Ready Or Not
I just left my oldest at college for the first time. Sort of Captain Obvious, part of having a baby, is that you don't really know quite what you're getting into, even though it's pretty obvious, duh, you're having a baby. But what exactly that means isn't entirely apparent until you're deep in the thick of it. Leaving a kid at college for the first time is the same way - you know it's coming, you're kind of excited, kind of dreading it, and you don't really realize exactly what it means until you're in the thick of it and even then when you say it out loud... it's like... well, right, we knew that...
There are things that you "know" and things that you *know.* So one of the things I've been pondering this week has been embodied knowledge. You can know what is involved in having a baby/leaving a kid at college, but there's the embodied knowledge of coming home and seeing the detritus of not quite having the ends wrapped up, there's the tears that well involuntarily when a band she likes comes on, there's the empty room, the cats staring reproachfully about their missing chin scritches... Is all obvious and yet...
I'm sure I heard this idea from elsewhere, and I can't remember where. I think about it a lot. Having kids is like wearing your heart on your sleeve. And even more than wearing your heart on your sleeve, it's like setting your heart free to wander out into the world. The embodied knowledge of what it's like to send the hearts of your heart out into the world... Oof. It's a big thing.
Walking across the campus, which was at one time also my campus, I crossed upon this:
The swirly leaf footprint is mine walking along absent-mindedly, marching myself back from the furthest away parking lot to the dorms. Brain says, whuwhuwhuwhoa, there, backup! Wherever you are, if you pause and take a breath and look around, there is always a guiding star to help orient you. Sometimes you don't even have to pause or be paying attention, if you need it, it's right there and will catch your eye or the tiniest bit of your attention and snap your head right back to it.
I see so many indications that we've given her the tools to find her own guiding star/s, and also indications that she must still grow into her ownership of being the one who finds her own guiding star/s. We are each our own stars, each borne of stardust, from whence we came and to which we will return. This is how it is, time and time and time again. So many star hearts running all over the world! ✨💕✨
Just like there are things you 'know' and things you *know* - the same is true with being ready. What does it mean to be ready? I so often want a solid plan, at this point I've learned though that even the best laid plans are sometimes thrown to the wind in the face of reality. You can think you're ready and... is anyone ever really ready? I think sometimes yes. And sometimes... with joyous wonder and curiosity, you just have to be unready in the moment and allow everything to unfold in its own time.
With love, and joyous wonder of curiosity, and maybe just a bit of stardust in my eye (so dusty in here lately!),