I sat facing west on my front porch in the clean, cold air this morning as the sun began to rise over the houses behind me. The yellow light poured ever so slowly down the fingers of the bare young trees in the pocket park in front of me and along the angular tips of the shingled black rooftops of my neighbors’ homes. In the quiet it felt like a living essence was reaching out and touching everything with the new day, especially the motionless trees.
That mystical color and life in the light only lasts a few minutes before the sun breaks the horizon completely. Daybreak comes late on these winter days, but the Solstice has just passed, and now as this shortest of days begins, we climb ever so slowly back to earlier dawns and longer afternoons. I so look forward to this transition point, when I can sense the larger change coming, and my spirit also begins the climb up from some inner darkness.
It will take a month or two for this shift to become obvious, but for this morning it was yet another of those magical gifts; the not quite tangible realizations of the true miracle of being here at all as a sentient being, of the existence of something so much larger than my singular life running things, of all being perfect as I sat there on the porch.
For months I have wandered in a seeming desert of purpose, where life has felt very routine and unchallenging, but I am coming to realize that perhaps it is this kind of pause in the flow of being that is the most challenging of all.
I tend to look outside of myself for answers and feel frustrated, sometimes angry, when what has worked before is not adequate now. I am older, so time does not feel so abundant, so expendable. People and activities, places and routines begin to feel stifling in their limits.
The idea of the little RV and taking off on a ride to who-knows-where for who-knows-how-long becomes the life-saving thought. That is until I realize that the work being called for is within. Without that, I can’t manifest the courage to challenge myself with doing something so outside my box.
This afternoon chilling sleet flies in the wind, a tell-tale leading edge sign of the more intense snow storm in the western mountains. Both of the lovely friends with whom I had a celebratory pre-Christmas lunch the other day talked of the possibility of moving away. It seems change is in the air. I’ve been the one to stay rooted in one place for years and years, and now even I long to move, somewhere different, anywhere that is not this place.
“Where would you go?” my adult children ask me.
“I don’t know,” I reply. I don’t want to go far from them, but Colorado is no longer the anchoring place for me it once was. The ocean is calling again. Perhaps it is the ancient Inland Sea deep within the soil around my house reminding me of my love of water, calling in the silvery moonlight on nights when I look out my kitchen window.
For a moment I see sandy beaches and crashing waves and long walks by myself, or perhaps with my chubby little dog. The Universe urges me to laugh as it snaps me back to reality. Chippy hates to get his tiny knobby feet wet at all, even in warm summer puddles after a thunderstorm. I amend the dream.
Instead I imagine myself laden with whatever shell-treasures I have found on my morning walk. I see my bare feet stepping on worn, sun-bleached wooden steps, and climbing over the dunes to the shaded deck of my rented cottage. Maybe I’ll write a book there.
All the darkness that hides in the nooks and corners of my present house, stories of divorce and change and too much loss, lose their power when I think of the smell of the salty water. The constant ocean breeze whispers of the presence of God. There my little dog can toast himself on the warm deck, or dig a shallow nest in a pile of ocean sand.
Ahh, yes, on this shortest day of the year, this feels ever so much more manageable than that RV I’ve longed for for months on the far side of the fence at the edge of my subdivision. The number on the For Sale sign taped up by the man who lives there will at long last go uncalled by me. Imagination has moved me on in that yellow light seeping down the trees this morning.
He will have to sell it to someone else.