Be on the guard for too much cleverness.
Day 253 – I rise early today–earlier than planned. I flopped and turned all night in anticipation of the first day of school–just like every year. I had a nightmare on the previous day in the early hours–a school dream of being unprepared and my students having troubles. After 16 years, I would imagine that this would somehow lessen, that I worry less; I am, after all, an old hand at this.
Today’s reading is about anticipation. Rolf describes a struggling, new student whom he first encountered while subbing a class at another gym. He expected her to quit, but she kept reappearing day after day after day to longer and more challenging vinyasa classes. He describes this, writing: “I’ve watched hundreds of students come and go, and this woman had all the signs of someone who would soon be going.” Nonetheless, over the months, she continued appearing to other classes on days when she couldn’t make her regular one. Rolf ends this reading with her name: “Faith.”
The word “faith” to me is a belief that something will work out because it is meant to be. It means that there is something to believe in and that love will find a way to prevail, even if it is mysterious and unknown to me at the time. Faith is the opposite of hopelessness–and because I don’t feel hopelessness, I have faith. Faith is one of those prickly subjects for pagans; I don’t really think it looks much different from my Christian brothers and sisters, but I don’t really shove it down anyone’s throat. I believe in praying and in having faith–these are human activities, and they take many forms: watching a sunset, listening to the birds in the early morning, watching bats flit and fly about the full moon, being still, making love, calling a circle, singing, dancing, casting a spell, enjoying lover’s gentle laugh and twinkling blue eyes. Any commitment to presence in my eyes is faith, and it is not owned by any denomination. All humans probably could manifest it and, in fact, I would say we are probably much more successful and happy when we do.
Faith wraps us up in the day-to-day good we do; it lifts up when we are feeling down. It is the strong drink of coffee for my back to school. This, too, shall pass, and the year will unfold as the year will unfold. It’s okay.