I took my usual walk this evening. I’ve found that it brings rhythm and regularity and peace and calm to my otherwise topsy-turvy, thrown-everywhere days. Tonight, everything within me told me not to take a walk, that I should stay inside and do homework instead. But I fought those thoughts and ventured outside, clutching my rosary as per usual.
I’ve prayed more rosaries in the last week than I have in the last three months. I’ve never been a rosary girl. I’ll be the first to admit that needs to change, but you don’t just get ‘into’ the rosary overnight. But even though I still haven’t learned to love it, I’ve learned that I *need* it. I need the familiarity. I need the feeling of the beads slipping through my fingers. I need to make my deepest petitions known to someone who understands the cry of the heart.
The air was still stuffy as I made my way through the garden towards the dock. Night one of being here I staked out ‘my spot’, right on the water, as far out into the lake as you can get while still being on solid ground. And as I settled myself against a pillar to pray decade two, I closed my eyes to the darkness. Not just the darkness of the fading foggy skies, but the swirling questions that batter against the weary shutters of my mind. Heart-deep questions which threaten to beat me into submission.
My rosary continued its round about my hands and eventually, I looked up again. The skies were darker. The questions remained. But there was a calm amidst the storm which hadn’t been present moments before.
You must become an island, and see for yourself: that's what I am.
Rosa, I’ve realized that it’s ok to be an island sometimes. It’s ok to be the only thing steady in your own life. It’s ok to sway with the comings and goings of the tides and to welcome visitors who only stay a short time. It’s ok to let people come to the dock of your heart and float away before the day is through.
You must become an island and see for yourself: the horizon is all we have.
I think everyone needs to be an island for a bit. It’s this time of self-discovery which forms us and makes us who we are meant to be. It’s terrifying to stand on our own two feet and not know where to turn, but its those steps that follow that determine our trajectory, the strokes in the water that aim us towards the mainland.
And if an evening walk can lock these lessons in and make the horizon approach more rapidly, so be it.