Skies are blue at Casa Cuervo. A blue heron followed by his mate lift off the beaver pond across from the cottage and glide towards the bay where the tide is out. We are walking—John, Mo and me—back from an early afternoon trek to the water. Mt. Baker rises shining white in the sunlight, flanked by its craggy sisters on one side and the Canadian Cascades on the other. Oh my, I wish I had my camera! I want to show you this. A neighbor’s puppy is off the leash at the bayside park inviting Mo to a game of “you chase me; I’ll chase you,” so we let the teeny guy off his leash to run in switch-back circles with Chipper. It would be nice, John comments, to come down here in the summer with our little computers to sit on the park benches and write. It would be – more than nice.
I’m stunned by life, its suddenness, its switchbacks as it plays with us. Will I ever get over how different all this is from what I expected? It’s making me spin, making me laugh, making me dizzy, making me fall and rise and spin again. Am I seventy or seventeen? Maybe only the body ages while the soul travels just so far before the switchback, and we get older and younger at the same time. Youth is at the core of us. Innocence is there. “Let the children come to Me; of such is the Kingdom of God.” Can I believe that I am loved beyond tears, beyond loss, beyond weakness, beyond knowing, beyond every resistance? Can I allow myself to live that love from this moment on?
And does it even matter if I can or if I can’t? The love is. Each of us, each mote of dust, each collection of atoms, each galaxy of each and every universe is immersed in the endless space of tender and immeasurable Love.
Mo and Chipper run in figure eights, the icon for eternity--switchbacks, weaving, winding in and out, here and there, barking, barely missing one another as they cross. We people, watching, find delight in them. “There is nothing I like better than to watch dogs play,” says Chipper’s owner, a white haired woman in a hand-knit claret cap.
Maybe we can’t help it—delighting in the way love crosses and comes back again in dizzying switchbacks that surprise us no matter how often they occur.
Daring this dizzy existence is--maybe this is true--the only way to fully be alive.