When I need more of a workout, I look for hills. When I need a shift in energy, I walk by the beach. I don’t think about it, I feel it. It’s important to me to listen to what my body is telling me. I’d probably have avoided many less-than-beneficial circumstances if I’d chosen to do that at other times in my life.
A beautiful fall morning, I was aware of my feet on the sandy, rain-damp path that continued forth at the end of the paved walkway.
“Wow, I wonder if Earl (Moon) will be walking in time for the Woodstock Party next year. Regardless, we’ll make sure he can roll into the yard if need be.”
A major injury sure makes one let go of a lot of excess ego and pride (he never had that anyway, but generally speaking …), and I say “excess” because you need some of both to survive.
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It not only humbles you when your friends come out of the woodwork to make your life bearable and joyful again, but it humbles your friends as well, to have the opportunity to serve. Because they can.
The next thought followed quickly: I’ve been prompted and even badgered to leave this place I’ve called home most of my life. Once was more-or-less a mutual consideration, the other was far from it. It never felt right in my body. I’m glad I listened to it then. Maybe I hope if fate should ever break my stride, I, too, might have these dear friends to lean on. Is that conceited or foolish? I’m not going to worry about it now — my life is currently in balance.
At the end of the trail, I stood at the overlook, watching the surf push and sculpt and transform the beach. Pelicans glided a mere inch or two from the crest of the waves, in search of their breakfast. What an amazing feeling that must be to just slice through the air, master of this element, unafraid of the power of the water beneath you because you are a partner with this other entity, the sea. They let go the fear and just live each moment.
That sensation, those words, kept coming back to me: let go. In my woo-woo moments, I encourage those I’m with to “exhale,” as in “let go” of the breath, things that don’t serve you any more or are exhausted. I do my best to do the same. But, boy, that letting go part can be challenging. Some times I think about that challenge so much so that it makes it harder still. Why is that?
Little ground squirrels dash by. I’ve just begun letting my kittens have the run of the backyard. They love it. Their world grew twice as big. One day, I came through the gate just in time to see Marley hopping down off the fence between our yard and that of the neighbor’s with the thick dogs that dutifully keep an eye on their property. That is the cat’s instinct: to roam, investigate. What if I’d kept my children locked in the house?
My children. Oh, boy … I always had this vision growing up that I’d birth my children at home (I did), have a wonderful man to help raise this family (I did part of the time), we’d live off the land (I subscribe to Community Supported Agriculture — does that count?) and we’d all live together on a large property within a short walk from one another the rest of our lives (Miles lives in Portland, Ore., and Zachary lives in Honolulu). Since my life growing up was never anything like that, I’m not sure where that ideal came from. But I’ve accepted the change in plans and let it go.
Physically, I’ve let my children go. Perhaps that was this morning’s lesson: let loose the tethers that bind you to the weight of things that have run their course, selfish expectations — whatever it is that keeps you from shifting with life like the kelp that dances in the ocean, bending and stretching to fit and flow with the tide.
Let go the notion that love is supposed to happen or last, that children are yours to keep as you wish, that “it will never happen to me.” Let go of letting go. Let it, as it will happen whether you want it to or not.
Dianne Brooke’s column is special to The Cambrian. Email her at ltd@ lady tie di .com, or visit her website at www .lady tie di .com.