“Each life is a language no one knows. With every heartbreak, discovery, and unexpected moment of joy, with every lift of music that touches us where we didn’t think we could be touched, with every experience, another letter in our alphabet is decoded. Take a step; learn a word. Feel a feeling; decode a sign. Accept a truth; translate a piece of the mystery written in your heart.
Before we live what’s next, it always seems like there is some answer we need to arrive at. But daring to enter, we are humbled to discover, again and again, that the act of living itself unravels both the answer and the question. When we watch, we remain riddles to be solved. When we enter, we become songs to be sung.
When life feels far off, remember that a flute is just something hard with holes until it’s played. So, too, the heart. As matches are just sticks until lit, as ice is not quenching until thawed, questions and problems remain obstacles until lived. In this way, the life of every soul waits like sheet music to be played. What good are we if never played?
Only when life moves through do holes become openings.”
– Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening
Today marks my six month anniversary in San Francisco. So it was only fitting that I came across this gorgeous passage.
By taking a step out of my home state, I have decoded another letter in my alphabet. And with it, I’ve had my fiction published and discovered a platform for my poetry and found a growing artist community of moms.
As for my family–Giovanna has had the opportunity to attend preschool in the California forest, forging a unique spiritual relationship with nature that will stick with her forever. Emile has gotten to travel on an airplane by himself at frequent intervals, allowing him to show responsibility and practice precocious independence. James continues to move forward in his career as a professional creative. And Skyla, baby Skyla, she gets to soak up all this good sunshine and ocean air, the excitement of San Francisco as it comes through her mama and daddy and siblings and self.
By leaving Seattle, we have ripped holes in our lives. Never again will my children and I feel entirely at home, but we have something else. We have San Francisco–and when the storied winds of this city blow through our holes, I hear music.