A path we know by heart

It has been five years.

Just now, a bluebird alighted on the topmost branch of the tree in front of my window. I am brought back to the tree outside my bedroom window in my old apartment in Jersey City. It is January and almost dawn. We’ve been up all night, my last hurrah before moving to California. The last of the revelers are on the roof deck, rowdy and boisterous with the last sips of night as light creeps over the Manhattan skyline. I shutter myself in my room, stand in front of my bay window, looking out over glistening towers of the city, through the bare branches of this tree.

I needed to be alone, with this view, with what had come before and what laid ahead of me. The leap I was about to take was tremendous – no job prospects or even idea of what I would be doing, no place to live, barely any savings, and having never set foot in the Bay Area. But I was going. There was a fire in my belly, a force inside me propelling me forward, that I could not ignore, resist, or take off course. Often during that time I would turn to friends and say “Am I crazy for up and moving to California?” And they would all look at me, like I was the sanest person in the world, and like that question itself was crazy, and like moving to California was always in my future, and everyone except for me had always known it and seen it, all this time. It was evident, it was a dream being realized.

I would miss this view – it was in fact one of the hardest things to let go of. The tree’s fullest branches were at eye level, birds coming and going, I enjoyed the vantage of high up, the expanse – the feeling of exhale in my body, a sense of temporary relief from the density and pressure of the city blocks below.

I remember the moment Morgan and I first looked at the apartment, first stepped onto the roof deck that boasted a 270 degree view of Manhattan, the statue of Liberty, the sunset over Jersey. She grabbed my arm as she inhaled quickly. “We have to live here.” It was evident, it was a dream being realized.

It is these moments of evidence, of dreams swinging into our reach, these moments of pull where all that is required is to let go and let the momentum take you.

How do we move towards the evidence of our future? Is there such a thing? Let’s pause an consider that there is – maybe not in minute detail, but in broad strokes, in the way that Monet depicts the pond, the way that Rothko shows us color. What if the evidence of our future is the purpose that lives and breathes inside of us, since before our birth, waiting to be uncovered. What if the evidence of our future is more like a magnet, and the magnetic pull gets stronger and stronger the more debris we get out of the way?

And then the question is, what is the debris?

It’s been five years since I greeted my last sunrise over Manhattan. It’s been nearly six years since I first sat with Amma, first had the biggest aha moment about all that was standing in the way of me and my magnet, all the beliefs that tied me down to New York City, the east coast, a job that was not fulfilling, and a blindness to the dreams that wanted to live through me.

There will never not be blindness. There will never not be debris between me and my magnet. This is the stuff of life. Fumbling and feeling our way into alignment, allowing the bumps off track to be our guardians to the path. Allowing the pain and trauma that has lived through us the be the deepeners of our hearts, the teachers of gratitude, and the way to bring into awareness that which has been unconscious, unseen.

That morning, alone in my room with the tree and the skyline as my landscape, and my boisterous and rowdy friends as my soundtrack, I promised myself that I would find another place with a view as majestic, as expansive, a view where I could be among the birds in their upmost perches. Setting that intention, I lobbed that dream into the magnet of my future.

This morning, a bluebird alights on the topmost branch of the tree in front of my window. I am brought back in time. I am brought into how much life can be lived in 5 years, I am brought into gratitude for my expansive view, and into the exquisiteness of the mystery of life, this meandering path, unfolding itself in a direction we may in fact know by heart.


april 10, 2018

 

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