What a wonderful life I have! I am sitting here in Glens Falls, NY, in the Adirondack Mountain region, with my dearest friend, Donna. We just spent 2 days in Bar Harbor, Maine, eating lobster at every meal, soaking up the sun, searching the ocean for whales, and watching a variety of seals swimming, sun bathing and checking out the folks hanging over the sides of the boat gawking and taking pictures of them and the sights. We spent last night on Mt. Cadillac, which is reportedly the highest point on the eastern seaboard, watching a beautiful sunset as a fog found its way around the mountain, encircling us in its mist as it reached towards the sun teasing us onlookers with splashes of varying colors and slowly erasing the sun from the nighttime sky. I was taken by the beauty of Bar Harbor and its surrounding landscape. And, today as we drove from there to here, I was once again entranced by the magnificent scenery … the rolling hills and valleys, the trees, lakes, rivers, and streams, and of course, the colors and smells of nature.
On our boat trip to whale watch, I was ‘nudged’ by the Spirits who guide me to pay attention to what I was looking at … what I was witnessing. Later that same day, as we proceeded to Mt. Cadillac to watch the setting sun from a 360 degree vantage point, I was again ‘nudged’ to pay attention. While we didn’t see any whales during our ocean outing, we did see hundreds of birds of multiple varieties occupying islands along with a variety of seals, and a porpoise. We saw numerous lighthouses, and islands blanketed in trees. Being a lover of trees, I was taken by the many colors, shapes, sizes and varieties of trees covering the islands, as well as Bar Harbor and the landscape from there to here.
When Donna and I arrived at the top of Mt. Cadillac, we were in awe of all that laid before us. We had arrived early to watch the sunset, so we decided to walk one of the paths that led us away from the very top of the mountain but to a point where we could easily see the setting sun. As the sun began to lower itself in the western sky, I was repeatedly nudged to return to the very top of the mountain so I could witness all that would take place from the entire 360 degree vantage point. Once again, I was awed by the sight and colors of the Standing Nation (the trees) that filled so much of the landscape, equal only to the surrounding large body of water … the bay and ocean. As I stood atop a large boulder, I saw coming from behind me and on both sides, the Spirits of those who had come before us but continue to look after our great Mother Earth. They moved silently, breathlessly, and swiftly, finding their places and settling in. They brought with them blankets to cover the Standing Nation, the waters, and the tops of the mountains … where they live. Shrouded in the mist I began to see what I had missed and what so many who stood there beside me were missing. As the Spirits slowly and gently erased Grandfather Sun from view, I listened to the words of those around me … the people and the Spirits … and realized they spoke of different things.
There was no doubt of what I was there to witness … or, of what I was to come to understand today on our long 8 hour drive to the Adirondacks. It was really quite simple … yet so many of us miss it everyday. As I sat in the car looking out my window, I watched many things pass by … cars, people, animals, birds, buildings, farms, fields and, of course, the many, many Standing Nation. How is it that all number and variety of trees can stand together without discord, but as people we cannot? Why is it that all manner of birds and animals can eat and drink from the same pond, but we need to name it and call it our own? Why is it we find fault in differences instead of acceptance? Why does it matter what is in our blood if we act from our heart? Why does it matter what others choose to pray to or believe in, if we truly care about our neighbor and one another? Can we stand together or will judgment get in the way? If each of us carried no judgment, jealousy, greed or prejudice, would we then feel a sense of peace, contentment, security and purpose? Setting aside your judgment, jealousy and prejudice, would you to feel safe, secure, peaceful and contented? What would it take for you to set aside your judgment and prejudice, and replace it with acceptance?