Saturday, November 21, 2020
We walked this morning in one of my favorite places, Elm Grove Cemetery, and I felt, as almost always there, a refreshing sense of spaciousness. For most of us, life can sometimes seem small and restricted, but at the cemetery, the openness of the Mystic River and the sky usually brings me a feeling that life’s boundaries have, for a few minutes, fallen away. I walked this morning, among these scenes, with a peace that seemed measureless.
Seeing the sunlight each morning, noticing that darkness has left the land somehow newer and fresher than before, I sometimes have the feeling of being alive all over again. I guess sleep is, in a way, a short-lived dying-out of life, a sort of simulated death, and so waking each morning is a kind of rebirth. With each new dawn comes a start-over, a fresh beginning, a resurrection of ourselves, you might say. And actually, almost everything starts over in the morning. Things clean and clear begin each day in the natural world – some new kinds of light, the somehow youthful look of even old snow, the crisp onsets of brand-new breezes. Nothing is old in the morning. The earth, the universe itself, is a refurbished wonder when I awake.
I’ve been trying to see this newness all my life – not only the newness of each morning, but the newness that’s everywhere and never ends, the newness that springs up inside our fresh and endless universe at every instant. It’s been a challenging quest for me. The apparent sameness of routine has plagued me for years, making newness not an easy thing to discover. In a way, I’ve had to be an explorer – an easy-going but fervent voyager in the search for the shine and sparkle of newness.
I see both spaciousness and newness in this painting by Dena Adams: