Oh, how the mighty have fallen. It's all in the fall though, isn't it?
Things fall and break and gravity sings.
(What am I talking about now? For the love of all good things. Don't you know?)
Once, a couple few (or many) years ago, I was quite certain that I knew where I was going. I knew all about myself, and about the people I loved, and more than a little bit about every thing & one else. The arrogance of youth was strong in me. "Look at me. I'm so smart," I said.
Then LIFE happened. Big, important, unplanned life just rained down all over my overinflated sense of knowing. My dry certainty was washed up and I headed for higher ground. Up, up, up. But the higher I climbed the more uncertain I became--looking for a foothold, a place to grab on to, a place to rest at the end of a day's climb, carrying a baby on my back now, towing a man and a car, bills, job, and a garden up the mountain. Must find a place for all of us. Must carry on and climb this rock.
My hands hurt. My feet were bloody. I lost my balance, fell, and lost ground a number of times. But during the climb to higher ground, something happened: I found the might of the climb. Staring in to the side of a rock and seeing, as if for the first time, the minerals, colors, textures of the rock. Feeling the air in my body, the air outside, the sun, the heat, the light, my cracked, bleeding fingers. I feel it all. I finally knew something worth knowing--I was right where I was supposed to be. I could, if I chose, climb up or down, side-to-side, but I was looking at the rock. My rock. I am the rock.
I could drop a couple things to make it an easier climb, but shedding was too scary for a long time. What if I needed all that stuff once I got to wherever I was headed? What if there wasn't any thing better at the top? I held on to all of the stuff I thought I might need and kept climbing for a long time. The repetition mesmerized me.
Climb. Fall. Stare. Climb. Fall. Stare. Focus. Fall. Climb.
I started to let go. First the garden. It was a lot to carry--pots, plants, rich soil, tomatoes, cucumbers, herbs. I would miss it so much, but I could pick it up on my way down or build something new at the top. Then the shedding felt good. Thinking through what else was weighing me down, keeping me from moving at my own pace, holding me back, suspending my natural gait. It's hard to think through that, but the climb, the rock helped.
Climb. Fall. Stare. Climb. Fall. Stare. Focus. Fall. Climb. Know. Force. Un-know. Fall. Stare. Focus.
Over time it all happened, I was becoming the rock. Learn. Climb. Learn. Climb. Become. I no longer let life "happen" to me. I am the shelter from the rain, I am the cure for my own knowing. I have not made it to the "top" but I'm not certain that the top is still my goal. My goal now is to relish the might of the rock and enjoy the fall. Sometimes, the fall is all you get--maybe the fall is all I need.