The curtains are stirring and I know that something is about to start, as in the moments before the conductor’s baton raps against the lectern. It seems natural, as I sense the wind peering into my world, that I would feel something also stirring within.
I imagine that people who are dedicated to their work, who are dedicating their lives to something they consider central to the purpose of their lives, also sometimes pause to appreciate a spirit of renewal.
I am not as certain as they must be of my own path. Perhaps that’s one reason that I try to find in the passing wind the voice of a living presence calling out to me. I look for a spirit of renewal that I hope is riding on the back of the wind. I look for a potential for change because a shattering has taken away my confidence in the path I was on.
But that is not the whole story.
Certainly, a sense of doubt arose in me two years ago when my son died of unhappiness. But for many years before that, I was already looking for a spirit of greater life in the sound of the wind in the trees. That greater life has a remarkable capacity to look two ways from the nexus of the moment: outwards, into the wind-tossed world, and inwards, into a dormant part of myself that still harkens to the life whirling around me.
For those of us who carry doubt as we traverse each day of our journey, it is a great blessing to realize that we have not been thrown out of Paradise. However, when doubt in ourselves and in the fairness of the world settles into the branches of our minds, we may risk falling into darkness.
I know now that it is important for me to realize that I have not escaped unscathed. Nor should I escape untouched by uncertainty, shaking off the rain like a Labrador running up the beach out of the waves. Nothing in life is just a negligible side-effect and we are not merely bystanders of forces too great for us to understand or resist. When space and time change how they communicate with us, we discover that we are no longer who we remember ourselves to have once been.
We may have been shattered, but we have not been thrown out of the openness of space or robbed of the intimate embrace of time. We are still living here in a world that needs us to be present for as long as we are meant to be; needs us to wait for the rap of the baton against the lectern; at which time the swell of a great orchestra will draw our bow across the strings of our being; the being that has been waiting all along for us to join in.