Monday, November 21, 2016

Inside out

Inside out
Originally published on June 27, 2013

  I have a decision to make.  It's not important to give you the details, but suffice it to say, I've lost some sleep over this one.  While not earth shattering or difficult, it would be joyfully life changing if I tipped the scales in one direction.  And yet, if I leave well enough alone, life would still be comfortable.  For now, I'm sitting in the middle of two realities, both of which are desirable.  It's in moments like this that I have the opportunity to walk my talk.  To sit back and detach.  To see the bigger picture, let it breathe and then when the timing is right, make my move. 
Or not. 
When I was younger, I needed to have all my ducks in a row -- the sooner, the better.  I made quick decisions, pivoted easily toward one direction or another and moved on.  Looking back, it's no wonder I was often faced with the same type of choice again and again.  Which job should I take?  Which group should I join?  Which person should I become involved with this time around?  I often made a choice so quickly, I missed the clarity within the details and because steps were missed, I needed to go back and retrace them in order to make more conscious assessments.
I still like to have some sense of structure in my life, but am more content to let things rise, to wait for the eggs to hatch, and to live in the mystery of "what next?"  I just came in from gardening and needed to prune back a lot of growth that's sprouted up this past week.  We've had a lot of rainfall in the Midwest and along with it, a plethora of beautiful blossoms.  The day lilies surprised me this morning, their trumpets wide open, ready to soak in the sun while it lasts.  As I was clipped errant trumpet vine that loves to gnarl its way around their long stems, I told them, "It's your turn to bloom."  For I know they only get one opportunity a year to strut their stuff and shine.  Next month the hydrangea will flourish, and then the lavender and then the sedum in August. 
Everything has its time.
The same is true for many of the choices we all must make.  Life's circumstances are often thrust upon us and we have to respond instantly -- in a traffic jam, when dealing with home repairs, or enduring power loss during a thunderstorm.  And so I find it comforting to be visited once again with a down-to-earth life decision that doesn't need immediate response, that can evolve over time.  I can sit with both sides of the coin, knowing that if I allow it, more will be revealed so that I can make a wiser choice.

One of my favorite responsibilities while working in the garden at Esalen was taking care of the chickens.  Each morning I would arrive early so I could let them scamper around the hen house with Henry, the cocky old rooster, calling the shots.  If there were any eggs laid overnight, I would carefully gather them and take them to the lodge where they would be stockpiled in the walk-in refrigerator until we had enough to feed the whole garden crew. 
In the summer, my boss allowed us to leave a few eggs in the nests and see what would happen.  We were blessed with several tiny fuzz balls that hatched, then celebrated their new life by making "bee bee bee bee bee" sounds all day long.  We were never quite sure if an egg would result in a chick, but it was always exciting to feel the anticipation as I walked through the farm and across the bridge every morning on my way to the garden to see if a new baby had arrived.  Perhaps it was then that I learned to enjoy the spaces in-between an initial intention and the providential result.
As for now, I'm content to sit in the middle.  To let things evolve.  To cradle both eggs in my hands and watch for signs of possibility and new life.  I'm curious to see which one will emerge first to guide me onward.
For it's in moving from the inside out that I make my best choices.