This morning I was baking banana chocolate chip mini muffins from the turning bananas in my fruit bowl. I lovingly say that I think they show up on my grocery list not as an item to be eaten but as suggestion to bake muffins. As I was pulling them from the oven, I started to free each muffin, forcing each bite out with a knife. By the second pan I noticed how I was working at freeing the muffins, circling the knife around the edge of each cup, popping them out. I reached for the third pan and decided to just turn it over, and effortlessly, nine out of the twelve just fell out into the basket. I only had to use the knife for three. The final pan released ten, leaving me with two to free.
It made me consider how many times have I worked so hard to make my story happen. Rather than allow it to unfold, I have forced things. But what if I stepped back and waited, allowing things to fall into place, waiting for them to intersect my life? I’m not talking about passivity here. I am talking about a life that is open, that is not full of striving for everything.
There are many things that require effort, sweat, energy. Like the three muffins clinging to the pan, they’re ready but need assistance to land in the basket. It’s obvious. We have to work to make parts of our life work – apply for college, clean the house, go to work, grocery shop. But are there other parts we could open ourselves to – the unexpected, the random, the unplanned?
I am finding that this life is much more organic than I realized. It reminds me of an English country garden – effortless, informal, whimsical, random, beautiful. Everything doesn’t bloom all at once. Daffodils peek their heads out in the spring. Roses, geraniums, daisies, black-eyed Susan’s, hydrangeas, mums, all take their turn showing off in the garden.
Gardens take work, to be sure. They must be weeded, pruned, thinned out. One cannot be passive if they want a beautiful garden, but we can’t forget, they are to be enjoyed. So much of what happens in a garden involves waiting – waiting daily to be wowed by the beauty that greets you.
Life is like that. Living your story is like that. I know you will have to tend and weed, but I so hope you will be able to enjoy the beauty that’s in store. I hope you can stop striving to make your story a good one. I hope you can be engaged in the life you have. I hope you can enjoy the way it wows you. And most of all I hope you can stop judging it prematurely.
Remember, your life is a beautiful story and it’s still being written every moment you live.