Last week there was a kid at market who flitted from stand to stand exclaiming, “WHOA!” at each shout of color, at each new shape. It was an excellent reminder of how awesome everything is. It’s like when you first move somewhere and are exploring your new surroundings. Everything is noteworthy and interesting until suddenly, you’re no longer a tourist in your backyard anymore and you forget to notice.
There’s a poet, Ross Gay, who wrote a book called the Book of Delights. He practices noticing by literally putting his finger in the air and saying “delight!” when he comes across something delightful. I try to remember to at least do this in my head so that I don’t get too old and crotchety and forget what that kid at market reminded me of: we’re surrounded by delight all the time! WHOA! Everything is amazing!
The Joy of Staying Put
I’ve been feeling big change in the air. Borne of a misinterpretation of unrelated events and my reading “When Women Were Dragons” and a haphazard “consulting” of Rob Brezney’s Free Will Astrology. I forgot to be in the here and now. I started to feel bigger than my life. I started to crave dissolutions and rebirth. I began to live vicariously through the youth around me.
I forgot, for a moment, that I was already young. I misplaced the notion that this life of middle age can also be filled with its own magic and joy. I overlooked my own experience. What is it about us that keeps us longing for our youth. I mean, there are some serious cringe-worthy moments of my youth that I’d just as soon skip, and I do NOT want to go back there.
And so I return to the present and remember. I take a deep late summer breath and feel the gentle sun on my skin, the slow arc of the shadows, and the gratitude overflowing my heart. I feel solid. Grounded. And there is magic in this. There is joy in staying put.
Awkward Toddler Steps
I’ve been in full pursuit of “living my best life” lately. I’m entrenched in an epic search for the academic concept of “True Fun”: the magical confluence of playfulness, connection, and flow. I’m learning new things and in this am reminded that in any new endeavor, you just don’t get to skip the part where you suck😊
It’s an unfortunate truth. When you’re learning a new language as an adult, you’re going to stumble around like a baby (but way less cute) saying awkward things and accidentally offending people. When you’re learning to knit, you’re going to create the most ridiculous lumpy misshapen too small sweater not even fit for a squirrel, and when you’re learning to whitewater kayak, you’re going to swim…a lot, and maybe even pin your boat😊.
And so I found myself in the heart of rivers, frustrated and exhausted, muscles aching, acutely aware of the toddler stage I am in this most recent side quest, and still grinning from ear to ear. Because that’s the thing isn’t it? Learning and growing is a hoot! Why do we think children are so happy? Is it innate joy or the process? Based on my current experience, I suspect it’s more of the process (and not knowing enough to care what other people think about where you are in that process).
That was the thing about being beginning farmers. We were so busy putting out fires to notice the myriad of newly created problems we were trailing in our wake. We look back from our current vantage point of 20 years of practice and cringe, but also see that those younger versions of ourselves were grinning from ear to ear as they learned and grew and built this system from the ground up one mistake at a time. And I suspect the future versions of us will look back at where we are now and cringe but also smile.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.