The Leap

lion on fireToday I’m thinking about that space in between. The space between what you have and what you want. I’m thinking about the effort and trust required to go from solid ground into thin air, with the belief that your leap will be met with footing that is not apparent until you step into nothingness.

The idea of nothingness lands heavy, like breath stuck in your chest, inviting fears that have been  neatly tucked away to reveal their shadowed face. A visit that leaves brief paralysis.

But that is not who you are and you know it, so you gather yourself, breathe, and call on the light. “Yes, you can do this,” it encourages. “You can be terrified, unsure and resistant, and still step away.”  And you can trust. Not from blind faith, but from something older and wiser that oversees such things, something that knows that the death of the old can be endured, and even celebrated given time.

But these fears  don’t go away with good thoughts and pretty words, because you are opening and vulnerable. In this place you deny, reach for food, entertainment, drugs or anything that will numb the knowledge of what you must do.

Your dreams encourage you to jump, painting radiant pictures of a future self, while a frightened part believes that it cannot, and will not rise to the task.   “Retreat,” it cries,  “into places where growth is not required.  No, no, not today please, maybe tomorrow.”

And so, night after night,  you go to bed with the dark privacy of your deepest fears, wishing things could magically change, or that someone else could save your life. But there is no one else.  When morning comes, you wake raw and exposed, knowing you can no longer live with the pain of staying still and small, because something inside has shifted, something you can no longer deny, numb or turn away.  And so you prepare, asking what must be taken and what must be left, but not with words, because the answer lives in the language of feelings and instinct.

You know that the only way out is through, but even as you prepare to leap, the dying self clings, screaming excuses in your ears. “Stay small, stay safe!” But your listening is all used up. So on that terrifying and celebrated day, you close your eyes, call on whatever forces may guide and protect you, and finally, both with and without courage, you step away from what was. And that very act, that willingness and broadness of heart, opens and delivers you.

Bones

eagle in BC

Most women get an urge for a new dress, a china cabinet or a different hair cut, but not me. I woke this morning with an overwhelming urge to gather bones.

I need to find and hold the white bleached bones of an animal in my hands –  not the fragile bones of a small animal, but large weighty bones, bones that hold the energy of transition that is both life and death. Today I woke knowing that I needed them.

I need to hold the wings of a bird to elevate and cleanse my spirit, allowing perspective as I transition into a new chapter of my life and deeper still, into the very essence of myself.

There is an urgency to this that must be satisfied, but the dry lands of La Pine and Christmas Valley are too far away.

I could go to a spiritual bookstore and buy feathers that were neatly beaded and wrapped in leather, but purchasing them wouldn’t satisfy my need. I have to walk and seek and ask and discover. Then these healing tools will have the power of the day and the medicine of the animal still intact.

That is what is on my mind today, bones and feathers and finding.

My whole body longs to hold these things in my hands, so I can complete something unspoken, but felt, something unfinished and reaching. Don’t ask me why, it just is.