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The Irony of Life, Part 21:  The Unknown Path

Sometimes, life puts us on a trail we didn’t choose.  It can be scary, especially if we’re alone, and the path is unknown.

But the COVID-19 Pandemic did that for everyone on the planet.  So dealing with seclusion, lost work and no income, and the fear of succumbing to the virus every time we encounter “someone in the store without a mask who coughs” is a shared experience.  On top of that are climate change and U.S.A. political chaos that also affect everyone on the planet.

Those are the thoughts I had while walking the Sulphur Creek Trail this morning.

When I begin the trail from the east side, everything is scary because it’s dark from the shade of the tall trees filled in with bushes and vines.  I seldom see another person on the trail.

Cicadas shock me with their sudden bursts of alien sound.  They stop just as quickly after I pass by.  If I’m the first on the trail, I’m the one who gets covered in spider webs.  And each time I walk to the trailhead, I wonder if this is the time those panties I see on the ground will be mine.

The mind plays tricks on us if we allow it.

And so, the second time I walked the trail over a month ago, I started doing prayers my granny taught me when I was a child and Japa with the mantra my Guru taught me thirty years ago. It gets me to the end of the trail.

I stop for a moment in the sunshine and notice the different perspective from standing west and facing east.  Now, the trail is inviting and well-lit, even in the shade.

But it’s not only the visual perspective of the trail that changes things.  It is the conscious righting of the mind, refusing to allow negative thoughts, that makes the difference.

Sadly, the spiritual practice that enables me to do that was interrupted by my frantic search for a place to live after listing my house for sale and then looking for a place to live when I got here.  During those five months from mid-February to mid-July, fear crept in and took over my life.

I have been short-tempered with the one doing her best to be my older sister despite her challenges, and with the man who rescued me from the bullies who bought my house and broke our contract.  He found me a place to rent in his state when I couldn’t find one looking in mine and three others nearby.

I have been “short” with my precious cats who desperately need reassurance after that three-day journey to this strange place where they are experiencing fleas for the first time and look longingly out the windows because I won’t let them go outside.  Bella sleeps under the covers during the day on my side of the bed.  Kali prefers to be in my face, but nothing I do settles her.

We are not adjusting very well.  We long for the familiarity of our state, town, and neighborhood.  Now that my realtor here has quit showing me homes, I find myself utterly alone (thanks to being a newbie during the Pandemic) and lonelier than I ever have been before.  And worse, I don’t know what to do!

I can’t make myself unpack those boxes because there is no place to put my kitchen and bath things except on my bookcases, and, honestly, I refuse to accept that I must live here.  Aside from the fleas, the house is dark and depressing.

And so, I found my Tarot cards, pendulum, Runes, and coins for the I Ching.  Every reading was the same:

You failed to follow your instinct, and now it’s languishing, leaving you out of balance.  You must reconnect with your Higher Self.

For psychology buffs, that might mean, “Work with your shadow.” And, for Biblical folk:  “Go within…” and “Wait on the will of the Lord.” As the LORD says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you” (Psalms 32:8).

God, Spirit, The Universe, All-That-Is speaks to us however we can listen.

When I stopped trying to figure everything out, I experienced peace.  The forthcoming guidance made me smile:  Stop “Doing” and focus on “Being.”  I understood that to mean, “Take care of yourself and your cats. Rest, sleep, relax, and eat well.  ‘Sit’ (meditate) more:  throughout the day and before bed. Practice yoga to tame your mind.”

And now, when my situation tries to overwhelm me, I can reframe the experience:  “I’m on another adventure, one that is not only fun discovering the good stuff, like the rolling hills that evoke the “Wheee!” voice of the child within.

It also gives me time to do what I want to do, like write this blog, take a nap with my cats, and watch movies. Most people have been doing this since the beginning of the Pandemic in February.  Finally, it’s my turn!

My trail looked dark and scary until I reconnected with my Self.  Once again, I remember that I am a Spiritual Being having a physical experience, witnessing life as it is, without judgment.  IT is what it is.  And being in that place makes any trail an interesting journey.

[To be continued…]

Till next time,

Please be kind to everyone you meet, for we all have our hidden sorrows. ~Tzaddi

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