In my last posting I shared a bunch of photos of the gardens and orchards around our home. What the photos don’t easily show are the spaces between the places.
A dear one, who occasionally displays a very practical side to their thinking, asked me recently, “Why are your garden areas separated so far from each other?” She is right. You must walk around our place quite a bit to visit each area.
I told the dear loved one that I enjoy the journey. As you move from one place to another place, you journey through spaces. I don’t think she entirely got my drift and I wasn’t really into explaining it much more than I had – probably because I didn’t really understand it myself.
I first became aware of spaces after we lost our big house and beautiful one acre yard in the Camp Fire. We moved into a travel trailer and suddenly my wide-open space did not exist any longer, but somehow I started to become aware that small spaces can be precious too. That didn’t make it easier to transition to such a small space and soon we were looking for property with bigger spaces. Still, I remember that new awareness of preciousness in even small spaces.
As I think about storytelling, I see a connection with places and spaces. The story begins in a place and ends in a place, but the story takes place through the spaces. Walking with awareness from garden place to garden place is like storytelling. It isn’t just a walk or a number of steps. This can also be expanded far beyond gardening and storytelling. My life has been filled with emotional places, but my story, my life, happened in the spaces between.
My religious beliefs have evolved also beyond the need for certainty (places of Heaven and Hell) to an awareness of our sacred spaces, both within us and around us. Often in nature, the place opens my eyes and then my heart begins to recognize the infinite space.
This infinite space does not always bring me joy though. Recently I listened as heartbroken parents described their loss in the Texas school shooting. Listening, feeling, it is like the whole world around me had gone silent and all I could feel was a space of deep sadness. There are way too many other examples in our world of this space of unbearable loss.
Unconsciously, I have probably been struggling to understand places and spaces for a long time. I wrote a song once with these lyrics “And the story lies deep within the pages, like words that rhyme, don’t make up a song. And, I know that I’m going through some changes, roses climb but still live with their thorns.”
(Thank you to Laura for planting the seed of Feng Shui in my mental garden with her last comments!)
Disclaimer: I am typing this on my phone with no reading glasses on and I am too lazy to try to edit it.