Sometimes the heaviness is gone, as if something has truly taken root, grown up big and strong toward the light, and begun to blossom.
It began with baby steps. Giving myself what I need. This was so hard at first. Practically impossible.
Everything I wanted or needed was in direct conflict with all the shoulding driving my life.
Stood still when I was supposed to run.
Shut the door when I was supposed to keep it open.
Spoke when I was supposed to be quiet.
Ate when I was supposed to lose weight.
Stoked the fire when I was supposed to put it out.
All along, I could measure changes in my inner landscape, but my outer landscape remained mostly the same.
But the outside changes have begun to manifest--small, but big enough to be honored here.
Tonight, an impromptu trip with my girls to watch the sunset. Sitting with them huddled in a big green blanket, watching the sun sink below the hills, singing about amber waves of grain waving around us, and purple mountains majesty rising above us to meet the skyline...
How is it that I agreed with myself to head for the hills? How is it that my girls agreed to accompany me?
I almost had to pinch myself, because our minds were so quiet, the three of us were so absorbed in the moment, hiking a short distance of country road, only to plop down into a sea of wild daisies for the show. My eight-year old leaning into me, with one arm around my waist, my six-year old on my lap.
A big blue sky, and pink cotton candy clouds. And nothing getting in the way--no bedtime, agendas, grudges, or convenient viewing screens--this was the real thing. Freedom from all of it, and experiencing the heart of something alive, and yet, so quiet, so allowing, so sweet and simple, and so loving.
I can't tell you what it is like to have my older daughter seek me out for a hug, for a moment together. She brings me back to myself when I was her age, and I think we meet there together, and there is healing. I can barely contain my emotion when she chooses to simply let go, rather than throw a huge fit. She often says, well, I guess I'll just let go. Sometimes she cries, and I tell her, go ahead, cry, it is helping you to let go. Ah, the cleansing rains...
As far as I am concerned, we can't cry enough. I'm for the world and I crying a lot more, and throwing tantrums a lot less.
My girls and I have been knee-deep in glue too, gluing sparkly mosaics all over stepping stones and tables for our backyard. I think we'll have a gazing ball or two. Maybe we'll begin work on a fairy house. I have a feeling the fairies will want to hang out with us this year. The barren landscape is coming back to life, the dry spell is over. More shocking news!
All the breaking into hard dirt and clay in my backyard, to create a soft place for so many splendid little creatures to summer. My body aches at all that work. But to feel the promise of helping things grow, and to think we might soon partake of the fruits.
To think that this is the year, I finally found a strength that I thought I lost to loss, after spending so much time and energy on a yard of another home, that I would leave.
I realize that I truly never mourned all of those little friends I left behind. They were secondary to so many other aspects of leaving--the first strawberries I'd ever watch truly flourish, my giant Dalias-you amazed me! How I just used to stare and stare again, bewildered at how you stood so tall so quickly, supporting your mandala blooms, laughing with color. And my Rhodies--dear, magical ones--oh the party you had when you bloomed. I see how you were there for me, trying to show me my reflection all along. The Magnolia tree. I never knew a tree could be so splendid. You hinted at spring with your silly daisies glued right to your branches, and then you bobbed with leaves, until you shot up pink tulips. You embraced the season like a circus, and so full of fashion. And the blueberries. You were right outside my door. I could nibble away at you with the girls, always with the wonderful feeling I was getting away with something really devilish!
And all of the rest of you beauteous ones, so patient and understanding that motherhood had to come first. I miss the heart of you. Our time together was too short.
My heart swells when I think of all that I have learned, at what I am still learning--what is blooming, what is just breaking ground.
How simple and precious moments feel, how many things show just how deeply my girls and I have absorbed a new way of being.
It feels good to be back writing here. It feels good to be so clear that this place is an important part of my self-expression--and my synthesis of experience, that just in the telling, helps other parts to flow. I really had no idea, until it was gone.
Writing here tonight, this place feels more at home than it ever did--perhaps, because my absence somehow made it more a part of who I am, rather than something merely created externally--as if my time away created a deeper commitment and connection to my writing, a fuller acceptance and integration of my waking and writing life.
It feels good to be surrounded with my words gathered round, reaching into past, present, future. Reminds me of my daughter, sleeping, comforted by all of her stuffed animals piled up in a mountain on her bed.
There are other notable changes too, as I sit down to pour out thoughts on the page.
When I began Wild Road, I felt I had a mission to save a broken world. I was full of hope that the world could get better, and fear that it wouldn't.
Now, beginning Backdoor to the Moon, I feel like I have no intention other than to gaze up at the night sky, to see patterns in the constellations, to marvel at the pictures and cherish the stories--to close my eyes when I get sleepy, and to wake up with the sun, knowing that the stars and all their stories will be there, when it gets quiet, when the little ones in my life retreat to their own swirling universes, and my heart wishes to come here.