Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Tuesday Reflection: The Great Wall of Corn

Recently, my husband and I drove out into the country. The day was warm, and we felt free. We had a destination, but it didn't matter how long it took to get there. Driving in his Mazda Miatta or the "little car," as we fondly call it, we were dwarfed by the cornfields. Great Walls of Corn towered over us. The culmination of summer's growth. Thick and tall. Imposing, impressive, and almost impermeable. Worthy of a travel advisory, "Beware of reduced sight lines at country intersections." 

Occasionally, we caught a quick glimpse of a view beyond the immediate rows of corn, but for the most part we only saw what was right in front of us. We had the Wisconsin platte book with us, guiding us from county road to county road, but rarely was there any other landmark to tell us where we were. We just relaxed into the journey. 

The Need to Relax
I haven't been doing such a good job lately of relaxing into the journey. Oh, there are moments, such as that weekend drive or when I am sitting on the front porch lost in a book, abandoning all sense of time passing, or when I am at my desk writing and studying. Or when I remind myself to close my eyes and meditate for 20 minutes. 

Most of the time, however, I want clarity. 

I want to be able to see what might be coming when I stop at an intersection. I want to know what's beyond the Great Wall of Corn. 

I want my summer to end in that same kind of fruitfulness. 

I want the harvest. 

From Spare to Bare
Cynthia the Stager's instructions were quite clear. Move back the living room chairs closer to the bookshelves. Take out the bookshelf full of cookbooks in the kitchen. A piece of furniture here and another one there. Oh, and repaint the den. Repaint the kitchen. 

I liked her decisiveness. She was nonthreatening and collaborative, but assertive.  I was surprised she didn't make more suggestions and pleased when she announced how staged the house already appears. 

That's all good, but now we are living in what feels to me like a bare house. Not spare--I've gotten used to spare-- but bare. 
I told my husband I didn't know how long I could live like this. (A bit of drama never hurts!)

And then I pulled back. Of course, I can live like this, for as long as it takes. I just don't want to!

What is hard is not that our home no longer feels like our home, it is the suffering I cause myself by holding onto my expectations and my attachments of what is supposed to happen and when it is supposed to happen.

More Lessons to Learn
During this in between time, I've been exploring my ability to wait and be patient and have been trying to grow those qualities within myself. I think I have grown.  

Clearly, however, it is time to get out the heavy machinery and dig deeper. It is time to uncover what else I need to explore. 

Several times these recent days I have sat quietly, reverently and asked Spirit to help me identify what else I am to learn. Unfortunately, when I open my eyes after meditation time, no neon sign floats down from the living room ceiling with the magic word blazing.  

And then.... One morning when I was waiting for a spiritual directee to arrive, I started thinking about how it takes trust to commit to the spiritual direction process. The directee trusts that what is said will be received with an open and wise heart, and the director trusts that what the directee needs will be offered. Both trust that Spirit will be present.  

Opening to Trust
Trust. A magic word. Do I truly trust that eventually we will be able to move forward in our plan? Do I trust that when the time is right the buyers will appear and we will sell our house and then find a new home just right for us? 

What happens if we do all this and we still don't sell the house?

Well, we'll do something else. We'll figure it out. We just need to trust that it will happen. 

My focus on patience and active waiting has been comforting, for it means I can do something. The doing, which includes all the staging efforts and the constant attending to the daily appearance of our house, is limited, however, if underneath I don't deepen my trust that all will be well. I need to broaden my trust to include a quiet awareness that I am not alone and instead, am a being in partnership with something far bigger than myself. 

Trust, it seems to me, is a form of letting go. 

Therefore, when we come to an intersection where the sight lines are limited and where it is difficult to see around and through and over, we do what we can and then we trust and move forward. 

An Invitation
Dear Reader, no doubt you are sick of reading about our house being for sale, but I hope you translate our current challenge to whatever transitions or stalemate is showing up in your life. I hope my ongoing attempt to deepen my spirituality encourages you to examine your own struggles and to harvest trust in your own life. I welcome your comments.     

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