At this moment, I am sitting on the back porch of our rental looking out over Lake Chautauqua as the sun sets. (I’ll include a photo at the end of the post.) My dearest love of 25 years sits by my side, quietly reading. WE HAVE ESCAPED! For four days and three nights we have set apart this time to deepen. No schedules, no specific plans; just the rare luxury of unencumbered time.
We spent the morning kayaking on the lake before chasing antique stores around the area. We had dinner at a local restaurant and I ate a single scoop of salted caramel brownie ice cream the size of a grapefruit! We bought artisan cheese and crackers for an evening snack. We just finished a 500 piece puzzle. These are rare gifts indeed.
Earlier today I read the following poem from Mary Oliver’s Devotions. It is the echo of my heart and the reason I’m here. It’s a reminder of the China that once was, and in many ways, life itself as it once was. This is just another reason why I love poetry. Oliver says do much in so little! Take the time to seek the old poets in the mountains and reject the busyness!
The Old Poets of China – Mary Oliver
Wherever I am, the world comes after me.
It offers me its busyness. It does not believe
that I do not want it. Now I understand
why the old poets of China went so far and high
into the mountains, then crept into the pale mist.
Oliver, Mary. Devotions. Penguin Press, NY: 2017. (pg. 178)