Sunday, April 27, 2008

It's a Beautiful Life

The template for the text of my posts reads "It's a beautiful life." It's also the start-up message for my cell phone. I put it there to remind me that life is really a blessed adventure, because I seem to forget that most of the time.

There is much that is good in this world. Unfortunately, I think we've all grown blind. We've been led out of the barn into a noisy, chaotic street with blinders strapped to our halter to keep us on the road. But the greenest, sweetest grass is not growing up between the cracks in the asphalt that we see in front of us. It is beyond our vision, but somehow we know it is there, just as the carriage horse can still smell the joy of the field as he plods along the avenue. Yes, there is a job that must be done. Nobody can deny that. The problem lies in the way we go about it. Take that very same workhorse, keep him harnessed for ten hours a day to the city streets, where the horns honk and the people yell and the exhaust is enough to suffocate, then bring him home to the four walls of the urban livery, and what do you get but a shell-shocked animal who is afraid to trust himself or those around him. Or you harden his soul until he doesn't care about the field anymore, doesn't need or even understand its beauty. I ask you right now in the terms of your own soul, which one is worse?

I don't want to strap myself in for the day, the week, the year, in order to retire tired and beaten to a field long forgotten. That much is all I know at this point. I can still feel the perfection of the pasture. It calls to me as it calls to the stubborn carriage horse who suddenly refuses to take one more step down the cobblestone lane. We all have the power to break free from the carriage that drags along behind us and run with our head held high, nostrils flaring, mane flowing as nature intended, to feel our hearts pound wildly in our chest with the euphoria of life, to gallop back where we belong.

We all have that power.

But to use it, you must learn to trust your instincts, the ones your were born with, the great internal compass of your life. Don't let the coach driver tell you where to go. Only you know where that may be.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Little bit lost

A friend wondered the other day if I was going through some sort of mid-life crisis. I didn't really have an answer for her. Doesn't it seem like we all are having some sort of crisis these days?

I'm fed up with the rat race of what defines a typical grown-up life. I don't want to always be questing for more of what I don't need and not having enough time for what it is that I do need. I refuse to accept that this worry, this fear, this boredom is all that there is. Life is not decades of anxiety, even though the newspapers and the magazines and the television and my neighbors tell me it is. Being an adult shouldn't be the death of fun, of joy, of hope. As my husband says, "It's shouldn't be such a struggle."

And so this family has decided to take a stand. We are not sure exactly where we are going, but our hearts are the best compasses we are given in this world. What we are choosing is to participate in this one life we are blessed with, instead of watching it fly past us as if it were the blurry home video of someone else we hope we will never be. We have lived through the mistakes of our parents and their parents before them, and we are choosing to learn from them.

We are throwing away the box.

Thursday, April 24, 2008