What I Shed Today

lightening up a little at a time

to everything (turn, turn, turn) there is a season

on April 1, 2014

I agree with The Snail of Happiness that much of our cultural observance of April Fool’s Day either tends toward the mean or fails to be funny. But I feel some affinity with the medieval “feast of fools,” a topsy turvy day that reversed expectations in a reminder that no rule should be so rigid it can’t occasionally admit its exception. So I “foolishly” embrace my failure today.

My goal, every day of 2014, is to let go of at least one thing I don’t need, don’t want, or can’t pay the rent on without going spiritually bankrupt—and post about it on What I shed today. To that end, I started and kept a “Don’t Break the Chain” calendar.

WIST's "Don't Break the Chain" calendar

WIST’s “Don’t Break the Chain” calendar

As you see, the “X”es stop at day 80. And if you scroll back through WIST’s posts, you’ll find there’s none for 22 March.

Ah, well, missing one didn’t bring on the WIST apocalypse; I shed and posted the next day. I want to keep the discipline, but the point isn’t to suffer, it’s to get free. But for a couple days after my lapse, I considered writing an entry for it and setting the date back. (The “owner” of a WordPress blog has that and other demigod-like powers.) I decided it was best to leave the lack, however, because it stood for something significant. Yet I still want to describe what happened that Saturday.

23118Nimue and I haven’t been riding as many miles as we’d like on our tandem this winter; the weather in the eastern continental US has been very challenging. But that day dawned with the best that spring in the Southern Piedmont can offer, bright and temperate. Forsythia, eastern redbuds (Cercis canadensis), and crab-apples were in full flower. We logged 55 miles, our highest daily mileage for the year so far. The heart of it was a charity ride to support the development of the Firefly Trail, a “rail to trail” conversion dear to us. Afterward, sitting on a straw bale in the sun at the coffee roaster, drinking local ale and splitting a pizza with Nimue as a blues band told the musical truth about how piercingly beautiful life can be, I had a perfect moment. “This couldn’t be bought,” I said to Nimue. “You have to live your way to this.”

The day was simply too full to have anything left for lessening.

A time to gain, a time to lose
A time to rend, a time to sew
A time of love, a time of hate
A time for peace, I swear it’s not too late

—Quoheleth and Pete Seeger

shedding style: release

Comments welcome … what’s your opposite that tells your truth?

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3 responses to “to everything (turn, turn, turn) there is a season

  1. What a lovely post… sometimes stepping out of our routine brings it more clearly into focus. I have to confess that part of the joy of holidays is getting back to my “normality” afterwards.

  2. […] won’t mark today on my WIST “Don’t Break the Chain” calendar with the “X” of accomplishment. But I don’t call it failure, […]

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