may: a month that signals new beginnings, new growth–a new season.
may is potent, full, pregnant.
the plan was to go camping for memorial day weekend. i imagined pitching a tent, sitting around the fire, star gazing. cicadas. doggos. marshmallows. by the time we reached the weekend–after meg’s elementary school graduation, michael’s last day of principalship + a surprise party, big work stuff, kate’s return home from camp training–there was no gas in the tank for any such thing. we delayed, wondering if the mojo might come. it didn’t. the weather helped us stay still, veg, and simply rest.
it was magnificent.
i took to the basement. i generally do not hang out there. this weekend, i did. it felt like a cocoon, a nest, a womb.
may 2021 marked many thresholds. personal, familial, communal, global. and growth is hard. it requires energy. it made sense that the basement was calling me, that we all were tired.
after the exhaustion came tenderness, angst, and resistance. maybe not quite that linear but the feelings were all there, blurred and messy and distinct.
i’m reminded of pregnancy–what it means to create life and give birth. during pregnancy, there is anticipation and build up. the birth is exhausting and there is need for recovery. and then, when the abstract turns real and you can see that sweet little face, there is a reality check. “you mean they just let us leave and go home?”
it is hard to grow up.
there is a beautiful meditation by buddhist teacher ken mcleod that helps to capture this truth:
“you are standing on a wooden dock. it is old and falling apart. in front of you, the open expanse of the ocean extends to the horizon. below your feet is a boat, well stocked and fully equipped. you know it is, because you took care in preparing it. it is the only boat in the dock. the other moorings are empty, forgotten. you are not exactly sure how you came to be here, but you do know you cannot turn your back on the ocean. yet you hesitate to step into the boat. what stops you?”
standing there on that dock with a fully loaded boat, we can see all that we will leave behind. and it is hard. even when we have been preparing all along.
rest is required with growth. and so is grief and letting go of the older story so that we can step into the new one. and step into the boat.
may, you were pregnant with possibility. thank you for giving birth.
june, thank you for making it real. thank you for revealing the boat, the ocean, and dock.