Friday, July 26, 2013

Feeding the Soul

“Your soul will do what it needs to do to evolve. But it WILL evolve.” A psychic told me this at a recent reading. I believed her. Then I wondered from the way she stressed “will” if I were perhaps doing something to prevent my soul from doing its job. I’m stubborn like that. If it were at all possible for someone to stand in the way of a force of the Universe, I would be the one to do it.

Admittedly, though, I don’t know much about this business of soul building. I assume it has something to do with obstacles, a major challenge or two, definitely change of some kind. I would like to think, though, that it also has something to do with joy, with filling one’s heart with friends, family, food, and fun.

I am trying to force myself lately to move toward joy. I know this sounds odd, forcing oneself to experience more joy in life, but I am stuck at a plateau and have forgotten what it is exactly that brings me joy. I have forgotten that I am deserving and worthy of such. I operate in my life from routine, live for others, and go about my day because it is, well, my day. Today, though, I tried. I stepped out of my life for just a bit. I stepped out and allowed the joy in.

I met a friend at Starbucks. We didn’t go in for drinks. I parked the Prius then hopped into her car. We drove together to the lake. We spent an hour or so talking about exhibitionists, wind turbines, and the price of corn. I taught her a sorority cheer and shared with her the first time I ever swore. She taught me the sorrow of losing a friend to cancer. I reminded her what it’s like to be fifty. She showed me how to be fabulous at sixty. We laughed. We joked. We talked about what it might be like to enjoy the company of another woman in a way that neither of us ever had.

Then we spent three hours kayaking down the Kalamazoo River.

I am new at this, but already I love it. It was a quiet trip. We had the river to ourselves. We passed sandhill cranes, unnamed purple flowers, mating turtles, and the occasional Ryder truck on the highway overhead. My friend is a great teacher. She is patient, kind, and never panics when I am floundering. “No way you’re drowning on MY watch,” she assures me. I believe her.

We followed the paddle with lunch on the river. We found a place in town, sat on the patio by the boats that were docked, watched the canoes, kayaks, and ducks drift by. I had a veggie burger with fries and a salad. She had tacos with seafood of some sort. Mostly what we had was great conversation and a few laughs for dessert. She took my picture, but wouldn’t let me take hers. She said she already had one for her obituary and that one was good enough. I handed her my camera and asked her to snap more of me and told her that one is NEVER good enough.

After lunch, we did a little shopping. I have a weakness for funky jewelry made by local artists, especially when the local artist is sitting behind the counter chatting up the customers while she creates more funky jewelry. I didn’t buy a thing, but I tried on plenty.

On the way home, we stopped at a roadside stand and bought some fresh Michigan blueberries. They’re in season. And delicious.

I closed my day with about an hour spent roaming a field, MY field, praying heavily for a friend and mentally crafting an essay. Silently, however, I hoped I wouldn’t come across the giant hawk that swooped down at me the other day, thinking me his prey. I can think of many ways for my life to end, but I’ll be damned if I go out of this world pecked to death by a bird.

At the end of my day, I reflect back on the words of the psychic in that reading. I don’t know much about this business of building the soul, but I’m pretty sure it has something to do with kayaks, patio lunches, and long car rides with a dear, close old friend.

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