Monday, February 24, 2014

Losing Sight of the Shore

Today is Monday, February 24, 2014.

You sometimes have to lose sight of the shore in order to reach new lands.  –Sue Krebs

 Actually, I think you always do, not just sometimes. 

People here in the United States read in our history books how the Europeans crossed the great oceans between continents.  We know that, most of the time, they sailed near land, within sight of the coastline. In order to get to China by sea, they had to go all the way around Africa and India.  In seeking a more direct sea route, they had to cross the Atlantic Ocean, and they had to lose sight of the shore completely, for weeks. They had no idea that the continents of North America (Turtle Island) and South America existed. The history books only dimly hint at the sailors' fright, but we know that there was always mutiny on their minds as their fear grew. 

Just like those European sailors long ago, we must occasionally go across some kind of divide in our lives where we completely leave the old way of doing things behind in order to arrive at a new way.  Soul is in command, but occasionally Ego threatens mutiny, because it fears what it doesn't know.  

I've actually done this several times in my life, but the last time was as frightening in its way as the very first time.  I was born into a family that moved around a lot, which was actually pretty good practice for me.  Every time we moved to a new house in a new town, I was petrified, dreading the necessity of making new friends and finding my way around a new town and a new school building.   (Every time my dad announce another move, my three siblings shouted, "Yay!" and I started to weep.)

After I graduated from university, I moved to Japan with my husband, lock, stock, and barrel.  The plan was to live there for the rest of whatever, and I was so frightened that my body began to rebel.  I had no menstrual period for months – and no, I was not pregnant.  When the menstrual cycle resumed, it was irregular for the rest of my life.  (It had been perfectly regular before.) 

When I moved back to the United States, I began a teaching career in Oregon, and moved into an apartment that a family friend secured for me, without having seen it first.  I managed that move slightly better than the last one. 

Four years later, I moved away from my first job in Oregon, I went back to the Midwest without a clue as to what I would do next.  I ended up getting a part-time job and taking a couple of university classes that I needed in order to get a teaching certificate.  The year after that I went to graduate school full-time.  

When I was finished with grad school, I was faced with another big move.  I went to Kansas City to work, but had such a terrible experience there that I retreated to my parents' home in South Dakota. Then I moved to St. Paul, MN, where I found a job that lasted a little over 18 years.  

At the end of that time, I retired, and once again, I had to completely leave behind a whole way of life as I transitioned from working woman in a place where I had lots of friends and a fairly active social life to retiree in a small town on the prairie, with family nearby, but no friends except the ones I have online, and almost no social life to speak of.  

Now I am contemplating another big change in my life.  Hopefully, I will make this next change more gracefully than I have before.  I've certainly had enough practice!  Once again I will leave behind that with which I have become familiar and cross a divide to arrive at a destination in which everything is unfamiliar.  

The last journey will be one that many people dread.  It is one that we have all undertaken, as Soul, but the vast majority of us have no memory of it.  In death, we will cross a great divide from physical life on Earth to life in the worlds of spirit.  Those who have come back from near death experiences tell us that death is like going through a door from one room to another.  We will not cease to exist; we will simply drop the physical body when it is no longer needed.  I hope to make that journey, also, with dignity, grace, and aplomb.  :-)

No comments: