If you haven’t read Part One: my will vs. God’s will click here before reading on.
When I left off, it was September 1, 2020 and mom and I were just heading out across the Nevada desert, caravan style – me driving her camper van, her following behind in my car.
Destination: my home in Bozeman, Montana.
We were about 30 minutes east of Reno when she called me on the walkie talkie (they still exist :), and said in distress, “One of the hubcaps came off the van.”
I know how much she loves those hubcaps, so I said what I didn’t want to say but knew was the right thing to say, “Would you like to go look for it?”
“Yes,” she replied anxiously.
I pulled off at the next off ramp, parked the van, and off we went looking for the hubcap on the side of the interstate.
It was one of the those, “And there we were” moments in a place neither of us wanted to be, walking around the tumbleweeds, semi’s and cars zooming by, the wind threatening to blow my hat to Utah, looking for a hubcap.
“Are you f_____g kidding me?” I yelled to no one in particular. But it meant a lot to mom, so I kept looking.
After an hour of searching, walking the interstate, I looked back at the short distance we’d come from the noisy campground, the wall of smoke from the California fires on the horizon, and thought, “At least I’m not there”and laughed at how ironic and funny this was on some level.
We got back in the car and carried on our way, the van with three hubcaps, bumbling across the desert, taking our time to rest (my body doesn’t do well driving long distances).
Aside from the Labor Day campground circus experience, it was a quiet week of travel, arriving in Bozeman on September 6, the day after a large forest fire burned down 30 homes just outside of town. My heart sank, “Oh, it’s happening here too,” I thought.
But joy hit me when we rolled up in front of my sweet little one bedroom home I’d left 9 months earlier. As I walked inside I could feel my whole being begin to relax, and was so grateful to find that the Airbnb guests and caretaker had left it in perfect condition.
Giddy, I wondered around inside, “Mom, look at how BIG the fridge is!” and “Mom, I have a FOUR burner stove to cook on!”
It felt like a palace compared to the little van, and I was in heaven. I set mom up in the living room, pulling out the sleeper sofa and unpacking.
What I noticed the most when I got into my wonderful bed that night? How quiet it was, oh so quiet!
Over the weeks to come, I surrounded myself with what was calming, nurturing and soothing to my being…a soft bed, soft clothes, hot showers, slow walks in the forest, slowly reaching out to friends one at a time, baking, raking leaves…
I was still out of sorts, but each day my body relaxed a little more until my 51st birthday on October 6, when it relaxed A LOT.
The river does that for me. It’s like going through a transformer, the flowing of the water melting away the angst, the fear, and the stress. It all gets carried away with the current as I ride atop my paddle board.
Here’s a pic from that day. Although it would be awhile longer before I was back to ground zero energetically, the mighty Yellowstone River helped me feel more myself than I’d felt in months.
It wouldn’t be long, though, before a new inner experience started.
I began to feel a restlessness, a questioning – about my entire life…Where have I been? Where am I going? Has my life been worthwhile? Do I have regrets? How do I serve?
The tears returned, but this time it was moments of weeping, not sobbing, and for a different reason.
The answer came when I went for a walk with a dear wisdom friend in her 80’s whom I adore.
I was sharing with her this new experience I was having when she said, “I went through something similar at your age. I cried every day for an entire year. It was the end of an era – my identity. I made some big changes in my life.”
After our walk I did some research and realized what was happening in me was a mid-life crisis. It really exists! It’s funny how when something that feels crazy has a name to it, it doesn’t feel so crazy anymore.
“I’m not alone in this” is incredibly powerful. I realized I was crossing an energetic and physical threshold from the first half of my life to the second half of my life, and there was fear and angst and questioning that came with this…
It was a losing of who I was and what use to matter to me, to who I was becoming and what matters to me now.
With a new found understanding, instead of buying a red mustang convertible, I built a 45 foot long retaining wall in my front yard. I think there’s a metaphor in that too – holding back the aging process.
My intuition gave me a clear no to doing it, but I didn’t care. I have a stubbornness that awoke and said, “I’m going to do what I want to do for once!”
It wasn’t long before I realized why intuition knew better…I’d never moved so much dirt in my life. My back hurt, my wrists hurt, and it was definitely not soothing (except for all the neighbors I got to meet as they walked by for the several weeks it took to build).
It became yet another DIY project I wished I’d hired someone else to do, but I must say, being a recovering perfectionist, it turned out beautifully:
So what about selling the house?
That had been on my mind most days, asking “Is it time to sell my house?” But each time I’d ask, I just couldn’t imagine packing up and moving.
It felt like too much, but I continued asking.
The other words that my wisdom friend said on the walk that were incredibly helpful were “You’ll know” in regards to selling my house.
I wasn’t getting that knowing I thought I had at the end of the summer. “But, but, but!” I would exclaim.
It became clear in early December when I got a call from a young couple who had heard I may be selling and they wanted to buy.
My chest tightened, my mind contracted, and in that moment I knew that what I’d understood at the end of the summer wasn’t to sell my house, but to return to my home.
I may sell sometime down the road, but for now, my home was my life preserver in, what felt like, an incredibly chaotic world.
It was a place I needed more than anything, and proved to be so in the year to come.
While meditation and nature was, and continues to be, my anchor with the divine and a must need in my day, I was greatly missing the joys of life that the pandemic took away – dinner with friends, hugging, and especially dancing.
And oh, how I missed (and still do) my beloved tango dancing!
It was near winter solstice when a dear friend reached out from Idaho and asked, for her 50th birthday, to send her a song and do a dance that celebrates life. It could be anything.
It was exactly the gift I needed at that time, because her request brought back to life the creativity and joy that I knew was inside, but had gone dormant in the pandemic.
I took out the costume box, picked out one of my favorite dance tunes, and mom filmed. There was no rehearsal and no editing. It was simply from the heart, spontaneous and joy filled (it also spoke to my secret desire to be a rock star).
It felt extraordinary to be in my body in that way for the first time in almost a year, and reminded me that I was still in there… the light, the love, the laughter, the silliness – the joys of being human.
I shared it slowly with family and a few friends and am ready to share it with you.
May it bring a smile to your face and joy to your heart. The light shines in you and through you, no matter what.
Jean Yves Leloup, a French author (and, I believe, mystic) writes, “In order to not lose the light given us, it must be shared. The same is true of love – we must give it in order to keep it.”
Thanks to my friend for the inspiration and for the light we all have to share.
Click the picture below. Put it on full screen, turn up the volume and let yourself dance, remember who YOU are inside.
More to come dear friend – 2021 starts with a bang!
To read Part Three: Entering the Castle, click here.
Categories: Creativity, Heart Centered Living, Inner Wisdom & Intuition