The Life That Is Waiting
“We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it’s not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That’s why it’s your path.” Joseph Campbell
The ground is frozen and snow-covered under my heavy boots as I walk among a graveyard of skeletal prairie plant stalks, woody and hollow. Trees reach bare arms in surrender under the dust colored sky. I raise my arms in surrender, too. The temperature, in the upper teens last night, is anemically creeping into the twenties as the mid-day sun low on the horizon casts long shadows on the snow. I pause, thinking back. Yes, I am quite sure my own shadow was a bit longer last week. The wheel is turning. Ground Hog’s Day, Candlemas, Imbolc is almost here and in the darkness the sap is stirring.
This time of year, represented by the compass direction Northeast, is a time of endings and beginnings; the time between what was and what is yet to come. I can see that clearly in my work at the ecology center where I volunteer weekly. And I am vulnerably aware of my own sense of “between-ness” as circumstances beyond my control have me feeling like I have back-tracked and am in an endless cue for some forward motion. A voice in my head reminds me that control of circumstances is just an illusion, and the notion of control quite over-rated anyway. None-the-less the physical reality of where I have landed, so different than where I thought I was headed, is disorienting. I feel stalled in the effort of trying to figure how to share my gifts in the world. From this liminal place I am so tempted to grasp, to try to make something happen. And I recognize that as a clue for me to sit back and take a breath, easing my tightened stomach muscles; to let go of the yoke that I keep picking up only to set it down again realizing that it bears no load.
This is naturally a time of mystery and uncertainty. The seed heads of the prairie dropped their loads long ago. The tiny black beads are nestled deep in the leafy humus beneath the snow. Interestingly they will all die. Many will be consumed by small mammals and birds. Many will perish and become part of the soil. And some seeds will die in order become something else– one of the tall grasses or flowering plants that make up this native prairie. Seven weeks ago we mixed prairie seeds with dark moist soil, refrigerating the clear plastic bags to mimic winter and speed the germination process. Peering through them now like excited window shoppers we can see the white tentacle roots streaming through the soil. YES! Time to open the bags and ever so gently place each tiny seedling in it’s own pot to find its way.
I have been planting the seeds of my journey along the way. Some of them are germinating, potential projects emerging from hopes and dreams. Some of them aren’t, and may never. So much is out of my control as the fates have their own way of touching lives. “Relax, allow, trust” is my mantra. Of course I am doing the work, too, of tending my soil and the tender shoots of potential as they emerge. Something will flourish. I can feel it in my bones.
This post was written by Lucinda Sohn