I would love to be able seek spiritual happiness by spending months in the Andes or weeks in Sedona or Montana or western Massachusetts or going on a retreat in some ancient site or a spending a winter alone in a hermit hut someplace. Most of my spiritual contemplation happens in the car while I am driving my teen child to the mall. So, I ask myself, “How do you discover the Sacred Within when it is all you can do not to throw a shoe out the window at the car that just cut in front of you? When you don’t feel the powerful abundance of Goddess in your heart, but instead are so frazzled trying to cope with the details of your life that you forget your own name? When all you want to do is nap instead of meditating on some ancient goddess and her place in your life story?”
I don’t know. I really don’t. Believe me, my life would be easier if I did.
I suppose I should stop here, but that would be a disappointing end to the entry. So, I will just say that… what a wonderful opportunity driving a teen to the mall is to dive right into the full storm of the stuff of real life. No soap opera could ever beat a single day of the life of a parent for drama, for unexpected triumphs and heartbreaks, for never-ending toil. When you drive a teen to the mall, you learn to focus intensely on the present moment. No trivial chatter clogs up your mind. You couldn’t ruminate if you wanted to, but you do live. You do enter into what it means to be human in an elemental way.
When the Creator made the universe, She didn’t create perfection, but instead made the world full of bustle and mess and frustration and dirt. You kind of get the feeling that that is how She likes life, because that is how life is in nature. When you watch a chipmunk or an eagle or a turtle, they are running here and there stuffing acorns in their cheeks or flying off with baby rabbits in their beaks or shoveling out their homes in the mud. There must be something sacred about hubbub if the Creator made so much of it.
So, maybe these years of active parenthood are actually a special time of life, a unique way of being with spiritual messages that we can only get by living this way for twenty years or so. Perhaps we can only truly understand the gift that life is by spending a quarter of our lives in the nitty-gritty of getting someone else’s life off to a good start, by cleaning up the diapers and mashing up the peas. It could be that we can only truly appreciate solitude when we have memories of our heads exploding from the constant clamor. I think that we can only get a true sense of the task of Creation when we understand that the glory moment of turning on the sun is part of it, but so is hearing the cries of billions of humans in despair all at the same time. Perhaps this is one way of entering into Goddess’s own work, of being at Her side in a way that is not possible through any other means. And you don’t even have to travel to another continent, or even across the street.