I feel the pull, of late, of the spaces in between.
There is a tug on my soul that will not be ignored.
The day starts as it should - with letting the dog out and getting the coffee ready. I let the summer warmth wash over me, knowing the heat of the day, come afternoon, will wilt even my eyelashes. But now, in the cool of six a.m., there is a welcoming softness to the dim light slipping in the back door, and the kitchen welcomes me with a sigh that only I can hear.
My soul murmurs to me.
I try to listen, bending my head just so, blinking to clear the cobwebs.
"You are," she whispers.
The voice of my soul is a woman of indeterminate age. I want it to be me, but I am confused by the sound, the lilt, the hush, and I wonder: if it isn't me, who is it?
"Be so," she whispers.
The coffeepot calls out with five dings. They burst into the silence like fireworks on the fourth of July. I watch the last of the water drip into the pot and shake my head. "Five dings," I whisper into nothing. "Why five? Why not three?"
"Steel," my soul whispers.
I take my coffee to the easy chair rocker. We bought a beautiful, soft leather (perhaps not real leather, one is never sure these days, and my daughter, who is a fighter for everything that breathes, would prefer it not be leather) chair that swivels and rocks for my husband, Tom, months ago. It was so wonderful, I found that when I sat in it, I could sink into the softness like a child in a feather bed, and so I had to have one for myself.
The morning rises nicely in my quiet neighborhood, full of invitation. I glance into the park that is our backyard and see some brave or stalwart women walking their dogs, making use of the morning cool. I admire them. I remember not so long ago, we used to do the same. Tom and I would rise at six and immediately take the dogs out. We had three dogs then. We are down to one these days. She lays at my feet and sighs. She, too, remembers those early morning walks with the others, I think. Her beautiful brown eyes land on my face and call me to consider a walk. Yes, please, they say.
She would walk three times a day if we could accommodate her. Four times. I don't know, maybe five.
The tug on my consciousness has not let up. I feel it as if there is an important message waiting for me somewhere. In another room. Another home. Another neighborhood. Another planet. Another universe.
It pulses with a vague pattern. I concentrate on it with closed eyes.
But messages are coming at me too hard and fast. I swallow, take a sip of coffee, and look around the room. Everything is suddenly out of focus.
And so, it stayed that way for most of the conference I attended in the city that weekend. I gathered all the energy I had to push through it, the fog that had descended on me. I took some notes. Scattered words on bright white paper. I smiled and laughed at appropriate places; one learns these responses in kindergarten, don't you think?
The fog lifted eventually. The tug on my consciousness lessened. It moved to some other in-between space, waiting as if it knew this was not the time.
Today, I have a chance to understand. My eyes land on a tree outside my office window. The trees here are small. We are a new neighborhood. I love trees. They are like strong, dependable friends who never disappoint. They just exist, and they keep your secrets, no matter how awful or outrageous. They don't judge or laugh at you or tuck your words away to use them against you someday. They grasp them and fling them out into the breeze, and whatever troubles you have shared are scattering to the wind, like so much nothing, which is what they are.
"I am trying," I say, so quietly the dog doesn't move at the sound of my voice. She is ever alert to the tone and the sound and the possibility of that walk, of course.
"What is it?" I ask.
My soul is suddenly silent.
I will not have an answer today.
There are worlds to be discovered in those spaces in between.
If we can but find the entrance.