Life tossed me more obvious challenges with my feet this past week, turned up the heat on my efforts to retain the influences of each class and spit me out into a weekend of reflection. My kids and their demands for help with homework, organization of their schedules and the matchless value of connection time reminded me of how easy it is to lose track of vital threads.
My first essay for Critical Thinking is asking me to clarify my worldview. This would not be the first or even the third time I have done so. But it has the feel of solidity hard won, of confidence still cooling after the fires of struggle and an awareness of life’s propensity for tossing more challenge my way. I thought of posting it as a page on my blog, went to do so and realized there were some major threads left out in my rush to get on with the rest of my homework.
A worldview unfolds a rich tapestry of life’s vicissitudes of prosperity and loss on so many levels. When tailored around carefully constructed inquiries, it challenges a life to see clearly and to define a personal foundation of meaning. It’s great stuff.
But in the meantime, my lawn languishes, feet not ready to add the strain of pushing uphill with a Reel mower while still adjusting to carrying a heavy bookbag on my back across long stretches of parking lot. I remind myself that some front lawns suggest so very much but tell precious little. I tell my mind to shut up and let go of the fear of parents’ wrong conclusions when they drop their kids off to walk with my daughter to school.
It is, after all, a minor thing and rains have been rare, turning lawn into desert patches. But I have often worried far too much about what people think of me, how I am perceived. It’s a chance to let go of vanity on deeper levels while promising myself that my worthwhile longing for an attractive yard and home will find fulfillment. It’s a timely venture since vanity gets to go flying out the window when you’re stumbling for good expression in front of a whole class. Not that I’ve had what would even qualify as bad moments but the experience of putting myself out there is a wonderfully liberating work. And it underlines how much richness I have at my disposal, that I do identify with the basic struggles of humanity because of the path my life has traversed.
I’d say this week has done at least one thing for me. It has stripped me of more extras, of those layers that I was unaware of wearing as defense against what turns out to simply be…life. I’m looking around for those tidal pools in my soul, the ones that invite me to kick off my shoes, shed any pretense or defense and just flow …