RETREAT..

It feels like the world is spinning out of control. America is divided and at a cross roads and the pandemic rages on. Trying to find solace, a place to retreat from the angst and the storms, feels impossible. The vibration of discontent lurks in the shadows and at times it seems we are being devoured by strife and sorrow.

I refuse to give in to the pull of anger and vitriol. I am a fighter and my first instinct, always, is to battle the forces that are seeking to undermine me and indeed, our nation. Still, I’ve decided on a different course this time. Perhaps it’s getting older and hopefully wiser. Perhaps it is the people who came before me who understood violence only begets more violence. Even more importantly, perhaps it’s simply because using the gravitational pull of kindness, respect, and empathy will gain all of us so much more.

Looking to reset my own angst, doubt, and worry, I sought out the woods where my favorite trees thrive and reside. The sinewy paths that lead to new discoveries and the hidden treasures of the woods with pine needled coverings sprinkled across the path, is a luxury all its own. On this walk I found this amazing little camp where utilitarian design, beauty, and community collide. Cabins strewn about the forest, creating a circle, safety, and inviting everyone to enjoy a respite in this hectic and frantic world.

I was reminded of my days at summer camp where the slap of the screen doors to the mess hall and slap of bare feet on the docks, and the echoes of excited kids ready for the days adventures ahead. Running, splashing, crafting, hiking, fires, laughter, stories, and a reliance on each other to create a community where each person played their individual role. Each person responsible for themselves and for providing a community environment where success depended on everyone.

Here is a slideshow of my return to the woods, to silence, resilience, respect, and growth. I could hear myself think, and the wind whistling and the earth speak and for awhile I was able to push the rancor and antipathy away. I was happy to listen to the forest breathe and with each gust of wind I inhaled gratefully.

I thought I would share a piece of the peace that I found. Enjoy!

Retreating to Nature

Green Thumb…

I’m not a huge gardener and usually struggle to keep my house plants alive but this year, I decided to try gardening one more time. Since I planted strawberries in my garden a few years ago, the bunnies and chipmunks have beaten me to their luscious deliciousness. So I opted for less challenging plants and flowers that need little coaxing from me, than fruits and vegetables for my front garden. It went better but it’s no English estate garden.

This year I invested in deck rail planters and have grown successfully; peppermint, spearmint, jalapeños, lettuce, baby tomatoes, basil, rosemary, and oregano. I’m total amazed and pamper them relentlessly, ask my sons, who have been required to water and tend to them when I am away. The biggest surprise is that we actually eat everything we’ve planted and to have teenage boys eat anything green is nothing short of a miracle. I’m grateful everyday that we get to harvest and share our own bounty. At least they put down their phones, don’t get me started, and we chill out on the deck and talk and eat. That’s worth the price of soil.

It turns out that rebirth and regeneration of my garden has helped move me towards a place of gratitude and peace. This summer has been one of the most joyous summers of my life. To be surrounded by nature, my plants, my puppy, my friends, and my beloved family…well there’s just nothing better than that. Getting to spend quality time with the people I cherish most, that’s the best gift of all. Peace!

Goodbye 2018!

 


I’m happy to say goodbye to 2018. It was a year of hard learned lessons. Some I suppose I should have learned a long ago and some I’ve struggled to accept despite all the evidence. In the end denial could only take me so far. Resistance is futile.

I have learned about pain so deep that it sunk into the marrow of my bones and settled into the fiber of my being. For me, grief is a solitary, isolating sorrow. A muted sense of melancholy that enveloped, cocooned, and finally consumed me this year. I couldn’t seem to shake it and finally succumbed to the pain, heartache and loss. In the end, that was my saving grace, acquiescence. The only way out was through the labyrinth of sorrow. I felt tired, weary, my spirit ragged and exhausted. Unexpectedly there was a stirring, a slight shift in the air. Which was slowly replaced with a thin veil of hope. A stripping away of the grief. Like a string of lights, each igniting the next light and so on until a path was finally illuminated. A way out.

Now it is time to unwrap myself from the silken tentacles of grief and begin to live fully again. So adieu, 2018. It was a rough and tumble ride. I’m grateful for the lessons along the way but sadness is heavy. It weighted me down and the only way back to the surface was to accept what could not be changed.  Life isn’t meant to be lived in the shallow end. 

Welcome 2019! The road was dark and deep but I have promises to keep. Pardon me, I think I see joy ahead.