I’m feeling a bit of empty nest syndrome. In the porch of the building where my bathroom is a little bird had faithfully built a nest, tucked into the upper corner. Despite it falling down one early spring day, with chunks of moss, sticks and grass spread across the doorway, this little bird persevered and made another one. Soon three little eggs joined the bird that would startle me if I took too long passing through the porch by flying out right by my head. Time passed. The three little eggs became three little birds themselves with little cheeps and beaks that would beg me for food as I walked through. It was easy to see they were growing fast. A few days ago someone told me they started flying. How exciting. What a moment it must have been to behold, the birds leaving the nest. I guess I thought it was just a preliminary flight, that they would be back to greet me as I stumbled to the bathroom in the morning, toothbrush in hand, or that I’d be able to see them all tucked in for the night as I stargazed my way home to bed. I was wrong. When birds fly away they don’t return. Nests aren’t really made to last very long.
What else in my life have I been holding onto, thinking I could find some semblance of permanence in its familiarity? Lots. The Kundalini and Dreams Teacher Certification course was utterly amazing. I learned such an incredible amount about myself, the Kundalini system, teaching and learning. Many threads were woven all around me in a way that I’m still deciphering the tapestry they’ve created in my life but that I know is pretty beautiful. After that the Annual General Meetings and a Celebration of Light preceded the Hidden Language Hatha Yoga course I’ve now entered into. It was a spacious, inspiring time. I can’t believe the way time works around here. I feel like some days go on for years yet the weeks they add up to pass in the blink of an eye.
Where does this leave this empty-nester? It leaves me looking for familiarity. I’m surprised at the way getting out of my usual routine has affected me. Yet when I look forward into the future I know that things won’t go back to the way they were when I left my karma yoga roles to take the teacher trainings. What made me think things would ever stay the same? I’ll be ‘away’ for about 7 weeks and am only really realizing that when I ‘go back’ I’ll be encountering a completely different situation. Summer time at the ashram means people: guests, walk-ins, visitors, and busyness. September is a time when, in the past, the ashram had been closed completely; residents would take their own wokshops and even the Young Adult Program sometimes wouldn’t run. It’s not as much as a marked shift now but the population drops drastically. How did I think I was merely stepping out of my regular routine and would enter back into it in the same way? Last September we would sometimes close the store completely and I’d process the fruit harvest in the dining room. It’s the same part of me that thought the birds would somehow be there again despite having flown away.
I do that in other ways. I interact with the world on this level that doesn’t always think ahead and then am surprised at my reactions when things are different than yesterday, surprised when things change. August means change. The lake is finally a temperature that is pleasant to swim in with warm summer days permeating at least the uppermost half-body depth of the water. I swam out farther than I usually do today, even farther than I did yesterday. I wanted to get some sort of perspective on myself and this ashram-town. I turned around, started treading water and gazed out at this new view of the place. A boat floated past me, closer to me than the shore now was, as I bobbed up and down in the soothing waters. Almost in a way that startled me I could now see the mountains behind the ashram looming up above the buildings. The feeling that washed over me was incredible: I realized that no matter what there’s always something higher to aspire to, something solid and pure, something ever present yet out of physical reach. Framing the roofs of these buildings I know, buildings I worship in, buildings I have lived in, were these reminders of solidity and presence. That’s in me, too. That’s the permanence, that’s the familiarity.
There will always be change. It’s how I react to it that I’m interested in. Acceptance of change means acceptance of anything it might bring up for me. Coming from a solid, centered place, I can move into these changes, partaking fully in the dance of life as Krishna spins me in ways I didn’t expect or never thought I could.