Wild, wilds, wilderness…these words have been calling to me for some time now. I see them everywhere I go. I feel them. I want them.
Then I wake here. I put another book in another box from one of our many bookshelves to go resell it. We are downsizing, eliminating, purging—from a large house to a small house in the next few weeks, one step at a time.
One. decision. at. a. time. Sometimes one decision takes three days, because one pertinent piece of information needed depends upon another and that piece depends upon two others…rinse and repeat. The story of change seems to unfolds like a merry-go-round, but that’s just because I’m already in the wilds and sometimes (often) I fail to see it as it really is.
Then I wake here. I have another conversation with another child—of the six souls I have gotten to bear in body and soul. Or maybe it’s another conversation with all of them, around the table again…two hours later we emerge. Whew. <deep breath here>
It’s tempting to think of all-the-things that didn’t just get done because we just spent two hours processing what it means in practical terms (again) to move from a big house to a small house, or to leave friends, or to be on the other side of the world they’ve known so far. It’s tempting to think, “Now, I’ll get to all the things that really need the doing”, but that’s just because I’m already in the wilds and sometimes (often) I fail to see it as it really is.
Then I wake here.
The last weeks have been some of the most full of my entire life. It has been a landscape marked with visits—memorials—with family and friends along the way, car tune-ups, paperwork, soul-stretching, doula-ing, conference-speaking, book-(re)launching, husband-traveling, husband re-birthing, my oldest son man-becoming, homeschool re-starting, self-caring, self-losing, self-finding, packing, releasing, next-adventure scheming, present-grieving, fear-facing, joy-embracing, someone help me. live. awake. here.
It’s all passing, it’s all alive, it’s all wild—may I never settle for less wonder. May we never settle for less wonder in our eyes. May we see more than we imagined was possible.
Then I wake here.
Two days after writing the above…the kiddos are passing something around and I can’t believe it hasn’t taken me down yet. The past several years my immune system has been such that I would often be the first and last one down with a bug in the house. I’m soooo celebrating progress and health.
Living awake is painful in its presentness, its light shows all. So the question is, how will we see the “all”. Will we dare choose to see it differently than our culture and even our own humanity would often have us?
Here’s what I am wondering lately—maybe the old story was growing through pain and maybe the new story is growing through joy? Maybe that’s here now? Maybe it took time. Maybe it’s OK to let go…of the pain. <deep breath here>
Maybe some of us have a hard time doing that, because pain is never just about us, it’s connected to all the people we imagine felt it with us? As I wonder about these things I hear the question come, “Does it really matter?”.
Of course it matters if the ones who give hurt are hurting—they are, no doubt about it. But does it matter if I try to carry their pain in my own body, my own shoulders? Does it help them? I don’t mean we shouldn’t be our “brother’s keeper”. I mean, maybe it’s time to get closer to the heart of what that really means (again…and then again).
Jesus…”rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him.”
He laid aside his outer garments…
Maybe I have let the wrong people define what serving and keeping and loving mean. People more interested in giving guilt than in giving life…because that’s the burden they carry. But it doesn’t have to be mine, or yours. That doesn’t help anyone. Jesus laid aside his outer garments…
I still remember realizing one day the most loving thing I could do for a friend was to be honest—even though it would be unpleasant to hear, or say. I wasn’t doing anyone any favors by hiding truth. Then I wake here.
Can I hear the truth? That all the pain came to hold me, ground me, deliver me in and to truth and now it’s particular work is ready to release me? Will I let it let me go? Or will I wrestle it? Will I be arrogant—or humble?
It took some time to know pain came to heal. Now here, am I to understand pain leaves, to open space for joy? Well, then—throw open the windows! and the doors!
I feel like Peter when Yeshua (Jesus in Hebrew) told him he was going to wash his feet (the job of a servant in that day). Peter exclaims, “You’re not going to wash my feet—ever!” Yeshua answered him, “If I do not wash you, you can’t be part of what I am doing.” To which Peter then changed tune because, duh—(yes, I just wrote duh).
Peter, take two: “Master! Not only my feet then. Then wash my hands! Wash my head!” To which Yeshua patiently instructed Peter (again) in all he had yet to learn. But teach him he would.
“You don’t understand now what I’m doing, but it will be clear enough to you later…
Do you understand what I have done to you?…If I, the Master and Teacher washed your feet, you must now wash each other’s feet. I’ve laid down a pattern for you. What I’ve done, you do…If you understand what I’m telling you, act like it—and live a blessed life.”
—Yeshua (from John 13)
Then I wake here.
Yeshua laid aside his outer garment and took a towel…
By day, it’s time to work, making every minute count—living awake—note taken: not necessarily productive by normal standards :). By night, it’s time to rest, like actually sleep at the appropriate hour, to keep my body, mind, and spirit strong as far as it depends upon me.
It’s time to change where I’ve been living from the state of Missouri (“The Show-Me” state) to Washington (“My Home”, as they sing there in “The Evergreen State”)…it’s time to give thanks for all that the city and people of St. Charles (strong and free) has meant and taught me, and now look up and out in wonder toward Washougal (rushing waters).
I have to say, it feels really self-centered to share all of this publicly. But I’m doing it because I know there are a group of you beloved souls out there who have been traveling with me for awhile now. Some of us old friends, some new, but we’re growing—together.
I’m finding meaning and connection in it all in my own way and you are in yours. We’re journeying onward together and I’m deeply thankful for that. We’re asking questions and seeking together. We’re moving, together. We’re living awake as best we can and that’s enough. I know that if we hunger and thirst for righteousness, we will be filled.
Mercy teaches so many things the way it weaves the patterns of dark tones and brighter songs too. Right now it’s teaching me to release what isn’t mine to hold. To humbly remember that even though I have been held in it’s loving embrace, it is gift, it is whisper, it is wind, it is passing—but I can follow where it leads. And that’s what I fully intend to do. Wanna come? I’m seriously grateful for the company.
See you on the road, nudge me when I get sleepy okay?
Thanks for being here. Subscribe to stay connected? I’d love that. And I’ll send ya an unpublished poem I’ve shared exclusively with my subscribers, Bound by Light.
If you liked this post you might also like: Aching with the Yearning: Learning the Love of God through my Children’s Eyes
Nature & wildlife photos taken by myself at the amazing Lone Elk Preservation Park in Eureka, MO & Fronteir Park in St. Charles, MO by the Missiouri River. All photos copyright Raynna Myers. Thank you.