Slippers for a life I didn't have.
Northern Europeans know what true sexiness is: warm feet.
If you're a chick-flick fan, you have almost definitely seen Under the Tuscan Sun. (Possibly more than five times.) Diane Lane and Sandra Oh and that hot guy from Positano. And the memorable tidbits of dialogue like, "creepy Italian trees" and "I am going to make love all over you" and one of my favorites, "How stupid am I? I bought a house for a life I don't even have!"
Last year, while living in an apartment in a history-laden, refurbished mill building equipped with poured concrete floors and luscious radiant heat...I bought slippers. The first slippers I'd purchased in what probably was well over a decade.
I bought them because I fell in love with them. They're charcoal gray wool with an embroidered floral embellishment. They look like something I might slip into after arriving home from a long day of cross-country skiing (okay that would be the me in an alternate universe...I harbor no love for any sport where you can twist your knee going down what can barely be called a hill at half a mile per hour) in Sweden.
As you might imagine, when you have floors with radiant heat and the cost of that heat is included in the rent (I think I failed to mention that earlier), you have zero need or desire for slippers. Unless you want to end up with heat stroke. Of course, there was the option of turning the heat down and allowing the floors to go cold so my slippers might actually have purpose, but walking barefoot indoors in a New England home in January is a treat you don't pass up.
And so, every time I glanced at my charming slippers, warmed by the radiant heat of the floor beside my bed, I sighed a bit and, channeling Diane Lane, thought with great internal emotion, "I've bought slippers for a life I don't even have!"
And now, it's a year later, and I am living in a completely non-energy-efficient vintage farmhouse with floors that could generally turn your feet into ice-pops, should you be brave enough to wander barefoot the barren, uncarpeted expanse from bedroom to kitchen.
And I wear my slippers almost daily. And my heart is smiling. And I think of other times in my life and other things I've bought or gathered or felt drawn to keep, and how I've often been mystified as to why. But how I've trusted my heart.
And how, suddenly and surprisingly, the answer one day became apparent.
Now I'm not talking about the times when you don't want to toss out that slinky black dress you haven't worn in thirteen years and then you get invited by a hot new date to a black tie event and you think, "I can't believe I gave that dress real estate in my tiny closet for thirteen years, and just gave that to Goodwill last month!!! I knew I shouldn't have tossed it!"
Chances you would still fit into said dress are minimal, but let's play the game of suspended disbelief, shall we?
No, I'm not talking about those "ships passing in the night" type of close calls. I'm talking about when your heart calls you to acquire something or move somewhere or start some project or take some huge action (or small one) and you are standing in the sidelines of your life, as if watching a movie on a huge screen, thinking,
"I'm buying this/doing this/creating this for a life I don't even have!"
"And worse still, I charged them!"
But that's the point.
Perhaps when our heart calls us to something that doesn't even make total (or sometimes, any!) sense in the scope of our current "life situation"...that by taking that action or moving to that new place or purchasing that thing, we are calling forth all manner of events that will converge to assist in the creation of a new life. A life we WILL have.
Would I have ended up in a house that is THE perfect house for these slippers (meaning, it could indeed be mistaken for a farmhouse located in Sweden...in terms of aesthetics as well as temperature), had my soul not beckoned me to whip out my credit card and bring those slippers home with me? I'm not saying no to that one. I mean, I KNOW that the Divine already had my next residence lined up.
I was hunting for an apartment, not a house.
And yet, I ended up in a house. And my slippers seem to have known this was their fate all along.
In fact, I've spoken to them about this on occasion, and they're both like,
"Namaste, sweetheart. Get with the program!"
I'm in the midst of thinking a lot about reinvention. As in, reinventing ourselves and what that means and how much our intentions and decisions, small and large, play in how it all goes. How much control we have versus what our souls have planned for us.
This reinvention thing is fascinating to me. Often we are forced into it by circumstances that are thrust upon us. But the idea of choosing to re-create ourselves...simply because we know we have more to experience and accomplish here on earth, is freeing and empowering. Letting go of large swathes of our past and our past selves and trusting in the exciting/terrifying/expansive things that can unfold. Life is short (I am copyrighting that phrase because I know no one has uttered it before), and we can change our direction, our desires, our actions and our situations as many times as we wish. It takes courage. And the suppleness and open-mindedness to do so.
I've actually been wanting to write about them (my slippers) since the temperature inside my current rented house first dipped below 65 and I, at long last and with an inner knowing and much wild-eyed joy gasped,
"I have slippers for a life I actually HAVE!!!"
and then added in a humbled and grateful and heartfelt voice,
"...yet more proof that there's something out there running this show."
Sending love, and may the warmth of my feet spread to your heart. (Ok I just made myself laugh, and thank goodness because no other adult has responded to my innate humor on this snowy day. Yes, cranky bank teller woman, I'm talking to you!)...
Dröm sött ~