Will it go round in circles? Will it fly high like a bird up in the sky? …
Every now and then that song repeats through my mind. (Billy Preston)
Waiting for spring, and yet March has stayed a winter course here in the foothills with mini-glimpses of warmer days to come. Fresh snow and sunshine lured me to follow the brook’s meandering pathway. As I stopped to watch a snow-eddy spinning round and round in the glistening stream above the current, I realized I was seeing my daily metaphor of life. At times life seems stalled in a holding pattern while my mind whirls in circles, not knowing which direction to go, and like the old records, someone needs to lift the needle off the track.
Three years ago destination: Turkey; goal: take in as many culture/adventure sights as possible with my two traveling sisters. One of the touted must sees was The Whirling Dervishes, so we booked our tickets, boarded the bus after a full day, were led to a dimmed room and those darling Dervishes took the stage. With their long flowing dresses they whirled, chanted, and mesmerized me to nodding off, but not before a serious case of school-girl giggles. I don’t know exactly what I had been expecting, this was not it. Men in long dresses spinning in circles? Apparently the meditative spiritual process had been passed down to the chosen few for generations.
What to do when the mind spins in circles like devilish dervishes? The merry go round of life, at different times the carousel seems the same, but the dark horses change. My challenge has been deciphering when to get off, when to stay the course. And often in the decision making process my mind will “go round in circles” but when “will it fly high like a bird up in the sky?”
Proven wisdom comes back in the form of the serenity prayer*,
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
The following line is part of Reinhold Niebuhr’s original:
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
*The prayer is attributed to Protestant theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, composed in the 1940s. Alcoholics Anonymous adopted the Serenity Prayer and began including it in AA materials in 1942, which may have done more to canonize it than any other cultural use of the prayer.