The year of Free

2012 is drawing to a close before I can draw a breath. I read all around me about reflections and ceremonies and plans for what lies ahead and meanwhile I have barely stopped to wonder what this year meant for me, for all of us. I feel bereft of emotion, yet pondered-out. I am spinning with the thoughts of a generation.

Perhaps 2012 has been both a year of dizzying motion and of breathless standing still.

I find myself, just now, discovering things. Discovering that I love universities and learning, that I am drawn to science and that I could spend all my days in a laboratory. Or could I? I have discovered that my tribe is even more radical than I imagined a year ago and that my faith is freer and less bounded than I thought it had to be. I am learning that the world is wider and deeper and that my imagination, my courage and my hope can take me farther in and farther on than I had dared to dream. I am expectant and filled with a desire for more.

My children are growing and my relationship with them constantly changing. They need me now, more than ever before, yet in completely different ways. Our days are full to bursting and they fly from me and come back to our nest and long for quiet and to be served and loved and held. Their hearts are broken in new ways and their spirits learn their true strengths and I admire them more greatly than I thought was possible. They teach me, daily, how amazing I must really be, to raise such honestly radical people. Or perhaps, more simply, how greatly I have been gifted. I like to think it’s both.

I feel around me, searching for a rhythm in a new home in a new neighborhood and with the constant change of faces in our international community. I long for companionship, and friendship on this journey but my desire is for more than fellowship. It is for the fearless asking of the hard questions and the headlong pursuit of the impossible. I dream of partners on this journey of incredulous joy and impetuous wonder.

I face the truth of who I am. Priestess and prophet, mother and sister-friend, advocate and encourager, writer, truth-speaker, iconoclast. I am more daring than I have admitted, more brave than I wish to be, more ready to confront surprising darkness than the world expects.

My brain and my heart and my spirit scream whispers of my calling but my days revolve around my family and my tasks. This paradox haunts me and pulls me up short. It is much of the reason for the breathless spinning of the last few months. But I am ready and willing to confront my new realities with real purpose. Somehow in this New Year I will learn to love my family out of the best of who I am. We will work together at the tasks of family and we will play harder than ever before. We will take all the time we need to rest. We will not be afraid to be alone, yet we will courageously invite in those whose hearts beat with ours and the many who have new patterns to teach our pulses. We will read. We will walk in the woods. We will cook and eat in abandonment to the pleasures of creation. And we will create in ways that we do not expect. We will pulse with curiosity. We will take great risks. We will live well because eternity is forever and we were made to inhabit it.

We will look less at others and more at the trees, the sky and the stars. We will take each others hands and remember that we are never truly alone. We will learn what worship really looks like when you take religion and church right out of it.

We will live free. Write free. Speak free. Think free. Be Free. And those who catch just a glimpse of our bright, wondering spirits, will soar freer too. Here’s to 2013.

Leave a Comment