“You are here!”

While revisiting a series of photos I snapped after an ice storm a few winters ago, I noticed this one, a close-up of a clump of sweet autumn clematis vines, frozen solid:

The seed head in the photo’s center caught my eye today. For some reason, it reminded me of those red stars you search for when you’re lost in some labyrinthine space and need to find your whereabouts on a locator map.

“You are here!” says the locating star.

What do you suppose would happen if, theoretically, you had to navigate your way through the labyrinth of vines in this photo? What a convoluted mess you’d face. To extract yourself from a tangle like this, how could you know which path to try first? With too many options and no one, clear road, you might freeze in your tracks, just like this seed head.

Life is like that. You wend along your merry way when, suddenly, you enter territory where no clear path is evident. You stop. You blink. You rub your eyes. You look around. Which way should you go?

You freeze.

You’re lost.

In my life, I’ve felt lost more times than I care to enumerate. I’ve felt lost in the company of those I clearly didn’t belong with, lost on the career path as I moved from job to job. Before I was ready to handle the deaths of those dearest to my heart, I found myself lost and alone in an endless maze of grief.

When it comes to feeling lost, there are hundreds of scenarios possible. Live a little while and you’ll plow straight into one or two, or several.

Today while I turned over in my mind the hypothetical plight of a traveler frozen in a labyrinth, the words of the poet, Galway Kinnell, came to mind:

the first step . . .
shall be
to lose the way. 

And there it is:

Getting lost is bound to happen because it’s part of the journey. The discomfort of feeling frozen in a place you don’t want to be is what compels you to make your next move.

I have no special wisdom to share about how to get through The Labyrinth of Feeling Lost. But I know this for certain: feeling lost is most assuredly¬†not¬†the end of the journey; it’s merely a part of the process of moving forward into your life.

So.

If you’re feeling lost right now, go ahead, take a step. If you’re not on the right path, your innermost heart will know, and you can try again.

Remain true to your deepest self and persevere. Somehow, some way, you’ll get through this. Later on, somewhere down the road, you’ll glance back at the uneven ground you’ve covered and realize you’ve grown along the way.

As you travel, remember this: no matter how thick the tangle or unclear the path, there’s a way to get through, and you’ll find it.

“You are here!” says the locating star.

Don’t freeze up now. Go ahead, take a step.

Wishing you strength for the journey, and a light for your path.

xo

 

I can plant a seed

The fact that I can plant a seed
and it becomes a flower,
share a bit of knowledge
and it becomes another’s,
smile at someone
and receive a smile in return,
are to me continual spiritual exercises.

~Leo Buscaglia, (1924 – 1998)

Everything

Everything is made out of Magic,
leaves and trees, flowers and birds,
badgers and foxes and squirrels and people.
So it must be all around us. In this garden–in all the places.

~Frances Hodgson Burnett, (1849 – 1924)

Hurt no living thing

Hurt no living thing:

Ladybird, nor butterfly,

Nor moth with dusty wing,

Nor cricket chirping cheerily,

Nor grasshopper so light of leap,

Nor dancing gnat, nor beetle fat,

Nor harmless worms that creep.

~Christina Rossetti, (1830 – 1894)