Taking a Beauty Bath


Last night about ten o’clock I went for a swim.  I had just finished mowing the lawn, and I was hot, gritty, and tired.  I’d had a frustrating day when the motor on my mud mixer went south.  When I got to Cass the skyline was a pale pink and a family of loons were swimming along the water’s edge.  The surface of the lake was like a pale silver mirror.  I hurried into the water to avoid the mosquitoes.  I floated on my back and felt like I was bathing in beauty.  The water took all my petty worries and frustration and drained them right out of my body.  I felt both submerged and supported.  I wondered how often do I let my mind rob me of this beauty?  I tend to go fifteen different directions and not stop to simply take in the wonder of it all.  It seems like the worst kind of robbery.  There is such beauty in each moment.

Yesterday I ate three raspberries from the woods, a single blueberry from my garden, and peeked into the robins nest on the ledge to see if the eggs had hatched.  I saw fuzzy little beings with wide open beaks.  We had bok choy and carrots cooked on the grill.  I painted a hummingbird in watercolor paint.

All of these things I did yesterday were connected to the land, to nature, and to my own spirit.  I remember reading something one time (I think it was Rupert Sheldrake) who said that nature is the mother of all science.  The study of anything in our world begins with the study of nature.   Science, art, poetry—even music—come from the natural rhythms and cycles all around us.

So, this morning I decided to continue my beauty bath.  I watered my flowers.  I boiled fresh sugar water for the hummingbirds.  I hung my wet clothes along the fence in the sun.  (We acquired a washing machine which is sitting in my yard.)  And then I sat down to share my thoughts and feelings with the old and new friends who seem to enjoy joining me in my reflection of this “no ordinary life.”

A final note.  Last week we bought twenty acres of land next to us.  Ten we sold back to the man whose mother owned the house and land.  This gives us a ten acre strip next to us.  The land has been trashed pretty bad.  Although we made it a part of our purchase agreement that the huge piles had to be removed (asphalt shingles, junk, metal, old appliances) there is still a lot of ground garbage.  Where one of the piles went away there is a large open sandy area.  It is sunny and surrounded by trees.

Milt and I decided we want to build  “kiva” there.  I love the feeling of stepping down into the coolness of a kiva, so why not? We want to build it big enough for workshops and retreats.  The Many Kites Retreat Center.  It looks good on paper, but one of the things I am learning from this phase of my life is that everything has its own time.  I can’t do it alone.

So for the moment, I guess I will just take a rake and lots of garbage bags and do what I did to this first ten acres—clean it up.  Restore the beauty.


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Taking a Beauty Bath — 9 Comments

  1. I was refreshed just reading about your refreshment. Is a kiva an earth home? subterranean? sounds like an ambitious project.

  2. It was a pretty great day. Yesterday was great too. Cobbing in the “sacred bird”, putting up tomato fences, and all the things we do here. You’re the best, and I’m just lucky to be with you on this trip.

  3. Once again Jamie, you have created a haven with words. They are inspirational words that invite and inspire. I am so glad to hear about your hummingbird water color.

  4. Along with all the other replies, I wish I was there with you. I’m tending chickens, watering herb gardens, picking raspberries while my kids and grands are back in SD hiking Harney Peak. My gardens get weeded a little at at time when the beach isn’t calling so loudly. Life is glorious!

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