Thursday, October 19, 2017

Floating in the balance

What buoys us up may also tie us down.
Sometimes we get to choose which it will be,
and sometimes we just have cope with what is...

I'm thinking of this this morning for ... well, several reasons. Yesterday our daughter started a new job, one we're excited about (as is she) and it's in a place we love, where she grew up, and it means a lot to me that she's returned to her roots. But it also means she's now tied down, to a job, to a regular commute -- by ferry or boat, and across occasionally rough waters. She's bought a cabin, too, and the exhilaration of that is also tempered by the financial constraints of that decision, and by the loss of the freedom she once had -- and used -- to travel to new places every few months. She's moved from exploration to maintenance, always a challenging shift.

Also yesterday, my husband, who's been a part time school bus driver for a while, a job he's been really enjoying, messed up his back helping a child on the special needs bus.  He's hurt his back before, but this time seems much worse: he's in a lot of pain, and won't be able to drive the bus again until he gets this resolved.

And I -- well, as I've mentioned before, I've taken on responsibility for a small community podcasting organization. And though I'm enjoying the work, it's very time consuming, and leaves me little or no time to paint.  Or to travel, something I've not been able to do for a while now...

But these challenges are not unique: I'm thinking of all the joy there is in a wedding, and how hard it can be to adjust to the limitations of marriage. Or the joy in the birth of a child, and how challenging it can be to adjust to the role of parenting.

It seems to me that our greatest joys in life are always also capable of bringing us our greatest sorrows, and that, therefore, by closing ourselves off to one we risk closing ourselves off to the other.  So what is the greatest risk? To risk the pain of limitation and loss? Or, in seeking to avoid limitation and loss, to risk never knowing those magical moments of joy? 

I suspect  our job is to find a way to float gently in the balance between the two, and to trust that there will always be a mix...

BREAKING NEWS: MY HUSBAND's BACK IS SUDDENLY BETTER!!! Thank you for your prayers; feels like a miracle! So he'll be driving the school bus again this afternoon. Amazing.

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