Category Archives: synchronicity and magic

on providence

English: , seen from Howard's Knob.

boone

I spent Tuesday on an impromptu trip to Boone, North Carolina.  Having just discovered that I’d been awarded a fellowship to attend the Expressive Arts Therapy program at Appalachian State in the fall, I was looking at apartments, meeting professors in my division, and just generally reveling in the blossoming of this new direction.

It has been a slow unfolding for me, this desire to counsel other mothers, this nudge to bring everything I’ve learned in the realm of herbal medicine, yoga, meditation, songwriting, dance, and art to benefit the spiritual sustenance of women.  This program will deepen and sustain and nourish that desire, allowing me to obtain a degree and licensure as a therapist, bringing me much closer to my vision of opening a therapeutic center for women.

Courtyard 2

This center that I will open, it will be set in an herb garden.  This garden will be filled with aromatic plants and flowers, so that therapy begins as you walk to the door and inhale the fragrance of sunlight on blossoms. It will be community supported in the sense that you pay monthly for a membership, on a sliding scale, and this monthly subscription entitles you to full use of all of the services we offer, as much as you like.  You can wander in the garden, take our herbal medicine and gardening classes, participate in yoga and meditation in our yoga studio, paint in our art studio, drink tea and read in our library, participate in our ongoing group therapy sessions.  Best of all, you can drop your children off at our free onsite childcare so that they can paint and stretch and explore while you get much-needed time in your own space, your own creativity, your own psyche.  We will have seasonal celebrations in the garden to acknowledge the transformations in the earth and how they are reflected in our own bodies and minds, and will regularly meet to give back to the community, sponsoring the subscriptions of women who might not otherwise be able to take part, beautifying the streams and streets of our village.

The moment I fully defined this vision, everything around me seemed to align to make it possible.  This degree, this program, is such a beautiful next step.  On my day in Boone I wandered, taking in the blooming trees and the fog-shrouded mountains and the roaring, creamy streams filled with rainwater and polished rock.  I stumbled upon a sunlit yoga studio at the very moment they were beginning their daily donation-based community class, and stretched and sang with strangers who felt like family.  Afterward I struck up a conversation with the owner of the studio, and she told me she would be renting out her house to a yoga teacher and her fiance who were just beginning the expressive arts therapy program.  They were looking for a third housemate, would I be interested?  Ah.  Providence.

I have discovered that when I allow the possibility of miracles to exist, miracles happen.  I think how nice it would be to receive a flower and a stranger, smiling, hands me a dandelion.  I pray for the transformation of my son’s suffering and the very next day his sulking misery is over and he skips all the way to school.  I show up in Boone to search for a house and am handed the ideal situation on a platter.

The next day, naturally, I had a gratitude hangover.  I had been so full of light and appreciation and magic the day before that I woke grumpy with the whole irksome circumstance of it being today instead of yesterday.  And I did that exercise I wrote about in  setting boundaries: I stopped that thought, and showered my attention on all the incredible things that are unfolding, and told the new story.  It is amazing to be at an age where finally, daily, I integrate the things I know into my own life.  I actually USE what I have been given.  How refreshing!  How overdue!

Usually when I begin to write one of these posts, I know what it is that I want to communicate.  Today, it is just gratitude.  It’s all gratitude, for what has been given to me and for what is coming next.

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May 2, 2013 · 3:43 pm

Women’s Joy Circle: Divine Feminine, Sacred Masculine

Franz von Stuck Ringelreihen

As I write this I am listening to ancient Greek circle dance music.  After high school I spent a year WWOOFing, traveling from one organic farm to another, exchanging labor for room, board, and instruction in horticulture and permaculture. My travels began in North Carolina, led me to Oregon, Ireland and France, and eventually dropped me at the Springfield, MA bus station, looking out the window at the scruffiest pair of derelicts I’d ever laid eyes on.

Please, let it not be them,” I muttered under my breath as I exited the bus with my framepack and guitar, scanning the crowd hopefully for more wholesome-looking farmer-types.  But sure enough, it was that scruffy pair of derelicts who had come to escort me on the next stage of my journey.  I climbed into their rusted repurposed ambulance, and thus began two of the most soulful, most transformative friendships I have ever been privileged to build. Continue reading

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April 23, 2013 · 3:16 pm

savoring slow

It has been a while since I’ve written, but I have the best of reasons. For the past ten days, I’ve been sojourning in my old hometown, too busy living and creating and experiencing deep beauty to write.  Also, my computer was broken.

Sambucus

elder blossom

But now, I do want to write, I want to write about all of it, and I am overwhelmed with all there is to say.  So I will start slow.  I will tell you about my Saturday morning.

I woke at the top of a mountain, before dawn.  My hosts were still sleeping (not graced, as I was, by the benefits of jetlag) and so I slipped out quietly to walk.  The air was cold, touched lightly by a fog rising from the sea, and smelled of sage, salt, and artemisia.  The gate at the end of the road that led to the park was still locked, so I slung my bag over it and climbed carefully over the spikes.

All this little-known path was lined with flowers, bougainvillea blooming into huge melting puddles along the ground, spicy gallardia, geraniums escaped from someone’s long-ago garden.  I tucked several blooms into my hair.  A lemon had tumbled down to freedom from a fenced-in tree, and I ate it.  The peels I kept for the feast I had planned with friends later.

The front side of this mountain is set with several stories of recycled-concrete steps, and each morning they are lined with fitness pilgrims marching all the way to the top.   I took great delight in floating past them in my skirt and sandals, taking the path of least resistance for once.  The sun was rising now, and the mountains all took light with breathtaking suddenness.  No one stopped climbing—they were facing the wrong way—but I first froze at the beauty, then started running, two steps at a time, laughing all the way down. Continue reading

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April 7, 2013 · 3:42 am

earthen vessels

earthen vesselsSaturday was so warm that none of us could sit still.  I felt tingly all over, rousing and uncurling in the light.  In the eyes of my children I could see that they felt it too.  We put on sandals and swim trunks and marched off through suburbia to the tiny enclave of wildness at the end of our street, a steep-banked stream just beyond the sightline of lawn ornaments and vinyl siding.

I have decided that I do not like the term ‘mindfulness’.  I have spent years with an inner voice urgently, persistently exhorting me to be ‘mindful’.  But it doesn’t work. The word itself evokes the mind, and that is, for me, the very thing I long to escape.  I prefer the term, and the sensation, of ’embodiment’.  Ahh.  Can’t you just feel the difference?  It’s a soft breath, a delicious sinking into the senses, the pleasure of warm sun striking the skin, scent of oniongrass and chickweed, coolness of dusty feet in the water. Continue reading

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March 17, 2013 · 11:09 pm

the beauty all around us

Snowflake

I used to dislike guided meditation.  Why? Because at the end of it, everyone else would have these amazing stories of the powerful beings they encountered, the deep wisdom they received, the texture and sight and sound they dove into like cool water.  And there I’d be, having seen only the pink backs of my eyelids and the essential oils I needed to order for next week.

But one morning, in the sweet space of a woman’s circle led by Honeybee Henderson, I was invited into a guided meditation that was very different.  Perhaps I had grown more open, or perhaps I felt safe with these women. Whatever the cause, I found myself in a forest of thick-trunked trees, dappled with sunlight and deep shadow. Continue reading

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March 5, 2013 · 3:35 am