Halcyon Days in Maine

belted-kingfisher.jpg

This summer has been spectacular. After a few days of rain last week, the sun has returned in its full glory. Tonight, after the wind died down, the bay turned into a mirror reflecting the dark tones of the setting sun. Tomorrow promises to repeat today's beauty.

I spend much time thinking about and composing the posts to this blog. As those of you that follow from time to time know, I try to connect whatever I write to sustainability. Sometimes it's easy when I chance upon something out there that is simply begging to be the subject of barbs and arrows. Listening to events of these days, I find it more and more difficult to keep a positive, optimistic view of the likelihood of sustainability coming in my lifetime (next to zero), or in my children's life (still close to zero), but maybe in my grandchildren's time on Earth.

But then ever so often I wake up to days like these, and the discover again the meaning of flourishing: the quality of life that sustainability is all about. It's not about business that lasts forever, or getting out of recessions, or an "Airtight Compost Pail [that] Keeps Your Kitchen Odor-Free." It's an inner peacefulness, full of appreciation for just being. The mirrored water, like the magic portal in "Through the Looking Glass" reaches out and draws me into it, and all my worries and concerns for the sad state of the world disappear, if only for just a moment.

The word "halcyon" popped into my head as I started this post. It describes a time in the past that was peaceful and supremely happy. Now that the sun has gone down and the mirror lost, the moment is past, and the word stands correctly. The etymology of the word comes from "a mythical bird (thought to be a kingfisher) said to breed at the time of the winter solstice in a nest floating on the sea and to have the power of calming the winds and waves." It's far from the solstice yet, and the real belted kingfisher (pictured above) that flits around the house didn't show up tonight. But the bay was so calm that one could easily believe it was due to a magical spell.

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