I got a message the other day from the Tom Brown’s school. A confirmation, for a class this summer. These classes always excite me but I also felt a familiar drop in my stomach, the fear and anxiety associated with tracker. These are old feelings. Not a fear of pain loss or grief, but a fear of intimidation, identity loss and insecurity. Everyone has felt this to some degree and if you don’t know what I am talking about, you haven’t turned down the sheet on your hearts bed.
It is the feeling in the cliche of a small pond/big fish. In our day to day lives, we are the experts at whatever you are an expert on. Everyone is a master of something. It is part of what makes each of us essential to this time and place. It is doubt of being necessary that sparks fear and uncertainty, doubt when we enter a bigger pond with many fish the same size as us.
However, these are young fears, borne of inexperience and untried skills. Each time I go to tracker school they slowly melt away as the community develops its collective energy. The older we get the quicker we realize that we only compete with ourselves, we know only as much as we are willing to ask and we gain only that which we are willing and open to share. The small pond is really just an illusion bubble, we are all beautiful fish.
I heard a story once about Fidel Castro when he was a young boy in school. He was known to be a bit crazy. He would do anything another boy dared him no matter how stupid or painful. At one point he was dared to run into a wall. He crossed a courtyard on his bicycle and hit a large brick wall at top speed. When his revolution party stormed the government establishment many years later, they all chanted and called the same slogan, “to the wall”.
At our home, we are covered in paint. Our days off work are spent with the brushes and colours of our choosing. Coming in the door from work last night, I a bit like one of Castro’s followers. Seeing the paint cans, drop clothes and disarrangment of furniture, i too felt a chant and call, “To The Wall”!
we are home
Our house is full tonight of boxes, half empty, some full and shelved, some full of old packing newspaper awaiting recycling. Each room is a maze of stuff not ready to be put in a place but finished with moving. I have not had a house since i grew up, moving from the only house I ever lived in, that of my parents. I feels rather strange too, coming into a room, sitting down, and finding your house, becoming your home.
The past year, my family (wife, twin cats) have spent in someone else’s house while they were out of the country. Their large home in the woods and lake were lovely, complete with twin dogs. We’ve had a highly valuable experience there. Our cats however, did not. Being around two dogs constantly became a source of great stress for them. One developed a urine cystitis, the other just tolerated them. As we settle into our new home over the new years, the animals are relaxed, cystitis on the mend, more playful and happy to be the only non humans in the vicinity.
I’ve found my wife and i relaxed too. Being in a space that is only ours, around things that belong to us. Beneath the superficial and material litter is a coming home. Like sleeping in a tent you’ve put together and taken down a hundred times. like sleeping in a shelter you built yourself, each stick a leaf touching your hands. It is a feeling of comfort and familiarity with a dwelling, fulfilling one of the four requirements for survival, essential to life.
So thankful to be rather young with a home to offer, a base to return to and go out from, a place here that is Our territory. Very exciting and Very Grateful. Amen