Both Feet

Summer 2012 KC MD water lake 031Standing up to my thighs in water, blissed out on morning sunlight and cool river streams, it hit me. Which is good, because one thing I’ve learned – if it doesn’t hit me right between the eyes, I have a tendency not to see it at all. And I’ll STILL try to block it out even there, as long as I can, especially if it’s something that my li’l ol’ ego doesn’t really want to see… but this got through today, on a deeper level than ever before, and it was BEAUTIFUL.

What ‘this’, you may ask? The idea of being in with both feet. Yes, I’ve heard it before, I’ve read about it, I’ve written about it, I’ve said it, I’ve advised it, I’ve ignored it, and I’ve been pretty sure I was doing it – and yet, somehow, this morning, the idea of WHY came home in a whole new way.

It’s not just about being committed. That’s all well and good, definitely a great thing to do. But do I know WHY it’s a good thing to be committed? In my newly deepened opinion, here goes:

In this world, I only have two choices – to be half in or all in, one foot or two, ankle deep or three for a dime. If I have two feet OUT, I don’t think I’ll be here. Many of us, especially me, have spent the majority of our lives living with one foot in, afraid to go further, the water might be over our heads, there might be crabs and snakes and sea monsters, we might drown, we can’t swim, oh no… and guess what happens along that shoreline where we’re standing? The waves come crashing, higher and higher, one emotional crescendo after another, and we get beaten almost to death, until we’re exhausted, can’t take it anymore, closer and closer to pulling that other foot out as well.

I’ve experienced the physical version of this phenomenon over and over in my little havenSummer 2012 KC MD water lake 028 here, a corner of the world with the sun beating down, the trees at my back, Mother and the water at my feet, and that beautiful little stand of bamboo just over to the side, where it can whisper sweet nothings in my ear. Yes, dear, I dream of you, too.

Oh yes, I’ve experienced this. Taking my coffee and my little donated chair to the edge, I’ve sat there and then worried minute by minute that the waves would come in and destroy my papers, my books, all the treasures I bring to my special places. And yes, that has happened, more than once – always a worthy sacrifice, and yet leaving a little tenseness, a little reluctance to bring out the extra-special treasures, to sit so close to the water, to risk. To risk. To risk. So much to lose, it can seem…

This morning’s insight, standing firmly grounded in the sand, opening my arms and heart and eyes and soul to the sun above, coffee long forgotten (well, honestly, long drank), water to my thighs, tadpoles and little fish and bigger fish surrounding my legs and toes, nipping, nipping, nipping, searching for a hoped-for feast, keeping me alert, even in the depths where my eyes can no longer see in the mud that swirls and stirs as life passes by:

The further out I go – the deeper I immerse myself, allowing the experience of all around me, deeper, deeper, deeper, leaving the shore behind – yes, the middle of the elders’ river – the calmer the waves get. Out here, you don’t even notice them as they ripple past, at least not the small ones. When the bigger ones come, you simply ride them, letting them carry you, as resistance is futile – up and down, up and down, up and down. No worries about the books or papers – I left them behind, unnecessary baggage on a voyage into the unknown. I carry my wisdom with me, and that is enough. Reminding myself that the biggest gifts truly cannot be destroyed, no matter how big the waves may be.

You may be thinking, “Yes… and?” I realize I may be the last person to get this. And it’s about time. Yeah, my timing has been off – thanks, Charley, for pointing that out – but it’s getting better. And soon, it won’t matter anyway.

Come on in – the water’s fine. It will hold you, and help you float, and the waves will just pass on by.

Summer 2012 KC MD water lake 030

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(C) 2012 Mary Batson, FrontPorchRambles.com
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