I’ve been spending a lot more time outside lately. Replaced some old fence panels, and set up a small grape arbor. Mulched and weeded. Cleaned up the herb bed, and fine-tuned the Sweetgum tree in the front yard.
It’s taken a little while for me to fall into this lifestyle – or perhaps just to realize that I’ve fallen into it.
Sometimes the tightrope seems as wide as a two-lane; sometimes it’s narrow as a thread. But truth be told, it’s wonderful being here. I’ve let go of some things, and glimpsed the depths of my faith.
There’s been sadness along the way. We recently lost an Elder (the man who taught me most about the sweat lodge and the sacred pipe; and married us in the Medicine Wheel on his property). We loved him dearly, and came to look upon him and his wife as our parents. We’ve dealt with family health issues and the challenges of our own spiritual work; but there’s also been some joy bubbling up between the cracks.
In short, it’s been a time of moving balance.
If I say that my prayers have been answered, that would imply that I’ve imposed an outcome upon the things I’ve prayed for. Instead, let me just say that allowing things to be as they are and being grateful for that has taught me how to become a contented man.
My teacher asked me something the other day that blew me out of the water. Towards the end of our session, he sat back in his chair with a grin on his face and said, “Are you really ready to let go completely, or do you need a bigger God?” After I chewed on the question a bit, I heard myself answer, “Yeah…” as if something deep within me had already resigned itself to the prospect.
Doors have closed, and doors have opened. I’m certain of little other than the fact that they’re not the last to do so. Regrets have vanished like smoke on a morning breeze. And the earth feels cold but yielding in my hands.
Although recent weather may try to fool us into believing otherwise, green things stir from their slumber in the soil. They push their curious faces skyward, perhaps shivering a bit, and stretch to greet the sunlight of another season…