This week brought an amazing opportunity: I had a series of meetings that opened new vistas for me. Actually, I got to visit a place in which I had the odd feeling of being two ages at once. It was as though I was coming home, but all the carpet was new, the paint was fresh, and the old, broken furniture was replaced. In one sense, I felt the weirdest deja vu; on the other hand, it was as though I had never truly seen the place before.
Let me tell you a story about a young woman. This was no ordinary young woman, although she thought she was. She had a reasonably ordinary childhood in which swimming, Girl Scouts, and her loving family were the norm. Then she discovered boys, her world spun on its axis, and suddenly her life’s compass became unreliable. She did her best to remain level-headed and managed to complete the first stage of her college education, although her focus wandered mightily and she passed through her college days perhaps too hastily.
She searched for her compass, travelling far and near to find it. The world spun around her, and she managed to at least plant the seeds for her future, despite the lack of direction she felt. She followed her heart, which led her from love to love. The problem, although she didn’t know it, was that she depended on someone else’s compass for her direction — not necessarily a mistake, but also not the wisest choice because everybody’s life compass has its own unique path. Since she couldn’t find her own compass, she made the best of all circumstances.
Then came a time when these so-called loves deserted her. Suddenly, she realized that her compass was right where she had left it: within herself. All she needed was the chance to think without distractions. She cleared the garbage out of her life, but was prone to being a bit too efficient at the cleaning process. Sometimes she discarded things she cherished along with the trash. In this case, she left a place that she loved and friends whom she adored to find the peace she needed. At the time, it was the only choice she could see that would take her forward, and she knew her sacrifice was necessary for her compass to work again.
Many years passed for this woman. She endured the bitter loneliness of a somewhat self-imposed isolation. Along the way, she reclaimed herself and her own unique life path. The compass began working properly again, and she had found one of the first miracles: a person whose compass complemented her own. They joined paths and learned that their conjoined life path shimmered with coruscating colors, leading them to places they would have never found alone. They also managed to find a couple of kindred souls who wore the bodies of children who gleefully joined their journey.
Soon, this woman’s path brought her back to that place of beauty that she had to sacrifice, much like Abraham was asked to sacrifice Isaac. Seeing the place, she smelled the purity of the air, saw the beauty of the mountains and valleys, and tasted the sweetness of the water — and wondered how she had been so blind to all these wonders before. It was as though everything in nature was beckoning her to come home. But would her knock at the door be answered with welcome, or would the door be slammed in her face like an unwanted stranger?
If you haven’t guessed yet, this is my story, and I am the one knocking at the door. I shall discover soon if will be welcomed into the home that I forsook all those years ago. Like an abashed, long-lost relative, I stand shivering in the bitter wind on the cold doorstep, awaiting a reply.
I will let you know how it turns out.