I’m going to write one part at a time of the two year cocoon unfolding, each writing building on the one prior.
When I left writing in May of 2020, we were two months into the pandemic. I had been camping with my mom in the mountains of Santa Barbara, CA for five months in search of a new home for her.
She was tired of the small van she was living in since selling her house and was more than ready.
We hadn’t found the right one when the pandemic started and the housing market came to an abrupt halt.
Lockdown kept us at the campground, unable to leave for the next two months. We tolerated the heat and biting flies until June 1, when lockdown lifted and left for cooler climates to the north, still hoping her right house would come up soon.
We landed at a private 200 site campground in the heart of the Sierra Nevada Range 30 miles west of Truckee. “Ah, cooler temps!” we both said in relief when we arrived.
What we didn’t know was that it would be the summer of craziness, with everyone in America discovering camping as a way to vacation.
I had now been sleeping in my Subaru for 5.5 months. Every week up to that point I’d have a conversation with God (it was more of a pleading), “May I pleeeeease go back to Montana?” And the answer, every week, was “No.”
It was not a parental No, it was a wisdom No, it was a compassionate No. It was the kind of No that you don’t want to hear, but you know is right and in alignment with your soul. I’d sigh, and say “okay.”
We settled in to our new home…below you’ll see my mom’s van that she lived in (did I mention she was 80 years young at the time?), my car, and the tent we set up for storage.
The view was stunning. It didn’t take long, though, for reality to set in. Every vehicle and house size RV that came by kicked up a huge cloud of dust. I’d hold my breath until it passed.
That didn’t include the kids on motorbikes doing laps around the campground, a dust cloud following the roar of the engine.
We also quickly learned this area was a mecca for ATV’s (off road vehicles), with their strobe lights and boomboxes, also doing laps around the campground. “Holy hell” I thought on numerous occasions.
I would leave every day to find refuge in nature – swimming in nearby lakes or biking through stunning wildflowers, praying that her right house would come up soon.
Every week I pleaded, and every week was that familiar “No” in response. Nature soothed and nurtured me…here’s a pic of one of the lakes (when I could, I’d swim in my birthday suit – total joy!).
I also discovered an incredible spot biking at Royal Gorge Cross Country Ski Area. It included a swing that brought me out to the edge of a cliff. I’d imagine I was flying out, wings spreading up into the sky…
Nature couldn’t stop what the noise, dust and lack of privacy were doing to my system though.
Being a sensitive person who picks up energy from everything, I had become irritable and ungrounded. By mid-August I was officially a wreck.
Intuition was trying to tell me something, but I didn’t know what. I said, “Mom, I need to camp outside of this campground, somewhere quiet.”
Being the wonderfully supportive mom she is, we found a quiet place down the road, no hook-ups, but peaceful. A large forest fire began shortly after 20 miles to the west. Ash covered our vehicles, visibility was less than a mile.
I soon began to cry, deep sobs, every day, for two weeks. I would cry while I was swimming in the lake, hiking, in bed at night, while meditating…I felt like I was crying for more than just me, that I was crying for generations of pain.
It was deep turmoil working its way out, spilling out through my entire being.
One night, while in heart agony, my mind suddenly went quiet and a feel of warm divine honey poured from my head down through my heart and into my toes.
My whole being was still, floating in this divine love that consumed me. If I could put words to the feeling it would say, “You’re okay, everything is okay, I’m with you.”
When it ended, my mind grappled for what I just experienced, but it couldn’t understand, only the soul could understand, and that was enough to put my mind more at ease.
At two weeks the turmoil ended when I asked God the question, “Is it time to sell my house?” (in Montana). All the angst melted away in the answer as I heard a “yes,” (or so I thought it was a yes).
I shared this with mom and asked her to come with me, it was time to go back to Montana. She happily agreed.
On September 1, 2020 we left the dusty, noisy, beautiful campground heading east on Interstate 80, me in the camper van, mom driving my car behind.
As we descended into the desert of Reno and beyond, my entire being took a deep exhale – an exhale for leaving behind the gifts and challenges of the last 8 months of camping, an exhale for the suffering we were all experiencing from the pandemic, and an exhale for the letting go I felt was coming in leaving a place I’d lived for 20 years.
My mom and I were still in the early stages of our time together and to come, but the bond between us had grown deeper, stronger, more loving, and more accepting.
If I had had my way – coming back to Montana when the pandemic started, this wouldn’t be so, and the time together to come wouldn’t be so either (nor the release of all the turmoil).
I continue to learn that intuition/God/inner guidance always, always, knows what we need, even if it creates suffering or pain.
Each time we listen to it, our little i (ego) softens a little more. And when we soften, we surrender, and when we surrender we feel at peace and are in alignment with our deeper knowing, our soul.
Julian of Norwich said, “God is always working to bring us back to a place of peace inside ourselves.”
The root of the word Islam means peace and surrender. So a translation could be “the peace we feel when we surrender ourselves and our life to God.”
More to come, dear friend, from my heart to yours.
To read Part Two: Crossing the Threshold, click here.
Categories: Heart Centered Living, Inner Wisdom & Intuition, Stress & Anxiety, Uncategorized