Do Over Day

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Photo Credit: Pixabay

It’s been one of those days.  There were moments, more than one, when I wanted to hold my hands up to the sky and ask, “Can I erase the last 24 hours and have a do over?”

But that’s a fool’s wish. To wish that life could go backwards and erase, then place before us a new scene all fresh and sparkly clean, is not only futile, it’s self-limiting. Life has a way of serving up our greatest lessons in a bowl filled with needles. They prick us in the exact spot that needs to be healed. They find the wound that was already there, even if it has been buried for a long, long time, and dig in until we bleed fresh.

It’s not always obvious why we’re being pricked and prodded at. Or, why it may seem like we’re being asked to walk over a pile of red-hot coals in order to get to the next leg of our journey.  But, when we allow ourselves to dig down to the essence — that spot that is rubbed raw and open from the wound — we can find a bit of the light behind the story we have just lived.

Today was one of the most challenging days of my life. Maybe not in the top ten, but I’d safely put in in the top twenty-five. It could have been much worse than it was. And, in retrospect, it perhaps wasn’t all that bad after all. If someone else had lived my day, she or he might have considered it less than great, but not all that bad in the greater scheme of things. Just a part of the life of a parent, they might say. To be expected, but not by me.

The events of the last 24 hours brought me out of my individual cocoon of dormant life. Threads were pulled until the raw exposed body remained and I was faced with the choice: Do I find another wrapping to hide inside, or do I face the elements head on. Here’s the thing about these choices, there’s really only one option. If we hide, life will simply find another way to unwrap us, and chances are, it will be a harsher exposure than the one we face at the present moment.

To hide is to put off the inevitable. We are here to learn and grow, and quite often that learning and growing is not just for our sake, but for others as well. Our lives weave together in a sophisticated complexity that our minds cannot wholly grasp. Sometimes it’s better not to ask the full depth of they “why,” then, but to accept the growth that is offered.

Therein lies the beauty. The raw self exposed begins to heal. Air breathes through the freshly opened wounds and the light that feeds life spreads its golden filaments to repair what was once broken. Now I find myself peering inside the wound(s), trusting the network that I cannot wholly understand. How my life is woven to others. Some I barely know, some I have known since conception. I find myself seeing the love that has already woven its threads through the hurt and the pain. I find trust and strength that I didn’t know was there. There is a vulnerability that feels both uncomfortable and embracing.

It could have been worse, much worse, and I am grateful that is wasn’t. Today has been a reminder, above all else, of what is constant and unchanging, albeit difficult to hold onto at times. And that, simply, is love. No matter how difficult we make it for ourselves to find it, it is always there. That constant pulse of life threading through all of us. Love. Pure and simple, yet infinitely complex in its reach. And so I breathe it in with each inhale and trust that it is always enough.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Walk in the Woods with Tess & the Offering of Feathers: My Final Day in Cumbria

After the experience at Castlerigg, I needed some time to process, accept, and surrender as best I could to what was. We had planned for a laid-back morning for my last day in Cumbria, and after I awoke I asked if I could take Tess for a walk. I should probably clarify that. Tess is not a dog you actually have to walk. She’s one of those rare gems that walks herself, and you, without the trouble of a leash to bind you together. I didn’t have to worry about finding my way, getting lost, or losing sight of my companion. Tess not only leads the way, she stops to wait for you and makes sure you know where you’re going. It was quite the treat for me, as I am used to walking two over-zealous dogs (on leashes) who could care less if I want to go where they want to go, which is often in a completely different direction from each other, and me.

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Tess during our morning walk stopping to check on me.

Anyway, back to my walk with Tess. It was another glorious morning. Filled with sunshine and just the wisps of clouds to compliment the blue, blue sky.  And as we set out, down the old canal path beside Bernie & Steve’s home, I began to allow the beauty of the day to sink into by body, as well as the many unexpected gifts the weekend had offered.

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Fairy Woods

The paths that I had traveled these last few days had been filled with the warmth of the sun and of friendship. There was the ever-present reminder, albeit sometimes difficult to accept, that I do not walk this path in life alone. Although Castlerigg was not appreciated in the way I had intended for myself, nor revered in the way I might like to see other visitors revere it, it had still been appreciated for its outer beauty on a beautiful day. Long Meg and Little Meg had offered to me a more intimate visit in contrast, reminding me that the magic is always there, even though it may sometimes go into hiding.

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The green, green land of England.

Another day was unfolding before me. A quiet day filled with the grace of the present moment, if I chose to reside in it. Tess and I passed only two other travelers during out walk, and our passing was uneventful and unobtrusive. It was easy to allow peace to settle in and take the place of heartbreak as I walked in the beautiful land of Cumbria.

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It was nearly impossible not to appreciate the beauty that surrounded me.

I could have walked for miles, and so could Tess, as she reluctantly turned around after  we got to our third “bridge to nowhere” to lead the way back home. We, or rather I, had toast and Bernie’s prize-winning marmalade waiting for us. And, boy did it taste good. Rather like you might expect a drop of sunshine to taste, if one could taste sunshine.

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The gift of white feathers

The four of us, Tess, Bernie, Steve, and I, spent the afternoon at the seaside, enjoying the beauty of the day and the presence of good company. Following tea beside the water, Tess and Steve played frisbee on the grass, I took photographs and breathed in the sea air. Along the path of my feet, white feathers scattered the grass. I had been well taken care of by my wonderful hosts and Mother Nature during the weekend, and perhaps that’s just what I needed most.

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Steve overlooking the sea

But the journey was not yet other. I had more time adventures awaiting me in London and a magical day with Sue and Ani in the land of dragons and “castles.”

To be continued…

To read the previous posts in this series about my recent visit to England, please follow the links below:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

 

Castlerigg from a distance #acceptance

 

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Castlerigg at dawn. Photo Credit: Lara Wilson

I went as far as the hills in dreamtime while they gathered to greet the dawn below. Disappointment comes in many forms and sometimes it reaches out to hold the hand of acceptance. I’m not going to lie. This has not been an easy one to come by. The land at Castlerigg calls to me in a language the predates words. It speaks to the very heart of my being and fills me with the irrepressible longing for home. Yet, it is not my time to return here, and I know when it is, this body I wear must accompany my spirit. Sometimes the cells need to remember wholly and completely. And, Casterligg has called my whole being to be present someday. But not yet.

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Photo Credit: Lara Wilson. I love how the blurred image reveals the faces in the stones.

 

I didn’t know you wanted to go so badly, my husband told me afterwards. After he overhear words spoken with my dear friend who was there. I had, though, already chosen the hand of acceptance months ago, although sometimes I held only its finger tips. What do you do for yourself. I mean, only for yourself. You know, just for you? A friend had asked me a week before while the tears called despair rained from my eyes.

England, I told her. I go to England.

Yet, I was born here in New England. A cruel irony it can seem at times when one feels like she belongs in another land. This, though, is where I am, right now, and I have chosen to take that hand called “acceptance,” along with the belief that there is a purpose for me being here, and not there, for most of my time. This past weekend, instead of visiting a landscape that feels like home, I was home with my family. And, that was okay. More than okay. Love is limitless, even when it feels as though it is being pulled apart by longing.

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The season of long shadows. Photo Credit: Lara Wilson

I was here, but also there. You were never not with us, my friend assured me. I called your name as I walked up to the circle, you must have heard me.

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The hills that called me home years ago, still enfold me in wait. Photo credit: Lara Wilson

I was hovering in the hills, though. The stones below obscured by the body of giants. They called me back home before the stones did. Opening the body of the goddess to enfold. I can stay here for awhile longer. I can wait. Even though the head of the dragon beckons in stone.

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There is a deep sense of comfort knowing how much these stones and the land is loved, even though I am pulled with that longing. I read gratitude and love in the face of the stone gazing at Sue Vincent, while the guardian stone reminds me of the slow time of patience. Photo Credit: Lara Wilson

My lower body has been vibrating all week. Kundalini. The roots healing before the rise. We are often called to tend to the roots first. Healing the core of stability. Of origin. Our roots that bind us to one family, before we can return to another.

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Photo Credit: Lara Wilson

Acceptance holds my hand. I have taken her grasp in a firm embrace and she is becoming a part of me. I can wait. You asked for patience, did you not? I am reminded.

How lucky I am, that I can return to this place that feels like home. That I can allow myself to become lost only to become found, over and over again, filling each cell of my being with the memory of home. Until we meet in this lifetime, Castlerigg, I will hold the hand of acceptance.

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Photo Credit: Lara Wilson

A special thanks to Lara Wilson for lending me the use of her gorgeous photographs, and  to her, as well as the others who were at the Silent Eye School of Consciousness event this past weekend for taking me with them in spirit.