Sometimes the themes in real life, like books, are only apparent in retrospect.
Last week's theme was packaged for me by my yoga instructor who summed it all up at my Sunday morning yoga class (my version of religion) by instructing us to find our center. Not just our center, but our core. For anyone who's done any kind of exercise in the last ten years, you know this is a reference to abdominal muscles, but she took it a step further and asked us to think about the core of our beliefs.
What centers us? From where, what or whom do we draw our strength?
As I moved through the yoga asanas, downward dog, upward dog, way too long in plank pose, it occurred to me the core of my being is centered in community.
This week my kids had two days off of school for parent-teacher conferences and so, grudgingly, I decided to take those two days off of writing. We visited museums. Had lunch out. I let them drink soda. It was marvelous.
It was community.
My friendships; the new ones I'm growing in Virginia, like tiny seedlings poking out of the ground, the ones I arrived here with that are fully grown with deep, deep roots and the virtual ones I've created on-line.
Again, community. The kind that makes me feel strong and connected to the world in a way that fills me with the passion required to lock myself away and write hundreds of thousands of words. And then rewrite them. And then rewrite them again. And again and again and again.
The concept of community was highlighted earlier in my week (I told you it was a theme) when I went to a Baptist church in downtown Washington, D.C. to hear Nadia Bolz-Weber speak about her brand of faith. Her words about people who stumble into her church and stay for the community struck a note with me.
I believe we're all in search of one brand of community or another.
Whether it's family, religion, yoga, friends or a mishmash created from all of the above, somewhere inside each of us is a strong desire to connect on a level that delves below the surface.
Which I suppose leads to the obvious question. Where is your center? What fills you up with passion and floats you through life?