The birdfeeder is empty, the suet gone. Yesterday morning, a feathered friend—a woodpecker or chickadee, I can’t remember which—perched itself on the suet feeder, looking (to my eyes) forlorn. I feel as if I’m letting the birds down. I know they’ll find food elsewhere; still, I feel like I need to hold up my end of the bargain: I feed you, you visit my feeders hanging from the birch tree. There’s been no handshake (no hand-to-feather-shake) of any kind but the arrangement seems to work. So long as I keep up my end of things. The responsibility I feel is real.
My friend tells me about cyclamen. It’s the first I’ve heard of this flowering plant. Days later, without looking for it, I find cyclamen at the entrance of the grocery store, a shelf full of white-red-pink-purple blooms. I pick a plant, bright pink—though not fuchsia—a just-right-deep-pink—to bring home with me. The Universe wants me to have this, yes? I decide yes. When I get home, I look up cyclamen, read that it’s especially popular during the winter months when you can find it on grocery store shelves in full bloom. Apparently.
I plan too much for the week but take full responsibility for everything planned. I take lots of deep breaths, write lots of to-do lists, drink lots of water, try to sleep. The sleep is choppy, interrupted, hard won. I don’t power through the week but I do move through. What other way is there? I go for walks, I practice a tiny bit of yoga and teach a few classes, I cook meals for my three. I spend time with a group of women in a shared space of quiet and words. It’s almost too much, but it’s also really good and, in the end, just about right.
I watch how I respond to people and situations. I listen for cues from my body. I know that I overwhelm more easily than some. I hold the overwhelm tenderly, hold myself tenderly. Harsh words and criticism only increase the heavy load when what I want is lightness, when what I want is fluidity and ease. I can’t make ease happen, can’t force it to magically appear, but I can create the conditions for it. I can call it in, make room for it. I can pull up an extra chair, pour an extra cup of tea, so to speak. I can say, Here, have a seat, tell me what’s on your heart today.
Responsibility, blooms, ease.
I see a thread.
I wonder what I might weave.
What we speak becomes the house we live in.
~ Hafiz ~