Monday, January 9, 2012


It's Monday morning, and it's filthy jet inky black out there. Feels that way, anyway. I pull the strap of my bag over my shoulder and I head out the door.

I put one foot in front of the other on these mornings. I give thanks for the lack of rain, or if it's raining, for dry feet. The path is the same, every day... cross the street in front of the neighbor's house, diagonal weave across a dead dark expanse of asphalt, hop the sidewalk, push play. Music seeps in to my soul, some days more slowly than others, and as the rhythm establishes itself I pick up my pace.

I always think, right at first, that music choice matters, but the funny thing is that it makes no difference at all. Whether it's those first few steps, those breaths of fresh air, the sweet assault of the cold bracing dead-quiet early morning, whatever it is I'm moving more quickly now, expanding into my day. I start tiny, a speck on the neighborhood map. And I grow.

Thoughts of work float into my consciousness. I acknowledge them and gently encourage them to be on their way. There will be time to work when I get there. This is time to grow into myself, to take up the room I need to take. This is time to come into the world.

My feet contact the pavement, the ground, the concrete, the leftover rainpuddles and condensation settled into dips in the giant parking lot I cross. I feel the world in my feet. I feel the world move into me and make me the world. I start so small on this walk to the transit center. I start all crumpled up and sleepy and I let the world feed me until I am the world.

The parking lot is huge. Above it is scrawled a line of trees and clouds, daring me to be larger, a crossbar to high-jump. There is a lightening in the east reflected in a bank window. The sun is pulling me upward now with just a hint of its presence. I grow. I take the lot with one stride as I scurry across it, a collection of molecules, a presence as giant as the distant fiery ball of the sun. Big as the universe, small as a blade of grass.

This is all it takes. It seems like such a secret, and begs incredulity. Work so hard for so long, and then you give up and realize that you've done it. You've been a part of it all along. You've been all of it all along. Breathe in and take what's yours, for it is all yours. Give everything you have, for none of it truly belongs to you.

We are all so small. And we are all as big as the universe.

If you'd like to read more of my essays, check out Happy Monday!

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