Ellie and I travelled westward last night, the sun a brilliant ball of light calling for the night to fall. Golden fields of wheat shimmered in the evening light, starlings and hawks and magpies sat on fence posts or flirted with wings spread wide, dancing with the evening breeze. I watched two starlings chase a hawk, Away! Away! they seemed to call.
And in the backseat, Ellie slept. She is a good traveller, Ellie the Wonder Pooch. She seldom stirs, seldom even sits up to look out the window. She simply lies sprawled across the backseat, resigned to the fact she is encased in a metal capsule until such time as I release her.
It’s the nice thing about travelling with Ellie. I stop more often for mini-breaks. Five minutes here to let her stretch her legs. Five minutes there to let answer the call of nature.
The route C.C. drew out for me was fairly deserted. Backroads, all beautifully paved and marked, but backroads none the less. No semis. No giant motor homes. No trailers hauled behind cars too small to pull them. A few pick-ups. A few cars. And a long straight road piercing the endless fields of grain sprawling out on all sides of me. North. South. East. West. Grain fields rolled into forever.
There is lots of time to think and ruminate and meditate when driving in the prairies. The long view pulls me into its thrall, calling me to look back, forward, inside, out.
And in the long view, I see the difference time has made on what was, and is no more.
In the long view, I see the signposts of roads taken, intersections crossed, corners turned.
In the long view, I see life sprawling out in all its wonderful and mysterious directions.
Life. It is always there. Always abounding. Always, being what it is.
As the miles passed by, I listened to an interview on CBC Radio conducted with Jungian psychologist and author, James Hollis. Dr. Hollis and I agree on many things, and one of them is — the difference we make in the world isn’t because of what happens. It’s created in what we do, how we respond to what happens.
Dr. Hollis said, and I can’t remember his words exactly so I’ll use mine… The universe doesn’t care. It isn’t that ‘the world’ is out to get us. There is no script for how we’ll be treated by life. We are the creators of that script. The events that transpire are in response to our responses. The events are man-made. The Universe is Divinely-created, or whatever your belief, God, Buddha, Allah — the Universe just is. We are what/who makes a difference in our lives. How we respond to the Divine essence of our lives on earth makes our lives different.
Earlier this year I took a course at Abbey of the Arts where each day we were invited to meditate and respond to a series of questions posted by Abbey abbess, Christine Valters Paintner. Christine also invited us to draw a mandala, write a poem, do something creative to experience our responses to the questions posed in different ways.
In my exploration through that 40 day course, a mini-pilgrimage into the desert for Lent, I discovered a ‘truth’ I’d been holding onto that, in my grip, was limiting my life. I didn’t trust ‘the universe’. I didn’t trust it to turn up and support me. In fact, I often expected it to let me down.
If, as Dr. Hollis suggests, it’s not about what the Universe can do for me, but what I can do for it, then not trusting this sentient energy that is all around me is a self-defeating game of giant proportions!
Trusting the Universe to be ‘on my side’, is a simple flip of the switch from ‘not-trusting’ to trusting. Either side of the equation, it is just a thought. A leap from one side of the road, to the other. A step from north to south, east to west. No matter which direction I go, trusting the universe to simply be, and holding myself 100% accountable for how I am in the world makes a world of difference.
I drove westward into the setting sun last night and found myself opening up to the possibilities of life spreading out in the long view all around me.
It is an amazing world we live in. It’s up to each of us to live it up for all we’re worth! To make all that we can of this one and only wild and precious life that is our miracle of creation.