Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Letting go... and then... {Embracing}


We had the most beautiful afternoon yesterday. The sun was a narcissus rather than a daffodil. The sky, white as an eggshell or the top of the milk in a glass bottle.
We spent the whole afternoon outside at the park and then exploring the basements and servants quarters of a local national trust property.
And you know, I didn't feel the concern that I usually do, the nagging feeling that we are somehow not "caught up" with all the conventional schooling plans and ideals that many of the girls friends seem to accomplish through their busy classroom days.
It was liberating to feel the sun and know, know deep, that each of the hairs on our head are numbered by the bringer of the sunlight Himself.

In the evening I read this post.

Words clamoured and rustled through the tangle of sticks that so often Dam the channels between my deep soul knowledge and my worrisome mind.
One by one, the bindweed of broken debris and bark loosened and the waters, clear and fluid, flowed through.

"There is only one thing needful"

One Thing.

I have always loved the story of Mary and Martha. Instinctively, I suppose, I realise that it speaks to me and my life in a way that is often pertinent and necessary.
It is a whittling down of many superfluous "necessaries" to one single, essential necessary.
How I need to hear this message daily.

All moments are gifts. Providential gifts engorged with possibilities. Gifts of raw material with which we may either create or destroy the true and essential in the world around us and within us.
And in fact, all people who are set upon our pathway in this life with us, however difficult or despondent they may be, are gifts too :)
All situations are opportunities to choose the "one thing" needful among the many unnecessary things.
Things that clutter, confuse and ultimately lay down barriers... or dams.

Providentially , each day, each moment, through the quiet communion between the soul and it's creator we can discover the "one thing" out of many that is needful to our life and the life of those around us.

We will always have choices. These days the choices are more abundant than ever. Yet to accomplish one thing we have to put away and put down the others that clamour loudly for our attention.
For each person this "one thing" looks different.
It could even mean being gentle with ourselves and accepting our limitations gracefully.
It could simply mean taking time to oneself to quietly behold the silence.
It could mean rest.
It could mean making a meal for someone, writing a letter or visiting a lonely soul.
It could mean creating beauty in your own little corner of the world.
It could mean planting seeds.
Taking a walk.
Lighting a candle.
It could mean putting down the ideas and conventions we are conditioned to accept and instead embracing our own unique path.
It could mean abandoning fears and discarding doubt so that we can mould our passion into a coherent and meaningful form.
Then exuberantly share it with others.
It could mean taking a little time away from the hustle and bustle of the world.
It could mean buying that new book.
Or buying nothing at all.
Giving away the dust collecting clutter.
It could mean throwing yourself "out there",beautifully, honestly, vulnerably,unflinchingly.

And so the "letting go" is a moment by moment state of being.
To take full and complete drafts of the life that calls us, sings to us, leads us to our "home. The life that brims abundance for others, plants a tree, waters it and lets it flourish into a dwelling place for birds, a shelter for animals and a source of food and oxygen for all.
To take full quenching gasps of that life, we must be able to put all else down. In faith. In complete faith.

As e.e cummings said... - "Let all go dear,
so comes Love.

This is the putting away of possessions, worries, superficial ambitions, status and false dreams that Jesus spoke of.
It was not, I believe, asceticism for asceticism sake that he meant. It was the throwing off of unnecessary weights and baggage's that prevent us from truly beholding, the fullness that life has to offer.

"I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."
John 10:10

A wonderful new homeschooling buddy of mine says that when people ask her "but how are you going to teach all the curriculum subjects when your child reaches high school?" she simply (and victoriously in my humble opinion) answers... "Well this is the grand plan see.... I'm not going to!"

We cannot cover every base. We cannot hold onto every pretty flower that grows along the embankment. If we did, there would be none left :)

As J.M Barrie said "Life is a long lesson in humility."
It is also a long lesson in letting go. For we cannot hold on. Neither should we.
Only hands that remain open, vulnerable, revealing their tender palms, can ever truly give and receive life's real gifts.

So at the root, at the beginning, at the germination point and the renewal of each moment, I can come, kneel, as Mary did and discover what that "one thing" needful is.

"Every morning
I lay out the pieces of my life
on your altar
and watch for fire to descend."
Psalm 5

And the fire that burns away dross will replenish the translucent newness of each moment. And I will find the green emerge, fresh and tender between my toes.
Day after day.
Moment after moment.
"One thing" after another.

Transfiguring the ordinary, everyday. Infusing, something of God into the hours and the fragility of clay formed bodies.

Immersing hearts in the light of their true purpose. To Love, to take joy, to give and to be!

Directing channels of energy into aqueducts that irrigate soft soil. Trembling soil.
The soil from which we grow a life that counts.

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  1. Lovely post :). What you have described is how I see the dance of life, balancing between fear--or holding on so tightly (a human condition no doubt) and letting go. As much as fear brings me angst, it also gives me the gift of knowing what letting go feels like, freedom and joy :).

  2. this was lovely. your children are blessed to have you for a mom and a teacher...

  3. And so it’s Sunday and I know you posted this on Wednesday. But I couldn’t stop reading the thank you’s from Monday. But I’m here now :)

    And this reminder of Martha and Mary and what I need to set aside and what I need to bring to his feet – along with me. This got to me – “This is the putting away of possessions, worries, superficial ambitions, status and false dreams” – I have few possessions so that’s not the thing, worries, I like those – have a whole closet full – so maybe those, ambitions, no – he’s my main ambition, false dreams – no, I think I’ve out grown most of them -so it must be the worries – I have to lay them down – (hey, maybe blog fodder hmmmmm….

    Thank you, I really enjoyed reading this.

    God Bless and Keep you and all of yours


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