I imagine hanging by a rope off the edge of a cliff and deciding to release my tightened grip. There’s the possibility of freefall, but what if instead I am dangling only 10 feet from the sturdy ground that lies directly below?

There is this obsession to claw our way back to the familiar, to cling to the routines that define us, to go back to what we know.

I wonder, what do we really know? We make judgments in an instant rather than perceiving occurrences as pieces of a grander whole. The pine needles in the distance have no significance, no frame of reference without the tree. The fir will take 100 years to grow the same amount of feet. And yet we insist on distilling the entirety of our lives down to fragments we can manage and contain.

In defiance of this thinking, I challenge myself to consider that the familiar isn’t always friendly, that in so many ways it conspires to hold me back instead.

The unchartered territory is wild, even treacherous but unequivocally mine. The task is not to play it safe but to shape it into something beautiful, Divine.

Today Ron’s picture was on the front page of the newspaper—“President of Napa Valley College set to retire.” As I read, I quietly ask myself if it’s possible to add one more enormous change to our lives.

Some changes were on purpose—a move from California to Idaho.
Others covertly infiltrated while we were simply living our lives—Cancer

In my dreams I still have long blonde hair…the subconscious me trying desperately to climb back up the ledge. But there is new territory to claim, not back where I started but at the end of the rope.

…the end of the rope. If you’ve lived a number of decades, you will have arrived there maybe too many times to count. You will have flailed and struggled until your energy dries out. and you will have gotten nowhere.

When you release, there is an earth to hold you, the Creator of it waiting there.

Contrary to everything we are seeing, those who cut themselves loose from the relentless, fruitless engagement are strongest of all.

The mistake we make is believing our survival depends on climbing back up rather than letting go. So much time is wasted in the longing for what we know.

I remind myself that my creator is the author of surprises. Some we may not like in the moment. But that over quoted scripture, “All things work together for good,” happens to be true—

Placed in context of the tree, even the tiniest details become meaningful…even sometimes more majestic than we can possibly imagine. The fresh start isn’t forgetting who I am, but packing all the little pieces of the best of me and starting out again.


I want to know how it feels to make a big shift in my life, to make a change because it's needed, because I can, because it’s right.

I want to know how it feels to ignore what the world says and listen to my own voice, to trust my own judgement and take my own advice.

I want to know how it feels to examine what I believe, to be willing to discard what isn’t serving me, unafraid of what remains how “other” it may seem.

I want to know how it feels to say “I love you” without reservation, “I’m sorry” without hesitation, “I can do better’ knowing I will.

I want to know how it feels to disconnect from the anxiety and to recognize the hype, not as fuel or fascination but distraction from my life.

I want to know how it feels to be fearful yet live full throttle anyway, to lean into possibility, speak the language of hope, ignite a fire, light the way.

I want to know how it feels to plan a future without casting doubt, to change the subject, alter the perspective and agree that the chronic negativity is something I can live without.

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