inch by inch
I could have slept forever this morning. Truth be told, this is not uncommon. I often wake up wanting to go back to sleep. I love sleep. It's healing, its restorative, it's good. Some say during sleep we travel in realms unknown to our daytime eyes, our daytime minds. Some say we integrate our daily affairs and heal what wants to be unconsciously healed or that we release what wants to unconsciously be released. Some say sleep is a place where we can communicate with others at a different level than our daytime words, our awake words. I don’t know about any of these things, I like them, but I certainly can’t prove them. I do know, however, how much I love sleep and that for me, sleep is good.
This morning I woke up with a very distinct dream, or message, or download. And I can’t quite remember the specifics because, well because that’s the way these things go after all, but I will do my best to share what I do remember. I woke up with this statement running through my head… something like... and 9 by 10, each time a little, and always whether you know it or not, we grow.
9 by 10, each time a little, and always whether you know it or not, we grow.
And the context of the dream was an envelope and the envelope had grown an inch. And the context was that even when we are not looking, or if we cannot see it, that envelope grows every year. Somehow I knew it hadn’t always been a 9 by 10 envelope. Somehow I knew that it was a deeply comforting thing that this envelope had grown an inch. Somehow I woke up incredibly reassured and hopeful about my life, about your life, about the world.
As I went to start my day this message morphed and changed and I caught a tune while brushing my teeth which instantly made me smile. Pete Seger was a folk singer I grew up with, his voice is like salve to me. And with all that is occurring in my life, both inside and out, I welcomed this salve into my day and started humming it to myself. As I looked at my reflection in the mirror my eyes twinkled back and both my reflection and I giggled.
Inch by inch, row by row, gonna make this garden grow…
And we stopped, my reflection and I, and we thought about this message, and we thought about our 39 years of life. And we smiled. Filled with bittersweet nostalgia and expansive hope at the same time, I thought, this is life. This is what is happening, this is what we are doing every single moment whether we like it or not. Growing. And if we fight the growth, we atrophy. if we resist it, we wither. if we ignore it, we become outdated and incapable of keeping up with the rapidly changing world around us.
Think about the fact that when I was 3 years old, answering machines were just becoming common in households all across America. What if we had fought that? And I am sure some people did. I am sure there are people out there with rotary phones that fill their empty hallways with ring after ring after ring. But in general we didn’t fight that, and now we all have smart phones, the majority of us. And the majority of us now have an emotional reaction when we can’t reach someone we love, or need, within 30 seconds. Why aren’t they answering? Where are they? Don’t they know I need them? I hope they’re ok??
Sometimes, like with this example, I wonder if we are growing in the right direction. But always I come back to the personal belief that growing is growing is growing and that is ultimately a good thing. Just like living is living is living. There are days when the grass is greener both in my own lawn and on someone else lawn. There are days when the grass is browner and it seems like it may never grown again. Both on someone else’s lawn and on my own lawn. And then of course, there are the days when I wonder if grass even ever existed in the first place.
And then I remember love. And as Lin-Manual said “love is love is love is love” and maybe, just maybe the opportunity is to sacrifice the notions of a right way and a wrong way to grow. There will always be polarity in the world. Like a battery, it won’t charge without a positive end and a negative end. Nothing would happen in the space between if both ends were positive or both ends were negative. It’s the combination that creates the energy that creates the charge that creates the life. We don’t judge battery’s for having two opposing experiences inside them at the same time... maybe it’s time to stop judging ourselves and each other for this as well.
Maybe it’s time to allow ourselves to have crappy moods and ecstatic moods. It’s ok, both are natural and both are allowed. It’s ok to be blue or angry or even a little stubborn from time to time. Just like its ok, nay necessary, for you to fall in love with who you are and scream it from the top of the rooftops (or mountains depending on where you live). It is ok, nay necessary, for us to question our own growth or stagnancy. And it's equally ok, nay necessary, to celebrate our own growth or movement out of said stagnancy. It’s ok to feel yourself any which way you do...go ahead and feel yourself, right here, right now. How do you feel? Whatever it is can you let it be ok?
It’s time to accept the what-isness and cover the whole damn thing with as much love as you can muster. And if you have ever read any of my musings before you know I know you are filled with love. It’s who you are. You are a beautiful, magnificent, wonderful, growing, being of love. You are, whether you know it or not, you just are. And so am I. And so is he. And so are they. We may not know it, we may fear it, we may have been taught a billion different things. For as many billions of brains that there are on this planet, there are an infinite amount of thoughts to believe and recycle and be consumed by or be inspired by.
The sun and moon always rise, the clouds come and go, the rain and snow and sleet eventually stop and nature, nature shows us the sturdiness, the constant slow and sometimes speedy pace of change, while always rooted in the cycles and rhythms of life. Waking and asleep. And I return to my dream, I return to my assured, calmed state as I peer out the window at the world around me. 9 by 10, we grow. It’s the most true thing I may have ever heard even though I don’t quite understand it.
Inch by inch, row by row…..
Inch by inch, row by row,
Gonna make this garden grow.
Gonna mulch it deep and low,
Gonna make it fertile ground.
Inch by inch, row by row,
Please bless these seeds I sow.
Please keep them safe below
'Til the rain comes tumbling down.
Pullin' weeds and pickin' stones,
We are made of dreams and bones
Need spot to call my own
Cause the time is close at hand.
Grain for grain, sun and rain
I'll find my way in nature's chain
Tune my body and my brain
To the music of the land.
Plant your rows straight and long,
Season them with a prayer and song
Mother earth will keep you strong
If you give her love and care.
Old crow watching from a tree
Has his hungry eyes on me
In my garden I'm as free
As that feathered thief up there.