PEEP ON PEEPING ON
You’ve probably heard the old story about the farmer whose horse ran away. When they heard, the farmer’s neighbors gathered to commiserate, “How unfortunate!” The farmer said, “Maybe. We shall see…” Within a couple of days the horse came home, bringing with him a herd of wild horses, all of whom followed him straight into the corral. The neighbors exclaimed, “How fortunate!” The farmer said, “Perhaps. We’ll see…” The farmer’s son was taming and training one of the new wild horses a few weeks later when he was thrown, breaking his leg. The neighbors bemoaned, “How unfortunate.” The farmer replied, “Maybe. Let’s wait and see…” Shortly thereafter, the king’s soldiers showed up to draft all able young men into battle with a nearby kingdom; because of his broken leg, the farmer’s son avoided conscription. The neighbors said, “How fortunate!” And so on…
Whether the story has a happy ending or a tragic one depends on when we end it. There’s always more to tell — more silver linings, and plot twists, more “don’t count your chickens” moments, and surprise redemptions, and…
Earlier this week, as I watched Notre Dame burn, I was feeling heartbroken, wailing about the horrible loss of this glorious monument to humanity’s aspirations. But then I heard the fact that most of the artwork and statues and relics had been removed from the cathedral just weeks ago as part of the restoration being undertaken, and I cried, “How fortuitous!” I realized that I was being like the neighbors in the farmer story.
I don’t know that I’ve got it in me to be like the farmer all the time — approaching the world with perfect equanimity and calm, “We’ll see…” I’m passionate, and I have strong feelings and opinions, and I don’t think I’d really like to experience life with detachment. I do, however, recognize the wisdom of wait-and-see. It might help smooth out the ride, the highs and lows of which have felt almost unbearably turbulent lately.
This doesn’t mean just slap a feel-god platitude on top of whatever we’re experiencing. It’s more complicated than that. It’s not about just proclaiming a happy ending — “And so it is, amen!” — because the story ain’t over yet. For me, it means, simply, let’s keep going. Let’s keep opening our hearts to whatever comes next.
Yes, let us be as optimistic and positive as we can be. AND let’s allow that positivity to emerge out of our honest relationship with all that’s come before, out of deeper, richer insights into ourselves and each other and the interconnected mosaic of it all.
“It’s not over” seems like a pretty empowering takeaway from the Easter story. Life is blooming forth in a trillion trillion ways right now, and we are integral parts of it. Let’s peep on peeping on, friends. Upward and onward. We shall see…
Bosque Center for Spiritual Living service this Sunday, April 21, at 10:00 am, at Maple Street Dance Space (bosquecsl.org). I can’t wait to be with you. Love, Drew
© 2019 Drew Groves