But now, I've stopped looking for spring where it's not to be found, and embraced winter in its fullness instead. I tend to forget that spring is even a possibility; I don't hope for it anymore. So when it does arrive, it's always an unexpected delight. It's a little like when you know what you're getting for your birthday, but the giver wraps it anyway so you get the pleasure of tearing the paper away.
Spring has begun to make her descent, and once again I find myself unexpectedly enlivened and delighted. But this spring, there is the added factor of my housebuilding plans. Spring means it's time to build, and I couldn't be more excited to begin.
A month or two ago, I copied the following horoscope from Rob Brezsny into this post draft, because it rang so true for me.
"All your longings know where to go," writes poet Nick Piombino, "but you have to tell them to open their eyes." That's one of your big assignments in 2011, Pisces: to make sure your longings keep their eyes open. It's not as easy as it might sound. Sometimes your longings get so entranced by obsessive fantasies -- so distracted by the stories that are swirling around in your imagination -- that they're blind to what's right in front of them. You must speak to your longings tenderly and patiently, as you would a beloved animal, coaxing them to trust that life will bring more interesting and useful blessings than anything fantasy could provide. ~ Rob Brezsny, Freewill AstrologyWell, folks, my longing's eyes are open, and life has indeed been providing "more interesting and useful blessings than anything fantasy could provide." In fact, I've been continually astounded by how beautifully different aspects of my housebuilding project have been falling into place. I won't go into detail about that here, but if you're interested, you can read all about it at my new blog, Home Sweet Hive.
What I will say, though, is that my direction has definitely changed. It occurred to me recently that I haven't even thought about the San Francisco church in a while, and in conversation with my dear blogging friend, Jennifer, I realized that it's time to close the door on that chapter of my life.
However, part of my plan for building a house has involved getting a 4WD vehicle for the rough terrain where my land will be, and when I contacted the man I ended up buying my new Chevy Blazer from, he suggested we meet in the church parking lot. Walking over there that morning, I felt a satisfying sense of closure, that a beginning was happening in the exact place where something else was ending.
Another thing I copied into this post a while back (I do that sometimes, just gather snippets to build a post around later) was this quote from Thomas Merton, via Abbey of the Arts:
Forest and field, sun and wind and sky, earth and water, all speak the same silent language, reminding the monk that he is here to develop like the things that grow all around him.The last snippet I had copied into this post was about clouds, as I noticed after I made my 2011 collage that there were an awful lot of them, which I didn't consciously intend.
I began to think about clouds as living things, and taking my cue from Merton, I pondered how I could develop like a cloud. This goes back to longings, because I think of the expression "head in the clouds." With this building project, I feel a profound balance of head in the clouds and feet firmly planted on the ground.
Developing "like the things that grow" is what building an off-grid house is about for me, and I've realized that it's not just flowers and trees, hummingbirds and bats that serve as models, but that gorgeous, handmade, majestic church building that I've sat gazing at for so long. She herself is a growing, living thing, and that's how I want my house to be.