when i was six i lived in an abandoned shack outside of an abandoned farm in the middle of a nowhere valley in southern california. i had my mother. i was not wanting. bathing outside in a stream, using the bathroom outside in a bucket, cooking grilled cheese sandwiches outside on a grill, was the norm. there were no neighbors for miles, i was not in school and had no friends but someone had donated some books to my mom for me to read; a set of laura ingalls wilder books. i was not wanting. although my mother was often physically there, she often was not. emotionally and spiritually, she was never there, did not know how to be. she would occasionally take me with her on her drug and party runs and i would sit amongst the adults, young and old, watching. the men always stared at me too long and caused me to want to hide. the women my mother’s age never took notice of me.
the older women though, they would ask me to come sit with them – i look back at them now as my guardian angels. one taught me how to knit, one helped me understand consumerism via the price is right and one who stands out the most is the one who read the bible to me every time we visited this particular drug house. i couldn’t have understood the scripture or the meanings in the words she read at my age. i remember to this day though, how I felt. comforted. loved. in absence of wanting.
those old women knew where i was and to what and whom i was being exposed to. they accepted powerlessness in changing physical circumstances. when i got older i questioned why an old woman would desire to read the bible to a lass whom she knew couldn’t possibly comprehend the message. one day i realized that love and comfort were the messages. indeed, they seem to go together. she was compelled to sit me down at a kitchen table and read softly to me while earth, wind & fire songs blasted in the background for what seemed like hours but may have in fact been minutes.
do you ever find yourself in darkness, floundering about in your life, and wandering in search of answers? do you find yourself in wanting? i’m there. my next move is requiring a relocation of my heart also, and, there is concern of being adequately prepared. while support systems may be helpful, deep down we have the answers within us and finding them is what best allows our lessons to be thoroughly ingrained.
whenever i’m in desperate need of comfort, i think of the old ‘bible’ lady. so i opened my bible and decided that whatever page i landed on would be what i needed to ingest. landed on jeremiah, chapter 29. a tough chapter in its entirety to be sure, but, i was still comforted with remembering what once was. i cried, for that little girl for whom many wishes did so come to be fulfilled, for remembering that wanting is fear of not having, for remembering that i lack nothing, for those old women, for this divine sojourn, for the legacy left in loving someone who can give you nothing in return and for the indispensable need to pour love into yourself in order to allow it to be poured out, again and again and again…