I recently returned from my annual sabbatical journey to the desert. A place of refreshment, grounding, meditation, peace, connection with Spirit. It was my eighth year. Always, always it takes me back to what I call ground-zero – back to an illuminated understanding of what makes life important.
With my one-burner stove, one spoon, one fork and one knife, a few pans, a cooler of food, and a bed roll I headed west to parts unknown…. to wander. I came back with new eyes and renewed perspective. I thought much about the value of wandering while I was away…
No agenda, no goal, no hurry. A direction but not a destination. Open to the unexpected. Open to the rhythms and tides of life. A very different perspective than the lives most of us lead each day. Even as a life coach part of my job is to help my clients have a goal and destination and a plan for getting there. We are a society hooked on DOing.
One thing wandering does is allow time and space for BEing. We are, after all, human BEings, not human DOings. So many of our household gadgets, designed to make life simpler, faster, more efficient, have done little more than eliminate the BEing part of life. Instead of washing clothes down at the river, we shove them in the washing machine so we can go DO more stuff. I was surprised at the peace that was available to me by the simple act of boiling water for tea– as opposed to, say, zapping it in the microwave and rushing back to the computer. While I waited I had time to get a sense for the day, to check in with my heart. Heart, what do YOU want to do today? The head can be some darn domineering!
Life in all its busy-ness affects our relationships
We DO for each other. But we rarely BE for each other. Perhaps that is why tragedies unite us so. They put us in a position to BE with and for one another. In great tragedies sometimes all we can do is BE with the other.
Wasn’t it Mark Twain who said that every life is a drama, a tragedy and a comedy? I would add that every person we meet is also a land to be discovered with surprises around every turn. It is by wandering the land that discoveries are made – no agenda, no goal, no hurry, a direction but not a destination. “I want to know you.” Successful life-long partnering begins with knowing. It ends there too. To truly know another is a life-long endeavor. There is nothing quick about the process of discovery. We are complicated individuals.
The Layers of Our Lives
Just as canyon country is the story of the earth – layer upon layer – worn by time, carved, and shaped, so are those with whom we are in relationship. Life experiences – both pretty and ugly – have laid down layer upon layer of ‘stuff’ – fears, protections, ability to love and respond to love, emotions that can fire at the weirdest times, amazing awe and grandeur. Worn by time, carved and shaped, the one with whom you are in relationship is a vast landscape yet to be explored. It is the drama of canyon country’s formation that makes it so hauntingly beautiful, so still, so wise. So it is with human lives. The slow process of wandering allows us to know the land in great detail – every turn in the meandering path, every rock, every tree, every cliff, every riverbed.
The land you set out to explore may be extremely beautiful, deep and mysterious but is it where you want to spend a lifetime? What are the winters like in that land? Only by wandering and exploring every nook and cranny will you know.
Wandering Takes Time
No agenda, no goal, no hurry, a direction but not a destination. That is wandering.