Last week I inquired about applying for something that meant a lot to me but I was told that I was lacking in one of the core requirements. I had other experiences that equalled the resultant knowledge and training but because I had not completed that particular requirement (a two-week calendar commitment across the country) I was told I could not be considered a candidate.
I understand about the necessity of prerequisites and not making exceptions, but the knowledge I gained and the experiences I gathered through the smaller workshops mimicked what was being taught at the larger one, yet I was informed that it wasn’t enough. Despite the duplicity of subject matter that was in the two-week from what I had already taken, I was told I needed to commit to the two-weeks away. This was not an option for me, so I couldn’t apply.
I was deeply disappointed and took a walk/run at a local park to clear my head and try to shake off my feelings of discouragement. Halfway through my walk, I rounded a bend in the path and came upon a rocky embankment overlooking the lake. I was still feeling down so I stopped, found a place to sit on the rocks and looked out over the water. I took off my sunglasses and looked around.
The lack of prescription lenses made everything around me automatically shift into soft vision. I could clearly make out the difference between a rock and tree but it’s the details of things that get lost to me without my glasses. I closed my eyes and turned my face toward the sun as I listened to the soft lapping of the water made from the ripples of the paddles from some late Autumn kayakers. A dog barked in the distance and a child’s laugh floated up from the nearby playground.
I worked to sort out my genuine feelings from my bruised ego’s huffiness. As I opened my eyes and looked out across the lake, I smiled at the vision before me of a thousand diamonds shimmering on the water’s surface, twinkling in the sun’s reflection. I felt the bite of the rock I was sitting on after not having moved in a while and I shifted my body to nestle into a better spot.
It occurred to me then that maybe not all of us are meant to be shooting stars and that maybe some of us are meant to stay close, and be like rocks—solid and holding the space, the energy, for others around them. No less important, a little less glamorous and attention grabbing perhaps, but just as much needed as the stars.
I’m okay with holding space. The world needs both—the shine and brightness of the stars right along with the solid, foundational, anchoring, rocks. It doesn’t matter which one we are, as they both have a purpose. We may even change places at some point in our lives.
Those of us who hold the grounded space now, may one day catapult through the skies, and those that are sailing at the height of the gods now, may one day come down to rest on the banks of these shorelines and mountains and take up residence in the dust of Mother Earth as one of its children—a rock.
Who decides if we hold space above or below? Is it karma? Fate? Luck? Chance? Maybe it’s just where our energy is needed, and it’s just the way things are at least for now. I say “for now,” because nothing stays the same. Even rocks get worn down. Either way, whether you’re a rock or a shooting star—whether you hold the space here on earth, or among the chariots and other shining, shooting stars, it is a good place to be. It is an honorable place to be.
And so I came to terms with my disappointment. I don’t agree with their decision behind it, but I respect it. There’s a reason I get to be a rock a while longer and whatever it is, I’m fine with that. I’ll hold the space here for whomever needs it. Shooting stars and rocks are really parts of each other anyway. They both contain dust, metals, and minerals among other things.
I also made peace with what happened, or rather what didn’t happen, and with my ego back in check, it became clear that there were many levels to this lesson for me. Some need to stay private within my heart, but others like this lesson about the rocks and the shooting stars are calling out to be shared.
The limbs from the trees surrounding the embankment where I sat began to shudder and sway almost as if they were applauding what I now saw clearly and the day’s crisp air found its way through the spaces in my coat telling me it was time to go. I got myself back on my feet again, put on my sunglasses, and thanked the rocks and the waters for being there, and holding me in balance. The soft vision of the diamonds now sharpened into more of a glittery waterscape but if I squinted, I saw them again.
I then took my husband’s hand as we walked down the rocks together and headed home.
As above, so below.