So come to the pond, or the river of your imagination,
Or the harbor of your longing,
And put your lips to the world.
And live
Your life.”

~ Mary Oliver, Red Bird

We made it! 40 days. These 40 days for me were as rocky as expected, with developments and regressions and many, many turns, obstacles, and pivots. Perseverance was required. (especially last night when the weather was cold where I am and the currents strong, adn the whistle blown on me for breaking the rules. Apparently today was a no swimming day…)

The simple discipline of returning to nature each day made the “daze” of Covid 19 clear for me. I was reminded that nature is grounding, and community is essential. And that out natural resources are invaluable, adn we all should be doing everything in our power to preserve them.

For me, rivers, lakes, and pools around the country provided a consistent source of refreshment each day. The true blessing was both in the experience, and in a daily practice of placing my focus with Mother Earth. I am reminded this is essential to my true nature. 

“You don’t quench your thirst by talking about water.” says Matt Dewar, and it’s the truth. Action and contemplation are two sides of the same coin. I experienced the reward that come when we start to embody that which we believe in.  I was reminded to have an attitude for  “just doing it.”  Not a single day was there a regret that I got into, under, and alongside something much greater- in every way- than I am.

My biggest lessons of Covid- physically, mentally, and spiritually were to stay hydrated and nourished by that which quenches my thirst.  And to have a little down time to really think about what it is I thirst for. I don’t think i am quite at a place of being thankful for a devastating pandemic and all the ensuing upheaval and disruption. But, I am  optimistic and assured… in humans, and nature, and the tendency to rise up to any occasion. As a dear friend during a time of unimaginable loss said, “Good will come of this.”  And it’s the truth. And it is the best way forward.

So, for now, a sincere thank you for helping me along through the wilderness of these last 40 days.  I couldn’t have done it without you, and I don’t think I’d be sane if I hadn’t.

Peace, thanks and cheers ~


This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. Catherine

    Congrats on another impactful 40 Days! Being in, on or even near the water was a great goal to have every day! Well done. Xo

  2. Jen Pen

    I am sad these posts are ending.
    But I appreciate the time and thoughtfulness that went into the 40 days of words and images.
    Thanks for sharing the joy with the option to comment and post images.
    Peace be with y’all.
    Find a place to pause and see the colorful world.

  3. Susan

    Nicely done Elinor. Thanks for sharing your path

  4. Julia

    Incredibly grateful that our beaches were accessible during COVID. This summer has heightened my awareness of the never-ending privileges of Life in Lake Bluff.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts each day Elinor! Your openness is inspiring !

  5. Marina Carney Senior

    You really are an inspiration ! Thank you for sharing all with us. May the Good Lord bring you peace.

  6. Judy

    Thank you for helping us find joy, everyday, during a stressful time. It was a real gift!

  7. Pam

    I enjoyed your a positive emails for 40 days. Hope we get more of your good word soon.
    Thank you!

  8. Marina Carney Puryear

    Funny thing as I sat down to read this I was struck by how thirsty I was! It is sad to think that I will not wake to your musings, inspirations and warmth until the spirit moves you again! Thank you for sharing!

  9. Julie

    Thirst quenched. 40 Days! Felt like a kid back at Camp Manito-wish guided under its mission: …growing in wisdom, in stature, in favor with God, and in favor with one another (Luke: 2:52). This 40-day experience highlighted the gifts I take for granted — access to freedom, mobility and clean water — and shed even more light on how many around the globe lack access. It has motivated me to help level the playing field for those near and far. I long to be back serving those truly sidelined by this pandemic in our local adaptive sport community — ABSF, Adaptive Adventures, Dare-2-Tri, Diveheart, GLASA, Shinning Stars — and I look forward to providing access to basic needs for those in need.

    Grateful for my friends who completed the 40-day challenge beside me. Grateful for the support gained from community posts. Grateful for heightened awareness. Grateful for Tom’s sermon that reminded us to follow the lessons Jesus taught us. Who is Jesus to me? Jesus is a teacher. Grateful to follow in his footsteps. Grateful to be alive. Grateful for the freedom to give back.

    Thank you, Elinor, for the gift of 40 Days…the gift that keeps giving!

    Be well CCLFLB!

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