Next to a Gull

Next to a Gull December 30, 2013


When in the crucible of a difficult life change, I went to be by the sea, to clear my head, to open my heart, to imagine next steps. What I found was the beauty and resilience of life waiting under my trouble and all trouble. It helped me look beneath my pain and confusion to remember that while what happens when we’re alive can be alarming and disappointing, the fact that we’re alive is all that matters. In this very moment, a gull landed a few feet away, as if to look out into the sea with me.


Next to a Gull

Robert held my head and quoted

Buddha, “Thoughts are clouds keep-

ing you from the sky of your mind.”


And today I wake before Susan

in this B&B to walk this shore

where there isn’t a cloud in the sky.


The ribbon of surf keeps rolling on

itself, keeps interrupting my want

to make sense of this.


A gull lands near me. We both listen

to the sea. The sea prefers neither of

us. It prefers to be the sea.

The sun warms us all.

It is simply the sun.


After sixty years, this is what life

has taught me: life-force is strongest

when simply living.


At the deepest, the soul is the soul

and friends are friends. There is

little else to count on.


A Question to Walk With: Name and discuss one thing in your life that you feel is foundational and that you can rely on.

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