From this quiet cabin in the woods of the Blue Ridge Mountains I’ll write my first blog post in a very long time. And I will do it exactly the way I like my honey in my morning tea – raw and unfiltered.
I am halfway through my month of solitude in this place called Meadows of Dan. It has not been the experience of serene bliss I longed for. But I am suddenly feeling a soft and compassionate curiosity with myself. A welcome change! As a result, I’m exploring why I still tend to run from that which I love to do, and that which nurtures me. I am wondering about those practices that deepen my peace and ability to be present, and my mixed-up dance with them.
For a long time now, I’ve known there is a book in me to be written. Why do I resist? Why is it so frightening to “go there”? It’s getting clearer in this stillness. But I realize simultaneously that understanding is not necessarily the key.
My dear friend and business coach, Diane Whiddon, reminds me regularly that creating is the key. “Just create! Do anything!” she often tells me. “Write a poem, a stanza, take photos as you love to do. Think about what gifts you want to give to people in your retreats.” What I hear her saying through the fog of my resistance is to just follow my loves and longings; to feel and express them just for the sake of honoring what lights up my soul.
Here on this cozy screened in porch in the company of three dogs and the sound cicadas, I was moved to tears this morning by an artist who sang through my Joni Mitchell station on Pandora.
In the early mornin’ rain
With a dollar in my hand
With an aching in my heart
And my pockets full of sand
I’m a long way from home
And I’ve missed my loved one so
In the early mornin’ rain
With no place to go
Her name is Eva Cassidy (and the song was written by Gordon Lightfoot). The exquisite sound of her voice and the lyrics about being far from loved ones caught my heart and stopped everything else. Instantly I became a devoted fan. Wanting more, I looked her up on Google and was shocked and saddened to learn she passed away from cancer several years ago. My tears came then in a flood as I learned she was just 33 years old. Her incredible talent was not well known until several years after she died. A radio station in Britain played her rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and she went straight to number one.
My emotions are raw now. Loss has a hold on me. I grieve Eva because her life was short and her voice so beautiful. I mourn with unexpected freshness the loss of North (my first husband) and my teenage bestie, Barnie (also the name of my recently departed beloved dog).
I also feel a deep ache because I don’t want that to be my story. I don’t want my unique gifts to be felt only after I’m gone. Or even worse, to never be felt at all by the larger number of people who might be open and changed by them.
So, out of my love for life, myself, my work, my loved ones (all of whom I am so far away from right now) and all my beautiful clients and readers, I am not running. I am diving in deep this morning, with Eva’s help. I am sitting still, listening to her voice and feeling the healing in these tears. I do this because I want to be real; and a big enough container to stand witness to and partner with brave souls on their spiritual path. My awakening includes this – this trip, this place, this solitude, this music, these tears. It includes this blog.
I pray it is a new beginning for me and whoever reads this. May the floodgates remain open. May we simply allow ourselves to BE and share all that we are without fear or restraint.
With a heart broken open by this magical place and the sound of an Angel, I sign off today. But you’ll hear from me again soon. Keep singing, writing, loving and living full out beloveds. Now is our time. Namaste.
Being human is a beautiful thing…especially on you. The idea of a month long self retreat sounds lovely. Namaste sister.