Saturday I went to the city, something I haven’t done since the autumn of 2014, a long hiatus even for me. The purpose of my journey was to post advertisements for a locally-sourced theater performance engineered by some friends in the spirit of One Billion Rising and ending violence against women.
The hour drive from my rural Carroll County road to Highway 71 Business and Fayetteville’s well-appointed shops and bustling university offers time to transition from one habitat and rhythm to another. Even so, right off the bat, after parking my dirt-dusted car, I missed a crosswalk signal and a curb and nearly stumbled in front of a turning Subaru.
Eventually, however, I shifted into the urban cadence. I slipped through crowded doorways into aromatic, narrow coffee shops like Common Ground. I taped and pinned posters with the help of delightfully helpful college students, chuckled at the bounding razorbacks on random street corners, and studied the collective movement of traffic and shoppers while sipping an 8.45 ounce bottle of Pellegrino, a treat that can’t be found in that perfect size at home.
But after a few hours, the noise and bustle began to grate. I was out of posters and out of synch.
Getting out of synch with the Heart happens, too. Some people call it “spiritual amnesia.” It’s easy to stumble into, even easier than stumbling on an unfamiliar street. After all, modern society brims with stressors and rabbit-hole distractions.
I’m definitely not equating my visit to the city or urban-living itself with being out of step with the Heart. I admire people who can dive into metropolitan life and thrive, spiritually and otherwise. Maybe you’re one of these hearty folks.
Urban or rural, alertness to being out of rhythm with the Heart is essential. So is learning what this dissonance has to offer and knowing when and how to get back home: home to the Heart’s beat – its power, clear aims, creative passion and nurturing love.