Six months ago, by the light of the bright moon, my friend John and I dug in earth and planted a daffodil with a wish wrapped around it. He had come to the house, after hours of writing his law school essays. He was frustrated and blocked, momentarily out touch in with his own amazing potential–the big dream of his life loomed huge, a mountain insurmountable. So he came to take a break and I dragged him out to plant daffodils.
Max and I wrote our wishes for John on pieces of paper and he too played along. We went outside and planted them, and then having declared what we hoped for him we all gave them over to the earth and recognized that like the daffodils–they too would bloom in time. I told him that now that the Earth was holding those big dreams he could let go of the “biggness” and focus on what was immediately in front of him. I think he thought me a bit crazy (as he often does when I drag him out to do these things) but he listens to me because I cook him dinner and tell him I am old enough to be his mother.
We watched the Caps game and cleaned the house. We stayed up late talking and even spent some time trying to break open the stickiness he was feeling around his essays. Somehow the weight of that essay–the need for it to be amazing as though it was a magic key that would unlock his dreams (or forever keep them hidden away)– made it so big. But I told him if he could just let go of all the meaning he was putting on the essay and write he would have no trouble. He is a gifted writer.
The next morning after Max’s hockey game John went home to write one of the best essays in the history of law school applications. I am sure it would have happened anyway but some how letting go of the big huge massive vision of the change we wanted, trusting it to the Earth or to God or to whoever makes sense to trust, made it easier to take the immediate steps. Its a lesson I keep forgetting but remember frequently with joy.
This weekend I have a heart both heavy and full. Yesterday, 6 months to the day when John planted his daffodil, he left the city where we became friends and headed out to begin his new life at his first choice law school, a top ranked school which not only accepted him with open arms but offered him cash as well. I am so incredibly proud of him for all the tiny steps and big leaps he took to walk the path toward his dream and I miss him because he was in every way a daily inspiration.
For so long now I have been overwhelmed by a very big dream myself, a dream of becoming a healer. On a good day it feels still just out of reach and on a bad day I can think that I am bat-shit crazy. To even get to the place where I thought I might be able to do this has required so much transformation and change and release of fear. All fall, I planted hundreds of daffodils myself, each one of them a prayer that I asked Mother Earth to hold. The flowers are blooming now and for me well its time to get cracking.
All spring, I have been consumed by hundreds of small steps that may just open up the path for me. Truth is I have been walking it already but now after months of slow wandering, it feels as though I am sprinting down it at lightning speed. There are thousands of tiny (but huge!) things that need to be done to pull me a long and I run the risk of getting paralyzed by each of them. We are renting our basement and I need to find the right tenant, line up the contractors to do work on the house (so said tenant can come in). Line up my financing, apply for scholarships, restructure my current paid work, figure out new ways to plug the gap between what I will be making part-time and our current expenses. And yes, I am doing all this while trying to keep our life humming along. To quote a dear friend of mine, I feel like I am balancing a refrigerator on my head. I could at any moment just give up and let the whole thing come crashing down, declaring that it is too damn hard.
But instead I keep remembering what I told John that chilly October night. Give the big dream over to the Earth and let her hold it and just do what is in front of you–right now. Don’t give it too much importance. Just walk, tiny step by tiny step and trust that if you do that, one day, that dream will blossom.