Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ash Wednesday

At sea, Secret.

My Episcopal church service was amazing this morning, as usual, as it always is on Ash Wednesdays. It’s always awkward wandering around the rest of the day with ashes on my forehead. I feel simultaneously proud and insecure. Then I feel guilty for feeling proud.

Lent, though, is one of my favorite parts of the traditional church calendar. Any tradition that has a whole section devoted to acceptance of my own death is one I can get on board with.

There’s a similar tradition in yoga, actually. Maybe it’s weird to talk about yoga on Ash Wednesday, but I’m not sure if I care. The Episcopal liturgy brings me closer to God, and yoga does too. In shavasana, or corpse pose, yogis focus their attention on death, by releasing control of their bodies, their breath, their minds.

I do the same thing during Lent. Release control of my own life, and surrender it again.

As I recited today:
As a father cares for his children,
so does the Lord care for those who fear him.
For he himself knows whereof we are made;
he remembers that we are but dust.
I am dust, and to dust I shall return. That’s why I carried ashes around on my head today. The cross that I felt imprinted on my forehead all day is a larger metaphor for me. To me, the upstroke reminds me of my relationship with God. The cross-stroke reminds me of my relationships with others, with the surrounding world. Today I remind myself that all that matters is my love for God and love for the people God brings into my life.

Today is also as good a day as any for me to give my news, the real news that has been slowly dawning on me this last month: Secret is sold. I’ve had a buyer since December, but haven’t wanted to broach the news until I was sure. Absolutely sure. My buyer, a wonderful Norwegian sailor, went down to visit Secret in January, and returned a couple of weeks ago. She belongs to him now, and my heart belongs to my next adventure. Secret will always hold a place in my history, but she’s in the past. In my past. Now comes the future.

That’s why I surrender myself. Secret broke my heart more than once, which is probably exactly what she was there for. I believed that God had a plan for her, and for me. And He did. Now my only job is to figure out the next step.

1 comment:

Sara said...

All your experiences have been preparing you for the work you are doing now. You are in the midst of the adventure you've wanted and planned for so long. It's just a little less glamorous than sailing around the Bahamas.