Friday, September 16, 2011

Empty

It's been an emotional transition to kindergarten for both my daughter and me. Yesterday I took a walk on the beach to try to wash away the look in her eyes as she announced in the morning that she did not want to go to school. I remember that feeling all too well. Leaving the comfort of my mother's knowing gaze and her arms that when wrapped around me made the world melt away. I ended up standing in the surf of the Great Mother, my pants wet up to the tops of my legs. She wrapped herself around me just like my momma did when I was a little girl.

I found one of those places on the shore where the shape of the sand causes the waves to hesitate for a moment and wash sideways before rolling back down to the ocean. I had waves rolling in behind me from both sides, the weight of the water almost knocking me down. I was grateful for that little nudge, which brought amusement to my morning.

Photo by Kathleen Keagy
But what struck me most about those waves was the hesitation. Before they accelerated back down to the ocean, the waves luxuriated in a moment on the sand. That's how I feel these days. Like it's time to luxuriate for a moment and reap the rewards of the work I have already done to let go of what is not mine and what is no longer useful.

I have a tendency to fill my days with doing, but some of this has been about running from what I knew would creep out if I allowed myself to stand still. Lately I'm feeling a little empty. I've felt empty before, but this empty has a magical quality to it. This time I am not a balloon. I can hold my shape without being filled from the outside. This time I feel like a classical urn, my curved walls rising to define me whether empty or full. And I'm not sure I want to get filled up yet.

There are projects brewing in the background. Stories to be written. And I still have a 5-year-old who wants my attention. But for now I'm feeling okay with taking time to feel the sand between my toes. To sit and watch the sun arc over my head minute by minute.

If I allow myself, I think I will learn a lot from empty.

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