“There Must Be More”
At the age of twenty three, youth was my friend, and energy abound. All things adventurous animated my Gypsy spirit, and my career in the travel industry seem to fuel the dream of keeping my feet busy on soil foreign and domestic. It was that desire to venture out, that lead me to Florida, away from my hometown of Pittsburgh. The allure of the “SunshineState” was the weather and the water. As a lover of the outdoors, it provided me with all my beloved activities: water skiing, tennis, swimming and the ultimate prizes of sun, surf and sand on the seductive beaches that outline the state.
Feeling completely at home after little over two years in the tropical environment, I decided to root myself by acquiring my first home in December of 1977. Although it was a humble home in size, it had a peaceful charm, as it nestled itself amongst the tall Florida pines. But, the real appeal sparkled through the trees just a short pathway away ~ a large glassy beckoning lake. At this point, I believed the enticement to the south was for the gifts that natured provided, but in eight months following this purchase, I would come to find out otherwise ~ it was my destiny.
As spring and summer colored the landscape, and the scent of orange blossoms filled the air, nature called me to her playgrounds, the lakes, rivers and the ocean. The water by this time shed the chill of the winter air, and enjoying friends and family in the waves, or on boats and skis, held top priority on the weekends. For me, being near or in the water always facilitated my deep bonding with nature and the Creator. When I walked, ran or played outside, I was in my church ~ my magnificent temple. This year, this season seemed to open me to a depth of aliveness never felt before now. It was subtle at first, but it kept revealing its presence.
Early on Saturday morning August 12, 1978, that inner rumbling, that was doing the dance of attention, guided me east, and I headed to what I considered my sanctum ~ the beach. Although my sister Nancy and some friends came later, the vastness and strength of the ocean became my focus, and I found myself fixated on pondering my place in this puzzle of life. Being alone seemed necessary this day, unusual for me, since the gang set up our beach oasis. But, with a steadfast trust, I let go of my usual routine, and surrendered to the directions of the awakened whisper. Without hesitation, I walked off by myself enchanted by the ocean playing with the wind, and the seagulls diving and dipping into the waves. With each breath of the salty air, gratitude flooded my heart, and each heartbeat pounded with the rhythm of joy. In that moment, my connection with something grander than myself over powered me. It was a mix of familiar and foreign, but inviting and warm.
Everything around me appeared the same, but inside me the pot was being stirred by an invisible spoon, and my fingers did not clutch the handle. Long before everyone, I said my good-byes, and headed home. I drove with the awareness that I was being introduced to parts of myself barely examined ~ uncharted waters. On the highway I broke the silence with music from the radio, and like most, sang off key, but singing like a star anyway.
Closer to home I began to drive around the lake leading to my modest getaway. Although the road was known for its bumps, they did not announce themselves as the sun began to perform on the water. As it slowly descended, the sky partnered with the waters and they dramatically enacted the close of this day with a majestic and brilliant color show ~ accented by a variety of tinted clouds. I slowed down to a crawl as the sun reached the horizon, and a massive electrifying orange and fiery red orb splashed its blazing splendor across the still and glassy lake.
I pulled over and stopped. I was speechless as this blazing spectacle seemed to hurl a flaming part of itself towards my heart. In moments I felt like a sphere of heat blew open every closed door inside my soul. As my heart raced from wonder and an unexplainable awe, I cried out.
“Dear God, I have everything! I am blessed with a loving wonderfully crazy family, and friends that I trust and adore. I am strong and healthy, and joy is my constant companion. My career feeds my wanderer, and I have toys for all my activities outdoors. Yet, today, I know ~ there must be more!”
I yelled even louder, as tears washed over my face.
“Please tell me who I am! Please let me know, what I can do for you! Please reveal yourself to me! There must be more!”
Exhausted, but very much at peace, I started the car and headed home. The whole ride along the lake road seemed new. The tears that streamed down my face, in some way, left me feeling renewed. I was confused by these happenings, but assured the answers would present themselves.
When I reached home, I slipped out of my car a bit shaky. I had no answers for the day’s events, but somehow I knew the questions I asked were life changing, yet, I could not say why. Right now it was a Saturday night, and instead of getting ready to go out and party, I decided to stay home. I stood on the balcony of my bedroom, and looked to the heavens. Every star seemed brighter and the night sounds richer. I savored nature’s gifts to my senses, and with a content feeling I slid into bed ~ knowing ~ there must be more.
…to be continued 8-13-2012