Tuesday, November 11, 2008

"beauty of the day"

Amanda said this ("beauty of the moment") today while we were in the middle of a service project. She says it as a reminder to be still, realize your place, and appreciate all the beauty that is in the current moment. To first describe the project a bit:
We were with the Eastham DNR helping them with shellfishing. In the morning a group of us did odd little jobs--spreading oysters in Salt Pond, preparing new cages for young shellfish, and creating a makeshift cart that would help us lug out bags of spat-covered shells and rebar later in the day. What is spat? Well, basically it's oyster goo that will eventually look like baby oysters and grow into big oysters :) So as a group we hiked out onto First Encounter Beach...and it looked like the surface of the moon. Or maybe the desert. Or maybe just like the tide had gone out and wasn't going to come back for a very long time. But whatever the landscape resembled, it stretched out for forever. At times we would cross sections of water that we waded through and there were also higher pieces of land that were covered in tall grasses. When we finally reached the bags of oyster spat after our trek, we began carting them out and spreading them all around the flats so they can continue to grow. Then we walked some more, and deconstructed huge streches of netting and rebar that provide cover for steamers (soft shelled clams) while they are growing. Basically the day involved a lot of trudging in heavy waders, digging in sand, carrying heavy/awkward materials...but it was great. And beautiful. We even saw the sunset, even though it was quite cloudy.
So now back to the "beauty of the day"... When Amanda said this I had been thinking about all of the oyster spat that I had just managed to wipe on my nose after trying to scratch an itch with my spat-coated gloves. So it seemed especially appropriate that I be re-awakened about the beautiful and amazing place and position in which I am--living, serving, and loving. And yes, I may be living below the poverty line...but hey, I'm living! And I really can't even compare my situation to the poverty line, because here I am with a job, a home that I don't have to pay for, I don't have to worry about those student loans yet, and I have an incredible support system. One of my main "worries" right now is what to do after this year, in part a daunting task because there are "so many options"...and after having said this aloud I was thankfully reminded of my faulty logic in seeing options as a worry. But the unknown of that "what now?" nonetheless remains a tad bit intimidating in all of its uncertainty.
I picked up a book of poems at the library by Mary Oliver. This one in particular caught my eye...partly because of its length :) I found it good for a smile (in a sense) and good for a think.

Watching a Documentary about Polar Bears
Trying to Survive on the Melting Ice Floes
That God had a plan, I do not doubt.
But what if His plan was, that we would do better?

Thoughts? Well, I am going to sleep now. I have been wanting to for the past 3 hours, but 7:00 is just not an acceptable bed time. But 9:58 totally is :) Goodnight!


allyson said...

That God had a plan, I do not doubt.
But what if his plan was, that we would simply enjoy oyster spat on our noses?

That God has a plan, I do not doubt.
But what if his plan is, that we would do nothing?
Yikes, no more poetry for me.
Here's another option to add to the list: sit on beaches, wade through streams, watch sunsets, and simply enjoy it all...somewhere...say, maybe Tiritiri Island? Maybe by the stout traps on the Routeburn track?

Luke said...

I like Allyson's adjustments. I also liked the poem itself, though it would take more time/thought for me a have a more definitive opinion of it. And I must respectfully, however, vehemently disagree with your statement about bed time...7 o'clock is always a PERFECTLY acceptable time to go to bed, though especially when you had just had the day you had.

Jessica said...

that's ironic. i was just thinking that i should get you that book for christmas :)

i thought you might like mary oliver. i have only read a few poems but i like her too.

i think that God's hope (can God "hope"?) is that we do better. as for his plan... i don't think he has just one, solid one laid out. certainly he hates to see his creatures die because his most prized and loved creations neglect their duty of stewardship.

Kate said...

This is Katie Holupka, your long-lost hamster-mating, science-project bread-baking partner in crime! :) I came across this on facebook when I was about to see what you've been up to---a lot, I see! haha

I also wanted to tell you that your few lines about your faulty logic in seeing too many options as a worry...I needed that reminding as well, and your words hit me in just the right spot! So thanks for that. Such a warm reminder of why you're one of my longest best friends after all these years :)

Also, I love Mary Oliver, too! We had a unit on her in one of my English classes. How naturistic & spiritual she is--mmm!

Now that I know this is here you bet I'm going to add this to my list of all my other friends journals I read to keep in touch with! (My comments won't always be this long, I promise haha). And as always...Whenever you find yourself coming home, let me know. Now that at least one of us is somewhat stationary in a common vicinity maybe a visit will be easier.

Enjoy your oyster spat & water wading. Sounds like your having a marvelous time! :)

Love Always,