I’ve had a fascination with religion ever since I connected it to my fear of death in college when I walked into Professor Geoghegan’s classroom and was mesmerized by all he knew and heard a new language, words like numinous and paradox, words I had to look up in a real dictionary back in my dorm room. So much grew inside me there, a love of stories, a compassion for all of us as we lived our lives knowing we’d die and finding ways to go on through stories and faith.
My favorite books back then were The Courage to Be by Paul Tillich and I and Thou by Martin Buber. I loved Simone Weil and the Buddha. Everything I read and learned through mystics and Buddhists in those four years made sitting in a pew at the Presbyterian church in Moorestown, N.J. playing hangman with my sister on the back of the Sunday program seem so tame and uninteresting (though I did love the strength of a Mary saying she was carrying a child of a god). For many reasons I never embraced the religion I grew up with.
Today I have faith in something both invisible and real, something I feel while hiking and biking or just really listening and talking with another—the space between us sacred and spiritual.
And I realize the strong faith I have in drivers when I’m on a bicycle. While Ben and I biked down Highway 1 from Moonstone Beach in Cambria to Cayucos and back today, I was never scared. (I do wear bright colors, have lights on both the front and back of my bike, and only choose roads with wide shoulders).
And I know shit happens. Big horribleness.
But mostly it doesn’t. The monarchs here in California somehow make it to Jericho Street in Vermont every year. Life mostly is good (though not for so many in Ukraine right now…).
The planets and their moons stay obedient to some gravity. An invisible force tying us all together.
From yesterday’s hike in San Simeon
Stay safe out there! ❤️