I still stub my toe on the way to cake. This was a story we heard from Abraham on one of their cruises. During this cruise, it was Esther’s birthday. She’d gone to bed for the night, when a knock came to her door. Stumbling her way to the door in the dark, she stubbed her toe. Ouch! Upon opening the door, to her surprise, there was a birthday cake sent in her honor!
And so came the phrase – I still stub my toe on the way to cake. It’s a way of saying we are always on our way to cake, we are always on the perfect path for us at the moment, and we just might stub our toe along the way. It’s a softer, lighter means of making peace with the contrast that every one experiences at some time or another.
It was in my own dreams last night that the stub my toe phrase came back to me. I had gone somewhere deep in the mountains for a retreat, many of us had gathered there. The catch was your only way in and thus your only way out, was on foot.
The retreat is over and people try to hook up with others for the long trek back to our own homes. It’s a circuitous route, easy to get lost and it’s fraught with snakes and wild life, best to not make the trip on foot alone.
This difficult route alone with snakes and wild life seems to be a metaphor for the contrast, the challenges we find ourselves amidst in life.
We are carrying all our belongings on our back. I am traveling unusually lightly. Ha, going into this year with less baggage perhaps! High five for Bethie! My companions are carrying much more and I think I should take some of their baggage, which is so like me to want to help and take on others stuff in the process. Yet I shock myself, I don’t take their stuff on. And as it happens, they begin to unwittingly drop their own baggage as they move further towards home.
Another beautiful metaphor, may we all drop our baggage as we travel home. Home, as in who we really are, is by its very nature without all the baggage including the measuring stick of how well we’ve done in life, etc.
Next in the dream, we come to a point where we must walk a tight rope and below us is a sea of snakes. We are crossing the tightrope when a literal paradise of flowers, in every shape and color begins blooming all around us. The tightrope disappears and we are home again.
I realized then that garden was just like the birthday cake Esther received. And I saw further that the point isn’t the contrast, it isn’t the challenges. The point isn’t in stubbing the toe, or walking the tightrope. No, it’s remembering to enjoy the process no matter how challenging it is. It’s remembering to see the beauty no matter how bad things look. It’s a reminder that it’s always, always there.
It’s just that we get this tunnel vision that this or that sucks and we want out of it now, pronto, yesterday. The way out starts with the little gifts, surprises that come knocking at our doorways in a plethora of ways, so plentiful you could not name or count them all in a day.
Consider spending a moment or more lingering inside the blessings bestowed upon you each and every day.