Wednesday, May 27, 2015

A Summer Seduction

This is not that kind of post if that is what you are expecting. Sorry to disappoint. In fact if you are expecting even a little bit of that you will be entirely disappointed.

Do you know the story of the Snow Queen? (Wow Carrie, jump from that to a children’s fairy tale? I know, bear with me.)  It features a wonderful girl named Gerda who is on a mission to save her brother Kai from the evil Snow Queen. She goes through many adventures and at the climax of the story is told that the true power to save her brother lies within her.

It is a lovely story with a strong heroine long before Hermonie Granger was ever dreamt of and I could spend a long time examining the truth of finding strength from within to save the day. 

Except I am not going to be doing that.

I am going to be discussing something entirely different.

Beware the seduction of summer. 

It came to me a few weeks ago while I was on a walk. I saw a cute house with a surrounding garden that looked pleasant with a gated white fence. It was so enticing. Such a seduction. I was tired and wanted to rest. It would be so nice to have house like that with a cute little porch. Shut myself off from the world.

Immediately I was reminded of something  from the Snow Queen.

In one scene of the story a sorceress entrances Gerda. The sorceress has a house and a garden that is perpetually in the season of summer. She doesn’t want Gerda to leave so she banishes the rose bush from the garden because she knows if Gerda sees a rose she will be reminded of her brother, will get out of her trance, realize she needs to keep going on her journey and leave her.

For Gerda, it seemed like a good place to rest.  She was cold and lonely and was looking for comfort. She forgot about the hardship. 

There is a problem though. It distracted her from what she was called to do.

Summers can be like that can’t they?

Feel so good. Comfortable. Warm. Pleasant. Makes you forget your troubles.

You say to yourself I will just stop here for a second. Seconds turn into days, then months, then years.

We do that a lot I think. We find our call. We set out our quest. We get cold. We get tired. We get discouraged. And just when we are at our wits end we are presented with a sweet escape from all the trouble.

But what is the cost?

It is certainly cozy and it makes a warm happy life.

I think it also makes you numb.

Beware the seduction of summer.

When you stop and stay in summer you say I don’t need to go any further. I am done. Forget the journey. Feel the breeze. Feel the sun. I don’t feel the pain. I don’t feel anything. How long have I been here? Where was I even going?

Yes I miss the spring. I miss the new. The adventure, the meaning, the purpose. But fall really is terrible. And who needs winter? It is cold, disappointing, dead.

If I am honest with myself there are things that I have done over the years that distract me from my true calling. Where I set out on a mission only to get seduced by money, jobs, even relationships that seem good, warm and cozy at the time.

Until they aren’t.

That is a funny thing about a call. It nags at you. Picks at you. Yearns inside of you. Makes for sleepless nights and restless days. It won’t let you go. You can warm it up as long as you want. And if you continue to resist, eventually, you won’t feel anything at all. Even the warm summer breezes lose their comfort. Too much sun and You will be burnt out.

And don’t forget, there will be well-intentioned people in your life who want company in perpetual summer and will actively scheme against you from leaving. It is too cold. That wasn’t your mission. You are crazy for trying. Why would you give up a perfectly good, (insert security blanket here) to do (insert crazy idea here that you can’t get out of your head and every time you think about it your heart feels like it is waking up) thing.

Beware the seduction of summer.

There is an alternative to being perpetually seduced. It involves being shocked back to life. It involves waking up from the trance. You find rose in the garden and you are reminded that you are on a very important mission. In an instant you feel all the feelings that were seduced into slumber. Your call starts to matter again. You feel free and terrified and completely undone.

And now, you are faced with a choice.

You can stay here in summer where it is warm and familiar.

Or, you can open the door and go back out into the cold and answer the wild call.

It may be painful. No, it definitely will be painful. You will have toils and triumphs. You will get scared; your heart will grow larger. You may fail. You may succeed.

You will definitely live.

But oh, the bliss, when you see sights that make the summer garden look nothing more than a pitiful pile of plants.

Don’t stay in summer. Please. The world needs us to be present. It needs us to answer our calls. It needs US in all of our cold clumsy imperfect wonderful selves.

Wake up O Sleeper.

There is a chill in the air.

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