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Friday, March 11, 2011

Rubber Boots, Soakers, and Balance

It was hard to peel myself away from watching the devastation in Japan this morning. For some reason, I kept watching the same news clips of cars and boats moving like toys as they crashed and moved in-land, spreading debris further and further as it went. As I type this, people are being evacuated in many places of the world as a precaution against devastating waves. Hawaii and the Philippines are on alert, as is much of the Western coast of the United States. The warnings even extend to parts of the Russian coastline and here in Canada, for the coastline of B.C. More evidence, I guess, of the shifting nature of our world and the interconnectedness of us all. An earthquake in one location is felt across the world.

I'm not sure why I felt compelled to watch it. I guess it's a combination of shock and awe, a sense of gratefulness that it isn't happening to me,a sense of guilt that it isn't happening to me, a disbelief in the power of nature, and at some level, maybe a need to imagine what others must be feeling. Maybe I try to imagine what it would feel like from a distance that allows me to "pull out" when the imagining gets too horrific. I guess this is the concept virtual gaming is built on. Maybe I'm not sure how I'm supposed to feel, and so I watch..

One of the reasons I pulled myself away from the news was because in my own part of the world, a "severe weather warning" has been issued. We are expected to receive 20 to 40mm of rain. What???!!! That almost feels surreal. Compared to a tsunami, that seems like a joke, and yet, for some areas, that might be enough to bring some fairly significant problems. Again, nothing like other parts of the world, and yet- if your basement is flooding, your road is closed, and your lawn furniture is on a journey to your neighbours house- you do need to react.

Wise Woman and I have been talking lately about balance. More to the point- the lack of balance. In such rapidly shifting times, it's hard to find the balance, to secure your footing in the world. How do we expand, evolve, and feel connected to others, at the same time that we remain grounded in our reality? How do you watch devastation in other parts of the world, and at the same time bring yourself back to your own reality when it seems so minor by comparison. I don't have the answer. I don't, personally, think there is an answer. At least, not one that works for everyone. However... rubber boots might be handy.

There is something about rubber boots that provides a sense of groundedness. At least for most people that grew up on the East Coast, rubber boots are synonymous with spring- and sometimes, summer, winter and fall as well! There is just something about walking through the puddles as far as you can go before you get a "soaker". For the uninitiated, a "soaker" is the tipping point. It's went you have reached your limit of exploration such that water seeps into your boot and your sock becomes wet. A soaker can come from either the top or the bottom. If you venture too deep into the puddle, you get a soaker. But if you have a hole in your favorite rubber boots, you can get a soaker even from the sole of your boot, no matter how high you venture out. The name of the game, starts out being how far you can go before your sock gets soaked. But once it does get wet- the rules change. See, once your sock is wet already, you might as well keep going- the damage is done, you're going to get in trouble when you get home anyway, so you might as well see how far your adventure can go. You balance this notion of avoiding the soaker with sweet relief once it actually occurs, because then, there are no limits. Maybe that's where the expression "fill your boots" comes from.

Rubber boots have become a fashion statement. You can find them in every color and design. You can even buy high heeled rubber boots! I think that misses the point. Rubber boots are supposed to be highly functional. It's not really about the boots. It's about how far you can go in those boots. Yellow rubber boots are a favorite of mine, maybe it's the energy of the yellow color that gives me a sense I can go even further than I first imagined. I have a friend that told me, as a kid, she used to be able to fly in her dreams. But, in order to get airborne in her dream state, she had to put on a special pair of rubber boots. See that's what I'm talking about!!

If you can keep your feet solid and grounded you can fly to great heights. That's the balance. Safe in the knowledge that your sock- your security, your root chakra- is warm and dry, you can expand your limits. We balance this sense of adventure with safety and security. But once we get a soaker, we can tip the scales of balance and go even further- then we really fly. Maybe balance isn't really the goal- maybe it is about getting out of balance. Perhaps it's about getting a soaker so, in this unbalanced state, you can keep exploring.

I do realize that rubber boots won't be of much help in a tsunami. But in a heavy rainfall warning they will. So I will keep my rubber boots close to the door. I'll watch parts of the news and imagine what those people are going through and try to send some positive energy, a sense of awareness, and compassion. But when my brain starts to get "soaked", I'll put on those rubber boots and find balance again. Maybe instead of cowboy boots(an earlier post)- Cinderella should wear rubber boots.....

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