A final Monday here at home. I leave Thursday. The anxiousness, fear and excitement have settled in. They are now permanent fixtures. I cut them down. They crop back up. I laugh; they remain unamused. Our relationship is growing... I'm beginning to understand them.
Many people have asked, "Are you ready!?" I can smile and talk about all the things I am anticipating, but the truth is that I don't know if I am prepared. I like to think that I am. I like to think that my expectations are futile - just like my fears or my hopes. On this journey, I hope to avoid any desire to foresee or maintain control. But, as I said, hope, in this case, is most likely futile. Let it happen. And, if I'm lucky, it will. I put all my faith in that which I don't know. And that which does not know me. Yet.
Packing... tying up "loose ends"... goodbyes... last meals... what books to bring? who will I meet? what will I feel? will I learn anything? will my stomach betray me? will I make it? These thoughts, actions, anticipations and others have all fused and have surprisingly produced a relative calm. Relative, to be sure. In that sense, I think I might be prepared.
I can't say enough about my friends and family. I can't say enough how much I will miss their company. And I know my appreciation for them will only grow with this experience. I can't say enough about home and what it has meant to me these past few years; at home, I feel that I grow with ease. I am supported and nourished. And while the comforts of friends and family and home will be sorely missed, they will never be left behind.
Sometimes, we need reminded that life is an impromptu adventure -- unscripted and untidy, and, most often, misunderstood. Sometimes, we need to kick the crutches out from underneath ourselves, hit the ground hard and see if we can't relearn how to walk on our own feet. Crawl first! Soon, we will be running! One day, if all goes well, we'll be flying.
I try and relearn all this every day; these words of Whitman certainly help:
Allons! We must not stop here,Anchors up! Wish me luck. And I wish you all the same!
However sweet these laid up stores, however convenient this
dwelling we cannot remain here,
However shelter'd this port and however calm these waters
we must not anchor here,
However welcome the hospitality that surrounds us we are
permitted to receive it but a little while.