the well

Last year I was part of a group of female business owners lead by a coach learning about spiritual practices and rhythm-based mindfulness as relates to our money, our creativity (on all levels), and our intentions. It was fantastic, and the lessons of an entire year of this sort of attention continue to infuse my days.

Recently I have noticed a personal symbol of mine come up at a time of high anxiety and transition. I am moving from one job to another, and feeling stretched very thin. Meanwhile, I'm noticing my creative practice is VERY chaotic. My relationship with food and money, similarly spontaneous. I'm in survival mode. Several times now the symbol of The Well has come up. Last year, when I first moved to this neighborhood, I noticed wishing wells lining my walk. It was quaint and symbolic of a settled, more generations-old neighborhood. Also, at the time, I was setting many intentions and doing a lot of dreaming, planning, magic-making and wishing.

But these days The Well is taking on a new depth... and I recognize the pun here. One of the ways The Well came into my attention was picking up the I Ching and opening to a page on The Well, which talks about different levels of misfortune or fulfillment. The bottom of the well has foul water. The rope is old and tattered and your bucket doesn't reach the bottom. The well is still and quiet. The water tastes of a crystal spring.

Just recently I came across this from John O'Donohue: "It is no wonder that in the Celtic world, wells were sacred places. Wells were seen as threshold places between the deeper, dark, unknown subterranean world and the outer world of light and form." He later goes on,

When a well awakens in the mind, new possibilities begin to flow, and you find yourself a depth and excitement that you never knew you had. This art of awakening is suggested by the Irish writer James Stephens, who said, 'The only barrier is our readiness.' We often remain exiles, left outside the rich world of the soul, simply because we are not ready. Our task is to refine our hearts and minds. There is so much blessing and beauty near us that is destined for us, and yet it cannot enter our lives because we are not ready to receive it.

I must confess, as I have logged in longer hours at work, and construction hit because Spring in Portland also means construction on the roads! As my commute involved long stretches through my least favorite part of town on a bus (ugh), and my window's view was reduced to the side of the apartment next door (instead of the changing season's leaves and trees)... The rope of my bucket just got frayed and old and couldn't reach the bottom.

I really needed these calls from The Well to remind me that not only is there Change, and there is also Blessings all around me (the season of spring blooms! new job! construction!) but that there is darkness and depth as well. ...as well. There is mystery, there is chaos and blindness in creation, and there is the potential for the cool, refreshing water that tastes like a mountain spring.