Day 13 — now sit, be still, listen and write

I didn’t make it to the pond this morning, but took care of some BOX business I’d been putting off, calculated site measurements for cabling and a feasibility analysis for the work I am doing here. So now I’ll take a stillness break deep in the woods…

far past the pond and stream…

to the end of the trail where it crosses into the state park. here is where i plop my back-end and stay for a while to be still, listen and learn.

I laugh now, not often because I grieve still, but on the occasion that I do, it is in a new way that I have never heard before. It comes from someplace newly exposed in me. The change is not for any particular reason that I can pinpoint; it is just a difference. It is delightful and deep, a rumbling from within–not a cackle, a hack, or an awkwardly forced crack. It would not be mistaken for a cry or wail. It does not mask embarrassment or shame, but uncovers a true chuckle of pleasure, surprise and delight. It caught me off guard, a startle of sorts, when I first heard its presence.  I laugh not as often as I would like because of my grief and fears. But when it comes upon me, it is such a good thing it brings me such pleasure, as when I was a child spun ‘round, falling flat and still upon the ground to watch the world spin (i really thought i could see the rotation of the earth by watching the sky–a child’s delight). Perhaps one day you will listen and hear and smile big. I do like this laugh as you might.

My whole range of emotions is opening up, not so contained. This is not a bad thing. My emotions are not something to be feared. It is just a more fully experienced range. I allow myself to feel them more deeply, less managed and controlled. These feelings, none of which are contemptible or hysterical, do not make me scary, needy, overly demanding, or manic. They are just genuinely experienced with an opening awareness. I have always keenly felt but forced myself to contain–to be even keeled, well heeled emotionally. Somehow in trying to be as low maintenance as I knew how to be, financially, relationally and emotionally, thinking that that was a good thing, a healthy thing, I denied and minimized my feelings, putting them away on a shelf and did not listen to what they could teach me. But now my body and soul are learning to align with my heart (emotions)–I no longer pretend to be ok, when i am not, i am learning not to deny my emotions (they just are what they are); I try not to squelch them. I am discovering that this range is more reflective of who I am. This depth, from laughter and delight to sadness and grief, is richer, truer. It is a change. I do not know why it has come about or why I thought being a low to no maintenance wife was good, was healthy, but this is a change.

I like these freshly uncovered things that I did not allow into my life before–sure it hurts like hell and I need to learn to accept, listen, interpret and work with these felt things, but still there is more room for delight, joy, laughter and presence.

It is ok to have joy. Joy doesn’t make me bad. It doesn’t mean I am not trying hard enough, doing enough, or am some kind of slacker. It doesn’t mean I am not doing what I was called to or that i need to feel shame when joy enters in… I want to make room for joy and delight.

Being here is an obvious gift because this is what I needed, at just the right time, some would call it serendipity; I would call the hand of God. It is this gift of time and place that reminds me that in spite of my frailties and wrongs, that God is good and that joy is allowed (and it is ok to grieve as well). I am grateful.