For most of my life, I have felt that I was born a few centuries too late. The pace and complexities of the world we live in have always seemed like a bad fit. Surely I was better suited to a quieter, gentler and slower world than this! As a child, I believed I really belonged in a little house on the prairie, tuned into seasons, weather and daily family rhythms. As a young adult, no longer able to daydream my way into other eras, I sought a place in the world that would be a better fit. I traveled west until it wasn’t possible to go any further on this continent. Stepping off the grid for a few years, I found a pace and rhythm that matched my inner cadence.
When we moved to a neighborhood in a city, I again felt that familiar feeling. This was not the right time or place for me. That feeling stayed with me for over 10 years. It gave me solace when I felt overwhelmed, but it also allowed me to excuse myself from attending to social concerns that were too big, ugly and worrisome to wrap my arms around. I nested, creating a kinder, gentler, slower micro-world within the safe space of my household and community. My sense that I didn’t belong to this time or place removed me from the urgent responsibility to contribute solutions to the problems that are persistent and pervasive in the wider world.
Today, that feeling of being in the wrong place and time has disappeared. I don’t know exactly when it left, but I suspect it has been fading for a few years. And now, it’s absence is palpable. In its place, I know that I am here for a reason. I am quite certain that I belong to this time and this place. I get to sink deeply into this one precious life, loving its singularity and its universality, and living each of its moments fully. I get to trust that I have a contribution to make and that I have arrived just in time to offer it. I hear the wild geese announcing my place in the family of things. (Thank you, Mary Oliver)
My time is now. When is yours?