The lake is gentle again.
I’m back home after a week of travel, grateful to be working outside on the upper deck where I can drink in this soft shore-song; I’d expected snow, but it was quiet rain instead, as hushed as I am, in this memory of warmth.
I write solstice songs, work out the final details of fall music workshops that will weave our stories together into song. As Wes Ryan, the performance artist I will work with this coming Friday says,”we stitch together niches of resilience into tapestries for change”.
This work – in part the final practicum for my Masters – requires honest reflection. ‘Where and who did you come from, to make your way here? How do you own these choices?’. These questions that have been dogging me for a while now, a faithful, tail-wagging reminder to listen to what I’m remembering. To notice what stirs me, and how my body tweaks, aches, stretches and contracts in response.
Some that rise for me are the very thoughts that once triggered fear, heartache, confusion, trauma. They’re softer now, like the rain this morning.
Where do I come from? What led me here?
Every one of my choices has been a fierce attempt to give, receive, make and understand love, in all it’s levels, all of its forms.
This is where I’ve been. This is how I got here. Now is the place where it’s become crystal clear that the person who most desperately needs love from me in this lifetime is Me – on all my levels, in all of my forms. From this and only this can love of an other flow.
What a relief, to know this in my bones. My 55 years (the last 4 in particular) – have led me without stint or fail to a place where there is no possible other way to be. The forest around me so generously reflected just how that kind of love works, these past three months.
We all have wounds – early ones inflicted by imperfect parents and siblings, later ones (if we’re lucky) self-inflicted so that we could understand, then heal the first ones. Our biggest responsibility is to consciously claim and deal with our own garbage so we can stand with integrity and help each another. Gotta say, in these times, the choice to live this kind of love, this kind of fierce joy, is political as well as human.
To say this summer has changed me is to understate. I know I’ve got a long way to go, still. Change is a-foot – an announcement re same is forthcoming. I have only a month left here at the Cabin before I launch myself into the kind of busy-ness that would have terrified me twenty-five years ago.
Bring it on, I say. But I wish for good focus, good friends and gentle weather in these last weeks of Shore Time.
Birch and maple hold two thirds of their gold and glorious against the grey of up, the other third dresses the forest floor. Tree frogs are weeks gone, though I can hear them by memory – I will never forget slipping into sleep and waking each morning to that chorus.
Crows, chickadees, nuthatches, woodpeckers and a great flock of wild turkeys stay to forage in the dwindling daylight and again I am warmed, beyond expectation, in the generosity of this world, and this place.