A daughter is born…two lives begin to intertwine and a new family emerges! Life permeates the air and everything is right in the world. This new little one is loved from the moment of her first breath…thrust into a room full of light and noise, she doesn’t care nor will the clatter disturb her, for her little soul is at rest in the one who holds her.
I had the privilege of walking through Avalon Park with my son Luke after the snow storm yesterday…a place I have been to often. I thought that I knew every inch of the hiking trail, but apparently not. You see, Luke has the same passion I have for the outdoors and a passion to take the road less travelled. As we hiked up the trail, to the higher elevation “stopping grounds,” he asked if I had ever been to “Cartas al Cielo.” I had no idea what the name meant, but the very name fascinated me, so off we went. I was familiar with most of the trail until the road diverged. As Luke and I were talking he stopped saying not a word. I wanted to know why we had stopped and in doing so, I lifted up my eyes and there it was! A sphere…one that beautifully reflected the light and mirrored everything around me. I was in awe. I stood there for a few minutes trying to understand its purpose…why was it there? When I approached it, I noticed that there were 3 words inscribed on it, “Cartas al Cielo.” As I looked closer the sphere had a small rectangular opening, a sort of mouth, that was built into its beautiful frame. “What does Cartas al Cielo mean,” I asked Luke. “Letters to heaven,” he replied. He then walked me over to a wooden upright box that had postcards and pencils in it….postcards that could be written on and mailed to heaven. We spent a few quiet moments reflecting on those who had died and had gone to heaven…a few minutes writing notes to them; and then we both quietly walked over to the opening in the sphere, released our notes and stood gazing at our reflection as the sun’s last warm rays broke out upon us. Letters to heaven…a moment of heaven here upon the earth. I would have never found it, had I not let my son take me on the road less travelled. Luke has a way of doing that…
I accompanied my seventh graders on a field trip to the Norwalk Aquarium. Not only did we have an awesome time learning, but I got to spend some time with someone my own age, a well seasoned Loggerhead Turtle.
After settling my “little ones” down, once the lights were turned off, I found myself unable to sleep, so I quietly retuned to the tank where the turtles were. Throughout the day I found myself returning often to that tank so that I could photograph these amazing creatures, but every time I did, they seemed restless, moving to and fro throughout the tank too far away for my camera. To my delight when I returned in the night, the largest of the female Loggerhead’s was laying her head next to the glass, almost beckoning me to sit and stay a while with her…so I did. I ran my hand on the class w anting so badly to pet her head…I wanted to know where she had been, what her story was.Her eyes opened wide and we stared at each other for what seemed hours.
I examined her shell, her flippers, but most importantly – her eyes! They were full of beauty and full of wisdom…her story could be seen through them. There were no words exchanged, there didn’t need to be!
Winter settled very late upon Long Island, NY this year. Early in the season the sun was shining, the birds were singing and while it was 30 degrees outside, the whipping winds and arctic snow blasts had not yet dropped upon us. Christmas came and went and the New Year was welcomed warmly…the “white stuff” was no where to be seen or found. We, the Islanders, thought that we were going to escape the brutality of last year’s winter; but were we wrong. Within a week of the new year the temperature dropped into the single digits, the harbor froze over and your guessed it…the snow came! We are 2 weeks away from spring, as of this writing, and it’s still snowing on Long Island! We miss the warmth of the sun and the song of the yellow warbler as he darts among the trees at West Meadow Beach. The weatherman is telling us to hold on, and we will; for not only are we a long Island, we are a Strong Island.
Night falls each day at our lake in Upstate, New York around 8:30 pm. Human noises are extinguished as darkness settles over the region. Silence has it’s own moment in time each evening, sometimes lasting but a few brief minutes and sometimes lasting an hour or two…but…it is always broken by the “Keepers” of the marshes. One voice bellows, a second joins in while the chorus grows to that of hundreds. They are loud but soothing for their noise lulls even the children to sleep.