The Invitation

You do not need to know

precisely what is happening,

or exactly where it is all going.

What you need is to recognize the possibilities

and the challenges offered by the present moment,

and to embrace them with

courage, faith, and hope.

Thomas Merton

There is, it seems, always an open invitation from life, even in the midst of bittersweet endings and uncharted beginnings. The invitation isn’t to somewhere else, but to be fully where we are, for it is from here that we must ground ourselves to take the next right step. And the next, and the next, and the next.

Endings of any sort mean the letting go of what has been and the leaving behind of what we’ve known, which, if we let it, will lead to the melding of gratitude and grief into the precious metal of grace. The deeper the gratitude and the more profound the grief, the longer we may need to linger at the threshold between what has been and what will be. These are the days of intentional packing, intentional goodbyes, and intentional moving on. There will be days when we can only pause and rest, and others when we must forge ahead regardless of how weary we feel.

Whether the selling of the longtime home in which we’ve raised a family, the retirement from a meaningful career, the fading of a vision that cannot be brought to life, the loss of a breast, or the ending of a relationship that cannot live up to the commitments made, the invitation is to stay fully engaged in life. Right here. Right now. Trusting that the ground beneath our feet will hold, as it has, as it is, and as it will.