There is a hole in my existence that opens up on occasion and sends me to a deep place. This place often strikes me as dark, but not always.
We drove in to New England a couple of days ago. That empty space opened up in me. It felt something like the way I feel when I cross into the panhandle of Florida. It is there, but less intense when I cross in to Florida not in the panhandle, or when I turn south headed to Gulf Shores. It feels the same when I head in to the mountains. The sea and the mountains seem to open this place up in me.
What I can’t quite decide it what that feeling is beyond longing. Is it my awareness of God? I mean the presence of God in nature. Or is it a longing just to be one with that nature? We had XM radio set to Margaritaville when it hit… Specifically Jimmy was singing the song that starts “Father, Father Ocean…”. It was dedicated to Jacques Cousteau. A great, deep melancholy settled in. Is that a sort of sadness that I am separated from the ocean/mountains? Is it a part of me sad at the awareness that I am separated?
I live inland — where the Piedmont Plateau meets the Coastal Plain. Not coastal, not mountains. Not urban, not country. Often my life is like my geography. I am often complacent about my current status. I know that I am not growing, not being transformed and I like the comfort of the status quo.
This longing for something as I approach the ocean or the mountains seems to call out to me. And I sit with that call and try to listen. I both love and despise this feeling. It is uncomfortable and it feels sad. And at the same time it calls me to open up to live life at its fullest and experience things that are extremely fulfilling, but not so safe and protected.
For a few days I will have the chance to walk by the ocean and feel its power. At the same time I will be surrounded by family. And I will know that it is “a good thing” to be willing to walk into those wild places because I am surrounded by love.