I hung up the laundry outside, hoping the sun will dry it by end of day, then noticed the colorful leaves already on the ground and took the above photo. There it is, enough of summer’s warmth to dry even the jeans and sofa covering, while reminders of fall lie all around me.
We’re in in-between times. I’m in that zone quite a bit.
On my way to the laundry lines, carrying a white bin of laundry, I slipped on one of Henry’s newer toys, the pink dinosaur with yellow wings (it doesn’t have a name yet, Pinky is still taken by his old pink elephant). Our indoor floors and outdoors grass, not to mention the more dangerous stairs, are dotted with his toys.
I looked around me while spending a few moments on my butt, taking in the toy and the small depression in the grass that has been there for many years but which I forgot about. Thought of Quarterback Aaron Rodgers falling and hurting himself on his first outing with the New York Jets, only I don’t plan to be out for the season. Also thought of how quickly I like to get up on my feet and go on with my day, as if nothing happened.
That’s exactly what I did. But things don’t happen for no reason. One reason for the fall is my neglect of the toy and depression in the ground. And other reasons?
The New York Jets started checking and rechecking their turf right away after Rodgers’ fall, but when things bring me down like that, I don’t think of turf but rather energy. What is this pointing me to? What energy is propelling me too fast and too strongly, or what energy is lacking or missing? Am I being pointed in a new direction even as I make my way to the laundry lines hanging out in back?
“There is more than one lane in a highway,” says my New Hampshire friend on the phone.
Her memory’s gone a bit goofy, and mine also because I can’t remember the context in which she said this. I called to wish her a happy Jewish new year, we talked about how scary things were (her words, not mine, followed by my cautioning her not to scare herself to death), and then she said the above. I quickly wrote it down. I try to move fast when I hear or see things that strike me even when at first, I don’t know why.
“I don’t believe in distractions,” I told someone else, this time in Florida, that very day.
I had a bad interaction with a friend, a co-worker did some harm, a family member is sick—all are part of life. It’s why the Buddha said that life is suffering no matter how you cut it. Something happens that doesn’t bode well, doesn’t meet expectations, and we want to just turn the page. Get back to normal, get back to routine, get the earth under our feet again. I’m all for cultivating stability one way or another, but falling on your face can also bring rewards.
“There is more than one lane in a highway.” Even on our country roads, if a tractor is going slowly or a bike rider is laboring her way up the hill, it’s perfectly acceptable to cross the double yellow lines and pass them.
Landing on my butt next to a full laundry bin (how had I managed to keep it upright?) made me wonder: Have I been driving on the same lane far too long and it’s time to switch? Does laundry day always have to take place on Wednesday?
The life dance is never about me because it’s cosmic. I find myself partnered first with one dancer, then another, often moving from place to place. The dance makes no promises and doesn’t ask for permission. The only question I face is whether to put up obstructions or go with it. Call it a distraction and go on with life as usual, pretend I never fell on the grass, make believe that nothing much is happening? Really?
For the Jewish new year (my family spends lots of time on the phone with each other on the eve of), my brother wished for me renewal in at least one area of life. Instantly I felt creative juices flowing, new thoughts rising. How do I make a new move, even a small one?
I don’t pretend to be in balance. Buoy up and feel like flying, get tripped up by a pink dinosaur with yellow wings, and look around me at the yellow leaves on the green grass. Yes, time’s a-flying. At the same time, there are so many in-between times.