And I said, “Oh, I know! My work is one of joy, kindness, something to live up to.” I said I also cradle a song in my heart. In time it is morning and I look out my window. I prepare for a marvelous leap. (jaqui eicher, 2014)
Most of the time, I don’t think of this “leap” as marvelous, unless it’s used as an adverb and followed by the word ‘frightening’ or ‘awful’. Most days, I wonder what I have done with my “one wild and precious life” as Mary Oliver says. But on the days that count, I know that something in me awakened and has driven me toward this move. I have become mindful of my hours and days; how I spend my time matters much more to me than it ever did before. In this way, I have taken a marvelous leap toward mindfulness.
So far the journey has been painful and filled with such a powerful lack of confidence that each step further, each day, leaves me with nearly as many questions as answers. Only the more confident voices of my friends and neighbors have grounded me with good reflections and reminders of my better qualities. I’ve covered new territory (that which I didn’t know existed); wild and dangerous terrain. But I’m still alive! And still there exists in me the will to wake each day and take the next step.
Lately I have wondered when this “marvelous leap” will end. I’ve got to land sometime, right? I’ve considered turning back on the worst days, but instead I take the next step forward, toward the distant unknown. William Stafford wrote: “it is legitimate to crawl after the wings are broken.” So some days I crawl toward the unknown.
Soon I will need some greater force to pull me because I will be spent and have no energy left with which to move–either forward or back.
My path seems to be leading me toward teaching English overseas and I am happy to finally see something on the horizon besides a bank of fog. Recently I heard Sinead O’Connor’s song, “I Am Enough For Myself” and though I’ve never before believed this, I’m learning that it might be true and I may have to sit with this for a time.