Sunday, October 6, 2013

On Lightheartedness and Vocation

Chesapeake Bay Bridge construction worker is not a job I'm suited for. It's the whole height thing, that lurch in my stomach when I look down over the edge of a bridge or while ridge-walking along a mountain. I'm okay with it, but not for a long stretch.

At the same time, it's hard not to feel more alive than normal when driving across the Bay Bridge: racing heart from the height, from the freighters on the water, from the color palette, from the whole panorama, just a bit more than I can soak into my soul at one time. Whether a bridge or a mountain, a super-sized helping of the awe of the experience is based on being up high. You're not going to feel that alive sitting in a cubicle.

It's a kind of lightheartedness. I've cultivated that kind of lightheartedness as long as I can remember. But sometimes I go for long stretches forgetting about it. Who has the time? But being high doesn't always involve being up high.

Lately, I've had that feeling reading Frederick Buechner. Reading Barbara Brown Taylor and Wendell Berry. Watching our eight-year-old daughter kick-save a shot on goal in her first experience playing field hockey goalie. Running. Writing.

I've been doing more writing for Eastern Shore Savvy, and if you follow along at home, I'll have at least an article each month, which is keeping me writing and looking for new things in our shared Eastern Shore backyard to explore and write about.

A lot of my Buechner, Berry, Brown Taylor reading has been about vocation. Everybody needs a vocation. A friend of late was wondering what her purpose was--beyond being a mother, teacher, friend, laughing, enjoying life. What is that larger purpose that calls us beyond ourselves? It's not by accident, or maybe it kind of is, that the Three B's above are all spiritual seekers, question askers, who have all thought outside the vocation box. All are clearly doing what they are called to do, and have left us/me a road map as to how they discerned what that is.

I think Snoopy has the right/write idea. Find a place with a sweet view to call home and sit up there, take it all in and write it all down. And this time of year, hang out in pumpkin patches.

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