It Was Finished. Why Did It Un-Finish Itself?
Out of nowhere came the flagpole. In the midst of the heat of July, it simply appeared, towering over our neighbor’s new house, imposing upon ours. I ran from window to window, anxiously assessing. Unfortunately from many windows, one was now confronted with a massive flag. Never raised or lowered, it just sat there, this flag, contrary to my Girl Scout training that dictated that one never leave a flag up at night.
I freaked. I recovered. I freaked again. Writing the July blog helped, as I remembered my Girl Scout Camp flag ceremony experiences, some of the best memories of my life. The thrill of raising and lowering the flag, the whole camp present, our collective gathering honoring something we so deeply shared. My furtive glances out the window at His Flag softened. Maybe His flag could become My flag, too? I practiced reciting the Girl Scout Promise when I felt angry and invaded, “…to help other people at all times…..”.
It got easier.
Then the right action followed. Buying three white pines, to soften, to caress, to bring attention to themselves rather than to the flag, was big deal and a significant investment. We so carefully plotted and placed the trees to both block our vision of said-flag as well as to soften our gaze toward it. After much discussion, the trees were planted, sentinels of softness. Blogging about their presence and support helped, relaxed, softened my disbelief, my fight.
The mystery of the flagpole’s disappearance came next! The flag and its erectile pole (sorry—I had to say that) simply were gone. Perhaps since He was growing new post-construction grass, the pole couldn’t stand? Or maybe the power of my mindful prayers, my powerful juju impacted reality? I seemed to manifest a flag/and/flagpole free month. I almost forgot about it.
And now, present time: As I drive down Oak Road, on the other side of the new and large house, shockingly stands, (yes, wait for it) the flagpole, reestablished firmly in a empty field of new grass, readied for patriotic glee. Good news, it cannot be seen from the same windows of my house. Less good news, since we live on a dead end, every time one drives in/or/out, or walks/up/or down, there is the patriotic field, waiting for participation or reaction of some sort. Even less good news, the lovely white pines, so mindfully placed, are totally out of range and angle. The trees will love us forever. Yet they will not block our view of the offending flag, not at all.
I feel the heat building in my face.
But wait one darn moment! I had this settled. I reacted mindfully and I took right action. This new reemergence, this is wrong. Surely life can’t keep changing like this….?
A few deep breaths. Disbelief. Anger. Processing. And eventually I find my way to the truth of it:
No graduation from life, we live this practice of presence with fluidity and intended consistency. No to-do list to check off, we respond to reality as best we can. The damn flagpoles of our lives keep moving! What a surprise, and what ongoing opportunity to practice. The tools are the same; breathing, watching, realigning. The triggers? They just all keep changing, moving, and shape-shifting.
The title of my last book prophesied this for me: NOT OVER YET.
Me and the flagpole? Not over yet.
Dear Readers, what is shape-shifting in your life? Is there an issue that you thought you had nailed, completed, tucked away, that continues to beckon you into practice? Keep me posted.