Songs of Nature

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Day 16

Written By Eyleen Farmer

Image courtesy of Rebecca Webb Wilson, Hawkeye Nature Photography


I have come into deep waters, and the torrent washes over me. —Psalm 69:2

Image courtesy of Rebecca Webb Wilson; copyright 2010Schoodic Point is at the southern tip of Schoodic Peninsula in the Downeast area of Maine. It is part of Acadia National Park, separated from the main body of the park by Frenchman Bay. It’s not on the way to anywhere; you have to want to go there. But it you take the trouble to make the forty mile trip on narrow, winding roads from Bar Harbor all the way around the bay, you will come to a wild and magical place. 

The high drama of waves crashing relentlessly against an ancient granite shore, the ethereal cry of gulls calling to each other, the enveloping sound that makes you feel like you are at the edge of the world—that is what you will find there. Whales are said to inhabit these waters, but I’ve never seen one. No matter. To stand on the rocks looking out over the ocean is to be aware of a mysterious and fearsome power.

I’ve been to Schoodic Point twice. Both times I was in deep grief over losses I did not believe could be borne. Yet there was something about just being there. The fire of sun, the earth of rock, the water and  the sky—the elements of creation converging in one magnificent show.  Getting soaked again and again by the salty spray, I wondered, what can matter when you’re standing at the edge of the world? The dwindling of my retirement accounts didn’t seem quite so earth-shaking. Certainly not that pointless argument with my spouse. Perhaps even my sorrows could be put in perspective here.

Strange as it sounds, there is a temptation to hold on to our pain. To carry it with us wherever we go, to nurse it even. Perhaps we fear that if we let go of our grief we will be severing the last remaining tie to our loved one. This is not true. We can loosen our hold without dishonoring the one we love.

Imagine yourself in the very presence of God—the God of wind and wave and sea and sky, the God who gave you the capacity to love deeply and suffer mightily. Your pain won’t go away, but it might allow for a broader view. God, that mysterious energy out of which all things emerge, is bigger than your current distress, able to contain all the world’s sorrows in one great heart.

God of all that is, when it is time, help me let go of my grief. Amen.