Monday, August 2, 2010



I have always enjoyed the surprise of experiencing old things in a new light.I remember the first time I became aware of this was when I was a child at the end of a vacation in Ocean City.  I spent the summer at the shore in those days, sitting on the porch of my grandparent's house staring at the long horizon of the bay. There was nothing but open sky, cool breezes and the sea.  At the end of the summer we went home to Philadelphia.  In the car as we came to the city I felt suddenly plunged into a fulsome growth of foliage, the beat of cicadas and the humidity of Philadelphia's throbbing presence. This same presence had a short time ago felt simply like home.   I had not experienced it at all.  It simple was.  It was such a profound moment that I still remember its impact.  

I had a similar experience on my return from the hospital after only 4 days. The first morning I woke up in my home bed I went tentatively outside.  I wanted to get out there before the day went into the 90s.  My medications had reduced my blood pressure to the 'stand up and feel dizzy zone' and I wasn't sure if that was okay, so I was a bit shaky, but was drawn by an aroused perception of things.   I walked around my yard in my bare feet in a state of awe.  It was as if a veil had been lifted from all my senses.  I was there, truly, in a way I had never been before.  I was a part of nature and yet still able to experience it.  I sat on my porch watching and feeling the birds, squirrels, insects, flowers and trees for at least an hour, transfixed by their life and glorying in that life.  I don't know if it was the joy of being alive after fearing death, the sensory deprivation experienced in the sterility of the hospital, or my medications, but I can only say that If we could hold on to moments like these and  be in such a state of heightened awareness we could live a hundred years in a day.