I have been very taken, lately, with how many people say (especially after this winter) that they have to "get away." This usually means taking a trip, going to an all-inclusive, traveling away from home for some reason. One day last week a question
suddenly arose very brightly within me: when did it begin, this idea that home is the place you have to leave if you are to be refreshed? If you need a break? What is this need to get away? And what are we getting away from?
My own journey is taking
me in the opposite direction. I am more in the way of Kabir, who said:
"I felt in need of a great pilgrimage
so I sat still for three days
and God came
Many reading this will know that I intend to take a writing sabbatical for a year beginning in July, 2014. Almost everyone I say this to says "where are you going? What program will you take?" I have been astounded
by this because the most restorative plan I can conceive of is to stay here at SoulWinds; to have time to wander the forests and trails, swim and kayak the river, write and draw and photograph RIGHT HERE. It's the inner journey that is calling me now, not
the outer one, not any more, though I was a famous traveler for most of my work life.
I am at the time of life when the words of Lao Tsu ring deeply within me:
There is no need to run outside
for better seeing;
Rather, abide at the center of your being; for the more you leave it,
the less you learn. Search again your heart and see; the way to do is to be."
I am deeply aware, and glad that I am aware, of slowly diminishing physical powers. This winter has shown it to me vividly. Yet...I am surprisingly not disturbed by that as much as I am opening inside to a new and natural process, so it feels: as my
physical capacity is clearly diminishing, my hunger and thirst for inner presence, moments of luminous earth-love, and gratitude for my life are surely growing. Surrender to what is, over and over, is the key to this light and peace.
How is "going in" really "going out?" The more I stay present where I am, the more I am able to be present for everyone in my life. And the more I plan and schedule and urgently go from one crowded commitment to another, the less space there
is for Presence to what is. Urgency is my enemy; Presence is not only my friend, but it is the only work I have still to manifest in this lifetime. It is the work that will help others more than my frantic, overscheduled, running self can ever conceive