People say that what we are seeking is a meaning of life. I don’t think this is what we’re really seeking. I think what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive. – Joseph Campbell
Many times over the summer I had to remind myself that becoming enlightened isn’t about living a perfect life, one that looks shiny and perky from the outside. Rather, it’s about staying centered and peaceful in my soul while rinsing out the endless cat food cans, unloading the dishwasher and going back to the market because I forgot to get the trash bags.
These are my Ant duties, and I fulfill them, sometimes with such focused energy that crossing things off my to-do list is disturbingly satisfying. I believe that if I get it all done, then… well, it’s never all done, is it? I will admit it, my priorities are like vegetable soup right now. Pureed even.
Where is my Butterfly with her free-floating imagination and sense of curiosity? She visits now and then but has been sadly elusive for a couple of months now. In defense of the Ant, however, the seemingly trivial duties have served to build my anthill, my foundation. The one that my Butterfly will use as a launch pad and a resting spot. A beautiful one that will inspire her and provide the security she needs to explore new meadows, new worlds.
That’s been my lesson this summer: I need security in order to have real freedom. (As opposed to my former belief: I need freedom in order to create security – didn’t work out so well.)
The Ant has been successful. I’ve laid the cornerstone and paved
the driveway. The windows sparkle, attracting sunbeams and love-lights into my life and my heart.
But now, I need to push the Re-Set Button in preparation for the Butterfly’s return. I need some awe. Vast swathes of nature, intimate moments with whispering winds. California, here I come.
With the past, I have nothing to do, nor with the future. I live now. –
Ralph Waldo Emerson