone now with a smart phone, tablet. We never seem to connect, they are always bent down over these devices, , the face is very rarely seen. We are losing eye contact, the first connection. They are frozen in a silent tableau, heads bowed, lips muffled, feelings buried.
We are becoming singular, batteries included. Would love to have heard Michael, but could not make it, hope the Hallelujah could be heard by Handel himself.
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Heading down to the beach to listen to Michael & Friends was a chance thing, it was after 8 pm and I thought I’d step out and catch some of the beautiful sunset. I’ve never heard his friend sing this particular song and yes, our voices were raised to the heavens – a woman sitting near me added some lovely high notes and made it even more special. You are right, there are wondrous joys awaiting us if we take the time to put down those devices, look up into someone’s beautiful eyes and connect! Thank you for your words, Mom (as always!).
I love going to the beach too. I bought a little open fronted beach tent last summer and I use it as often as possible. It means I can go lie on the beach on windy days!
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That sounds wonderful! There’s something so soothing and life-affirming when one is near the water. I’m drawn to it more and more.
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I would love to see the ocean again sometime. I’m surrounded by an ocean of houses right now versus an ocean of water.
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Hey, thanks for stopping by, I appreciate this so much! I’m about 1 minute from the Pacific Ocean and try to walk by it every day – btw it rained a wee bit and I’m off to brew some delicious tea ( a combination of green & black teas!). Hope you have a great evening!
Oh how I wish I could have gone to Michael’s concert. It is always such a treat. Facing the sunset while hearing the sound of his accordion, playing all these exotic music from different parts of the world. If you google English Bay music you can check out his FB and YouTube sites where one can see it all again. I also love your way of opening up to the world and our neighborhood’s people. You are very caring. Your photos are great. Thanks again. Until next Thursday. ❤️💕❤️
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It was a beautiful evening and I would have missed it if the sunset hadn’t called to me! And what used to be a simple gathering of friends and locals has morphed into a cultural must-see at English Bay for the many tourists seeking out the flavour of our unique neighbourhood. I hope we get a chance to hear them again before summer ends! Thank you again for leaving such lovely comments, dear neighbour!