delight

In meditation yesterday morning, I received an invitation (yet again) to plant a seed of intention into the soil of my heart, then to trust that spirit (godde, the universe, love) would nurture it, outside of my mere willing it to be so, growing it into something fragrant, or fruitful, or shade bearing, or… Of course, this is the time of the year when such seeds, hidden in the earth’s soil, are doing the same– burrowing and receiving. This day, the temperatures here are such that the recent freeze is melting. I am sitting on my porch, listening to it tap and ping, drip, and trickle, and run. Quenching those buried expectancies.

I wonder if it can happen that way with a heart too, that one day it feels frozen and the next day, something suddenly shifts and you hear music where there was silence.

I hope that you are hearing music on this day.

Often, intention setting is an abstract thing for me, and at the suggestion, I feel like I am grasping for something tangible in the midst of swirling mists.  Whether it was goal setting as a young adult, intended to set me on a specific path, or the ‘tell me what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life’ as an older adult facing the empty pages of the next chapter of my life, I often don’t seem to grasp an answer. Is it that I don’t know who I am?

Or is it that who I am is boundless?

Sitting afterwards (after the meditation, that is) with my journal, I thought to explore what the pen might reveal that I couldn’t see in all that ethereal fog. It played around with the word Freedom, trying to pinpoint this longing in me to feel released from a life-long nagging feeling of never quite measuring up—being enough, doing enough, loving enough—the fear of unworthiness, I suppose. Earning love.

I’m not sure if you caught up with the news that my mother died this fall, her parting message to me a reminder that I had never quite earned her love. (so yes, this has been with me a long time). The season of advent was one of attending to that tender place within me, listening to my body’s wisdom to simply BE with it, to dwell quietly in that darkness, to slow down and be still/tender with it. The natural world was my teacher during that season, too, as I followed the teachings of beaver and turtle, muskrat and bee.

Back in my journal, yesterday morning, my pen led me from freedom to words that spoke of my desire to simply be. Me. As I am. With permission to engage joyfully in life, in the things that bring me contentment, peace, beauty, without fear of judgment or rejection. Somewhere in that swirling mist of intangibles the word Delight emerged. That is I new one for me and I wondered what that might look like. To gaze upon life with delight.

Perhaps it seems a subtle shift from the abstraction of Freedom to the nebulous Delight, or from Beauty (which has been an in-forming word for me for a long while now, with its invitation to seek and to see it in All) to Delight, but in other ways it feels as marked as the shift from last week’s subfreezing temperatures to today’s 50 degree thaw. There is a lightness around my heart when the word, Delight, settles there. A sparkle, like sunlight on melting snow, which is not there when the word Freedom or even Beauty alone holds that space.

Today, during my morning practice, I pondered whether the word should be tempered a bit, with Compassion, for instance. If it is wrong somehow to take delight in life when others are suffering. If it is wrong to deny that some aspects of human existence are not delightful at all.

Our dear Mary Oliver perhaps offers a prescription for this too, in the line right before that elusive question about what one plans to do with one’s wild and precious life, she asks, ‘Tell me, what else should I have done on a day like today…. than to be idle and blessed’, observing life through eyes of wonder– a fitting description of delight.

I shall try to hold onto this promise, not let it slip like mist through my fingers, but let it be tangible as a seed in the palm of my hand. Real. Reality. Let it grow into Joy from that seed in my hand, that seed in my heart, now visible and glowing, after the thawing of winter’s freeze around it.

I pray that you find moments of delight this day, and throughout the remaining blessed days of your wild and precious life, my dear ones, for it is precious indeed.

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