Ship in the window (2)

There is a retreat center I often visit for a quiet afternoon away from the world. It is on an island off of the New England coast, accessible by a narrow one-lane causway and surrounded by almost 360 degrees of ocean view. I love disappearing away from my everyday life of work, tasks and schedule into this Time-Apart sanctuary of stone, wind, sea, and stillness enveloped by the soft symphony of nature which somehow has a deep silence to it.

Enders AprilWalking the grounds I find myself slipping into a kind of altered state of mind…a dream state in which all senses are sharpened and I see with the eyes of the heart as well as the eyes of my body. It is during this time many things that are “hidden in plain sight” are revealed. There are surprises everywhere! And it is for this reason that I am never without a second set of “eyes” – my camera,  to capture what is suddenly revealed during this meditative state of presence and deep-seeing.

The buildings there are made of stone, as is the whole island and I am most intrigued with the main house decorated with multicolored tiles along the edges of roof and the ceilings of porches. Last week as I wandered in search of some new spring beauty to photograph I happened to glance up along the house wall facing the gardens and sea. Up …WAY UP… in a window near one of the roofs…a flash of soft white….

A ship in the window.

Ship in the window (2)

Now I suppose it could have been built as a hobby by one who just loves ships and enjoyed crafting a project in down time. After all, this is a retreat center and there is a staff of priestly sorts who teach, counsel, bless, pray and offer hospitality to visitors, in between making jams and jellies to help  support the center’s gift store. Still this is an island and therefore there IS at least on occasion after hours,  down-time.

But maybe there’s more to that ship in the window. 

Making a commitment to a life path…whether it is a religious vocation, a marriage, parenting, being an artist or professional musician or the owner of a business… is a fine and meaningful thing and if done voluntarily with joy and love, can bring deep contentment in spite of the ups and downs of any life over the years. Sometimes  we commit to several of these paths and juggle. But we cannot do it all and fulfilling the responsibilities of any and all of them GROUNDS us and often tends to keep us in a singular place of duty, familiar environments and ROUTINE.

We cannot  do it all ..at least not simultaneously. While following our chosen paths, there are many other paths therefore that are unchosen in real time.

BUT in our imagination and in our dreams we can travel anywhere, do anything, be anything! I suspect that the ship in the window might be a reminder of that, to he or she who would find it pretty much impossible to tend to the wounds and comfort  of those who come to the monastery for refuge….AND while doing that, also be a pirate (allowing for a bit of the dark side) or an adventurer upon the high seas to far away lands and relationships beyond the monastery…(or classroom, kitchen, boardroom, office cubicle).

Perhaps the ship in the window is both an anchor to place AND a reminder of possibilities available to us when and if we come to a fork in the road, when things are finished, when we must let go of the familiar that has begun to drain us rather than feed us, when we find the necessary courage…IF and When…to set sail in a new direction and seek new horizons.

The ship in the window, whether seen from inside the room or outside from way below looking up possibly reminds us that our dreams and visions are always ready for a new journey no matter what our life’s present Path. And a ship …always a symbol for the courage of the Soul’s ability to travel upon the waters of the Unconscious towards new realms, possibilities and experiences…. allows us to set sail, at least in our dreams if not in reality.

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Photo credits:  Retreat center photos by Christine Phoenix-Green, dark ship on the waters by unknown.

From Christine, the Greening Spirit

shawl      Go ahead! Be adventurous! Check out my other blogs:

                                        http://sensuoussoupsandsuppers.wordpress.com

                                        http://pianomistress.wordpress.com

                                         http://wordmagicandthelawofattraction.wordpress.com

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