Walking 32 posts

Southern Style

October 15, 2012

Memories can last beyond lifetimes.

This past weekend I toured a 300-year-old cemetary, seated next to an equally old Episcopal church in South Carolina.

The tombstones, of varying ages, were accompanied in several cases by symbol-embossed metal markers.

When asked, the church caretaker informed us that these markers identified the graves of veterans--veterans of the "War Between the States."

A long-time Northerner (I moved to Maine from the deep South when I was six), I wasn't used to hearing the "Civil War" referred to in that way.

It was an interesting reminder that years may pass, but some things remain ingrained in a culture. Especially when it comes to the deaths of soldiers fighting against other soldiers who live in the same country.

It was an interesting reminder that people who are not raised in the same place do not always look at life the same way.

Even people who ARE raised in the same place may not look at life the same way.

Yet in the end, we all need to find a way to negotiate the present and move forward into the future.

Perhaps the best way of entering this negotiation is to understand where people are coming from--literally.

It is said that miles walked in the shoes of others can provide a valuable education indeed.

Memories of the miles we walk may differ, but the Earth we tread upon is one and the same.


Beaufort, South Carolina

October 2012

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o Holy day

April 07, 2012

A quilt of clouds has overtaken the sun, this Saturday afternoon in Maine.

Oddly appropriate for the day before Easter, called Holy Saturday by many across the globe.

It is the day after the Crucifixion, when Jesus was laid in the tomb.

In stark contrast to the joyous resurrection embodied by Easter, this is a day of quietude and somber reflection.

Though I do not consider myself religious as much as spiritual, I find myself impacted by the energy of the occasion.

Following a long solitary run to the Chebeague wharf at the end of Cousins Island, I walked through the estuary woods adjoining my house.

The headphones I had worn for the past two hours removed from my ears, I was privy to scattered birdsong, which served to accent the hush held in place by the trees.

The river moved slowly by.

I was alone.

There was a sense of entombment and peace.

Last year, Holy Saturday (and Easter in its entirety) represented a time of transition in my life.

My marriage disintegrating and our finances uncertain, I felt entombed in an different way: trapped and scared. An inescapable claustrophobic darkness had descended. 

Through it all, I shepherded my children. Willing them forward toward the light I knew existed.

This year, the quiet of this Holy day offers a welcome pause.

I have known a death of self, and I have known rebirth.

Following the rebirth, there has been much growth. There has been work. There has been rebuilding.

Today, however, there is a chance to rest and be grateful.

It is a Holy Saturday, indeed.


Chebeague wharf, 2012


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The "Why" of Those Who Walk with Us

March 06, 2012

Why do people come into our lives when they do?

Sometimes it is hard to know.

We try to fit the pieces together, only to find the puzzle incomplete.

We make every attempt to come to a reasonable conclusion, but the answer is not evident.

At least not yet.

Things are still playing themselves out. 

Tempting it may be to deny these people; refuse them entry into our lives.

Especially when they cause us annoyance, pain or grief.

Or simply when they require an energy of us that we believe we do not have.

But the easy path is not often the correct one.

Instead, we must remain open to what has yet to be revealed.

We must walk with those who appear to us, and hear their stories.

We must let the pieces be revealed individually.

So that someday we may know the completion.

Someday we may know the "why" of those who walk with us.


on a Maine beach

winter, 2012


Dr. Lisa's Bountiful Blog is read on the Dr. Lisa Radio Hour & Podcast. Show summaries are available on the Dr. Lisa website. Subscribe to podcasts of the show through iTunes and let us know what you think! 


Cliff Walk

February 20, 2012

When my children were small, their father and I backpacked them everywhere.

We hiked in Vermont and New Hampshire.

We walked trails both coastal and mountainous in our dear state of Maine.

We shoehorned in numerous adventures while completing our medical and legal educations, and working the endless hours required by early professional careers.

It was important that we get outdoors, and connect our kids with the "something bigger" that we both had experienced growing up.

Time passed, and our kids got older. School and sports-related activities bumped our outdoor adventures down the list of priorities.

The outdoor adventures I had once shared became mostly solo jaunts.

My family shifted, and changed form.

This past weekend, I returned to that shared "something bigger" connection, as I took two short hikes with my dearest one.

I showed him the Bates-Morse Mountain hike to Seawall Beach/Popham; he brought me to the Cliff Walk at Prouts Neck. The first was unfamiliar to him; the second unfamiliar to me.

I enjoyed his company, the beautiful oddly-out-of-sync February weather and the scenery.

I also found myself awash in physical memories of earlier days. 

I found myself returning to past hikes with my children and their father. Re-connecting with the experiences that had once been so crucial to my life, and the life of my young family.

It would have been easy to know regret and sadness over these lost days; easy to mourn something that no longer is.

But, instead, I allowed the past memories to be what they were:  joyous recollections.

I found myself singing as I navigated the rock-strewn Cliff Walk. It was as if the overtones of sadness and regret associated with those memories were taking flight from my body and ascending as balloons to the sky.

Making way for new memories. 

Making way for a new life.

And I knew that although my children were no longer always able to be with me in physical form, I would carry them with me in spirit forever.

We would each continue to connect with that "something bigger" in our own ways.

And, in doing so, would connect with one another as well.



Prouts Neck, low tide

February 2012


Dr. Lisa's Bountiful Blog is read on the Dr. Lisa Radio Hour & Podcast. Show summaries are available on the Dr. Lisa website. Subscribe to podcasts of the show through iTunes and let us know what you think!

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