The Grayest Sunny Day


It’s funny, I want to start this blog post off with something trite, something like, “Today is just one of those days.” But it’s not. It’s an entirely different kind of day. One I haven’t had before, or maybe one I had so long ago that I’ve forgotten how to recognize it when it arrives. Today my heart is open and aching, and pulsing with more intensity than I can bear – at the moment, at least. Somewhere down in there I also know that it will ease, and I will be able to build up my walls again. But why? I don’t want the walls. I don’t want the cage any longer.

My wild thing, my spirit, I see now that I’ve let it be crushed. My spark has been going out, and I was just watching it go, no attempt to throw a life line. Every time I dream of St. Francis, of walking the Camino, of living a life of service, of spending time looking out over the ocean, it’s just been the dying breath of this goodness inside of me, working itself up to one last yell, “Hey! I’m in here – YOU’RE in here!” But today my eyes are open to some of the bigger picture. How did I get so lost?

I’ve been in Austin for the last couple of days, attending a yoga festival called Wanderlust, and also celebrating my birthday. This road trip was set aside as a time to pamper myself and maybe strategize a bit about life changes that I’ve been putting off out of cowardice and confusion. I also had one of my feelings yesterday; I felt this pull of energy, this suggestion from the Universe to ditch my planned class and go sit in the sun instead.

As I relaxed on my yoga mat in the center of the festival’s open air market, one of the other sun worshippers suddenly turned to me and struck up a conversation. We chatted for about a half an hour, during which I learned that he was a fitness buff and aspiring life coach, and that he’d never been outside of downtown Austin. Since I really wanted to go check out South Congress, but wasn’t feeling like rolling solo, I invited him along for the adventure.

As we explored the neighborhood, we got to know each other as fellow seekers of (adventure? truth? light? fun?), I began to realize a vision of myself that was more real than the one I’m living right now. I can’t tell you the last time I had such open, fearless conversation with another person about life and its larger meanings, with no unpleasant anticipation of reprisal or disappointment or judgement. I felt like I was living in a crystal, washed in energy and light, all windows and doorways open, with only the best opportunities awaiting me.

It’s always nice to meet fellow travelers with whom you can create a genuine connection, and it feels like we were meant to meet and share a conversation. He even put on his life coach hat to ask me some tough questions that I’ve been trying to ignore for the last couple of years.

It was really a beautiful night, as simple as this all seems. I’m just feeling a little raw today. OK, a lot raw. Some of it is because he said all the right things to open me up to my own possibilities. The rest is because I’m terrified that I’ll get home and try to forget what I’ve rediscovered, try to put my wild thing back in its tiny cage. What kind of monster does that?

So now I’m sitting here, waiting to stop crying so I can go to my last yoga session. I’m honestly not sure I’m going to be able to handle anything more intense than just sitting on the couch and mulling my strange ability to run into just the right person every time I’m at a crossroads. The Camino is everywhere, and it does provide. You’ve just got to be able to keep putting one foot ahead of the other.

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