Wednesday, February 23, 2011

February 24

About three years ago I was having my annual physical and the first try on my blood pressure showed an elevated number. My doctor said "white coat syndrome" and asked me to relax by thinking of my most relaxing place in the world. So I closed my eyes and pictured myself in Cabo San Lucas sitting by the pool overlooking the 16th fairway of a Jack Nickluas designed course; and also seeing the endless ocean as it eventually met with the blue of the sky. Two minutes later my second blood pressure reading was normal.

So here I am today in that very spot. The skies are clear...temperature will be in the mid-seventies all day...a light breeze is blowing. I am sitting at the very southernmost tip of the Baja California coastline; it is impossible to travel any further south. Here is where the confluence of the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean occurs. It is absolutely beautiful looking out over the ocean. The whale watching is great and the fishing is excellent. This is a perfect place to relax.

However, there is something important to know about ocean at the tip of the Baja. The clear blue water with the gently rolling waves today is very deceiving. Because of the confluence of two large bodies of water, below the surface there are treacherous undercurrents. In fact, right where I am sitting they do not allow any swimming because of these undercurrents. Unfortunately, in the past, there are people who have ignored the warnings and have lost their lives.

As I look at the scene in front of me it is in many ways a picture of my life during this journey through grief:
**On the one hand, I am surrounded by the blessings of my family and close friends who are so supportive and helpful.
**On the other hand, I am sitting here alone. Noone with me to enjoy all this as in past years. Good friends arrive on Saturday...but right is just me.
**On the one hand, the "heavy cloud" has lifted somewhat, and my old sense of humor is returning and I am looking to the future with a brighter spirit.
On the other hand, this was Jan's favorite place in Mexico. She couldn't get enough of the pool and the beach and the restaurants and the "ambience" of this place. It just doesn't feel the same without her.

I am still living a Cortez/Pacific experience. Beauty on the surface, but contending forces pit against each other just below the surface. I'm not in danger of having an undercurrent pulling me under in a destructive way; but it does cause sadness and melancholy and "torn up" emotions. But that is the nature of loss.

So I paraphrase the psalmist: I look to the ocean and ask "from where does my help come" and the answer is carried on the waves that "my help comes from the Lord" and that is good!

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