I have often felt ‘kicked’ by life, as if it’s just an old, cruel bully who sometimes hounds me with its fury. Many times in my life, I’ve felt like I was being booted around by situations and people, which often made me start kicking back, as if existence was a constant contest between nasty aggressors. However, in the last few decades of my 81 years, I’ve begun to see that all the fierce kicks life seems to give are actually soft and affectionate, more like easygoing shoves than ferocious whacks. Life, it seems, wants to help me ‘kick’ my habit of nervous, slapdash thinking, and it does this by softly pushing me, with occasional silent punches, toward acceptance, and maybe even some wisdom, and perhaps even spot-on gladness. I guess I should have a grateful attitude toward life – maybe even a feeling of devoted friendship for this enduring friend who sometimes uses kicks called disappointment and sorrow to softly bulldoze me toward insight and understanding. 😊
WORDS LIKE LIGHT
July 6, 2021
During my 79 years, I have spent far too much time in one sort of struggle or another – the struggle to fill a day with ‘accomplishments’, the struggle to stay focused on what’s happening right here and right now, the struggle to be brave in a sometimes nerve-racking world. However, in the last 30 years or so, I’ve been bringing the surrender flag with me more often, and carefully unfurling it now and then. I’ve been giving up struggling. I’ve been setting down my combat tools, putting aside my weapons of warfare. I’m still a fairly faithful and attentive do-er of tasks, but I try to be attentive in a temperate way, and faithful like flowing rivers, with a peaceful kind of pushiness. Rivers, I have always realized, do not struggle. They simply slide around rocks and move freely along, and when trees topple, the waters open wide and say “Welcome”. Rivers are powerful in a soft but persevering way, and that’s what I’m aiming for in my daily life. I’ve traded struggling for flowing, and I think contentment has followed me with more willingness than when I was a warrior.
And here are two faces we saw in huge boulders along the trail we hiked this morning. Can you see the faces? To me, they seem utterly peaceful, just resting, as they’ve done for probably thousands of years, beside the Beebe Pond Trail in Groton, CT.