Saturday, December 28, 2013

Where Surrender Lives

“Be crumbled.
So wild flowers will come up where you are.
You have been stony for too many years.
Try something different.
— Rumi


After the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, today is a day for sitting in the quiet. It's a day to pull the shades on the bright sun and rest in dim light. It's a time for stillness, for alone.

The place where I'm laying my head is comforting and familiar. Sometimes my own spin outs bring me here - when the pace of life becomes too hectic and harried and everything in me demands that it.must.stop, when mind and body involuntarily shut down and I find that in order to go on I must be alone with a capital A. 

But today, today I came here of my own volition. I missed my old friend and I phoned her up, as it were, and told her I'd be stopping by and staying for as long as it takes for me to find what I'm looking for. From the sound of her voice, I could tell she was donning her knowing smile when she said what she always does: "The door is ever open. You need never tell me you're coming."

I know the way to her lovely abode quite well. (Even in my fiercest moments of resistance, when I insist I simply can't get away, don't possibly have the time or energy to go there, I know deep down I could find my way to her house on the darkest night.) It's out on the edge of everything, nestled up close to the sea, far from the noise of the city. The light is always on and the smoke from the chimney reveals the fire is never extinguished.  

The door is ever open, but it's a narrow door and only I can fit through. If I happen to bring my big pack of worries, concerns, and questions that I have grown accustomed to carrying, I have to leave it outside. It is, of course, waiting for me when I leave, but it feels at least ten pounds lighter when I pick it up.

I cross the threshold and on entering find that a piping hot cup of tea - steaming from inside my favorite chunky mug - has been set on the hearth in front of the fire-that-never-goes-out. I bring the cup to my lips and plop myself down on the large sofa strewn with fuzzy, soft, white pillows that beckon me to stay awhile. 

Surrender, the lady of the house, is a woman of a few words. I hear her humming softly in another room. She knows I'm there. She consistently knows the moment I enter her door, but she doesn't run out to meet me. For she knows that I've come here in order to meet myself

She knows her job isn't to fix anything. Lady Surrender gives me a soft place to land. She provides the space for me to come when the world around me feels scary or uncomfortable or disconcerting. She provides the narrow door, the feathered bed, and she knows enough to step away and let the magic happen.

She knows that in the midst of the quiet things have a way of reordering themselves; I have a way of reordering myself. She quietly flits about, setting the stage for the renewal to unfold - lighting candles, drawing me a bath, setting my favorite books and music on the sofa where I rest. 

I sigh and remind myself that this is always here, always waiting. I simply must bring myself. To Lady Surrender's house. 

I'm planning on visiting her a lot in the coming year. 2014 is the year of surrender. Keep the kettle on the burner, my friend. I will be warming myself by your fire more than ever.  

For more on choosing a word for the year. Visit here


  1. What a lovely place this Surrender is... so full of peace and hope. This radical self-care is so important and I'm inspired by you, Angela. My word for the year is BELIEVE. The way I saw it was all capitals, so that's how I write it. I'm excited for what 2014 brings us!

    1. Susan, two years ago my word came to me in all caps too. It felt more like marching orders (turns out it was) than anything else. This year, surrender came in soft unassuming lower cases, like a whisper. I'm raising my glass to your BELIEVE and my surrender and the new year ahead. Much love, friend.

  2. I am low on words this morning but am here, drinking in the peace and tranquility I feel here. Sending love. xo

    1. No words needed, Rain. It's enough that you're here. Sending love right back. xx

  3. Beautifully always.

  4. Surrender and childlikeness are so hand in hand to me. I love this, Angela. I appreciate you. I wish you a New Year filled with love and grace.

    1. Though I hadn't thought about it before you mentioned it, childlikeness and surrender ARE related. It makes me think of trust falls I used to do as a little girl. I'd let my body fall backward into the arms of the one behind me, fully assured that they would catch me. I'm returning to that place of trust as I let myself fall back into the strong arms of Lady Surrender, fully assured that she has my back and will catch me.

  5. i do believe surrender is one of my top ten favorite words. this is going to be a good year, but i wouldn't imagine that good will be defined by the terms of man.

    love, love, love you.

    p.s. i'm hoping to share my word this week too. wait for it... =)

    1. I'm hopeful that Lady Surrender will help me relearn how I define good this year; so that I can call it a good year indeed.

      And I'm waiting, tapping fingers, expectant, curious, excited for what word beckons you... Happy New Year, darlin'. I hope it's a year for another face-to-face. I may be coming your way.

  6. Oh oh oh I love this. Folding into the quiet with you, and excited to see what sacredness is birthed (we birth) (you birth) in the hush.

  7. Oh Angie... this is soothing to my weary. thank you for drawing me into your tender. xo