I walk room-to-room with a willowy woman who loves her cats. As we look over the garage, she talks of them, the ones from her past, who have died, and the two in her present life, who remind her of the past ones. She ticks off their names, so many cats that I grow confused.
My pulse accelerates with a desire to sell, to convince her that she must rent this house that I have spent thousands of dollars renovating over the past four months.
Our shoes clap across the new maple floors as we make our way through the hall into the master bedroom. There, where the air smells of fresh paint, she rushes to examine the walk-in closet. A smile stretches across her face as she examines the clothing rods and shelves where she might store her belongings.
Her enthusiasm eases my heart. Maybe, just maybe, she will want to live in this house that my late mother left me. Then my plan will be in motion. My ambition to have more time with my Beloved, rather than working so hard, will be realized.
We meander back to the front entrance and stand in a ray of sun shining in through the open door. “I love it,” she says. “It’s so peaceful.”
I give her a rental application, which she agrees to fill out and return to me. When she leaves, I feel light, as though my dream is within reach.
In the next few hours I show the house to two more possible tenants, and they like it too. I sense I’m on my way.
I sleep a restless night. When I awaken, I call on the Beloved and check my email and voicemail, but find no messages. Days pass without a word, and slowly the possibility dawns on me that my whole scheme might not work. The voice of doom speaks: “No one will rent it. It will remain a vacant space, sucking resources in the form of heat, electricity and taxes.”
The dream of more time with my Beloved—dead.
As I complete final repairs on the house, pay bills, grocery shop, and take my daily walk, those prospective tenants arise again and again in my consciousness. Each time they do, I ask for guidance and release them, coming back into the now.
As I detach and re-attach, I become like Elvis in my bed at night—all shaking hips and wiggling feet to the tune of my discomfort. I see my ego that wants so badly to do this right, to get the perfect tenant, to have an easy life. It holds on so tightly to these things that all grounds to a halt: No calls come from anyone.
One morning in my spiritual practice a truth emerges: I don’t rely on rental income. I am sustained by my Beloved. I am all sustenance.
I get up and make my way through the day, still a bit wobbly, but with more sure footing. I show the house to a young couple with a newly adopted child, two dogs and a cat—with so many pets not ideal tenants, but possibilities.
With each showing I become clearer about what would serve me: a tenant who is financially responsible, upbeat, with no pets, maybe. I feel myself reclaim my power in this creation.
Then, as I take my evening walk and gaze out across an expanse of piñon forest, I begin laughing. I laugh until tears fill my eyes. I realize that the very life I’ve wanted this house to help me create, I am already living. I have been for months.
It is a life in which I wake with the Beloved’s name on my lips. I sip the tea of Its strength, savor the food of Its kindness. During my daily walks I breathe the sweet scent of Its breath, and as I work at my computer keyboard, I tap the rhythm of Its heartbeat.
I need not wait for this life I long to live. Instead I simply live it. That is how it appears before me in the material world.
The outer life reflects the inner.
And the woman with the cats?
She called to say she wanted to rent the house, but the Beloved guidance urged me to decline her. That is yet another story of surrender.
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Image: Truchas, NM