Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Another Time, Another Place . . .

No, I'm not writing from Australia – although this time last year I was back in the Great South Land with my family for Christmas (see here, here and here).

Indeed, for the last three years I've been fortunate enough to have returned to my homeland for extended visits during December and January, and often into February.

The images that accompany this post, for instance, are from February 2010. They were taken by my Dad, and show me on the rock platform below Swallows' Ledge, the name I've given to my parents' home in Port Macquarie, New South Wales.

I've written about this rock platform before (see here and here). It's a very special place for me. I'd like to think that one day my wedding will take place there, in this "somewhere-in-between" space that can be both sea and land; where one can walk on water!

Speaking of "both/and" spaces, I have to say that even though I'm looking forward this year to an enjoyable and meaningful Minnesota Christmas with good friends and the community of Spirit of St. Stephen's, I'm still definitely going to miss being with my family and friends in Australia. In fact, my absence this year from the people and places I love in my homeland has prompted me to seriously consider where it is I really want to be . . . and thus my future.

I'm definitely committed to working throughout 2012 with Catholics for Marriage Equality MN (and others) to defeat the "marriage amendment." But after that? I can't say for sure. I just know that my parents aren't getting any younger, that I miss being close (geographically) to my family, and that I feel as if my work and thus time here in Minnesota is fast running its course.

So what to do? Well, tomorrow I intend placing on my little altar in my attic room, a photo of myself at my special "in-between" place. I'll do this to remind myself of two things. First, that in many ways, I'm living here and now in such an "in-between" space. There may not be waves, gulls and the salty smell of brime, but I know that my thoughts are focused on both my present life here in the U.S. and my future life back, perhaps, in Australia.

This fact is related to the second reason for placing, say, the opening image of this post on my altar. When in Australia, I often spend time on the rock platform below Swallows' Ledge in trustful openness to the presence of the sacred within and beyond me. With all that's now happening in my life, and all that will undoubtedly unfold next year, I realize I need to be intentional in creating sacred time and space so as to be open to God's illuminating and transforming love. In other words, I need to consciously set aside time to seek and discern God in my life. Easier said than done, I know. But perhaps if I think of this realization as an early New Year's resolution, I'll not just write about it but actually do it!

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
On the Rocks . . .
Sharing a Good Thing
The Empty Beach
Town Beach
Flynns Beach
Rocky Beach
Yaegl Country
A Day Roving the Mid North Coast


Terry Nelson said...

I read this listening to this:

Prayers and best wishes for a happy Christmas.

Michael J. Bayly said...

Thanks for the link, Terry. I'd not heard that particular version by Dusty. I wonder if it's from the actual soundtrack of "Casino Royale." It's definitely different from the two Dusty versions I'm familiar with. So, thanks for introducing me to it!

And prayers and best wishes for a happy Christmas to you too, my friend!