Thursday, May 10, 2012

Am I In or Am I Out?

Last weekend I went "off-campus" for the wedding of my dear friends Tara and Abe.  I had debated whether or not to go because I didn't really have a lot of time off and it would probably cost me a pretty penny.  I am so glad I decided to go!  Despite the practically tropical storm-like weather and the questionable hotel I got for a "good deal," I got to see friends, some I hadn't seen in years, and it was like the good old days.  Tons of laughing, letting it all hang out, getting ready together, staying up late, we even squeezed a movie in.  Frankly I was surprised at just how comfortable I still felt with these people.  It gave me pause.

Living at Green Gulch is something of a unique situation. I sometimes struggle with how to meet all my needs (and let's be honest, "wants") in this close knit and somewhat isolated community.  I work hard, I wake up pretty dang early and I probably have about 1.75-2 days off per week.  It is very easy to get swept up into life here and find that you haven't left the grounds in a while.  And some people cherish that or go out of their way to create that space for themselves.  There is certainly some sweet fruits to harvest from the time spent in the calm of the forest and the depths of one's own mind.  But maybe that isn't for everyone or at least maybe that isn't something I want all the time.  Relationships are really important to me.  Finding the balance between taking care of these relationships and the time and effort they require and the space to rest and create a calmer mind is very real. The key seems to be knowing just how much to give and to be able to give it wholeheartedly rather than with a sense of obligation or out of fear of loss.

Stepping out of Green Gulch into the busy of the Bay Area (and beyond) is like stepping from a babbling brook to the rushing Mississippi river.  From the quiet of the brook the river looks majestic, deep and slow but once you're in frankly it is hard to keep your head above water.

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