My traveling partner arrived, blowing in unexpectedly like a spring shower after a dry winter, and every bit as welcome. I’ve been enjoying his time, his company, his humor, his love, his delights and charms. All the best bits of people being together, it’s nice. There’s a lot more I could say, but I would likely encroach on his story, and that’s not my intent. Having no particularly firm expectations or certainty, I embrace the moments, enjoy them without reservation, and…

Love doesn't watch the clock.

Love doesn’t watch the clock.

…I quickly find that I haven’t been on my meditation cushion, or yoga mat, in days – and haven’t taken time to write. My ‘habits’, however helpful, positive, nurturing – or longstanding – break easily. I begin again. It’s practice. Practices are ongoing. I rarely think in terms of ‘habits’ so much any more, because they are so easily broken.

Love is reciprocal.

Love is reciprocal.

Last night I arrived home to his warm embrace and loving smile. I made a point to gently take the time I need for meditation; however much his wounded heart needs the comfort of home and companionship, I need this time for myself,  or I would quickly find I am unable to provide the listening ear, and loving arms he needs so much right now. I have plans to hike with a friend today. I haven’t canceled them, although love is on my doorstep. Love doesn’t benefit from me abandoning my friends. Before bed, I set expectations that I’d be up early, and would want to write in the morning. There is no drama or animus in it, or in his reaction. He is up early this morning, anyway; sleeping deeply in a strange place takes getting used to. I make us both coffees, and enjoy mine at my desk, fingers contentedly clicking away. “Hey, Baby… I’m going to close this door, okay?” He says it as he does it, and there is no interruption, only my reply as I write, “Okay.” I hear music in the background and smile. It’s a good day that begins with love.

I keep practicing. There are so many practices worth practicing, worth maintaining over time or renewing if they have grown stale or become disused. “Begin again.” So simple. Where did it come from? I read so much… In its simplest form, as an idea, it seems the sort of pairing of words to associate with ‘always’, but recognizing this has been rather a long journey, and that I have indeed ‘begun again’ so many times… I’m still not certain that the words held so much meaning for me before sometime after 2013. Life had reached this place where the chronic mistreatment by one partner, and the generally very good but sometimes surprisingly variable treatment of another, required me to begin again, in a lot of ways, on a lot of practices, and finally in some rather magical way ‘beginning again’ in my life, itself, by moving into my own space. Beginning again with my traveling partner as we healed both shared and individual hurts. Beginning again as an artist in a very confined space too small for large work. Beginning again in this lovely bigger space with room to work in abundance. Impermanence once sounded like a fairly ominous concept to become entangled with. Turns out it’s very much all tied up with beginning again. 🙂

My ‘hiking season’ begins again, today. I will walk a trail I’ve never walked. I will see a literal new point of view. I love living metaphors. I will head into the trees and metaphorically ‘walk on’. Solo hiking is another form of meditation, and a favorite one, and there will be time for that. Today, I go with a friend. Here, too, there are practices to practice, and beginnings aplenty. She makes good conversation, and has a good heart. (These are qualities most of my friends have, actually, as I give it some thought.) I will practice listening deeply, and speaking simply. When we’ve had our fill of the trees, birdsong, wildflower sightings, and laughter, we’ll return to the car, return to our routines, and all the details that fill the days and nights and leave me feeling so busy will have renewed luster, and fresh purpose. Well…that’s often the outcome of a good hike out in the trees. It’s been a long while since I arrived home from hiking to be greeted by love. I am eager to enjoy it, without expectations. (I mean, seriously? He might be out of the house in that precious limited moment I arrive home. lol It happens.)

Why yes, thank you, I shall.

Why yes, thank you, I shall.

Today is a good day to begin again. Today is a good day to love and be loved in return. Today is a good day to renew a sense of purpose where purpose is needed, but perhaps fallen flat. Today is a good day to walk on, and to practice – there are still verbs involved. With practice, I change my experience. With enough practice, we change the world.