The weather has finally permitted for my backyard in the evening to transform once again into a glowing outdoor room. A friend of mine and I sat around the rickety wooden table under balls of chicken wire and lights puffing our pipes for nearly three hours this evening.
In my day to day schedule, I like to pretend that I am too important, so I don’t have time for moments like these. There’s no space for propping my feet up, bringing the music outside, lighting up a cigar and laughing, talking about ideas, and wrestling with what we are learning as it is shaken and stirred with who we are becoming.
But tonight, even though as it approached I felt as though I didn’t really have time to indulge this gathering with a friend a needed to catch up with, it was in fact exactly what my mind and soul needed to find each other again.
The work is good. The meetings and projects and plans and research and people are all good, and there is progress toward good things no matter how tenuous or temporary it may be. The calendar pages are flying off the wall faster than the second hand on the clock is ticking, but I am keeping up as best I can nevertheless.
There is something quite magical, and humbling, and ultimately holy and important about stopping long enough with another on the same journey to realize that when I prop my feet up, the ground remains. I am not holding things together, but merely participating in their newness. The meetings and projects and plans and research and people are all good, and for me to be a valuable asset in the mixology, I must make the intentional effort to take time to prop my feet up with thoughtful and entertaining and humble friends. I must hear their questions and see what they are thinking. I must join them in wrestling with their own demons and delights so that I can, in the morning, put my feet back on the ground and start again.
The ground, however, remains. The tasks are still there. My momentary pause from standing on my feet to push ahead is a reminder that I am not the one holding anything together. Propping my feet up every once and a while makes the work a little more honest, a little more true, a little more humble, and a little more holy.
So cheers to the rickety wooden table in the backyard on a brisk evening under the chicken wire lights and stars with good people on the same road.