23 May, 2013
i’ve been pulling these mighty little oak trees out of plant pots and gravel in my garden. they are tenacious and willing, abundant and something to marvel about. somehow the practice of pulling them is grounding me, restoring faith, keeping the calm. i suppose it is the renewal that speaks to me, the reminder of the commitment nature has to thrive and make use of whatever nutrients are available. to grow where planted.
recent travel found me strangely homesick. i missed my family, despite the joy of traipsing through new country, sitting with a wise teacher, and drinking blackberry brandy in an 18th century farmhouse (i know, right?). for years, solo travel offered sweet relief from what looked to be endless responsibility and accountability. i felt tethered and trapped. i wanted to run away for brief bits of time, to know the me separate from them.
in these new-to-me woods, i welcomed the company and conversation of a trailmate who is significantly younger than i, causing me to reflect on where i was in my late twenties. i had two children, was moving out of state for the first time, was unsure and ambitious and proving. i was restless to be ok. i was starving for peace and wanted so badly to feel grounded. i loved my children more than myself. underneath it all, i think my greatest fear was that i would never be enough for them, or for me.
it is so powerfully poignant how we simply have to live long enough, journey deep enough, expand and contract enough, to find our own ruby slippers. this experience i am having of deep peace, of acceptance, could not have come without the demons and doorways i’ve slayed and kissed, passed through and slammed. i can now look at the uncomfortable memories and hold compassion and hope for the younger self who thought that loving was not enough. i can forgive her for trying so hard to be ok. and i can look at the miracle of the faces i share my life with, and be grateful that we made it here, together.
now that i am home, i realize that on this recent trip, i did in fact tap into the truth, rest, and sustenance that i went looking for. only this time it is in the actual homecoming, finding the buddha, the dharma, and the sangha all here, right now. it is in the awakening to this time and space, and the savoring of where i’ve been.
and so i am able to sit here now, writing these words and letting them pass through my fingers without regret–and i can step out into another sun-filled day, holy and bright; unbound, open, honest, and a little more free.
There is no controlling life.
Try corralling a lightning bolt,
containing a tornado. Dam a
stream and it will create a new
channel. Resist, and the tide
will sweep you off your feet.
Allow, and grace will carry
you to higher ground. The only
safety lies in letting it all in –
the wild and the weak; fear,
fantasies, failures and success.
When loss rips off the doors of
the heart, or sadness veils your
vision with despair, practice
becomes simply bearing the truth.
In the choice to let go of your
known way of being, the whole
world is revealed to your new eyes.
Allow, by Dana Faulds