My wife, Ruth, and I arrived in the town of Royal Leamington Spa in Warwickshire, England a few days before Christmas last year, to begin our protracted ten week house-sit and to use that time to search for the right house in the right place for us to establish a new home.
It’s a quiet, pleasant town straddling the winding River Leam, spaciously laid out and full of Regency architecture, a large well-kept public park and a pervasive atmosphere of wellbeing. A perfect place to ponder with gratitude the sixty five years I had lived in Africa and to relish the unknowns of my future here in the land of my birth.
Nine months before, we had said a fond final farewell to our home and friends in Cape Town and began an intervening stay at Sunrise Ranch in Colorado, USA, with a side trip to Edenvale near Vancouver, British Columbia and then to embark on a new life that would be based in the UK.
We were left in no doubt about the fact that this really was a new cycle with a clean slate when, early in our stay at Sunrise, we received the news that all the possessions we had chosen to take with us to start a new home had been consumed by a warehouse fire!
While there is something freeing about knowing that all you now possess in the world fits into two suitcases, there’s an intensity involved in coming to terms with the loss of those special items accumulated over a lifetime. We had already trimmed and culled what we had to ensure that only those items that had a special heart connection or an important function made it into our new life.
Recently, we have been speaking about Crossing the Threshold and Standing at the Precipice – all in reference to the necessity to be able to leave the old familiar life and move into whatever our future holds for us. The way we deal with the actual, real-time opportunities that come to us to do that, has a lot to do with how that future works out. We have a choice. Thresholds are to be crossed and precipices to be leapt, with due discernment, of course, but without letting fear and uncertainty paralyse us into faint-hearted inactivity. The willingness to risk what we have for a brighter, more creative future is an essential characteristic for anyone who genuinely desires to make a difference in the world. If making that difference was easy or guaranteed, it would have happened already. There’s an element of risk involved in moving boldly through Life’s challenges.
I recently came across this piece by David Whyte:
WE ARE HERE
We are here essentially to risk ourselves in the world. We are a form of
invitation to others and to otherness, we are meant to hazard ourselves for
the right thing, for the right woman or the right man, for a son or a daughter,
for the right work or for a gift given against all the odds. And in all this
continual risking the most profound courage may be found in the simple
willingness to allow ourselves to be happy along the way…
© 2015 David Whyte from ‘LONGING’ In CONSOLATIONS: The Solace,
Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words.
How true! There’s very little that’s really worthy of accomplishment in life that doesn’t carry some risk. There’s never an iron-clad guarantee that things will work out as we expect or want them to. There’s possibility of failure, of disappointment, of the unexpected, of making the wrong choice in the first place. But “the willingness to be happy along the way” makes all the difference and allows it all to be worthwhile and ultimately, creative and fulfilling.
In a few weeks, Ruth and I move into our new house and start the process of creating a new home and a new life – I might say, from scratch, but that would not be true. There are many seen and unseen gifts that we carry into this new cycle, so much to be happy about and thankful for. Establishing a safe, loving home is not the ultimate goal but having that as a foundation for the larger purpose of changing the world will play an important part in our effectiveness and success in doing that.
Thank you, Royal Leamington Spa, for offering us your fine gracious atmosphere and the space to engage with the option of a vibrant, creative future. May our presence here have been a blessing to you as we walked your streets with appreciation and care and may we return someday to share with you some fruits of this new phase of creation that is ours to steward and manifest.
PHIL RICHARDSON is an international speaker and teacher who invites people to reconnect with
their deeper innate spiritual awareness and to bring that awareness into their everyday lives.