Public speaking is known to be one of the things we fear instinctively, like loud noises. While I have the curious habit of reaching for the things I fear most, I feel that it’s only by testing the waters that I ever learn to swim. I don’t attempt to do things I know take real training and experience; say, flying a plane or conducting an orchestra. But if what is needed is just courage and will, I’m in.
As a member of the “pulpit committee” at my church, our official task is to find speakers to address the congregation when the minister is away. But after the retirement our our longtime minister, and the budget crunch felt ’round the world, we also became the fill-the-pulpit committee. The lack of funding to offer our guest speakers an honorarium prompted us to look within for inspiration. And yes, well, I’m one of those people who just raises my hand. Of course, courage and stupidity are occasionally synonymous. But I’m game. Give me a microphone and an audience, and I’ll think of something.
In our recent spring equinox service, (which I hosted with two other members of the congregation equally unafraid of microphones) we were talking about time and cycles, and I realized that I am back again, almost the same place but just a little further up. Seeing time as a spiral allows me to come back again to spring, and while I’m in a different time and space that I was last spring, it has it’s comforting similarities, and it’s delightful differences.
I’m writing the way I used to write, after putting the girls to bed and cleaning the kitchen. The quiet in the house is broken only by the sweet sound of the crickets, and the wind blowing through the avocado tree.
That I wait all day to get to this moment amuses me. It isn’t that I didn’t enjoy the trip to the library, or running into Crystal at the grocery store. The sun was warm, the girls are so much fun, the hours were full, and it’s wow, y’know, spring.
The air is delicious. The front lawn is a five inch tall riot of weeds, like some teenager growing wild long hair, just because someone will be deeply annoyed by it. What fun.
I’m back in this moment that I love, and at the same time, it’s a completely new moment. As spring pops up in the lawn, my life feels so new, it sparkles. I am someplace I have never been before, in this completely familiar scene. As I clean out the closets and sort the bookshelves, I know that I will have to tend to the lawn, too. But not just yet. I like it wild, for now.
It’s the moment alone in the night that feels not just like progress, but graduation.
I gave the address at church one of my favorite jokes; “Time flies like an arrow- fruit flies like a banana.” The next time you notice the fruit flies around the banana, notice that they move in a spiral. It’s Mother Nature’s favorite progression. Going around to go forward, going back to go up.
Sometimes when I reach out towards something I fear, I discover a new world.