Mettle: The Windmill and the Wind

Image – antoniobosi.com

The evening light is wandering away to be with someone else in some other part of the world. I’m reluctant to see it go and don’t want to tap into electricity yet. I’m not ready to give up the blue and grey skies of the day, un-number the moments left for feeling and doing and communing peacefully with the gentling light. But then there will be the stars to look forward to. A different looking at things happens for me with the night sky. It’s so limitless, familiar and yet unknowable in its vastness. There are plenty of stars for my wishes.

Time today has been a slow burn, but it’s also been a hot spark with a swiftness that is deceiving. This is true of the past three months. I talked to a friend today who has also been riding the winds of change and uncertainty, hoping that this is the way to where we are meant to be. It can be challenging to give up the need to control, instead to readily and really trust, while at the same time remaining responsible and keeping grounded. It’s been an embracing of what is surreal, knowing that in fact it is what is most real.

Sometimes being in the realm of the surreal is a blessing. It’s a time to grapple with astonishment and possibility. But more so, it is being wrapped in something that makes you laugh and makes you swoon with its richness without the everyday plucking at you. It’s having something unexpected sitting on the palm of your hand and knowing it’s not your place to close your fist and capture it, that it alights there of its own accord. I can feel that in my chest and belly like a great fluttering and leaping. There’s a windmill in me and you are the wind.

Mettle: A person’s ability to cope well with difficulties; spirit and resilience.

How does our mettle help us to experience, define, describe, understand and most importantly feel the ground which we stand on and on which we have relationships and which feeds our growth or stunts it? Can our mettle stand up when we are in seasons of personal wilderness, when we steer a course into the surreal, when we inhabit the realities of today?

I had a funny experience yesterday. In communicating with someone I thought they had been flippant with what I had said and then I decided that also meant they were being flippant with me. And boy didn’t that then feed into negative thoughts and self talk!

Despite my descent to my personal underworld there was a small voice that persisted in suggesting that I revisit the ground on which that conversation took place, because this is not a usual experience for me so something was likely going on that I hadn’t noticed. Eventually I chose to put aside my reaction, give that voice due validity. I caught a slow boat back there to give me time to watch my reactions and check what baggage had come for the ride. Sure enough fear was a stowaway, standing as a translator, languaging the exchange in what is a space of learning for me.

I arrived back at the conversation and stood on the ground. It was firm and true. I put down my suitcase. It is an old, brown port with stickers on it, colouring it with the places I’ve been and the person I am. I didn’t mind if fear was not fully contained within, because knowing it is there was enough to get past it and be in the conversation once again.

Bringing truth to shine from my eyes and heart I stepped back into the words and this time let feeling be fully present on this ground and wow didn’t that colour it differently! The conversation revisited was alive and having set my luggage down it was a trip into the authenticity of not just what was said, but of this relationship.

Sometimes we only have the opportunity to touch through talk and the touching that was reaching from these words was a willingness for joyous gains.

Sometimes there are not words and if there are we should sweep the numbered letters aside, there is no construction, no clever play and no scoring necessary. We can let that touch itself be joyous gain, be the windmill of the sky, pumping out the clouds, blowing them about for our delight. Providing them as beings of transport that can carry us to new scenes as our feet remain on the ground. The clouds must have spirit and resilience to come and go as they do, to change and shift, to flush, to let their edges shine with silver, to release the emotion of rain or to twirl the curling lock of hair that is cirrus stretched across the sky.

“Don’t think about what you’ve left behind, the alchemist said to the boy as they began to ride across the sands of the desert. Everything is written in the Soul of the World, and there it will stay forever…Listen to your heart. It knows all things, because it came from the Soul of the World, and it will one day return there.” – Paulo Coelho

It’s pretty heady when you work out how to feel safe and free and just be in the moment and open to the next moment. Our lives as they have been lived remain and can be revisited and we take with us our wisdom and love and a propensity for knowing should we choose to.

There is freedom knowing you can emerge from your wilderness and whilst sometimes we choose sure terrain, we can also opt to walk the surreal as a path forward, steady of foot but head and heart open and vibrating. You can choose whatever language you like to describe the journey, but don’t forget to let language go for depth of feeling, beyond the description of words, another language entirely.

There’s a windmill in me and you are the wind. Spirit and resilience are my blades. They keep turning. Change, creativity, chance are milled. My suitcase is packed. I stand on new ground.

A Windmill Makes A Statement

Cate Marvin, 1969

You think I like to stand all day, all night,
all any kind of light, to be subject only to wind?
You are right. If seasons undo
me, you are my season. And you are the light
making off with its reflection as my stainless
steel fins spin.

On lawns, on lawns we stand,
we windmills make a statement. We turn air,
churn air, turning always on waiting for your season.
There is no lover more lover than the air.
You care, you care as you twist my arms
round, till my songs become popsicle

and I wing out radiants of light all across
suburban lawns. You are right, the churning
is for you, for you are right, no one but you
I spin for all night, all day, restless for your
sight to pass across the lawn, tease grasses,
because I so like how you lay above me,
how I hovered beneath you, and we learned
some other way to say: There you are.

 You strip the cut, splice it to strips, you mill
the wind, you scissor the air into ecstasy until
all lawns shimmer with your bluest energy.

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