Other Than What You Would Expect

Last weekend I went to the lovely Kripalu Center in Lenox, Massachussetts.  I spent three days there doing yoga, meditating, walking, swimming, and eating delicious organic vegetarian food.  Two of those days I spent in silence.  The lake water was glorious and cool.  Across the street at Tanglewood, James Taylor and Carol King played together on the fourth of July.  Listening to the two old folkies sing together was heartwarming beyond words.  After the concert, the sky above Tanglewood lit up with fireworks.  I'm sure the fireworks were horrible for the environment, but I felt like a little kid as I watched the colors pop in the night sky.

Small moments like these remind me of why it is so great to be alive.

My daughter is away at sleep away camp.  People ask me why I would send her away, but I think it is important for the two of us to have our own identities, territories and experiences. I also want her to connect with nature and the land.  We live in a beautiful suburb, but the experience of being outside all day in the mountains--swimming, hiking, canoeing, sleeping under the stars, taking care of the farm animals, picking vegetables, doing chores, and bonding with her peers--is very different from living in the land of fences, lawns, cars and malls.  I was lucky enough to live in the country when I was younger, to ride horses bareback in the hills and fields of North Carolina, to climb the high Sierras of Nevada and California, and to hike miles deep into the tropical forests of Kauii.

There are precious secrets to be learned in those luscious quiet places-- those few last 'natural' places left.