|View from the Morell Bridge at Dusk, Melbourne|
Through the open shutters that frame my bedroom window, I can see the white picket fence that separates our home from the street front, two flowerless bushy waratah trees and the red bricks and grey weatherboards of the converted warehouse apartments. It’s a typical grey Melbourne winter day. Soft sunlight filters through the silver skies. The cheerful chirps of unseen birds are abruptly replaced by silence as the rain begins to fall, softly and intermittently at first then growing into a heavy shower. I hear the patter as the rain drops hit the rosebushes behind the picket fence, the footpath, the road and the cars parked against the curb until the ducted heating kicks in billowing warm breezy air down from the high ceiling. It’s Sunday afternoon and in an act of kindness to myself, I am cocooned beneath the crinkled white cover of my doona nursing tiredness, stiff muscles and the stinging flare of a headache erupting from the back of my neck.
Two-thirds of winter has passed. “It’s such a cold winter,” I hear many people say.
“Really? It hasn’t really bothered me this year,” is my blase response, although I am mildly surprised that I am so okay with the winter cold after living in summer for 18 consecutive months. It really is cold, with only one day in June rising above 17 degrees celsius compared to last winter where there were around ten days. And on more than one occasion I have set off for Saturday morning boxing when it's been merely 2 degrees celsius. But I am preoccupied with things others than how cold it is. At first I was besotted with the changing colours of Autumn but now as I move throughout my days, it is the bare naked beauty of the trees that catch my breath. Leafless, the unique shape of every tree is clearly seen, the combination of every twig, branch and bough forming a natural work of art silhouetted against the silver sky by day or the moonlit midnight blue by night.
|Favourite trees, Fitzroy Gardens, Melbourne|
I have been back for six months and the biggest decision has not yet been made. I feel the tugging of urgency and there is the voice that constantly whispers, “Come on, there is work for us to do.” I feel like I am caught in this space between the old and the new, that nothing has really changed, that I am stuck, bogged, never to move forward along the path that beckons. In my most disheartened moments I sigh heavily and wonder if I will ever work it out.
For comfort, I turn to some of my favourite quotes.
Jeff Brown tells me, “It is so important to grant ourselves permission to wander as part of your spiritual journey. So often mischaracterized as lostness, there is a kind of immersion in the not knowing that is actually quite necessary if we are going to find our way home. So much information can come up when we are looking in no particular direction. By surrendering to the unknown, we create the space for a deeper knowing to emerge. In the heart of the not knowing, the paths that we're here to walk reveal themselves.”
|Raindrops on Rose in our garden|
Rumi tells me, “Don't worry so much about livelihood. Your livelihood will turn out as it should. Be constantly occupied instead with listening to God.”
At these words, I smile softly as I am reminded that everything will turn out okay as I know from past experience that it always has, and that these days I am constantly occupied with God, with seeing beauty in every day life.
Jessica Bahr Moats says, "Sometimes when I’m in the ebb, I anxiously wonder how far I have to recede before I can start to flow again. Then it occurs to me, ebb isn’t the absence of flow, it’s just flow in a different direction. It is flowing AWAY- the flow of ebb! Can we trust flowing away as much as flowing towards? The tide retreats to give the shore a break and to give it a chance to concretize its new form before the next wave flows in to transform it.”
A-ha. I’m not stuck and I’m not going backwards, I’m just flowing inwards.
I’ve come to think of this stage of my life as chrysalising. From the outside, there is little movement or change but unseen within the chrysalis, growth and transformation is occurring. It could take weeks, months or even years for the transformation to complete (although I would prefer weeks or months rather than years) but it is taking place. I am doing all the necessary work to excavate my purpose. I am unraveling and letting go of what not longer serves me including the grief and sadness stored in my body for so many years. Patiently, I sit and face my biggest opponent, fear, and we are slowly becoming friends. I ebb and flow to my own rhythm. I sit still when stillness is called for and I move when the urge to move is there but mostly I stay still, not trying to run from change or force the uncharted path in the wrong direction. And everyday I say thank you, to be here now, in this place, in time and space, filled with unbound opportunity and wonder.
“At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want,” said Lao Tzu
I smile. Yes, yes, I probably do although I don’t want to admit that just yet.
The birds start chirping again and as I look out through the open shutters the rain has paused and the damp glossy leaves of one of the Waratah trees is glistening in the late afternoon sunshine. I feel like the earth is smiling. Content and snug exactly where I am in my homely cocoon, I read more Rumi, “Be patient where you sit in the dark. The dawn is coming." Yes, yes it is.
|Double Rainbow over warehouse and apartments Richmond July 2012.|