My Year of "Ground"

Did I ever tell you I chose a word for the year? Oh, my, it's June! Where have I been? Well, hanging out in the poetry blog, for one. My mental health took a huge blow and I took refuge in rhyme-y things. (Well, not always rhyme-y, but you get it. Poet-y-ish things.) I have been sharing news through the newsletter, but I felt it was high time I posted an update here. (Maybe tell you things like, I don't know- we moved!)

Let's start with the ground. Earth. This planet. This body on this planet. This soul in this body on the ground on this planet. "And the green grass grew all around, all around..." Sorry! My mind wandered off- again. Maybe that's why I chose "ground" as my word for the year. I'm a dreamer. Head in the clouds, heart in the future, and my intuition told me it was time to come home. Not "Land ho!" but "Land Here." Be here. Not looking back too long and not looking forward too hard. Coming home, really, to the true self and what I truly needed: a coming home, home. Like an actual move across several states to be near family. It was time, and we did it, scary as it was and is while we start over.

I thought it was going to be hard. I was right! Also, I thought it was going to be really painful. I was sort of right but mostly wrong. There is always a growing pain in transition for me because I resist the thing that does me the most good: change. Unexpectedly for me, I've had this huge and indescribable sense of relief ever since. I've lost pounds (or years?) in emotional baggage. I have so much more energy than I've had in a long time. I have hope. I have vision. I have support! (Thanks for that. x)

What better way to live a year of groundedness than to take a leap of faith? Half the time, I'm worried we're gonna splat. The other half -and these halves are like shared minutes, not like 12 hours good, 12 hours sour where I could maybe sleep through 4 of them- I'm listening to my gut, and my gut is certain things are going to be a whole new level of more than we've dreamed.

"Ground," as poet David Whyte puts it in Consolations, "is a place on which to stand and a place from which to step." (This book is in my top ten favorites of all time, even though I can't name all the others offhand. Rilke's Book of Hours is another, so I've given that list a start.)

That quote is my anchor this year. And an anchor more in the sense of something I can keep coming back to when I feel lost rather than something that tethers me and makes me feel held down- an important distinction for me. I guess compass is a better word. What do you think?

So "ground" is my word for the year and what a strange and wonderful year it has been! I know, we've only just got the halfway point in our sights. There are troubling things behind and ahead. Not all is coming up roses or whatever that saying is. However, a change of scenery and situation has made life look brighter and the way forward (out? ahead?) more possible. The future is unclear, uncharted. But right now, there is much to do, much to learn, and much to anticipate.

I don't know how to end this post well, because I don't want to end it. I want to leave it open, gently and purposfully, sitting there like an always-full pot of tea waiting to be poured out for my guests. (I'm delighted to have you!) Are you weary and feeling stuck? I get that. Are you in a transition in your life, on the verge of huge changes or having them just in your rearview? I understand. Me, too. Are you anxious about "what next?" or the timing of things unfolding in your life? Gosh, we might actually need a coffee!

Let's take a few breaths together -the actual meaning of the word conspire!- (Latin: con - together; spirare- breathe)- and welcome in a moment of slow, really focusing on the ground beneath our feet, and its faithfulness in always being present whether acknowledged or not. Here to support us. Here as an anchor. Here.

I'll leave you with this quote from my Book of Hours:

 (From "Nunc Dimittis")

At the end of the day it is sometimes a terror
to face the reflection of the body
each bright hour has made of you.
To look full at your whole person
with a basket of small accomplishments
and a long list of unfinished dreams tucked under your arm.
To love the worn face with creasing brow
takes a dedication of faith
in the work of yesterday, the treasures of now,
and the hope for newness existing in all tomorrows.
May you welcome the sleep that enables second chances.



Jamie Bagley