January 5, 2021
The Long Pause
By Amba Gale
The trees long to see the land, to come out from underneath the fog. And when the fog parts, even for a brief moment, a world of possibility opens. Grateful, alert to the day, surprised and astonished by what they see, a new threshold beckons and a new life begins.
As we enter, you and I, the year 2021, a new world awakens. Not yet clear what world will greet us on the other side of this migration we are in, this year-long (and more) winter of hibernation, of cocooning, we can, still begin to ask our questions:
What conversation can I enter into that will allow me to be complete about the challenging and disruptive year, 2020, where completion means wholeness, healing, (no baggage left over), and is distinct from “ended,” “over and done with?”
In what ways was my momentum stopped?
What new possibilities have opened up for me out of those stops?
What were my breakdowns? (Name them.)
What have I been taught from those breakdowns?
What is the required curriculum, of this time, asking of me to learn, asking me
to open, asking me to give?
What lessons are, and have been, mine to embody?
What are the gifts I am being given?
What can I acknowledge about what I have accomplished?
I invite you to take a full stop for a while, during this week, and address those questions until you come to some new perspective.
When we are complete, a new beginning opens. As the mists begin to part, we can, perhaps, begin to see those almost visible shapes at the far horizon calling to us, and we shift from being a victim, from being at the effect of our circumstances, to being a shaper, a creator, the artist of our life, as we, ever so courageously, ever so generously, step into our lives as the Author, the Artist of our Life.
May we celebrate our pilgrimages and threshold crossings together as we, in generous and easy companionship, learn our way through this most unfamiliar land of the pandemic, learning the lessons of embracing change, (as it is inevitable anyway) innovating through uncertainty, cultivating resilience, unfolding in tandem with the world, in gratefulness, and unconditional love as we go. Let us approach “the harbor of (our) longing,” Mary Oliver invites in her poem, “Morning at Blackwater.” What, now, IS your deepest longing? Asked another way, “What do I, in the deepest expression of my heart, long for?” And, even, taking it one step further, “Were I to fulfill that longing, what then opens up?” “In behalf of what?” Within this heart space, the future can begin to make its appearance. Coming to these questions with a commitment to allowing what shows up to surprise us, we enter new territory.
Inside of these teachings, I invite you to join me in the beginning 2021 in a space of completion, as you imagine, create, step into, and then cross your next threshold, taking a deep, deep dive, in community and partnership, into your own longing for living a life of meaning, of substance, of spirit, of peace, of aliveness, and of love.
I would love for you to join me in our next offering, Crossing Thresholds, the Next Opening, in February and March.
The Long Pause
Three-layered bank of fog.
Hills, mountains, Cascades
hover on the Sound,
a soft, stealthy cat guarding its treasure,
halfway between our shore and the sand spit.
how just every now and then,
the wind mists move ever so slightly,
allowing – no, supporting—
the surprised and astonished pines
that peek out
between the long pause,
to say “Good morning!” to the day,
to say, “Welcome!” to this New Year.