Saturday, April 30, 2016

A letter to my dear friend:

[and perhaps, a letter to myself]
I've been thinking a lot about the ocean this week.
It's this constantly changing, very much living, thing. Its power is limitless. It lets no one pass through it without demonstrating its strength and immense beauty, its vastness & depth.
Your immense beauty, the depth of your compassion, the vastness of your strength--these are things that you deserve to show. Don't withhold them from anyone.
Be fearlessly yourself. Swim into the depths of your own dreams, knowing that when you come  back to the top, things will be so clear, so fresh, and so beautiful.
Don't be afraid to change. Day to day, you will experience high & low tides. This is called being human. The water will go in and out. Some days, the tide will be lower than others, but don't worry. It will always rise. It rises because of the constant pull of the moon; the constant pull of the things you value and love--those things will keep you afloat. They will pull you in the best direction of yourself.
Know that you hold beauty inside you. Beautiful things make their home inside your heart & mind, just like the beauty hidden beneath the waves of every ocean.
And love--you don't have to go very far or even very deep to find that beauty. It's there, just below the surface. It's aching to be seen, to be put on display.
Treasure that beauty like a prize everyone should want. Your compassion, your love for the world. Your creativity, your perspective, your selflessness--these are things that you should value.
You are vast & deep, strong & calm, bold & beautiful. Remember the ocean. Give yourself grace to plunge into your own depths. The things you will find there will surprise you, but they will not shock anyone who has already seen your own true & unique beauty. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Irish Blessing

The site we were seeing lay yards behind me, but I wanted to be alone on my last day in Ireland. Away from the crowd on my bus as they wandered through Glencree.
I saw an old Irishman with a cane walking toward the bend in the road.
Naturally, I decided to follow him.
He kept walking past the bend--he knew where he was going. I stopped just before it though because frankly, I was too overwhelmed to go any further.
The beauty of the view below me, the meaning of my solo Ireland trip, Holy Spirit's presence and goodness, the gratitude for my life, and the knowledge that the beauty in the land around me was something akin to the beauty inside of me. I felt all of it and more when I looked out at the countryside.
It was too much to keep going, so I stopped. I climbed onto the top of the fence behind me, sat down, and cried. I cried for the hardships I've pressed through, for the bravery that has pushed me further up and into grace, for the beauty I've been fortunate to see and experience.
I didn't have much time to cry or to be overwhelmed though because I had to get back to the bus. I had to keep moving. There was more ahead for us. More wonder to see that day.
Once everyone was on the bus, we set out on the same road I had just walked.
We passed the bend.
I remember being so disappointed as the bus turned the curve. I was so mad because the view beyond that bend? God, was it marvellous.
Why couldn't I have just kept walking? Why didn't I believe for beauty on the other side?
I can't help but think about that day now as I am walking toward another bend in my life. My life, which has basically been one long transition since graduating high school.
The thing is, the past months, the past year--they've held some overwhelming things for me. So much beauty, so much growth, so many realisations of my worth and my gifts. I've been able to see a really stunning view.
There's a bend ahead though, and I just know that I have to keep going. Because there's even more beauty on the other side. I want so badly to sit on the fence here and cry because of all the wonderful, hard things I've seen and done the past year. I'm so proud. So excited and nervous and eager and terrified.
I am overwhelmed.
But I have to keep going forward. I have to, like the old Irishman, trust that what I'm hoping for, what I'm expecting, what I know to be more beautiful, will be waiting just past the bend for me.
It will shock me, it will move me, it will be more and less than everything and all that I expect from it.
Here's to the road ahead. May it rise up to meet me.