Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Do You Know How You Got Here?

That path through the woods is clearly marked. It leads somewhere, and when you step upon it, you know where you are headed. In this case, it led to Marcy's retreat cabin where she spent some time last week (a very different sort of place compared to where I took my retreat in the spring) and where we took lots of fun photos.

Paths through life are not like this. Most of the time, we don't realize we are even walking on one, much less why we are there or where we are going.  This is okay because it allows us to more spontaneously respond to the walking. We aren't so focused on a goal ahead of us that we trip over roots and rocks or miss the chance to walk over to the side and see something unexpected.

Most of the time, the paths we are walking (and there are many being walked all the time) are more like spirals, turning in and out of themselves and winding in and out of others.  Looking back, we think we can follow one path from beginning to this current place, but really? There's no way to map all of it out this neatly.

Yesterday I mentioned the small moments, the small events that seem small at the time but end up being so vital to our lives.

I often shorthand my own story for people by saying that during my 40th year, I attended a friend's wedding and danced for the first time in too long and that dance led to my new life as a dancer and movement educator. It led me back to my essential self and forward to my happy self.

But it wasn't that simple, not at all, and I think it's important that we recognize this complexity in ourselves and not over-simplify. I think our stories are too important to tell them in one sentence, and I think that the magic and miracle of our lives is contained in the details.

There are so many things that happened that led me back to my dancer self that when I begin to think about the fragility of it all, I get a little sick, but it also makes me fill with Big Gratitude, and it reveals to me, once again, the sacramental nature of life overall and the beauty of being guided by something divine, the beauty of succumbing to the divinity the resides in all of us and in everything.

Our lives are not accidental strings of coincidences. No way. Just my path back to dance proves that, because one tiny misstep and I would not be where I am today.

Dancing at a friend's wedding? That was just the most obvious turn in the road.

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