Always Finding Our Way…

Dear Reader:

At some point in  our lives…don’t we suddenly realize, one day, that with enough living behind our belt…what was meant to be…was?

Remember how I have mentioned on numerous occasions how homesick I was as a child…not wanting to be far from mother…always afraid something would happen to her and I would be an orphan…like the stories I read as a child. So I stayed scared a large part of my early childhood.

As an adult I understand what I was feeling back then and it wasn’t just being homesick for mother…because I would feel homesick sometimes when I was home with my family surrounding me.

It has taken me a good portion of my life to realize that from the time we are born we have a homesickness to return from whence we came.

We are all strangers in a strange land, longing for home, but not quite knowing what or where home is. We glimpse it sometimes in our dreams, or as we turn a corner, and suddenly there is a strange, sweet familiarity that vanishes almost as soon as it comes… (The Rock That is Higher: Story as Truth- Madeleine L’Engle)

Haven’t we all experienced a ‘deja vu’ moment (like what Madeleine described) a split-second moment that catches a familiar scent or glimpse of someone who has gone ahead…and for just a moment we realize we got a peep hole glimpse into another parallel life?

The only time I wasn’t homesick or scared (as a child) was when I was playing…because I was in another creative zone…outside of mundane reality. These days…when I write this daily blog…I get to zone out again… I love the feeling today as much as I did as a child. In fact… I still need that feeling today as much as I did as a child.

I love observing my grandchildren playing in their “zone”… completely unconscious of being observed as they mumble parts of conversations between Barbie dolls, or Superhero figurines…they have joined the play toys in their world and left reality behind. It is exhilarating to the participant and observer alike.

Madeleine L’ Engle explains it this way….

The concentration of a  child at play is analogous to the concentration of the artist of any discipline. In real play, which is real concentration, the child is not only outside time, he is outside of himself. 

He/she has thrown himself/herself completely into whatever it is he/she is doing. A child playing a game, building a sand castle, painting a picture, playing with a doll house is completely in what he/she is doing. His/her self-consciousness is gone; his/her consciousness is wholly focused outside himself/herself.

We each need to feed our own individual creativity inside us every single day. Jean Rhys expressed it brilliantly:

Jean Rhys said to an interviewer in the Paris Review, ‘Listen to me. All of writing is a huge lake. There are great rivers that feed the lake, like Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky. And there are mere trickles, like myself. All that matters is feeding the lake. I don’t matter. The lake matters. You must keep feeding the lake’.”

Today I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing this blog or “feeding the lake.” This July will be the tenth anniversary of Chapel of Hope Stories. 

Two stars collided to provide the impetus for me to take a huge risk and start a daily blog post based on (as Jerry Seinfeld and George would say “Nothing”) my daily observations of life from my chair in a made-over bedroom office…with a huge window next to me, a red bird named Sammy who calls to me, and breezes that softly blow in the room… clearing the air for new thoughts.

The “two stars” were my breast cancer diagnosis/discovery of St. Jude’s Chapel of Hope and the birth of my first grandchild…these two events collided and produced Chapel of Hope Stories.  

More times than not…I start the blog with one thought and end up typing something completely different. The following quote sums it up.

“When the work takes over, then the writer is enabled to get out of the way, not to interfere. When the work takes over, then the writer listens.”
Walking on Water: Reflections of faith and Art 

From my viewpoint now, at the stage of life I am in, everything that was meant to be has come to be. I pinch myself daily that I am in my happiest place ever…and even a coronavirus “contained” life is still wide open to creativity.

So until tomorrow…I agree with Madeleine when she defines God and Jesus as:

“Jesus was not a theologian. He was God who told stories.” 

P.S.  And God tells the best ones! 🙂

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

 

Reading to Eva Cate and Jake…my favorite thing to do with grandchildren…

 

 

 

 

Watching my grandchildren grow….STOP! PLEASE! 🙂

 

 

 

 

And the garden, like my grandchildren, continues to grow too…my newly discovered Oak leaf hydrangea has two blooms almost fully revealed.

 

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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4 Responses to Always Finding Our Way…

  1. Rachel Edwards says:

    What a beautiful analogy…Heaven is home. Thank you…needed this today.

    Like

    • Becky Dingle says:

      So glad…I need to remind myself every day that I am just a visitor on earth and will return home again when God so deems it.

      Like

  2. Joan Semle says:

    Love your writing! You were given a huge GIFT!

    Like

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