I am just southeast of East Haddam, due north of Old Lyme, I would guess a mere hop skip and a jump from New London, where my mother grew up and met my father, a young Coast Guard cadet. Her father, Jerry Barton Hoag, a nuclear physicist in the thirties, forties and fifties, out (or ousted out) of the University of Chicago, refused (or so the family legends go) to help develop the bomb as part of the Manhattan project and thus ended up as a physics professor and head of the science department at the Coast Guard Academy. And whom because of his peaceful nature, his lovely daughter met my father, i eventually came into existence. This place I’ve never visited before, here so near the place of my heritage, is where I am. Currently i am sitting in the shade on ~450 acres of farmland that has gone back to natural habitat. The owner decided it was too beautiful to just keep it for himself alone, so he has opened it up to share with six invited artists of image, object, word or sound each month who come to work and be revived and inspired in this environment. Early each morning I hike down to a beautiful pond, sitting at the end of an artist made pier, I listen as the bullfrogs begin to sing as the sun first warms. I watch the pollen drift slowly across the still black silent surface. I hear the gentle breeze pass high over head as it dances and rustles through the tree tops. There are so many fresh smells new with each passing day as the differing flower strains come into bloom according to their own time. I sit here in stillness and quietness for a couple of hours and listen, hear, smell, gaze, think, write, and meditate. If I sink too deeply into my grief, God uses all these physical things to pull me back into my body, back into this present moment to show me again all the gifts She has given me.
It is exactly what I needed to refresh my soul and allow grief to finish its deep work in me as I am moved towards the threshold of something new, something different. I could never even begin to express my deep gratitude for the gift of this place and this time. It heals me again and again each morning. God has repeatedly these past two years shown His unfailing love to me in ways i can understand. He heals me with all these gifts.0