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Ha Long Bay

363. Ha Long Bay

I have three pictures of Ha Long Bay in Vietnam. One is a picture on rice paper, purchased in Hanoi. One is an embroidery picture, made and sold by the woman who cooked a six-course dinner on a small boat for us as we toured through parts of Ha Long Bay. And the third is the photo I took there. Ha Long Bay is in the Gulf of Tonkin and it includes some 1,600 islands and islets with amazing limestone pillars.

The picture I took is the one that brings back to me the mystery of this bay. Sometimes there was a hush as we moved silently, threading through the islands. I look at these pictures daily and lately they have had a connection for me of the mystery of death and of my own dying. I don’t anticipate that happening soon but as I approach my 80th birthday, it’s at least on a corner of the screen.

I do not see darkness or foreboding. As I look at the photo I see mystery and the beauty of it all. I see slipping around one of those islands where you can’t see me and my boat anymore but you know that I’m just around the corner.

I don’t know details about death. But I have beliefs about death. I think the spirit goes on. I sat with my Mother when she died. It’s not frightening. It’s gentle. It is purely a transition. And it’s going to be o.k.

Ha Long Bay tells me that and I trust.

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