Finding my thing
Someday, my children,
I will tell you about yesterday,
when the last big piece
slid into place
like a key twisting in a rusty lock
and my heart clicked open.
Someday, together, we will trace a great many things back to yesterday.
I wrote the above a few weeks ago, on July 14th.
July 13th, 2014, is the day in question, the day I began as a wandering, seeking, ever-curious, spiritually inclined atheist, the day I ended as, well, still all of the above, but one with a soul-nourishing practice to call home.
It is incredibly difficult to talk or write about, but I am compelled to try anyway.
(And this is the point in the post where I sat. A long time. On several separate occasions. And then gave up. For days.)
Here is where I have always felt at home: Nature. Analogy. Music. Silence.
I am incorporating all of the above on a nightly basis.
It is so grounding.
Each evening now finds me out in our garden, under the pear tree, in what I am coming to think of as a sort of yoga for the mind, an active, piercingly real meditation. In a simple, flexible ritual I am more or less making up as I go along, I pull strength from the natural world, often visualizing different contributions from the four elements which have bolstered so many before me. Usually by this point one of my cats has wandered over to “help.” Mostly I am silent, but I also sing a bit. I take time (often a long while) to sort through thoughts and feelings and find the subject most worthy of my focus.
Once I have my topic, I roll it around awhile longer, sensing its texture, looking for just the right angle. Then I form a statement of some kind. A hope, a request, an aspiration, a gift of love to friends or family or the world, a simple tendril of gratitude. Something that most earnestly expresses what I have gleaned from the day. After I have discovered and properly framed the thought that most deserved my attention, I meditate on it, often tugging lines of analogy again, but only briefly, and then I draw my circle of contemplation to a close. Cleansed by the crisp night air, I return to my house, light as anything.
I have always wanted a daily anchor point, and in several phases of my life have maintained one (yoga, music, walking, meditation), but always with some degree of force. Now I have formed a nightly habit with virtually no effort. This practice is so utterly suited to me that as soon as night falls I crave it more than chocolate.
I have struggled so much with words to describe it that when I head out, if Thor is around, all I usually say is, “I’m going out to do my thing.”
And then I do.