Do you know of this children's book? It's one of my favorites and ranks up there with classics like Miss Rumphius and The Giving Tree. It's about a little boy growing up in the mountains of Tibet. He dreams of travel, of different lands, of adventure. Alas, he grows up to be a woodcutter, gets married, has children, and never leaves his valley. He grows old, and one day, he dies. The Great Spirit then gives him a choice about how he should like to continue. His soul chooses the Milky Way, and then chooses our Sun and Earth. He then chooses to be a human, etc. The story progresses as the little boy's soul makes choices on his next life lived until he comes right back to the place he just left. Full circle.
We are all broken in variable cases of severity. Oftentimes, over the course of my life, I've grieved over situations that seemed incomprehensible: abandonment by my father, infertility, an on-going struggle with worry and anxiety. Sometimes, I've wondered why my soul was plopped down in the dirty South when I had such wanderlust for other lands and experiences. Why could I not make peace with my story, my path?
It is a constant battle. We spent a few days last week in sublime, magical New Mexico. Something about that place speaks to my soul deeply. Seemingly, I belong there. I could live in an adobe cabin or a yurt in a high desert mesa valley. I could hunt for rocks and explore trails and get lost and kiss the sky and take pictures of the sunset and sunrise every single day. I could get use to the quiet and the coyotes howling in the night and the call of ravens on precarious rocks atop mountains. I could stargaze and find myself befuddled by the sight of the Milky Way, completely lost and entirely found. How could all this be? How could it not be?
Instead, my magic brews in the ordinary.
Yes, I protect my dreamy far-flung soul like a mama bear. Never do I not want to be amazed. Never do I not want to do my humble part to share the profound beauty of this existence. This is, afterall, my one wild and precious life! I do not take it lightly! But I know enough to realize it serves me not to turn that awe and curiosity and wonder into anything that resembles bitterness or resentment. And oh is it ever a fine line to walk.
I am here for a reason. Maybe it isn't for the climate or the geography. The sublime is inconspicuous. Here, it hides its face in the limestone riverbeds, the blazing mulhy grass seed heads, and in the bursting goldenrod blooms. It comes to me in real life supportive connections with kind, smart, creative souls I have the pleasure to surround myself with each and every day. It booms with exuberance and passion as it pours out of my daughter's every cell of being. Without here, none of it would grace my days. I am so grateful for this ordinary life. Of small town grocery stores and librarians who know you by name. Of flat land and gentle rolling hills, of our little blue cottage and slow to realize gardening attempts. Of the priviledge to currate a childhood worth savoring. Of a life abundant in love and simple gifts.
There is meaning in all of it and I know my story will make perfect sense one day.