I was recently in Vancouver, BC. And there are parts of the city, that for lots of reasons, are less than beautiful at first glance. There is a particular street that has several factors working against it. So, I’d be justified in saying it’s not beautiful. It also tends to smell a little like a chicken rendering plant from time to time. The point is, I am a bit more challenged to find what’s good about it, than in much of the rest of the city. Until, the sun comes from behind the street, lights up the city skyline and reaches all the way to this fence. All the way to these delicate flowers and fills them with light. Which I wouldn’t have seen, if I weren’t looking. If I weren’t hoping to find something beautiful. Thing is, I had to let go of the idea of ugly before I could find the other. Sometimes, maybe it’s just letting go of an idea… maybe it’s just that simple.
A new day began this morning. Back on the treadmill and this time I pushed through the hurty part to the other side. Past what I set out to do when I got there. Thing is, I get up every morning and I have these expectations. Of moving forward. How ever little… always forward. Progressively. I feel like once I’ve seen a certain truth, passed a certain point, that there should be no going backward from there. But that doesn’t seem to be my experience. Not this time anyway. I take two steps forward. Three back. One forward. Two more forward. One back. Like that game of Chutes and Ladders. I have those days… where my steps are sure and solid. The path is clear. And I have Chute days… where I second guess and lose my balance. And I feel like I have to start over. I’d like a game called Ladders and Ladders. I wouldn’t mind the climb as long as I kept going higher. I need a ladder day. Today.
If you’ve ever been to the Smoky Mountains there is a long steep hill to get to this place where you can see four states and this breathtaking panoramic, right? Did I mention the hill? leg-burning, hold your breath when you pass people-kind. And every once in a while they put a bench. But you don’t stop because you won’t start again. The metaphor should go like this: The view is worth it… keep going… don’t stop. But that’s stupid. Truth is, I’d like a bench about now. Just a bench! and a few minutes.
I try really hard to treat people like I want to be treated. (yes, sometimes I fail. I do fail.) It took me a long time to see that I am included in that category. And I am still learning what that means. But today I actually heard myself tell someone close to me that she should be as kind to herself as she is to others. I don’t mean spa-day, although maybe. I mean being kind. being gentle with ourselves when we’re hurting. being patient. setting boundaries where others are concerned. and being careful to walk with people who constantly surprise us by doing the same thing.
I hear about people dancing through life, and read about people being carried by the wind… free. And I wonder if I am doing it wrong. The words that describe my life are more like bumping into and tripping over. Stumbling upon. And cleaning up after I trip and stumble. It’s just messy. And I don’t know if I will ever glide gracefully. Truth is, I can get kind of discouraged now and again. And I let myself feel it. for a while. I just try really hard not to stay there. Yesterday, while in the dentist chair for three hours, I realized I had so many places I could re-visit that brought me peace. Times that gave me hope. There was a sweetness to those times. I am thankful for every one of them. Because they take me forward. And I decided that the wind is usually in my face or blowing the car door closed on my leg. That I do a lot more tripping than dancing. And I am so glad. I learn a lot from those times.