Two from Houston said yes to buying this house. She Googled me, found my blogs, including The Light Story and said it’s everything they’ve been looking for.
August first, me and two furries are out wandering, looking for a place to land.
A favorite would be a writer’s quiet spot (no bustling city apartment for me, people above-and-below), a safe place for 11 lb. Jackson dog to fly, cat to lord over. Cabin in the woods perhaps? Collect a couple other writers and land in a sprawling farm house full of light, peace, surrounded by animals and nature?
Everywhere I can, I’m simplifying in preparation for what will come.
Sometimes, I wonder what’s ahead. I think about Mary Oliver’s question, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
I muse about it. I let it go.
A little later, I remember her words, “Listen. Are you breathing just a little and calling it a life?”
I notice I’m breathing just a little. I pause and breathe deeper.
A hummingbird comes to my window. My heart lifts. (How can a thing with wings cause so much happiness?) Thank god for birds.
There are also many butterfly visits to these same flowers. Thank god for butterflies, too.
I do especially love things that fly. I also love anything with roots that’s blooming.
Another line from one of Mary Oliver’s poems crosses my mind: “I want to be improbable, beautiful and afraid of nothing, as though I had wings.”
She said, “I believe in kindness. Also in mischief. Also in singing, especially when singing is not necessarily prescribed.”
I sing a little. (Singing helps everything. Immediately.)
Returning to the kitchen, I place dishes, vanilla, and spices back into newly painted cupboards and sort as I go. Do I love this cup? This sauce pan, this plate, this cinnamon tea…
The simpler I get, the more clear I become.
I might love clarity more than anything I own. Clarity is valuable anytime, but especially in the coming days.
Simplicity is Freedom
by Mary Oliver
When I moved from one house to another there were many things I had no room for. What does one do? I rented a storage space. And filled it. Years passed. Occasionally I went there and looked in, but nothing happened, not a single twinge of the heart.
As I grew older the things I cared about grew fewer, but were more important. So one day I undid the lock and called the trash man. He took everything.
I felt like the little donkey when his burden is finally lifted. Things! Burn them, burn them! Make a beautiful fire! More room in your heart for love, for the trees! For the birds who own nothing – the reason they can fly.
“Meadowlark” from The Baker’s Wife is a song about a woman recalling a favorite story from her childhood which touched her young heart so deeply that it always made her cry.
The first half of the song tells the story she remembers, and the second half describes how she takes the crucial step of applying what the story taught her.
The story is about a blind meadowlark who has a voice like an angel. And lucky for her, she gets taken in by an old king who loves her and promises her plenty of food and riches if she will sing for him and set him free.
As the story goes, the meadowlark agrees. But one day while she is singing by the water, the Sun God hears her in his flight. And he is so touched by her singing that he swoops down and brings her the gift of sight!
He promises her that they will dance on the coral beaches and make a feast of the plums and the peaches — if she will come fly with him. He beckons, “Just as far as your vision reaches, fly with me!”
But the meadowlark turns him down because of her loyalty to the old king.
So the Sun God leaves, and when the king comes downstairs that day, he finds his meadowlark has died.
And the woman recalling the story sings, “Every time I heard that part, I cried…”
Before My Past Once Again Can Blind Me
As the song shifts to her present circumstances, we hear the woman begin to apply the wisdom from the story to her love life. We witness her working things through.
You see, standing before her is a new chance at love and she notices she is hesitating.
Have you been there?
Are you there now?
Are you hesitating about something you really want to do?
Maybe it’s time to be a little braver
about creating a new path for ourselves, in love or otherwise.
Maybe it’s time for us to allow ourselves to be lifted to a new place and say to ourselves, “I’ve got to go… fly away, Meadowlark! Fly away on a silver morning!”
In the song, the woman knows that if she doesn’t give this new relationship a whirl, she will regret it. So she makes up her mind. She decides to fly away and give it a go “before my past once again can blind me.”
Is This Your Time?
For many of us, perhaps it’s time to make a new decision or chart a new course instead of being influenced so heavily by what has come before.
Dr. Chris Michaels, author of The Power of You encourages: “I believe the spiritual journey you are on is right for you, and the challenges you face have been specifically chosen to bring you closer to Love. I believe you are a sacred and holy being, and should be treated as such. I believe the time has come for you to awaken to the power that lies dormant within you.”
This week, I wish you bravery, and the strength of clarity. Be an explorer! Be an adventurer! Be a leap frogger!
And, as you listen, let the song inspire you to let go of your personal version of “old ways of thinking and being.” Allow yourself to do a 180 if that’s what’s in your heart. Or simply try on something new — see how it feels and give it a test run. According to many sources, this weekend is an especially auspicious time to turn over a new leaf or to change your course completely and begin anew.
You’re broken down and tired Of living life on a merry go round And you can’t find the fighter But I see it in you so we gonna walk it out And move mountains We gonna walk it out And move mountains
And I’ll rise up I’ll rise like the day I’ll rise up I’ll rise unafraid I’ll rise up And I’ll do it a thousand times again And I’ll rise up High like the waves I’ll rise up In spite of the ache I’ll rise up And I’ll do it a thousand times again
For you For you For you For you
When the silence isn’t quiet And it feels like it’s getting hard to breathe And I know you feel like dying But I promise we’ll take the world to its feet And move mountains Bring it to its feet And move mountains
And I’ll rise up I’ll rise like the day I’ll rise up I’ll rise unafraid I’ll rise up And I’ll do it a thousand times again
For you For you For you For you
All we need, all we need is hope And for that we have each other And for that we have each other And we will rise We will rise We’ll rise, oh, oh We’ll rise
I’ll rise up Rise like the day I’ll rise up In spite of the ache I will rise a thousand times again And we’ll rise up High like the waves We’ll rise up In spite of the ache We’ll rise up And we’ll do it a thousand times again
During this strange time in history, I noticed y’all were tackling all sorts of interesting projects. I decided I needed one, too—something positive to remember the pandemic of 2020 by.
I decided to pay attention to something I had abandoned…
Nope, I’m not cleaning my garage. I am not organizing one single thing. I’m not planting a garden or cleaning up my yard.
Instead, I decided to take care of myself better. This, folks, has made all the difference for me.
With relatively little time and effort on my part, I feel so much better than I did a month ago.
On March 30, I got on the exercise bike and the yoga mat for the first time in a long time, and did 30 minutes each. I liked it so much that I decided to do it every day. But I fell short of that, and changed my commitment to every other day, which felt more manageable, reasonable, and doable.
I also get off the bike after every song, take a couple of sips of water, shake out my legs and arms for a few seconds, and get back on. This makes the bike project a reasonable proposition, too.
Daily walks of any length—by myself, or with my little guy, Jackson—are a fresh air bonus.
My recumbent exercise bike has pulleys to work my upper body while I pedal, which gets my heart rate up fast, and also helps my whole-body strength. It feels good to get up from writing, or doing a consulting session with a client, to do something physically challenging while listening to good music.
After only a month, I feel a sheet of muscles on the front of me I haven’t felt for a very, very long time. Goodness gracious. Who knew they were there. I’ll be posting rippling ab photos soon, I’m sure.
I have no idea what the scales have to say about my bike/yoga project—I don’t care. Paying attention to scales tends to send me sideways, and therefore, I’m ignoring them completely.
But—I LOVE the way I feel! Hang in there, everyone.