Fear and Delight


(Prince Edward Island, in the middle of a multitude of transitions)

Choose delight and being, not worry and analyzing and those webby, putrid thoughts.

And then you start to see how–

The dead firs are lovely, if dilapidated, broken down and falling for the light that pierces the forest in their wake.

The potato fields are long, and they march joyfully over the hills. Modest and sturdy, they wear their white blossoms and wrinkled leaves with Island pride.

There certainly are dryads in the forest. The demure birches can’t hide that they have souls, and the old firs have seen them dancing all these years.

The ocean here isn’t barbarian, and you might almost believe that it’s been mostly civilized—like an Island farmer. But tiptoe out as far as you can until every gentle swell lifts you off the velvet sand. Let the weight of the water settle on your chest. Taste the salt on your lips and look to where there is no land, only the next swell. Then you start to feel. The raw, the heartbeat, the iron of the ocean. And suddenly it’s a little hard to breathe, your toes feel only cold, empty space below, and you feel yourself slip into that space  where love and terror mingle intimately. Death by ocean might not actually be a tragedy. It would be terrible and glorious to be given up to this great body that goes deeper than your thought can even comprehend. It doesn’t stretch around the world, it is the world, cradling the land in its lap and thunder. Ocean is such a small word to describe the reality you’ve only just glimpsed in this moment of love and terror. It’s not much more than a moment. You shiver and swim back to shore, thinking wistfully of gills and a dorsal that would take you into her heart.


The fear of the Lord.