I started this post on the back deck in high winds on a day approaching 102 degrees, but the hot wind drove me inside, where I begin again. Last night, our Wabi Sabi group shared stories of what it means to begin again. Trying to drive home in a straight line, I encountered a stretch of Iowa Street closed because of a fatal motorcycle accident, so I had to begin again toward home another route, but that was nothing compared to those who love the young man who died, who face the ultimate challenge of what it means to begin again.
Begin again living. Begin again rising in the morning. Begin again feeding yourself something and getting yourself out the door. Begin again returning. Begin again learning something you thought you knew or had long forgotten.
Life is a series of do-overs, each moment completely new, and each moment asking us to in some ways to begin again: when plans fall through, when they don’t, when unexpected guests arrived, when the hurricane keeps them away, when the driveway freezes over, when the fields bake in the months of hot sun.
Everywhere I look, I see how much we live in begin again. After losses and before new ventures. In hard times and when the living is easily. When the chips are piled high and when the chips are down. I think of my friends and family who, between them all, are beginning again in these varieties: piano lessons, Italian lessons, lessons in how to live after a divorce, a new job, an old job that needs new dedication, a body that needs new repairs to old parts, a new year of college, a close-to-final year in the workplace, a new way to make a living after an old career ends, recovery from surgery or cancer or long days of illness, discovery of love or livelihood or luminosity.
As I finish this, I hear my hairdresser of 28 years talking with my daughter as Natalie gets her long hair trimmed. Natalie is about to begin again college while Debbie is about to begin again her superb hair art in a new salon. Both shine with the thrill of new beginnings. No same old same old except when we’re limited by our bright new imaginations which, let free, can show us how to see with new eyes the shining beginning as well as the courage, creativity and faith to begin again.