The most humble place I know is this spot right here, right now. I'm all cried out.
There's a scene from The Horse Whisperer where Robert Redford waits in a field for a spooked horse to come to him, to yield, surrender, trust. He waits for many hours on one knee, yielding himself to the wounded dignity of his animal companion. Finally, the horse turns around and gently saunters toward him. When they meet the love is in the mutual understanding, the union of tenderness and fierceness, a shared alliance to the wildness of living. I love that moment. I love the act of that kind of waiting for what shows up on the other side of fear.
I used to rent the movie just to watch that exchange, longing for someone to meet me in just that way. Tonight I realize that I am hardly willing to hold that space for myself.
Two days ago Steve calls me while I'm on the highway to say that we need to move. I want to argue. I want to fight. But I know better. And it doesn't matter why right now. What matters is that in hearing the long list of things to do - tile, paint, fixtures, etc. I felt a wave of my own hidden life rise through my body and shake loose. Excusing myself from the table, I walk up to River's room, crawl onto her tiny bed and open to the internal river, rapid and held at bay for too long. In that rain, with blurry vision, I see that there is nothing on her walls. Half unpacked boxes sit on her dresser. Toys here and there. That brought the flood. I haven't had the ground enough to fully land, or to make the right base camp for the heart of my heart, my sweet girl.
There were gentle knocks on the door but I had locked it and I couldn't open it. All I could do was straighten her room, fold small blankets, smooth the hair on baby dolls and place them upright. Make her bed and put all the books in order. Cry and clean. Clear the space that I have in front of me and, at the same time, give it up.
Who needs a huge house with a stunning view? I guess not me. But I will unpack enough to make it beautiful for the next family. Paint swatches and stain and all the ins and outs of faucet hardware.......for what?
In one of my favorite books, Shaman of Tibet, the master tells the student to build a house, one rock at a time. Once completed, the master tells the student to take it down, one rock at a time. The agony of attachment....it takes practice to willingly loosen the grip on what we think we deserve, or what we have worked hard to acquire.
It's crazy how fast things can change. I feel so tossed about. But somehow, in the absurdity and the perfection of it all, the essential nature of things rises closer to the surface.