Sunday, March 20, 2011

I am always on the edge

Let's pretend for one minute that I have been lost in a wood since I could remember. No matter how much I'd want to find my way out of the forest and into the half-memory of a life I'd lived before the loosing, there would be days when I'd like nothing better than to lie in the tall grasses of a glen and listen to the clinkle of the brook nearby and grab at dust motes floating over my warmed skin.
Every day, I would not neglect to pray for a way out. I'd pray to find a road. I'd dream of stumbling through a wall of thorns to find the dusty, seldom-tramped ribbon of red dirt that would shoot me straight to where I'd always dreamed of being. I'd cry about not finding it. I'd wallow in the shallows of a lazy creek and let my salty tears drip into the crisp, flowing wetness as a dream of the ocean I'd never seen. I'd tear at my clothes and pour ashes on my head every time I lost faith in ever seeing a road.
Then one day I'd see the road. I would come up on it after a particularly beautiful day on hands and knees peering into rabbit warrens and bravely going elbow deep into foreboding little holes in the ground. I'd find it after I'd baptized myself in the river and washed myself in the dew of the Lady's Mantle. I'd find it after I'd made a wayside shrine to the Green Man and a little rock hearth which I'd dedicate to Hestia. I'd carved out a little life in the wood, however lonely and small it was.
And so, this day the road would surprise me and dumbfound me. I'd be smack in the middle of it and fall on my knees in the silky dust...plith, plith the dirt would plith for each knee. Just as I'd begun wondering why now?, the loudest sound I'd ever heard would rattle-trap its way around the bend behind me, and turning to see, I'd only just fall out of the way of the round-going wheels to avoid bodily breakage and find myself at the edges of my safe woods. What sort of prayer had I made? What kind of place could this road be? How could I want to leave? Before I'd made a decision, a single rider atop a road-weary horse would approach and offer me a hand. Will you go or will you stay?
Standing, I make an instant decision: Stay right here, rider. I'll be back in a moment.
I run to the shrine and say a prayer to the Green Man and grab a rock from my hearth. I lean into the coolness of the river and take a drink, long and languid, to remind me. Then I run back to the road. The rider is still there, waiting for me.
Where this road leads, I'll not know. But this is what I'd longed for. This is what I'd wallowed over. This. This moment only: get out of the wood. Now that I was out, it was time to make a new prayer, though now it was less of a prayer and more of a belief that this life, this life I'd been given was bound to twist and turn and answer when you'd forgotten to expect it. There was now a truth, down in the center of my bones that I would never be able to pluck out. The truth told me that everything I'd done before had prepared me for everything ahead of me. That going through the brambles every day prepared me for this dry road. That the long drink I learned to take from from the river, was what would sustain me on my journey. That my journey, now, was the answer. That the answer would be different later. That the answer might be to jump off the horse and run back to the life I'd been living in the wood. That was a fine problem. But whatever you do, keep stepping. The truth told me that every step I'd taken was the answer to the prayer before it, to keep praying and to keep looking for the answers. That all answers began on the side of a dusty road, with a hand from a passing rider. Take the hand or do not take the hand. And now, here I go, to see what I might see.

I've been in the process, on the journey between here and there, awaiting the answer and seeing that the answer is always more than one absolute. Whichever way I turn, whichever way I decide to go is in fact the answer. If I stay, that is the answer. If I go, that is the answer.

I choose to go forward. I choose to believe that in a week's time, I will be arranging our food in our new farm pantry. In a week, I'll be unpacking my beautiful things and finding new ways of showing what I find amazing. In a week, I choose our farm.


Jacqueline said...

My life has been a tapestry of rich and royal hue
An everlasting vision of the everchanging view
A wondrous woven magic in bits of blue and gold
A tapestry to feel and see, impossible to hold

Once amid the soft silver sadness in the sky
There came a man of fortune, a drifter passing by
He wore a torn and tattered cloth around his leathered hide
And a coat of many colors, yellow-green on either side

He moved with some uncertainty, as if he didn't know
Just what he was there for, or where he ought to go
Once he reached for something golden hanging from a tree
And his hand came down empty

Soon within my tapestry along the rutted road
He sat down on a river rock and turned into a toad
It seemed that he had fallen into someone's wicked spell
And I wept to see him suffer, though I didn't know him well

As I watched in sorrow, there suddenly appeared
A figure gray and ghostly beneath a flowing beard
In times of deepest darkness, I've seen him dressed in black
Now my tapestry's unravelling; he's come to take me back
He's come to take me back

Couldn't help thinking of this Carol King song as I read your beautiful post.

Tracy said...

Ah, Katie... Choice are never easy. And often there is more than one path we can take. Most all things in life do come down to choice, don't they. Your choice of the farm has been your calling for a while. Sounds like you are learning to trust your voice. Always a good thing. ;o) Hoping all goes well with your move soon... And wishing you many, many happy years in your new home! :o) ((HUGS))