Napa Valley Taize

Baja desert 2014. Advent. Waiting for the wind to blow, waiting for the wind. Staying out of the morass of complaint by reading: NY times top 100, Goldfinch, couldn't stop reading long enough to paddle or kayak. It was one of those books that grabs and will not let go until the denouementAlso Dante, whom I've never fully read, even though I'd like to pretend to, and am pouring over the notes in back to make the connections.  Am also editing my own ruminations on Ignatius, trying out pictures to go with the writings, judging my own writing as an embarrassment...and waiting, waiting for the wind that is so much a part of our Baja experience each year.

Another buddy died, not on the beach, but on his way home.  This time I didn't hesitate to lead our little beach gathering in raising our glasses to the tune of Auld Lang Syne, although afterward Stuart reminded me that I didn't sing the correct words which he proved by producing his Robbie Burns book of poems and songs from within the caverns of his trailer, and in his clipped Scottish brogue began to sing all the verses, and the full chorus each time it came round.

Waiting took us to the waters below Bahia de los Muertos, where the old hotel sat abandoned, but the pools are clear.  I spooled into the pristine waters on white sands, to swim with schools of Tangs and Moorish Idols, Butterfly fish, and Puffers.  Lying on the sand down beach from my topsy turvey entrance a gathering of fisherpeople were gutting small sharks they had caught just offshore, so that caution dogged me whenever I saw a peripheral shadow.  In comparison to the California Pacific, the Cortez waters are yummy, not warm so much as lusciously pleasing and welcoming.  It feels good, even with a 4.3 wetsuit on.

"Waiting," is the operative word for Advent, and "revelation" and "surprise," the words for Epiphany.  Embedded in the revelation this year was the word, "enough."  It dominated this season of Epiphany.  We began with the question the disciples asked Jesus about having enough faith.  Jesus told them story after story about having "enough."  A poppy seed has "enough" to produce more poppiness, a crooked judge has "enough" to make a fair decision, a haranguing, badgering widow has "enough" to persevere, and a self-righteous Pharisee, and a self-deprecating beggar, both pray extreme examples of prayer...Jesus tells us, it's all good enough.  We're okay with what we have.

The El Norte winds arrived yesterday, waves twelve feet high so that only the best of the best could sail.  Go figure!  Static energy, people on tippy toes watching those doing 360's off the waves.  It's here, and more scary than "enough."  I chuckle as I murmur an apology for my complaint and whisper "sorry," as I head into the quieter waves.

Lent 2014.  So, the above Epiphany writing was not posted.  And we're already deep in Lent, even though the operative "enough," continues to resonate, amidst the bantering spiritual and psychological phenomena that pingpingpings against it, I decided to include it.

Throughout the Lenten scriptures,  Jesus' temptations, Psalm 32, Nicodemus' night visit, Psalm 121, and Psalm 95, we observe the on-going and forever struggle within to reconcile, (which may be the outward manifestation of the inward spiritual acceptance of "enough.")  To assuage the hunger and longing to be done with divisions and rancor and ideologies in the forms of "rights" and "wrongs" and actually embrace the gentle notion "let it be."

In Psalm 95, paraphrased by Norman Fischer, we affirm

"The sea is Yours for it exists because of You, and Your hands have formed the firmness of the lands..."

and using his resonant words, we respond,

" I come in awe, offering the earth and sea of myself to You, bending what I am toward You, shaper of us, for You are our beyond, and we are Your doing."

I think it is the nature of the Lenten scriptures to shape our hunger for longing toward reconciliation and humility.  As we immerse ourselves in these scriptures, we beg for the release to kneel before  the One "...who is our beyond...and our Utter Presence," and in our kneeling we quietly make our inventories of those whom we have caused pain, rest in the "enoughness," and in our rising we walk one more step nearer to another resurrection day.

"It's in the walking," the ancient mothers and fathers say.  Today, coincidentaly enough, the wind is blowing, and I'm going sailing.