I am coming to understand that the I have been refined by the strife and tumult of these last few years. Perhaps it only occurred to me when I chose to stop choking on the grumblings of myself and others at how this JUST was not supposed to be happening... No none of this was in the plan, the recession, the wars, the social unrest, the poverty, the global fires, hurricanes, nor the pandemic. But did you ever hear of a heroine grumbling about waiting for her saber to be smelted or for the seemingly endless preparations required for the long journey? The heroine did not complain of such things. They were. The stirring of an approaching storm, a wound or the loss of supplies, all were seen only in the lines etched in her face with the wind and sea and the strength of her resolve. She wouldn't think to sap her reserves with a grumble about something that is, is immutable and is thus unavoidable. You see, her feet are like deer. She is a warrior. She trains for years to become agile and to thwart danger at every turn.
It occurred to me as I drove my friend to several banks on several different days, to accomplish routine banking in a branch before COVID, now takes several hours including online planning and appointment setting. I used the time to meditate mostly, I didn't really get cross until the last day when I got cross at myself for partaking in the activity for yet another day. This awareness was reminiscent to my entering a grocery store in the Soviet Union in 1992 to find the shelves empty with the exception of out-of-date orange juice. Only 17 at the time, I was keenly imprinted that we live in a world where we absolutely may not get what we want and must be prepared to be without.
I wondered if these folks that I had observed absently, as I watched them enter and retreat in a bluster out of the bank, had encountered anything quite like this before? I also wondered if it was shocking for them or if they had any idea that this is the new norm? As I contemplated their experience, I look back with a sage approbation for having experienced the many trials of my life: from hurricanes, to black-outs and wild-fires, to frozen pipes in the Vermont winter. I remember being grateful for the apocalyptic experience of Hurricane Michael with its fuel lines for hundreds of miles and the complex dance of the generator to just get a toilet to flush.
The more hardship I encounter in life, the more nimble I become. Perhaps we have been walking on such a wide, gentle and smoothly paved path that our feet have gone soft. Think of each new challenge, each new strife as a strengthening and toning of your feet, your body, your soul and your heart.