Kids are back at school today and I feel like there’s so much to do. I am having a difficult time finding a place to start. I am fortunate, I have time to stretch out in my life right now, but sometimes, I am not sure what to do with that space. Things pile up, my to do list grows and then tasks feel weightier than they are. I wonder what’s wrong with my brain, not able sort through all that there is and all that there could be. I feel frustrated and inept. I grasp at panic and guilt. And then it dawns on me, today is another transition.
The past few weeks have been casual. We’ve had few places where we’ve had to be, decisions have been guided by our little family’s collective whims. We’ve congregated and retreated as we need. We’ve grazed and napped, gotten wrapped up in the cadence of resting. This winter break has been truly divine, which makes the shock of today all the more real. Today is at once the beginning of the reality of this new year and not. We begin anew and we know from experience it will unfold day by day, as it should. And still, there is struggle and questioning. Why is there this impulse to measure where we are at? Why must we train the brain to be content again and again?
Cycles and systems. An inextricable part of this earth’s great natural systems, we can’t avoid the cycles. The tilt of the earth, the arrangement of the planets, the dormancies and activities of each season, we are subject to all of it. Nor can we separate ourselves from this vast universe and stand alone. We can push and carve and mold, even fight, but we are really at the mercy of greater forces, all of us part of an enormous living system that we contribute to but have no control over.
And so what is there to do but surrender to the mist and the murkiness? One of the most compelling reasons to relax into our experience is our belief that as we walk the path, it will reveal itself. Into this new year, may we embrace our responsibilities with ease, committing again to the particulars of our lives and to the deep knowing that we need not rush or worry. Everything alive is growing in some way, and this always includes us.