What a beautiful morning for a walk. I almost rush outside to catch the sun’s kindest rays. As soon as I shut the gate behind me, I am lost in a flow of memories: of recent walks along cool, shady trails, blooming wild flowers, dogs frolicking on the beach, and the naked man running on the sand, seconds away from entering the frame of a young couple’s photo. I see all the different landscapes I didn’t realize I had grown to love so much. I remember a window through which I always peeked–all kinds of white plates hanging on the dining room wall. I feel my hands inside my pockets, seeking warmth. I feel them lovingly held.
But I am no longer there. I take myself firmly back to the present, my legs beginning to sweat, my feet on hot pavement. At that moment, I summon appreciation for this place, my current home. I have been in a state of disappointment and restlessness, looking out into the world for some place else to live, then realize I am being shown it is not time for that yet. The universe has not moved with me on this intention; instead, obstacles–external and internal–keep presenting themselves.
“Bloom where you’re planted”, I keep telling myself. Find joy everywhere.
I notice a string of colored tulip light bulbs on someone’s balcony. The colors awaken something in me. I remember a book I used to read to my boys. It opens to Lucas looking out of his empty city flat, telling his cat they are leaving to build his dream home: a house by the sea. They get on his bike and ride to a teeny island. There is no way to build but up, so he does– so beautifully (and apparently with materials that miraculously come from his backpack) that every time I read it, I want to move in. Then a storm comes in the night, and Lucas wakes to a dazzling sunlight and a small boy who compliments him on the super new bridge that is now their playground. Everyone’s life is transformed.
I am in a different place when I find myself back on my street–full of joy and appreciation, with a sense that the way forward is to tend to this inner home I always carry with me, that always carries me. Throughout the day, landscapes I long for heave and ho in my inner world–a beautiful forest around me, a vast and powerful ocean, magnificent cliffs on which I behold everything. For now, the work is to build from within with joy, trust, laughter and love. Love! I am reminded of how often the outer world speaks to us when we look upon it from a space of deep appreciation. Obstacles are aplenty, fear unrelenting, until we recognize inside us a realm of utter abundance. It is nearly impossible to walk this earth and not have gratitude arise in you, from even the loneliest places.