I took this picture of Max and one of his best friends on Friday evening at his elementary school’s International Night. Last year we were so disappointed that he didn’t get into the Spanish immersion elementary where all his friends go. I couldn’t imagine the year Max would have at this school, full of strangers and I grieved the loss of my vision of his perfect kindergarden year. But it has turned out marvelously. At school Max runs with a group of Ethiopian and Eritrian girls who he loves and adores. He has learned all sorts of things about East Africa that I could never have taught him. He has grown in confidence, has become a leader and has stretched himself in ways he may not have had he gone to the school where he would have been comfortable and surrounded by his same old gang–a gang where he is the youngest, a gang where he is the follower. I asked him recently if he still wanted me to put in for a transfer to the Spanish immersion school for next year just in case a slot opens up. “Nah…” he said as he rushed off to find his gang. Our experience with this school reminds me of that old saying, “I got nothing that I wanted but everything I needed.”
It seems as though these days I am a constant witness to this kind of magic in the universe. Life seems to unfold exactly as it should no matter how I try to push, pull, mold and force it into how I want it to be. And frankly I am glad, because the story of our life is being painted with a pallet far richer than I have ever dared to use. If you had asked me a year ago to close my eyes and make a wish for what I wanted my life to look like in twelve months, I would have never have been so bold to wish for what we have now. I am glad it didn’t play out according to my rather shallow and uninspired plans.
Even with my wild storyteller’s imagination, I could not have predicted the crazy and wonderful way this last year has unfolded. I could not have dreamed the characters who have come into our life and I could not have have imagined all the amazing ways that they have given to us or how they have called us to stretch ourselves and give to them. I could never have predicted how in this give and take and daily back and forth, I rediscover my better self over and over again.
When I think back on it the only word that comes to mind is magic.
This week I had a particularly magical few days. Problems, serious problems presented themselves in many areas of my life. Before I had even a minute to despair, someone who didn’t even know what was happening came through with a solution. I felt cradled and as though someone was trying to whisper to me, “Relax and rest–its all taken care of…”
Talk about learning to trust the universe…
I have spoken often, too often perhaps, about my divorce here on this blog. As I have said over and over I would never have chosen this path for myself or my son. Even on the other side, where life is good, beautiful, lush and rich, I would not recommend it to anyone.
But I can’t stop talking about because it is for me the ultimate lesson in trust. I have learned that no matter what life throws at me, I am going to be OK. That while I may experience grief, sadness or heartache that there will be growth, and renewal and solutions too. That life will deliver not only the comforts I need to survive but abundance that will make yesterday pale in comparison.
And so I have learned to let go of trying to direct my life. Frankly I have come to realize that even if I was allowed to make all the creative decisions in my life it wouldn’t be for the best.
As someone who has always been an active participant in her life, someone who is a doer, active and busy, I have struggled with what this means. Alot. Does accepting the fact that it is all unfolding as it should mean I just give up? That I don’t set goals? That I don’t work hard? Does this mean that I sit and wait for the universe to deliver a perfect life to my door?
I don’t think so.
This week as solutions to tough issues fell into our lap it started to click for me.
Its is simply a matter of trust. It is the deep trust that it will be OK that will allow me to run chasing my dreams without keeping myself up at night wondering, “What if?”. I can set forth on wonderful adventures without a compass knowing that if I get lost I will be found again. I am freed up from having to lay out Plans B, C and D–I know they are already formulated somewhere else and instead I can devote my energy to follow the path directly in front of me–to keep my heart focused on the moment instead of solving future problems. This trust is the deep and inner belief that when I run into a wall, a problem or a dead end, something will appear from a place unknown to help me. If I fall in the ocean I will swim like a fish, if I fall off a cliff I will grow wings. That it will all happen exactly as it should. So I should just jump in and live…
If I needed greater proof, yesterday, I wandered around my favorite bookstore, the Meeting Point at Tai Sophia. After one particularly magical experience there I like to go and whisper, “Tell me what I need to know.” In the wandering, I found this–this perfect quote by Rumi. It is an anthem of my life, of my discovery of magic, the lesson of my life to this point wrapped up in 20 perfect words.
“Birds make great sky-circles of their freedom. How do they learn it? They fall and falling, they’re given wings.”