Thursday, November 8, 2012

Facing the Future

"Courage is the measure of our heartfelt participation with life, with another, with a community, a work, a future. To be courageous, is not necessarily to go anywhere or do anything except to make conscious those things we already feel deeply and then to live through the unending vulnerabilities of those consequences. To be courageous is to seat our feelings deeply in the body and in the world: to live up to and into the necessities of relationships that often already exist, with things we find we already care deeply about: with a person, a future, a possibility in society, or with an unknown that begs us on and always has begged us on. Whether we stay or whether we go - to be courageous is to stay close to the way we are made."

- David Whyte
from Readers' Circle Essay, "Courage"
©2011 David Whyte

     Recently, I have been enjoying David Whyte’s generous contributions on his Facebook page. After facing the first snowstorm of the season yesterday, it was really helpful and reassuring to read this entry.  The weather experts expended great energy scaring all of us on the East Coast as the storm headed our way. Once again, I was looking at the trees in my yard near the barn and the house, torn between loving their majestic shelter from the sun and my fear that they will be blown down and crush us. I reminded myself that the wind was no stronger than it had been for countless other times, and happily, here we are intact today.

         I especially like the idea that I don’t have to go anywhere or do anything to be courageous. I just have to stay true to what I know in my heart and “live through the unending vulnerabilities of those consequences”. Since tomorrow is my birthday, I’ve been thinking a lot about what the future holds for me.  In many ways, I feel like I’m standing at the opening of a new door, a bit hesitant to take the first step.

         Certainly, as I literally stood in my boots and winter parka ready to embark into drifts of snow, sliding down the path towards the barn this morning, I was afraid to venture out.  I can’t fit my protective arm brace under my coat, couldn’t find my “YakTraks” to add traction to my feet, and begged my husband to come with me to feed the horses. Then, as he slowly finished his cup of coffee and looked for his wool socks, I became impatient and annoyed with myself for needing his reassuring presence. I launched out on my own, hesitant and slow as I groped my way down the little hill outside our backdoor. By the time I reached the barn and was greeted by Silk and Siete’s sweet furry faces and noisy chorus of “Nnnh! NNNH!”, I had regained my equilibrium.

         It was a little metaphor for how I felt about getting another year older. I think I just have to keep reminding myself to “stay close to the way that I’m made”.


Grey Horse Matters said...

Happy Birthday Victoria!! Hope you have a wonderful day tomorrow.

I think if we all look inside ourselves we'd be surprised by just how strong and courageous we really are.

Lori Skoog said...

First I want to wish you a very happy birthday! Hopefully, when you get rid of the brace for your arm you will return to your old self. What a long process you have gone through.
The temperature is supposed to be in the high 60s in a couple of your house too?

C-ingspots said...

Just one step at a time and one day at a time; it's all we can expect of ourselves. Sometimes I think it's easy for us to forget to be kind to ourselves too. We seem to have higher expectations of ourselves than of others'. I know that I do.
I hope you have a wonderful birthday, and do something special to celebrate another milestone!! Happy Birthday Victoria!! :)

Victoria Cummings said...

Thanks guys! I am very grateful that things are getting back to normal around here.

billie said...

Happy birthday - that winter scene is just gorgeous but I know it means extra work and precarious footing too.

Enjoy the day and the return to normalcy as it comes!

Strawberry Lane said...

Happy Birthday, Victoria! Celebrate to the hilt! Each day takes courage, but somewhere in each day there is a gift for us. It usually is some little thing we don't expect.

Royal sends a slobbery Birthday kiss to you for all your help to him in the past.