Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Perfect Hour

We went to say goodbye to Cape Croker. At least I did. It's been a special place for me. It's somewhere to go to stretch myself open, to see what's rumbling around inside. I play my sax there. I make pancakes on a little burner in the mornings - my fruit inside, hers on top. I float in the hammock. I meditate. I read, I write. We have sex, great meals. We drink too much wine probably. We watch the thick river of stars in the black sky, and the embers dancing up off the fire. Me meet people who are easy to meet, they being as relaxed and happy as we are. I sometimes, but not always, climb up into the thick woods on top of the escarpment. More often, I just move along the beach a little ways from the camp site, where the sand and rocks have squeezed out all but the hardiest vegetation. I listen for the sounds of the birds and the insects.

I say that this is my spiritual place. And it is - me, without any formal practice, but with a wandering and wondering something inside me that needs a home. There's a meeting here, between that yearning and that destination. There's a knitting, resolving kind of energy that I find, or that finds me, seeping up out of the rocky, patient earth, thrashing about on the moody winds.

I went with a goodbye to say because next week we may take possession of Cloud. And Cloud is a place we will own - which isn't of course the right word for it. How to own land which will be here long after me; which will never come to me, but always draw me toward it, which will harbor and rest me...nourish me in ways I am already dreaming about. No ownership here. Let's say that we are stepping more deeply into a relationship with a place. And that relationship will involve centering and orienting and balancing, and whatever other things one can do with a place.

It can't ever, of course, but it will, in some ways, replace what Cape Croker has been to me. It's a place to which we intend to bring out creativity, and the parts of us that are reaching for space and for the simple rhythms of being. We will come back to Cape Croker - as early as next month for the Pow Wow. And we expect to come at least once a year. But who knows? And even so, there will be Cloud, and so less will be brought here, less will be sought here.

So now, about the perfect hour. It was our last one there. We never leave Cape Croker when others are gathering up to beat the traffic. Our favorite times are always when the weekenders have left and the place is near empty. Some week-long campers will come in and settle down. But Sunday afternoons and evenings are always quiet and calm; the weather is always perfect. And so on Sunday.

I had wanted to be on the road by six, but at five we weren't even close to ready. I said we should get going and eat on the way. Ponczka wanted to cook the sausages she'd bought from the Polish store. But that will keep us too long, I protested. Work tomorrow. So we hustled for a bit. But, well...she really didn't want to settle for fast food, and so Ponczka cooked the sausage after all. And there was green tomato salad, great crusty bread with seeds, some mustard, grilled peppers from the night before. And there were two bottles of cold, cold beer that we'd forgotten about.

It was one of those times when the food you are eating seems to be the only food possible to eat. How could there be any other? We sat under the glowing sky, almost packed, ate and drank and were happy.

When we were ready to go, we gathered a few rocks to carry to Cloud. And while we stood looking out at the bay, Ponczka said what a perfect time it would be to go in the water. We were sticky and we had the road ahead of us - three or four hours. Why not? We parked away from where we'd camped, close to the road heading out, peeled off our clothes, dug out our damp swim gear, and stepped out into the cool water. It was so shallow in this end that twenty steps in we were only thigh deep. The sun was just hovering over the bluff, in its pool of red light. The water sparkled and the air whistled softly. We lay ourselves upon the water and floated. The water was so still, everything so perfectly balanced and tranquil that we closed our eyes and let the water hold us. I remembered the mantra from yoga class, the invitation to keep relaxing more, and I let go of my hold on my muscles and felt my body softening, progressively, a bit more with every other faint outward breath.

If a place can embrace a person, and kiss every portion and particle of him, that's what Cape Croker did to me. Ponczka and I came up out of the water feeling our every pore had been flushed through, every muscle and tendril wiped clean. All was right with the world. I can't imagine the possibility of feeling better. It was a perfect hour.