A couple weeks ago I joined the great pandemic migration. I left my apartment in Houston and moved into a house with my daughter and her partner. The decision to move was a difficult process. When I saw the poem “Allow” by the mindfulness poet Donna Faulds, it really captured what I have been going through.
There is no controlling life.
Try corralling a lightning bolt,
containing a tornado. Dam a
stream, and it will create a new
channel. Resist, and the tide
will sweep you off your feet.
Allow, and grace will carry
you to higher ground. The only
safety lies in letting it all in—
the wild with the weak; fear,
fantasies, failures and success.
When loss rips off the doors of
the heart, or sadness veils your
vision with despair, practice
becomes simply bearing the truth.
In the choice to let go of your
known way of being, the whole
world is revealed to your new eyes.
2020 has been a very long tutorial in the concept “there is no controlling life.” All of us are wading through collective grief and loss. I like to think I am in control and often find myself telling God the great plans I have. I kept trying to make plans that involved me maintaining a comfortable status quo, and not taking too many risks. With an eyeroll and a weary headshake, God unfolded much better plans and a softer place for me to land.
Letting go “of your known way of being” has been particularly hard. Music education and church music had been my livelihood my whole career. It was also my identity – how I explained myself when asked “what do you do?” Once I embraced my gifts of writing and companioning others on their spiritual journeys, and moved them from the back burner of the stove to the front burner, I was able to move forward.
The last line of the poem “the whole world is revealed to your new eyes” resonated with me. Once I accepted the fact that it was not safe for me in the classroom during the pandemic, I was able to really hear my daughter’s requests to please, please move in with them. I began to look at remote jobs and realized that there is a whole world of creative careers out there.
So, my heart is full and I am grateful to be here. I look forward to this next chapter in my life.