|It’s dawn, on the beach at Pocologan. I am the first to come down the stairs and walk on the sands this morning. Last night I sat here until my toes got wet, on a rock that earlier in the day had been far from the edge of the water. Last night, the beach was marked with footprints big and small, bare and sneakered, human and canine, around sandcastles and names inscribed with sticks or clamshells. This morning, below the line of seaweed marking last night’s high tide, the sand is pristine. They talk about the tides of time and the sands of time. Perhaps that means something about Mother Earth’s ability to remove all evidence of what was, and to start again.|
My room here at the Clipper Shipp Motel is a small one, too small for doing any of my usual stretching exercises. Instead I have walked the beach at various times of the day, marvelling at the height of the Fundy high tide, and sneaking around points of rock that had been under water a few hours before, to walk on the bottom of the sea.
The other night at home, as sometimes happens, my stretching released the emotion I carried in my muscles. When that happens, I let the tears flow. I’ve learned to ask, whose tears are these? My tears are not always my own. The other night as I stretched, the tears that flowed were the tears of the people on the West Coast, watching their forests and homes burn.
Where will they go? What will they do? So many thousands homeless and broken. I noticed how my tears flow more easily for these sudden refugees in California, Oregon, or Washington, than they do for refugees fleeing fire in Greece, or terror in Myanmar. I can more easily relate to the traumas of our North American neighbours. And yet, I know that refugees around the world are also mothers and fathers, children, losing everything they love, feeling the same grief, shedding the same wrenching tears. I pray that these difficult times will help us see each of us everywhere as a sister or brother.
And so as the sun rises this morning, I reach for the sky, bend to the earth, and pray for our planet. On this new day, the skies above me are clear of smoke. The crescent moon waves goodbye through wispy clouds. I am grateful for these blessings, aware that I no more deserve clear skies than my brothers and sisters near or far deserve pain and loss.