Let Go And Breathe [on KS Friday]

We have been slow to reenter life at home. We were only gone for a few days but it feels like months. There is life before the farmhouse and life after. The time away serves as a hard line of distinction. And, because there is now a before, we are finding our reentry a bit disorienting. Nothing is the same yet everything is the same. Unrecognizable because it is familiar.

We are moving slow. We are noise averse. We are reticent to go to the store or drive on a busy road. Too much stimulus fries our wires. It’s as if we are walking through the life we know – we knew – as witnesses. There is a silent accounting: what stays, what we will let go.

Transformation is like that. Snakes shed old skin. Trees drop their leaves. People clean their closets. Letting go creates necessary space for a new rhythm and new rhythms emerge slowly over time.

Sitting on the back deck this morning, the air was still and warm. The birds were singing, the chippies foraged beneath the feeder for discarded seed, Kerri said, “This is the level of sound that I can tolerate right now.” I nodded.

Long ago, when I facilitated retreats, on the last day someone would usually ask, “How do we take what we’ve learned back into our normal lives?” They were changed by their experiences at the retreat but the circumstance of their daily lives remained unaltered. The real question was “How do I bring this feeling of openness and expansion from the protection of the retreat center to the squeeze and turmoil of the realities of life?” There isn’t a single answer to the question. In fact, there isn’t an answer. There’s a practice. There are decisions. What might fall off the list of to-dos? Spaciousness is not magic. Openness is often the result of generosity-to-self. One must slow down to see and hear and taste. Touch takes time. Positive thought takes intention and letting go of grudges. Forgiveness is a choice made again and again and again.

The first day back we walked our trail. We talked of the changes we want to make. The clearing of old baggage. Making space. Kerri stopped to photograph the honeysuckle. I took a deep breath of the sweet fragrance. Nothing more. Nothing less.

old friends revisited © 1995 kerri sherwood

Kerri’s albums are available on iTunes and streaming on Pandora or iHeart Radio

read Kerri’s blogpost about HONEYSUCKLE

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