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Last week, I talked to my father after brunch as we walked through the city, our weekend ritual.  I lamented how busy I’ve been.

“The days are all running into each other, ” I said. “I feel like I’m missing my life.”

We say things like this in our lives. We ask others to bear witness to the feeling, though we know that they can’t fix it. We look for clues to make it better, for someone to give us the rhythm to the song of our lives, for an offering of keys to unlock the door to the life that we know is waiting for us.

But we know that no one can repair the thing that we cannot even name. No one can create our dream life. That is a job that only we can do for ourselves.

And yet, we wait.

This morning I had the “Today” show on the TV, as I do every morning. I use the show to time my morning; I know that by the time the local news comes on it’s 7:26 and if I haven’t put my contact lenses in yet, I’m running behind. I keep one ear on the stories as I get ready, so I’m always paying half attention as I get ready for work.

Today they reported a story on a People magazine article on Valerie Harper and her brain cancer diagnosis, and it got my full attention. I grew up watching her on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and “Rhoda”, and I’ve always been struck by how accessible she seemed. Maybe it was because we all watched her for so many years that she really was everyone’s best friend next door. For that reason, it was sad news that tugged at my heart, though her outlook seemed upbeat.

But, a cover line on the magazine stopped me, a quote on what the illness has taught her.

“Don’t miss your life.”

Two years ago, I wrote about finding myself at the crossroads and not knowing which way to turn. And though I’ve made a few changes, that  unsettled feeling remains. I feel like I’ve been marching in place for ages.

What I know is that now it’s time. It’s time to begin moving. Towards what I don’t know, but something is calling me. Something bigger than what I’ve settled for, some place where the dreams that I’ve long forgotten live, some field where magic exists – even if it is in my city where the streets are gritty and full of litter. It’s time to trust that goodness and grace will light my path, illuminating the door that I must open, where life lives.

And so, I take the first step.

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