so... today was kind of big for me. not because i did anything earth-shattering. didn't win any awards. didn't finish any big projects... it was one of those days that you hate, but you know you'll be glad you went through it... eventually.
today i walked a long way, carrying a heavy burden; both metaphorically, and ... ya' know... actually. through a series of strange and difficult-to-believe circumstances, i ended up having to walk about 15 miles today. six of which found me toting around approximately 40 lbs of cargo in a couple of cumbersome canvas bags.
sure, i was a little tired afterward, and i may be developing a few blisters, but in and of itself, this was not the accomplishment. the big deal of it all, was me being able to get past some mental barriers. it was the coming-to-an-understanding part, where it became clear to me that sometimes - as much as we want to believe that people will change, that the good will win out; regardless of how much optimism and joy we have rooted deep in the dark earth of our souls - sometimes we just have to cut people loose. which is really just another way of cutting ourselves loose. of untethering our ... emotions, i suppose, and our expectations from people who have proven themselves an unstable anchor. there are relationships that are malignant as tumors, and the only thing to be done is to perform life-saving surgery.
this is never an easy thing. even less so when you are trying to do so without staining your own heart with bitterness.
so, without going into too much needless detail, through the inconvenient and slightly bizarre circumstances of the day, i was hit pretty hard by the fact that i am, in every sense of the word, a single mom. of 7 kids. and that i am their sole support. and that, when you get right down to it, their welfare is now my responsibility and nobody else's. it's a scary thought.
so much has been changing lately, and i've been excited about the changes. about jumping out into mid-air, netless, and seeing what will come of it. but the realization that i'm doing that with a pack of kids in tow is... among other things.... terrifying.
but, somehow, today as i was pounding the miles (i think it was somewhere around mile 6, just after i almost lost a shoe in a mud bog), i found i was OK with that. with the terror. and with the lack of net.
it was a moment of bright, pinpoint focus. a mental squaring of the shoulders, narrowing of the eyes, and facing down the future and all of its unknowns.
and after my mini-catharsis, and despite the shoulder pain and the shoes that, at about 10 miles were clearly not the correct shoes to have worn; i felt completely... buoyant.
implicit in this is faith. faith in God, to be specific. not the kind of insipid, sunday-school faith that shrugs and looks to heaven, twiddling thumbs, and waiting for some post-death celestial mansion in the sky. (that may come, certainly, but that is neither the motivation nor the goal) No. the kind of faith i'm talking about is the kind that comes from a conviction that God, simply, knows. He put us here and has given us each a specific work to do, and that somehow, all of the awful, heartbreaking things that happen are all part of making you into the person that you need to be in order to do the work that you are here to do.
it was a very personal version of churchill's glorious,
which i will translate here into crafter-ese (and in eye-rollingly amateur form), for anyone who has ever followed a crochet pattern:
whether it's a literal step on a long journey, the next step toward a goal, or the next brave step toward growing into the person you need to be,
just take it.
and then the next.
... ad infinitum.