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Easing the Journey Through Shadow & Light

  • Dawn

Why "Unfolding"? And What Was that About Trains?

Hi there.

Why have I named this blog "Unfolding"? Unfolding is what a rose does when it’s been nourished by earth and rain and sunlight. What a down comforter does—one that has been packed away for the summer months—when you pull it out of storage on that first really cold night. What a baby does as it is being born. Or a newly hatched butterfly. Easing into space. Expanding. Slowly moving beyond the confines of the container it has been in for so long. Into a whole new world.

I mentioned in my previous (first ever) post that I would talk about trains, what they have to do with unfolding and with this blog. Here’s a story that may shed some light on that.

A few days before we closed on our house, my husband and I stood in the backyard with our neighbor-to-be, Dave. We were near a stone wall that marked the edge of the property; beyond that a steep hillside dropped down about 15 feet to the railroad tracks. We were talking about something—I don’t remember what—when off in the distance we heard a low rumble. Which got louder. And louder. And LOUDER. Until we had to yell to be heard. And then louder still as a huge freight train with two enormous engines came roaring through the gap just below where we were standing. We couldn’t talk, we couldn’t think, we couldn’t do anything except feel the thunder of that massive monster in our feet and our chests, and in our minds.

And then? The last car passed by, the thunder gradually diminished until finally—it was gone.

Dave let that blessed silence rest for a few long moments. Then he looked at us. And grinned. “I kind of like the trains,” he said. “They remind me of life. Some huge problem comes booming into your life and takes over. You can't think about anything else. You can barely breathe. It’s all too much. Then, finally, it begins to lessen a little and—.” He paused, a little bemused. “Then it’s gone. Like it never happened.”

If we can only remember that as those rumblings get louder and louder.

So that is what this blog is about, in part—what to do while an overwhelming train is thundering through your life. Or as Julie Henderson, the originator of zapchen, said: “how to feel as good as you can in spite of everything.”

And how to learn to unfold into that blessed silence after the mighty roaring has passed. That kind of ease can be surprisingly difficult for many of us to handle—I'll share more about that in some future post.

“Unfolding” is also the title of a poem I wrote several years ago—written as a reminder to myself about how to live with some equanimity in this crazy world. How to be kind to myself. And therefore to others. I’ll share that poem in my next post.

May you feel safe enough to unfold just a little, even if a train has just thundered through.

Until next time,


Photo: Dallas Reedy, unSplash


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