Posted on May 9, 2012 - Filed Under self reflect
4/24/2012 (Visit to Wilbur Hot Springs, and a week with Monica… a collection of reflections)
I have been sitting bare and unprotected the last two days, collecting vitamin-D, warming in the sunlight, soaking in mineral springs, and sitting quietly amidst breezes and bird calls. I find myself in and out of brief naps as my body regains some sense of balance, the strong smell of sulfur and flowers moving in an out of me between deep sighs. Monica is busy working today, and I have been left to entertain myself; reading and soaking, watching the birds and lizards carry on their business while fat bushy squirrels forage and scurry under the trees. A yellow finch is busily weaving a nest amidst the fresh budding leaves of trees that have been asleep for the winter, a sure sign that spring has warranted a sense of cleaning out, cleansing, and industriousness that so often feels therapeutic. I find myself checking her progress as she flits back and forth, bringing new elements to her hanging nest.
What I may have found in a quiet moment a few years ago, is not what I am feeling. There would have been a resounding melancholy pouring from my soul in the past. Instead, I sense I am just listening. I haven’t felt like chatting too much, our walks a bit quieter. Under my skin is an enormous grin as I take in the astounding beauty of this quiet valley. As I take in the warm presence of my little sister despite the rampant discombobulation and darting exasperation as she tackles her days. As I take in the gift of having a break from my life… even for a few moments.
The stars in Wilbur are stunning, touching on my distant memories of stargazing in Colombia with a milky way that pours across the sky. The planets are blazingly obvious, like headlamps, and we are in a freshly waxing moon, just days from a new moon which still provides a wonderful depth of darkness to stargazing. We have taken a few late night soaks as well, gazing out at the upside-down colony of galaxies and stars, sighing between the comforting soaks in the flumes.
In it all I listen, a quiet, curious sort of attention. I remember the way my body behaved the last time I didn’t listen; spiraling into what felt like endless days of exhaustion and despair. Every blood test smiled at the doctors, an ongoing shrug from the medical industry that said, “You’re fine…” and yet I wasn’t. I am getting hints of that exhaustion and the last month or so, been a bit more conservative in my adventures, ensuring I don’t push that fragile boundary that could exhaust my adrenals… and here I am, watching the sky pass by, and a soft hum of bees the only ongoing traffic noise. I am in a place of ongoing joy in my life. Gratitude for how well the universe cares for me, and somewhat stumped by the sudden roll of opportunity that is tugging on me for attention.
(Pause… I return home … still a bit inebriated with the trip)
It seems like ages that I have been wanting to live closer to Monica. Trips to California remind me frequently of the culture I miss, and she has kept life simple. I find myself, especially after this last move to Clearwater, wanting to pare down… what do I really need? What do I keep in my life and what purpose does it hold? Who do I want in my life? What do I want to do? Where do I want to be? It rides my mind almost daily, a flurry of dreams and ideas, a gentle pace along the current journey I am traveling. And here… Wilbur calls to me… Monica and Michael stand with arms open, knowing well the gifts I have, and open and eager to use them. I meet their new community, and Dr. Miller, and his daughter… and I see ways I might easily fit into making Wilbur grow… and feel accepted, encouraged, valued.
I find myself talking about Wilbur like I am there… with ownership and authority. I was describing one of my hikes and I heard myself say, “And in the place where I am, along this valley creek, is a rock like a fox drinking water…” Where I am…where I am.
It has been a tremendous adjustment coming back. I felt, coming home to an empty house, ripped from home… homesick. I struggled to hear my beautiful sister’s longing at the other end of the phone… my heart aching to support her in the transition she is making, to help manage the tasks and problems. Wilbur calling me to keep falling asleep with the sparkle of stars through my window and a hot flume to cradle me.
I commented, after my return home (cause that is where I am trying to finish not more than 8 days since my return) that being in the presence of Monica and Michael I feel significant. That isn’t to say I am not, because I feel as if I am in my life. However, the need to matter is so deeply met when I am with them. The unconditional sort of way they hold me in their space feels honoring and open, and I delight in it as if I was opening the best present I have ever gotten (other than Justin).
It has been hard to keep my eyes on how life holds me well in the spaces I keep in Florida. Work delights my problem solving skills, and yet there are pieces of how the company runs that is slowly draining my confidence in the powers that make decisions. I adore the people I work with, I enjoy the students, and locally, I have every confidence in a phenomenal team… but we are not the ones who inhabit the big decisions. I feel worried… and on my return my body has begun to complain about the drive, about the time, about the lack of support I sense, as if we are the illegitimate child of the bigger organization. This worries me, because I know how this can impact my health. And, I know I am not the only one who feels stunned by the blurred vision between state lines… I can feel the growing distress with peers who work so hard and put a tremendous effort in to make things work and are repeatedly left standing on shifting sand…
And so I listen, a quiet, curious sort of attention. I feel at ease (more over the last few days) as friends have loved and encouraged me to pay attention to my heart. They remind me of the conversations over the last 4-5 years, and the directions I have called to, asking for opportunity. I am grateful for the life I have here, dancing and doing art, making friends and beach hikes, sharing stories and late night breakfasts. I am grateful that I have choices. I am grateful for working with individuals who see my gifts and trust me with them. I am grateful for RadioLab on long drives, and for telephones that allow me to stay connected over long distance, and a kid who wants me to be happy and is easygoing, and drives me crazy, and fills me with love. And I look forward to my next trip…