Here’s a little story I'm naming “Rock Walk.” It’s about the first time I recall following my Heart’s desire. And in doing so, being fully supported by the will power of my lower back, my Kidneys. My previous blog explains this connection, and I'm writing this one as an anecdotal illustration of that first blog's main points.
When I was around 3, Dad would take us for what must’ve been our first walks in the woods, perhaps our first walks anywhere. “Our”, because I’m an identical twin.
In 1976 we lived across the street from an unfinished development of three homes, one of which would soon be ours, though we wouldn’t live there until after our return from France four years hence. On either side of him, holding hands, Dad would walk us across our little street and into the little sliver of young trees, maybe three wide, that remained between this new development and the dangerous thoroughfare, MacArthur Boulevard.
We walked up the slightly upward sloping island of a woods listening to Dad talk about how much he loved the outdoors. He walked us to a rock that was probably six by four feet, and maybe two feet high. He set us on the rock and we thought it was marvelous. I took my memory of this rock to France with us. It was my first totem, and it became even more significant to me personally as the summer came to a close.
Dad was at work. Erik and Mike must’ve been at school and Mom was probably doing laundry. I was lethargic and knew that when Dad took us for walks to the rock, I felt alive. So, I decided to strike out on my own. The plan was so taboo that I didn’t even share it with my twin, Jon. It was going to be my Heart’s first major conquest. Conquest with a small “c”, meaning a heartfelt quest. No one ever need find out.
I realized that I wouldn't consider taking a single step if I were to commit to the whole shebang. See, I was a very obedient child. I wasn't going to be able to just walk out the front door, across the street, and be on my way. I had to warm up to the idea. I wasn’t even supposed to be on our street-facing front yard, unattended, so I told myself I’d walk to the edge of the street, look both ways, and return to the house. I liked this plan. This seemed wholly doable.
I might be caught for being foolishly close to the street, and I could deal with that. No harm really done, though I really didn’t like to upset Mom or Dad. As I looked both ways and saw how clear the road was and how direct my path to the woods lay, my deepest voice said “now” and all of a sudden I was making my way across the street, excited and very, very alive.
The will power of my Kidneys was now fully aligned with my Heart’s desire for adventure. Great Hammer (see last blog entry) led the way. Gate of Vitality moved my legs like a magic carpet carrying my Heart to it’s destination.
We’d made the short trek with Dad a few times. It was probably, all told, a 100 yard round trip. I moved quickly up the ridge, keeping my wits about me in the midst of the thrill. When I saw the rock, I felt taller and more self-assured than I’d ever felt in my life – and then I heard Mom shouting my name, terrified as to my whereabouts. And for the first time to memory, I didn’t feel my Mom’s fear.
But I didn’t want to be selfish, so I went down the short slope towards MacArthur, and was back home in a minute, staying near the woods and away from the boulevard. Mom went from worried to angry; and once again, for the first time, I was feeling so good inside, and so sure of what I’d just done for myself, that my mood didn’t sway.
When one’s Heart and Kidneys are aligned according to Chinese Medicine, one is very much in the moment, full of calm strength. And I felt it.
Mike’s friend Kenny was over and we were all about to pile into the station wagon to head off to the pool for a swim. I remember it was the last trip to the pool for the summer. Our last swim before heading off for Paris on Halloween. As I sat there, buckled into a car and an immediate future I had little agency over, I felt the silent joy of my personal victory radiating from my open heart. I was ready to move.