Of Sticks and Life

Of Sticks and Life

Walking along the dirt path, my daughter scooped up yet another stick. This is something she does anywhere we go. There is an endless searching for and procuring sticks, rocks, and other nature paraphernalia. This day, we were on different wave lengths. She was all glee and freedom. I was stuck in my head, frustrated with persistent thoughts.

I had been wrestling with some particulars: aspects of my life feeling unfinished and exposed. I wish, in certain areas, that I were further along. Sometimes we are stuck in the belief that one day we will have all the answers. That there will be a day when we are more put together and have neat bows made of our loose ends. And even if we wouldn't say it explicitly, the notion that perfection is just around the corner keeps us in a loop.

Striving, self-bettering, making "shoulds" of our lives rather than living them. Shouldn't I, as an adult, have more ease about my life feeling unfinished? After all, being finished in life only happens at the end. Why can't I enjoy the process? Why can't I come to terms with what I don't have figured out?

And then I see this example in my child: her love for sticks. She comes upon them by happenstance, and she seems to trust that the universe will endlessly supply sticks to her delight. Most days, she is able to pick them up and let them go with relative ease. There are times when we lock horns over a stick too big to fit in the car (true story), but most of the time, there is a peaceful, rhythmic procuring and releasing of the sticks. 

If I look carefully, I can find an unintentional lesson from my small teacher. One stick after another, she shows me that the universe supplies what I need. That I am supported, invited into wonderment and the cyclical dance of taking up and leaving behind.

Maybe someday I will see that some gifts are meant to be taken up and enjoyed a while and then released. Experiencing a lack or lull is therefore, not a devastation, but rather a pause in our story. All things are here for a season, and it is fruitless to fight the gentle arc of our narrative. Goodness, in all sorts of forms, has its own ebb and flow.

We may as well enjoy each stick along the way. And we can trust that when we must leave one behind, the next is soon to follow. 

I definitely don't have it any more figured out, but I am practicing this trust. That I am walking down the path I am meant to be on, and here is all I need.