Aug 10, 2008

The universe provides

Mary says we have a halo, Steve says we have a horseshoe up our bums. I say the universe provides.

I can't deny that good things seem to happen to us, especially lately. Maybe we do have a horseshoe somewhere up there. But in addition to the good luck that brought the perfect land to us at the right time, I also know other factors underlying or contributing to it:

1. We have faith that things will unfold in a healthy way if we just stay open to it.
2. We take Monty Python's advice to always look on the bright side of life (though not the next line about life - in sticking with the attitude theme, life is better described as a rich life-providing compost pile)
3. We work hard to create, manifest, bring vision to reality. The dream land didn't just pop up on day one of arriving here, but rather at the end of a year-long discernment process to be clear on what we were looking for, intensive research into the market, daily scouring of the internet, networking with friends on the island, and several trips over to check out properties.

Again, I'm not denying nor under-appreciating luck as one factor. We had two communal land deals fall apart in Texas, and have friends who have put just as much effort and faith into land searches or other endeavors that haven't worked out. Sarah and I lost a baby in whom we fully believed. Bad things happen to good people. But good things happen more often - and often looking like luck - when we invest positive energy, faith and focussed hard work in a clear direction.

Case in point (and by way of a life update), we are today into a new phase of homelessness. Homeless homeowners, a fun and frustrating state of mind. Closing date on our house is end of September, and we never did manage to line up a long-term rental before arriving. It was a huge stress - particularly for Sarah - to be packing up in Vancouver without knowing where we'd be unpacking. I was more on the faith side, and luckily (for me) the universe and our network has indeed provided. We've spent the first 10 days housesitting for some Quaker friends in a beautiful mountain-side house, tickling the grand piano overlooking Shawnigan Lake, the ocean, and the whole Cowichan Valley to the North. And now homeless but far from hopeless, we're juggling options of an old friend's basement, a new friend's yurt, another house-sitting gig for a fellow Waldorf family, or tenting for a month in an ecovillage.

The big yurt we were dreaming of living in is, as feared, progressing slowly, so it's just a 10-foot yurt we've been offered in the interim. It is actually a disappointment in a way to have found land so quickly, losing the chance to live for a year in a yurt, on land with a wonderful family, free from renos and responsibility and fully focussed on just living simply as a family in a new way. A gentle entry would have been lovely, but that doesn't seem to be our way - the universe provides, but not always on the schedule we try to impose, nor in the exact way we think it will.

My mother once asked where I had found such faith to live in this optimistic and trusting way. Part of it is a conscious effort, part a confidence from having such a priviledged upbringing - Canadian, educated, etc - but part has to be from traveling. Through a year and a half of back-packing through North America, Latin America and Africa, I always found somewhere to sleep. Some mornings I wouldn't know what country I'd end up in, or if I`d end up on a park bench, or with a few items less in the backpack or with one eye open, but the day would always end and i'd be sleeping somewhere, and tomorrow the sun would always rise (Hemingway, not me).

One rainy dusk in North Dakota on a cross-country solo bike trip in 1991, I was standing exhausted in a grocery line-up buying my pasta, dreading a cold wet tent night in the town centre park, when the man in front of me paid for my groceries. He invited me back to his place for a warm shower, hot meal, and couch to sleep on. OK, he did tell me the lock on the bathroom door was broken and cranked ACDC so loud that I wouldn't have heard the door open during my shower, and did ask for a hug as I set up for sleep, but I had a glorious uninterrupted sleep with just half an eye open, and a big breakfast ready at sunrise to send me back on the road strong and believing in the people of the world, and thankful that I'd taken the chance to believe in him and let him give to me in that way. If he has a blog, he's probably written about the random broken Canadian he helped back onto his bike, and it makes him smile.

I wake up today thankful that the universe, and the Cowichan Valley`s corner thereof, is once again responding to the clear call we've sent forth. New home and temporary homes, wonderful new friends, children loving the adventure and time with us - it's unfolding so miraculously and beautifully. It's different than we'd planned and everything we'd hoped for. I'm thankful to every experience and every person along our path who's taught us to believe and is now helping (tangibly or supportively) to turn that faith into a brave new reality.

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