It's not usually a planned trip but I keep visiting regularly, showing up on the shores to watch a sunset or listen to the crashing surf. It's gorgeous here, of course: lush and green and shady in the middle and sun-sparkled and jeweled on the edges. I can get comfortable here. Burrow down and be alone. Forget the world.
Or, try to forget the world. But try as I may, the world infringes. I bring my luggage with me and inside the leather flaps are stowaway pieces of world. A worry. A care. A list or fear. Somehow I forget to pack my joys. The island is not about joy. It's about fret. It's about stew and ponder. About pick and second-guess.
The pieces of world get stuck in the sand of my island, and I am forced to navigate them over and over on my circuits around the perimeter. They trip me up when I have to flee from sea-storms, which crop up with surprising frequency; there's always a new, blustery problem blowing ashore.
And I hunker down -- by myself -- to figure it all out. I have to survive alone, because that's what my island is: solitary. Unknown and unapproachable. Self-contained. No outside help allowed. Anyone else might mess up my system of fret and wallow and worry. They might organize my pieces of world into 'donate' and 'trash' piles, and my beach would be clean.
I like it just the way it is, messy and unwelcoming. Pretty from afar but treacherous up close.
But I get lonely.
So when I notice that there's a salt-crusted bridge on the far side of my island, I'm intrigued. It is mossy and weather-worn. Old wood that used to be golden and supple is now splintered and gray. I step on it and peer across the turquoise water to the horizon.
There is something out there. It glows. It pulses. It dances. A sweet wind emanates from there to blow the hair from my furrowed brow.
But to step away from my brooding island, where all the problems are about to be solved by me alone....it feels like an anchor. Still, the pulsing glow looks promising, and I could use a dance...
I can cross the bridge. As soon as I give myself permission to.
Probably, when I get to the other side of the bridge, abandoning the need to harbor my own worries and doubts instead of allowing a comforting word or piece of advice, you'll be there. And you. And you, too. And my husband. And some strangers. And my God (who's been with me all along, waiting for me to notice). You'll all be dancing and smiling, wondering what took me so long.
And you'll have to help me burn down that old bridge so that the messy island -- which is like a beautifully tantalizing black hole -- will drift away across the ocean. Until it no longer holds any pull on my heart.
We're seeing the Bigger Picture through simple moments -- moments that force us to stop and take notice of the ways our worlds are important, meaningful, and beautiful. Please join us at Melissa's place today! Grab the button, link up, and then read a few others to encourage them as they walk this journey of intentional living.