So, one night, waiting in my truck, in High Springs, Florida, a thought arose, like from nowhere, a thought I almost dared not consider, a thought that was gracious but appeared somewhat like a dark specter, at least initially. "Why not let it go, say goodbye?" I went inside a store, to speak with an acquaintance, and the words came out of my mouth. They sounded very unfamiliar. Never in my life had I considered doing such ... and without a job waiting or income! My "responsible self" would never do such. I realized, however, leaving felt oddly real.
Then, over a few weeks of prayer and meditation, as well as counsel from others I trusted, nothing was returning to me, without or within, to remain. I resigned ~ I have not regretted it one moment in the last almost two years, not once looking back. Before leaving the corporation ~ for it was a huge hospice, of many centers ~ it appealed for me to remain, offering me a new site to work at, which would remove me from the other chaplain, and a new position. This appealed to me, including having a chance to stay with hospice work and enjoy not doing work connected directly to religion, which I had done almost all my life ~ I began preaching at age fifteen, at age sixteen I was serving as interim pastor of churches. And it felt good to be wanted, but I sensed if I turned back and said "Yes," I was saying "No" to Life leading onward. I declined the offer, expressing gratitude and openness to receive an offer later to consider.
Then, after a year, I sensed an inner movement to move northeast ~ such movements the Quakers, with whom I worship now, sometimes call "way opening." I loaded up my truck and headed all the way to coastal Maine, a three-day trip, into a place I had never been, where I knew no one. I felt an energy, or presence, like it was lifting me up and taking me all the way. I had never had such an experience over many days, this was so powerful. There was no fear. There was only joy. The whole way, I was in one moment, Eternity in just one breath, in just one turn of the wheels. And for a first time after my father died about a year-and-a-half prior, I felt what was like to his presence, blessing me on the way up Interstate 95, glad I was driving into the unknown. I sensed he needed this, as much, or more, than me. This was unlike him in life here, as he showed me love, as he knew love, by discouraging such adventurousness. He never wanted me to be far from him. He had never lived more than two miles from where he was born and raised. Maybe my moving to Maine, I recognized, was a gift to him, as well as to myself. Possibly, he was proud of me, celebrating my courage. Maybe this was his letting me know he was sorry for trying to hold me close, not celebrating with me my crossing borders. Maybe it was, too, a way of our sharing an adventure together.
Now, Winter over in Maine ~ I survived, though somewhat trapped in the cottage due to a back and rotater cuff injury, and Fall coming nearer, and the cottage I lived in, in Georgetown, Maine, being rented to Summer vacationers ~ Grace provided a month-to-month rental in a Quaker intentional community, nearby in Bath, Maine.