There is ice on the deck, the magnolia blooms are turning brown, spring then back to winter, the weather app telling me it will be spring again this afternoon. We’ll see. Back and forth, a game, a folly. I wonder how my neighbors’ magnolia feels, wonder if it hurts or aches, doubt its enthusiasm for this game. I wonder, too, how the peach and nectarine trees of the local fruit farmer are faring, wonder if they’ve browned, wonder if there will be peaches and nectarines, wonder if they ache.
This back and forth, this bouncing, this straddling of seasons, can be tiresome. One day the windows wide open, two days later a fire that flickers and warms. It’s too late for the magnolias, though I hope the nectarine and peach trees hang on.
I sense a parallel within myself, bouncing, straddling, feeling a pull while also feeling a block, writing the words but also not writing the words, enthusiasm and focus shifting erratically. It’s as if I have one foot in the stream and one foot on the bank. Part of me (the logical, grownup, world-informed part) tells me to choose one or the other, to shit or get off the pot, if you’ll excuse the crass idiom. But I start considering that maybe the straddling is part of who I am (the feeling, grownup, life-informed part). Maybe my strength lies in here and there, in the pieces and the whole. Maybe it’s less steady to stand with one foot planted on the bank while the other foot’s toes wiggle for position among the stones and rushing water, but maybe my way is not everyone else’s way.
We are told stories, some of them true and helpful, some of them not. I sift my way, letting silty untruths fall between the fingers of my hands that have scooped from the life stream. I watch the untruths fall back into the stream to be carried away, wait to see what remains, what is too substantive to fall through the fingers, what wants to stay, what wants to be seen and held, what wishes to be carried forward.
I straddle seasons and self. Am I in, or am I out?
Maybe I’m both.
You have to go to the very edge again and again. That’s how eventually you go beyond.
~ Dharma Mittra ~
P.S. Join me for a short meditation + playful writing/sharing this month. Details right here.