Being Richly Poor


I came up with this description of myself not long ago in the midst of taking some risks and making some changes in my life. I was counting my pennies, creating a new austerity budget for surviving on an even tighter shoestring, and putting my foot forward in a hesitant step of faith. I didn’t know exactly what was in my tomorrow, but I took a tiny step, anyway. I prayed, and I meditated – all markers were pointing in a specific direction for me to travel, just where, I didn’t know.

Things began to happen. Slowly, oh! So slowly. But happened, indeed. I left a job that had been my security net for the past three-plus years, and watched it grow dimmer and dimmer in my rear-view mirror. With good memories and a basketload of gratitude in the car with me, I drove away, knowing I was doing what I was supposed to do.

I only had a few days of adjusting to what I thought might be retirement, before the universe shifted on me, and I found myself waiting on pins and needles to hear about a position as a librarian that I had applied and interviewed for on a lark a few weeks before leaving my job. I received notification that I was being considered. Again, the wheels of progress trudged at a snail’s pace, and after six weeks of hearing nothing, I thought maybe the tilt in the universe was my imagination.

Then, lo and behold! A phone call late one evening inquiring if I was still interested in the librarian position. Of course, I was interested! I accepted it over the phone. I was at a friend’s home for the night, preparing to go with her the next morning to a city-wide prayer breakfast, so we hugged and danced, and jumped up and down, celebrating this good news.

All this brings me back around to being richly poor. I have very little in the way of financial resources – my only possessions are my old car, a small savings account, two rooms of furniture, my personal belongings, and a few sentimental treasures in my little in-town apartment. I don’t have much. But I have enough. And enough is all I need. With this new part-time librarian job, I can breathe a bit easier and enjoy having a little wiggle room, money-wise. Not much, but, again, enough.

I am rich! I am stinking rich! I am warm in the winter and cool in the summer. I have food in my refrigerator and pantry, and I have a sound roof over my head. I have my little dog, Sunshine, to share my happy moments as well as my not-so-happy ones, and who encourages me to get outside everyday to go for a long sniffing-and-seeing–all-that-nature-offers walk. I have this wonderful laptop computer where I can write to my heart’s content, and a handy blog to post my musings. I have a big, loving family, and a handful of very, very loyal friends who love me, cheer for me, laugh and cry with me, and pick me up when I fall. I have music to soothe my soul, and hot chocolate to warm my tummy. What more can a girl ask for?

I am richly poor, and it is enough.


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