Hello Family and Friends,
As some of you may know, each month I send out an email to all of you about something that has been on my mind. This monthly expression of gratitude was inspired by my niece’s and nephew’s “Best of 2K14” list. Before the close 2014, they wrote out a list of all that was good in their life; I, on the other hand, was thinking of all the things I wanted to fix and make better in 2015. Their moment of gratitude and reflection profoundly touched me and inspired me to clutter your inbox once a month.
( You can find the exact same letter here (https://sway.com/HrXZrAZqX7ms7Kvt) with recent pictures I took from SF Botanical Gardens)
I try to keep each letter linked to this year’s theme: Be like water: Fluid, reflective and always tending towards stillness. I didn’t have much to write about this month, so I decided to share the lyrics of “Something Beautiful” by NeedToBreathe.
In your ocean, I’m ankle deep/ I feel the waves crashin’ on my feet/ It’s like I know where I need to be/ But I can’t figure out, yeah I can’t figure out
Just as there is no clear defining point where the land ends and the ocean begins, there is no clear defining point as we transition from one state of self to another. For instance, I’m not sure of the exact moment when I became an adult (and I’m pretty sure that I’m an adult now) because I know it didn’t immediately happen the day I turned 18. Maybe I have been fooled to believe that there is a rigid dichotomy between “State of Being A” and “State of Being B”. Perhaps, being grounded and rooted in a firm foundation is not mutually exclusive from being swept away with dreams, hopes, and aspirations.
Just how much air I will need to breathe/ When your tide rushes over me/ There’s only one way to figure out/ Will ya let me drown, will ya let me drown
I like plans. I like lists. I like schedules. I like a maximum of 48 hours of vacation away from plans, lists and schedules before being without plans, list and schedules scare me. Of course, sometimes all of that is necessary. Other times it’s an anchor holding me back. For you, it may not be plans, lists and schedules, but it may be something else. Can you recognize your safety blanket. How do you let go of trying to control life and letting all of its uncertainties overwhelm you with new possibilities? (In “Christian-ese” what areas of your life are the manifestations of having “let go and let God”?) I love the line “Just how much air will I need to breath?” I understand it as as important as air is, you only need just enough. “Air” is the stuff we can control. The “tide” is the good, the bad, the unexpected. The stuff that makes you cry, doubt, and laugh until it hurts. Tides come and go with variable strengths- pushing and pulling your life- determine by the natural rhythms of Earth.
And the water is risin’ quick/ And for years I was scared of it/ We can’t be sure when it will subside/ So I won’t leave your side, no I can’t leave your side
The tattoo on my foot says, “Where Faith is fear isn’t”. I’m not saying I never doubt anything in life. I’m just saying that I always have faith that when the troubles and hardships come I will get through them, relatively intact, eventually.
In a daydream, I couldn’t live like this/ I wouldn’t stop until I found something beautiful/ When I wake up, I know I will have/ No, I still won’t have what I need
What is it that you truly desire? Not a $15 million dollar home. Not a porsche. What is it that your soul truly yearns for? That gentle whisper that motivates so many of your decisions. I don’t think the writers of this song intended “something beautiful” as something tangible. I was just thinking to myself how lucky I am to be surrounded by people I love. There is no malice or ill-will. Yes, there are disagreements, hurt feelings, and disappointments every so often. But, there is not a single toxic person in my life. I rejoice when you rejoice. Many of you celebrate when I celebrate. I may not always be the kindest person to you, but I do feel awful when I think (or know) I’ve hurt your feelings. How lucky I am to have full agency and hope for the future and gratitude for the moment. Now, isn’t that something beautiful.
Hey now, this is my desire/ Consume me like a fire, ’cause I just want something beautiful/ To touch me, I know that I’m in reach/ ‘Cause I am down on my knees, I’m waiting for something beautiful/ Oh, something beautiful
I’m curious. What does this last stanza mean to you?
So this letter is getting on the long side, so I’m just going to end it here. As always, this is my way of staying in touch with you. It really and truly does mean something to me when I see an email from you. It also really and truly means something to me to know you read it even if you don’t respond all of the time. Also, you can find previous letters here: fearwaslastseason.wordpress.com