Salt marshes flanking Bodega Harbor at dawn
Since my mom passed away last spring I’ve been thinking about havens, having lost one so abruptly. The word ‘haven’ stems from the Old English ‘hafen’, a harbor, with deeper roots in the Germanic ‘haftjam’, to have or to hold, which also yields the words handle, hawk and heave. A related Old English variant is ‘behofian’, that which binds.
I imagine many people seek haven in spirituality and religion. I continue to find mine in non-abstractions- places, people, actions and things. I’m lucky to live near a natural harbor that’s become familiar from nearly daily jaunts to the beaches that protect it. I’m lucky to have a happy family and a convivial home on a ridge on the edge of the redwoods, near the sea. And I’m lucky to have work that engages my hands and intellect, making things that enliven public life.
I hope everyone finds haven in this holiday season gathering with family and friends, and will continue to be generous and grateful in the New Year.