Writing this entry at 4:35 a.m. on the morning of July 4th, 2012. It is Independence Day here in the U.S. In ‘tired and wired’ mode and when sleep evades me, writing is a companion and soporific. My mind is slowly swirling with memories from childhood. Excited to spend time with family who would come to visit our suburban New Jersey home for Willingboro’s annual parade that would wind its way down Levitt Parkway. We would set up folding chairs on the curb and I would wait with eager anticipation for those first drum beats that I can still feel resonating in my chest all these years later. After the parade, we would walk the mile or so back to the house and splash off the early summer heat at the local pool with cousins who trekked from Philly to hang out for the day. I watched scenes of frolic in home movies a few weeks ago and smiled with delight. A cookout would follow as we shared food and laughter, hugs and kisses, fun and games. Running through the sprinkler as it watered the grass and us simultaneously. Careful to avoid knocking over the mini American flags that my parents, sister and I planted in the garden as we raced around the yard. The day would come to a close with marshmallows toasted over the remaining embers in the grill and then heading over to the field of the local park for fireworks. The universal language (oooohhhhh……ahhhhhh) in response to the carefully staged pyro-technic performance as we would lay back on blankets in the grass would reach a crescendo, as, pleasantly exhausted, we would wend our way back home and tumble into bed after a day well invested.
As an adult, Independence Day goes beyond the traditional celebration of honoring the birth of a nation, but rather a re-birth for myself. It reaches inside to a place in me that sometimes feels like it needs freeing from my self imposed tyranny. I have held myself prisoner of fear, have taxed myself beyond the max; a high price to be paid for taking birth, have impeded the flow of life force energy. And then something like Dawna’s potent reminder comes to inform me that I am immersed in the answer at all times….choice is always available. I may not always know what awaits around the next corner or in the next moment, but I do know this….each is a day to be treasured and not squandered by taking a dive into lack and limitation. At times when I feel broken, I realize that I am instead, broken open to more love than I ever imagined. When faced with sighing with frustration….”Ok, now what?” thoughts, I can take it as an invitation to expand my perspective and ask how I can turn it around to something expansive and not contracting. Always the answer/question shows up “What’s right with this picture?” and then I can discover new options. Life truly does crack me open ever wider, if I allow for it. As a reflection of Dawna’s line about risking significance, I am reminded of something my friend Gina Foster said years ago, that she endeavors to “live significantly”. In that way, I too can experience winged wonder as my heart takes flight~
http://youtu.be/MezUEIBKfyk On the 4th of July by James Taylor