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I used to blog, but it takes too much time if you want to write books.

I greet the light within you.

I take the scenic route to Southern Pines…or my GPS leads me that way…following two lane and four lane roads with stoplights every few miles for the next two hours, but I’m relieved not to be on the freeway. I pass through areas with the usual enterprises, the stores you see everywhere from Oregon to Florida. Lowes, Wal-Mart, Food Lion; Wendy’s, Taco Bell, Burger King. Because I'm hungry, I stop early at Wendy’s for a Carolina Burger; I can’t help myself. I have to find out what it is. You don’t need to be tempted. It’s a regular burger…slimed with chili and slaw, I should say. My husband would love it.
The free breakfast at the EconoLodge in Charlotte wasn’t much. Two kinds of cold cereal, sweet rolls and toast, but the small room with round tables had a glass ceiling and one glass wall, almost a greenhouse. Outside, red and pink roses bloomed and small bird that I didn’t recognize, maybe some kind of sparrow, kept pecking at the glass. Over and over he flew at the windows. I wanted to let him, but there’s no way.
I know at once when I get to Southern Pines. The deciduous trees that have lined the road, give way to tall long needle pines as straight as pick-up-sticks. The houses are neat, historic and brick or white clapboard. The downtown area is filled with quaint antique stores and shops that on another day, I would like to go into, but must hurry past.
At the Country Book Store, I’m greeted by Gail, a woman of about my age, a former activist in the women’s movement she later acknowledges and Peter the owner along with a younger woman, the manager, Sara who reminds me of one of my patients. She’s lived everywhere from Florida, to NYC, to South Dakota. I didn’t have time to ask her why. There are only two others who have come for the reading. Mina and Lonnie, beautiful tanned older women originally from New England and retired now. They have such strong handshakes, I have to ask.
“Are you golfers?”
“No way,” they answer. “We’re into horses. Just today we took the most marvelous ride. This country is beautiful, but you would never know how beautiful until you get back on the narrow dirt roads.”
This evening we have wine and cheese and the conversation and reading flows back and forth until we are laughing like old friends. We talk about the state of obstetrics, the over medicalization, the high C/Section rate. I tell the young woman, that having a natural birth was once a feminist issue and taking our bodies back needs to be thought of that way again.
Our conversation twists and turns until we end up on the environment and global climate change. Is there time to avert disaster or is the die cast? One of the horse ladies says she’s a realist. “It’s humans that have messed up the planet and it’s humans that may have to go.”
I say I have hope…a little kernel of hope... that disaster may be averted, but we have to get to work now.
When the discussion is over, I sign books. The sharing was so deep that I want to hold hands at the end, like I would with my meditation book club or a group of midwives. “Namaste,” I say, in my head, to these strangers who have become friends, as we troop out into the night. “I greet the light within you.”

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