# 49 Lull of the Roar

Lull of the Roar.

Awake at nearly 4 a.m. the sound of the ocean is steadily rhythmic and only moderately loud. Tide cycles always affect sound but this time I am not sure whether it’s incoming or outgoing, but I am sure of the regularity of the repeating sound telling me there are rollers out there. And yes, it is like a heart rhythm. And yes, it is incredibly soothing. Despite most of our preconceptions, “regular” and “soothing” are also relativity rare descriptions for open ocean locations where water meets rock rather than sand..

Lying here in the semi-dark I can feel the peace embedded in the sound and how the sound of the ocean is as important as the look of it. Often called “primal” or “the sound we heard in the womb” (which always felt a bit overly dramatic to me) I can  feel this rhythm in my being: a rare lull bringing deep peace.



This is what the measurement/science of it looked like:
From the National Buoy Data Center:
Weather Conditions:     [3:50 am EDT 09-May-2019]
Wind: N (350°), 8 kts (14 kph)
Gust: 10 kts (18 kph)
Seas: 3.0 ft (0.9 m)
Peak Period: 11 sec
Pressure: 30.34 inHg (1027.3 mb) rising
Air Temp: 47 °F (8 °C)
Water Temp: 47 °F (9 °C)
Dew Point: 31 °F (-0 °C)

Wave Summary:            [4:00 am EDT 09-May-2019]
Swell: 3.0 ft (0.9 m)
Period: 11.4 sec
Direction: ESE
Wind Wave: 0.7 ft (0.2 m)
Period: 2.4 sec
Direction: N

#48 Create


Some thing where there was no thing.
A photograph 
A bowl
A painting
A book
A salad
Materials, ingredients, 
words lining up on pages, papers, screens.

Musical notes transformed from paper to vibrations 
moving through air. 

Pulls of the soul.
New connections dancing together.

Seeds. Cuttings. Plants. 
Rooted with intention.
Forming gardens.

So very many ways
to create newness

#48 Energy


I went to a place where I’d not been before. It was out farther on the edge and since then I’ve been different. Changed somehow.

A friend says “It’s all energy” and I am coming to an organic, intuitive, understanding of this. Energy is both in us and surrounding us and is as responsible for our lives as breath. After I paid a visit to that edge space I brought back with me an enlivened sense, an awareness, of it.

This energy is related to the periodic surges we feel when we tap into its flow. “I feel energized” we say as it courses through our bodies or our minds but perhaps rather than it entering us, we have stepped into its flow which surrounds us every moment, the  “us” or “I” dropping away as we blend into energy’s constantly moving presence.

Best of all is when our energies merge with others. A recent phone conversation with a far distant friend soared. I felt the expansion of my being, my alignment changing as our words flowed, the conversation becoming a mode of transportation. Of being.

The language of water describes this energy. A river, a stream, the ocean each having currents. Electricity is a current. Is our own human energy not a current as well? And in our finest moments don’t we merge with the currents of others?  A day spent exploring with friends, the moments flowing together, spontaneity governing movement with ease and grace. Why do we struggle for language to describe such an incredible, yet ordinary, experience?

Isn’t the image of sunlight dancing on sparkling water a perfect description of such energetic joy? Aren’t the vocabularies we use for water and air also those which describe our beings and our lives:? Such words as Erosion, Flood, Groundwater, Infiltration, Meander, Rapids, Riparian, Ripple, Surface Tension, Watershed can straightforwardly describe scientific, specific, conditions involving water yet when used to describe our lives their meanings acquire added depth. A “watershed” moment describes visiting new psychological territory brought on by illness which took me past an edge I’d not known was there.

See:  New Hampshire Volunteer River Assessment Program. River Glossary.


#47 Context


A family member contacted me and asked me if I’d consider writing a blog on what I had learned years ago, in the 70’s and 80’s, about the “ back-to-the-land” experience we (my husband, daughter, and I) had in Northern Vermont.

The move of two small-town people to hardscrabble Northeast Kingdom came after four years of military life during the Vietnam war, followed by low pay work then additional education and a search for where to settle “after”. Opposed to the war while being in the midst (and a part of) what supported that war had been a sobering reality. We had aligned our hearts with those fighting the horror from the inside and it took its toll. We were done with the helpless/hopeless feelings of those times and sought escape via self-sufficient living as close to the Canadian border as we could get. The optimism of the 60’s was dying and Nuclear Winter seemed not only possible but eminent.

After a dozen or so years full of uphill learning curves, the other scourge of our times unfolded: the baby boomer quest of dumping what you had for the promise of an immediate something better —drugs, lifestyle, partners— that was occurring in our cohort happened to us. When I stopped sobbing, I looked up and realized the house with two barns, a garage, and a pond along with the vegetable gardens, the woodpile, the pigs and chickens, and not-enough-salary job potentials within drivable miles required a partner—a family. Going it alone was not possible. I bailed. 

This is not what I was asked to write. In thinking about the mostly self-taught skills I gathered during those back-to-the land years I can only see it in context. Those who are living the current version of such lifestyles actually may have a related origin story as these times, so fraught with the have/have not discord, are not so far away from our flight from a right-wrong, war-divided culture. The skills needed to provide for oneself are still learnable but now perhaps without the instructional conversations we had been able to have with our Vermont farm neighbors back then. And the cost of sufficient acreage has gone through the roof. 

Do I still remember how to do all of those things I learned back then? There are so many other skills that had to come in finding and learning a profession and the years of negotiations needed for living life as a single, self-supporting woman in a partnered culture. So much hard won knowledge–weaving, horticulture, food preservation, and more–went to the back of my mind as grad school demands and city living required immediate attention. I have no idea if any of that knowledge is still present.

My current focus is facing the challenges of aging. As asked, I look back on those hard earned skill sets and consider my now broken arthritic self. Was slinging the fifty pound sacks of chicken feed or the hours spent rotor-tilling those gardens what so damaged this body? Something did. I don’t know if those homesteading skills still hang out in unused portions of my brain and, if so, I don’t know how to access the links

I am relearning one important piece: community is essential. Going “it” alone is not possible. Our strength, our survival, is only possible by working together. City or country, young and strong or old and getting by, insufficient or self-sufficient, as surely now as then, divisiveness fractures our strength and dilutes what is possible. 

Survival skills last just so long just as the bodies that house them. Is it possible for those of us who went back-to-the-land back then to transmit what we knew to those wanting such a lifestyle now? Everything changes. I suspect what I learned then, or what my memory might  recall, would not be current enough to help. We are all in this together which means we need to do the work that needs to be done–together. Despite all our efforts however, no  one here gets out alive.