I attended college in Minnesota. Northfield, Minnesota to be exact. There are two colleges in Northfield: St. Olaf, famous for its music program, and Carleton. I went to Carleton, which I tell my friends from St. Olaf is the good college in Northfield. They love it when I say that. LOL.
Winters can be hard in Minnesota. Long, cold, and snowy, with temperatures that stay below zero for weeks at a time. So, until they were shut down for safety and risk management reasons, the college community would use the network of tunnels that connected the various buildings on campus. They may have started as steam tunnels, but they were well-lit, heated, and the walls were covered in graffiti.
Some of my favorite sayings on the tunnel walls include, “God is dead. – Nietzsche. Nietzsche is dead. – God.”, and “Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.” It took me a while to get the joke about the fruit flies, so it’s a good thing I went to a four-year college.
It is true, of course, that time does seem to fly. It’s hard to believe that I am more than half-way through my 31 days of big hairy audacity. How’s it going? Good question.,
Blogged every day? Yup.
Following the FlyLady’s Baby Steps? Yes. Thank goodness some of the steps involve taking the time to process all the changes, and Diane in Denmark makes great instagram posts and YouTube videos to motivate me.
More water? Yes
Less sugar? Ummmmmm, more of a challenge but a little progress
Prayer/spiritual practices? Yes
Finishing cross stitch projects? 4 done and distributed, 6 left to finish. It takes me on average about an hour to complete just one inch of stitching. My twin challenges for getting stitch work done are: finding blocks of time, and coping with a ginger cat who thinks of the bright crafting lamp as an invitation to turn to my lap into his own tanning booth.
All in all, I’m not sure if the results are living up to the promise found in my billing these 31 days as Big, Hairy and Audacious. I think the most audacious result will be if I can keep my commitment to do these steps for 31 days in a row.
So let’s circle back to the tunnels at Carleton College. They were warm, lit, and with plenty of reading materials painted on walls. But there were also corners, and you could hear footsteps as you were walking back to your dorm room at night alone before you could see anyone, and you didn’t know for sure whether someone might be lurking at one of the bends in the tunnels. For the sake of being physically comfortable in the nice, warm tunnels, the walker added the stress of worry and the edge of fear.
One of the advantages of walking above ground from the library to your dormitory when the temperature was 20 below zero was that you could see what lay ahead. It was a trade-off: warmth of the tunnels versus the peace of seeing clearly. Physical comfort versus emotional peace.
These changes are taking me out of the warm-tunnels of my life and moving me into spending more time in the fresh-open-air life beyond fear and with more beauty.
Blessings as you walk through this day!
Prayer poem for today: an Irish blessing
May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face; may the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.