As the leaves begin to make their bright and scented carpet on the trails, I feel myself folding inward. Into the private me who is a part of this world yet who embraces separation from the crowded jostling.
I'm caught between wanting more and wanting less. Between the desire to be an instant success and the secret fear of having too much all at once. Between wanting to take my time with everything, yet needing a fast result. When everything in society is about high speed, I'm here in the land of SLOW DOWN.
In this altered state that has me sitting in a crock pot of my mind, I'm at peace.
Yet, there are a million things I could be doing with my life if only I were willing to take more leaps, more risks.
It was a minor risk to create the homeschool writer/illustrator workshop, a bigger risk to make my proposal and set a price. It was a scary risk to sit in the nearly empty classroom on Friday mornings and wait. Elliot wondered. I wondered. And now there are four of us.
We draw pictures. We chat. So far, a little writing has also been accomplished. Afterwards, I leave feeling amazed that a path is being opened. It used to look like a dense, impenetrable forest. But I keep taking slow steps and the woods keep opening up.
Over the weekend, I was able to go out dancing with my prince charming. I also discovered a secret that is probably not a secret, but something that arrived as an epiphany to me. I learned that taking healthy risks together can deepen intimacy.
Perhaps I have taken "happily ever after" to mean a life long attempt for safety and security. Within all the striving for stability and a sanctuary in the conventional ideal of an American family, it is the loss of shared risk taking that can have a negative impact on the romantic aspect of a relationship.
After all, the beginning stage of romantic love happens when two people agree to take a risk together with no certainty of outcome. They are vulnerable together. As time goes on, and risk subsides, intensified feelings of euphoria inducing love slows down.
And slow love, like slow food, is healthy and good.
But an occasional risk brings intimacy back to the forefront. I'm not talking about taking a life threatening risk or making unhealthy choices like abusing substances. Sometimes its about new music or exposure to something that you once were afraid to try.
With this epiphany, I'm now faced with a challenge. The challenge to respond to the feeling of being afraid as a potential avenue for growth.