The books arrived this week, in a brown box that sat on the coffee table. I took a deep breath as I opened them and spread them out, fingered the crisp binding, the smooth unblemished pages, held them to my nose. So many tiny choices over so many days, months, year have led to this pile of books on my table, the books that tell me that no, I am not making this up. I am, in fact, going to school on Tuesday.
Netter’s Clinical Anatomy, the IChing, The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Medicine. These are classics–books that connect me with learning that is old, very old and rooted in intuition and science both. I am walking in a long line–following wise ones ahead of me.
I can exhale. And lean into this. I can do this.
I promised her that I would do this, before she died, I promised her I would live and wouldn’t be afraid. That I would keep moving forward, keep moving into the next adventure, keep walking onto the path before me. And even now I am not entirely sure what comes next. Don’t know where this next step will really take me. So instead I flip through textbooks and then pile them up, then spread them out on the table again.
This summer has been an up and down one, filled with thousands of tiny decisions and many big lifts and a hundred and one changes to our life, all in service of moving forward on this path. I had no idea how to get there, still don’t really know what I am going to do next, so I have been focused on putting one foot in front of the other–a to-do list that has unfurled like a scroll, each step revealing itself after the next. I have so many stories swirling round my head, so many half-written pieces that have had to wait–will still have to wait while I have moved urgently forward with my list of tiny tasks–ordinary simple engines.
Even now I am furiously packing, more tiny to-dos propelling me forward, always forward, preparing for a long weekend in the woods, to finally slow down and rest in the company of my tribe around a campfire and sing and let it all sink in before I step through the gate. One last mad dash to the quiet hollow that is my church deep in the Monongehala. But I stop schleping tarps and guitars to the car because that pile of books has begged me to stop and recognize its significance. Its weighty presence telling me that yes I am here, where I am supposed to be. I have taken my place in line, in a long line of healers. I don’t need to wait until I can sit in the moonlight to let it sink in. It is true now. It has always been true.
I am scared to feel the joy of this moment–so afraid that it will all come crashing down, or a rug will pull out or worse yet that it will really be awful and I will have realized that I have made a very big mistake and I can’t turn back. And yet that scary feeling reassures me–tells me in no uncertain terms that I am going exactly in the right direction. Not wishing and dreaming but moving forward. Moving forward. Moving forward. Step by step revealed as I take it. Feeling the fear and doing it anyway. Walking in a long line through the dark, through the light, through my life.