I’ve been quiet for a few weeks. It hasn’t been because I have nothing to say, but rather because I have been occupied with caring for my sister and getting her settled. Now I am back in Alabama and contemplating what’s next. I have been thinking a lot, talking to trusted souls in my life a lot, and wondering what is next.
Earlier today I read, and subsequently listened to, Elizabeth Gilbert talk about not following your passion but following your curiosity. I am always curious. Always. I love being curious and questioning, thinking about what I am doing and how it fits together and most of all about the possibilities ahead I am in a period of “not knowing” and there are days when that scares me out of my mind and other days when I find it exciting and challenging. I’ve been in this space before – knowing that change was on the horizon but not exactly what was coming. I plan and watch the plans disintegrate (like the plan for candidacy or thinking I knew my next career move) because there is something that I can’t yet imagine ahead of me.
Since the beginning of September I have re-discovered many things that I had left behind. While I was in Seattle I re-engaged with yoga practice (not yoga as just another form of exercise) at Bala Yoga, a wonderful studio in Kirkland. I attended several classes during the 10 days I was in Seattle – enough that I decided to buy a pass because I know that I will be back in Seattle and that I will return to the studio. I had not practiced yoga for many years but was pleased at the way my body responded and remembered poses. It wasn’t all easy or exact, but there was an ease and I discovered a much needed place of retreat at the studio. I worked with three different teachers and attended a Yin Yoga class for the first time. The restorative poses accompanied by live music of Steve Gold were exactly what I needed.
I also spent time with Erika Ebbeson, a wonderful massage therapist and teacher, who helped me with releasing tension and relaxing during the week. She pointed me to Katya Difani at Herban Wellness where I purchased tea and herbs. Herbal teas and tinctures things that helped me a great deal when I worked with Jock Smith while I lived in Grand Rapids. I am already feeling the positive impact of what Katya recommended.
I continue to see some kind of ministry in my future. I am a servant at heart. I just do not think that it will probably be the traditional route that I was envisioning earlier this summer. It may through a non-profit or integrate the storytelling that I love so much but have rarely had the opportunity to practice since moving to Alabama. I am confident that there will be an element of health and healing involved in what ever I wind up doing and that the triad of faith, story and healing will evolve in some way that I have not yet quite imagined.
You might wonder what Mt. Ranier has to do with all of this? Over a three day period while I was in Seattle Mt Ranier was glorious. The mountain came out. The days were clear, bright and warm and as I rounded a corner or drove over a bridge, Mt. Ranier was there – stunning and magnificent. I kept trying to find a spot where I could take a photo but it was like playing hide and seek. There was no good place to stop and take a photo (hence the photo from the South Center parking lot at the beginning of this post). As the sun set each day the glow of the sky changed and the red hues around the mountain created a sight that I find is beyond words. Those of you who live in Pacific Northwest or who have seen the mountain like this know what I mean. The rest will have to imagine. Most of the time that I was in Seattle, however, Mt. Rainer was hidden in a veil of mist and clouds. I knew it was there but I couldn’t see it. I had to trust that the huge and magnificent mountain was just beyond reach and that at some point I would see it clearly. I was not disappointed. I did see the mountain for three solid days and again as I flew home. My future is the same. I can’t see what is ahead at the moment, but I will in the right time.
For those of you who would rather read about my training, I am two weeks away from Augusta 70.3. Today we learned that the river is contaminated with some kind of spill or leak so hopefully it will be identified and cleaned up quickly. I am back to some training before I taper for a few days before Augusta. I swam on Friday and rode 15 miles today at a very good pace. The goal will be the finish line – just get there and cross it. I have no stunning time goals to meet or anything else. Just cross the finish line. After Augusta I will reassess triathlons with Sam. In discussing races with him as well as a few other people, it really seems that it is time to give up running long distances. Again, time will tell what the future holds for my athletic endeavors.