In my journey towards living in Open Space, I have begun the practice of noticing invitation when it arises in my life--and attempting to accept as often as I can.
This evening, as we all piled off the ferry, tired and ready to head for home, one of my little guys, Beric, stated that he wanted to walk home. Now, home is a little over 3.5 kms (about 2 miles) from the ferry. And that distance begins with a very steep hill that goes on for about the first km, which is then followed by two more hills a bit farther on. We have never walked home from the ferry before.
If I hadn't been watching out for invitation, I probably would have engaged in some sort of negotiation to get us all packed in the van and outta there. Instead, I heard the invitation and found the space to accept. So it ended up with Beric and Rowan and I pushing Gareth up Ferry Hill in the stroller while George followed along with the van.
Rowan and Gareth decided to opt out of the trek about half-way up. Beric, however, was determined that he would walk all the way home. And we did.
Somewhere along the way, he asked how far it was to home...he noticed how long it was taking and how much farther it seemed on foot. I replied that it was about 3.5 kms. And then I started to do some math, to help him get an idea of that distance...a metre is about as long as my arm, I said. There are one thousand of them in a kilometer. I came up a bit short at that point, because I remembered having my stride measured at one point (for snowshoeing, I think) and it is about a metre long...so that is 3,500 steps for me...then I noticed that Beric was taking about three steps to each of mine. This was a journey of over 10,000 steps for him...
I am so glad I accepted his invitation to accompany him on this little pilgrimage. I loved watching him revel in getting to make all the decisions. I received the gift of his non-stop conversation, sprinkled with about 100 why's, little songs, reflections about what he loved, insights into his world. I learned a lot about invitation, a lot about slowing down and lot about my precious son.
Originally uploaded by the view from in here.