My idea of home is tricky at the best of times. I live in one place, in the southern hemisphere, while having a place in the northern hemisphere which can pull strongly on me. I was born to this place in the north, and it is my heartland. But I choose to live in Australia because I love it and it has always felt like home. It's tricky having two places which I call home because they are mutually exclusive - opposite sides of the world sees to that. And I don't imagine I will ever be able to live in one place and not be homesick, at least on occasion, for the other place.
It is to this latest bout of homesickness that I now find myself shrouded in fog. And I am feeling my way through how similar fog and homesickness can be.
I arrive in America this time in the dark. The morning after arrival, I head to the ferry, which will take us passengers to the little island I call home. We embark in fog; sail through fog; disembark in fog. I think if I didn't know this place intimately, I would find I don't like it. It's uncomfortable, this fog. Not being able to see more than a few yards in front of me requires an immense amount of trust. I really have to trust my own navigational skills and trust that there isn't harm, just out of view. And depending on where my head is mentally, this can either be liberating or inhibiting. Will I trust my safety? Or fear unseen dangers? It doesn't take much to tip it either way.
One day, then a second day, of fog and I start to question myself. It's hard to gain clarity when you can't see the path. From experience I know the path is there but do I want to fight my fears to feel safe to walk it?
And then, in a New England minute, the fog rolls away and the most divine and glorious day is unveiled. I breathe a joyous sigh of relief. I can move forward with a sense of direction. There are wide expanses before me and so many directions I can't count. Everything is possible. That night, the sky is filled with a million stars I can't see most of the year. All is well and I am so happy to be home.
The next morning, the fog is back. And while it's still wonderful to be here, it's not as wonderful. Being in fog can be very disorienting. From experience, you know where things are - certain landmarks, for example. But you can't see them. It's back to trust. Trusting yourself and your own memory and intuition to guide you.
And it's a bit like homesickness. Needing to see those people and places that you remember, but time and space have relegated to foggy recesses. You know they are there, but just out of sight and reach. For me, it's about trusting that beneath the fog there is always a glorious day. If I can trust that, I can enjoy the beauty and stillness of the foggy days.
Early morning. Quiet. Dark. A gentle fog blanketing the nearby hills of Mt Misery. Heavy rain overnight leaving the houses and neighborhood cleansed from the dust and debris. A perfect time to meditate. I meditate every morning, but this morning I was up early, not able to sleep past the early morning dreams. So candles lit my way as I sat in quiet contemplation. I was thinking about the creative healing workshops I offer, excited by the prospect of holding one for a client and her friends. I had offered a workshop on the weekend, but not enough interest resulted in it being cancelled. This scenario can get discouraging. But it's all part of what I do and what I offer. Sometimes it resonates and sometimes it doesn't. And sometimes it resonates down the track and comes back in the most unlikely place or way. I opened my eyes just in time to see something jumping in the shadows, coming towards me from under my alter. A frog. My first impulse was a small amount of terror - how will I get it out of this space since my husband isn't home to save me from the creature? But that is quickly surpassed by a smile and gratitude. What a gift to have this amphibian in my sacred space! But I've only got myself to rely on to get him out. And as lovely as it is to have him visit, he can't stay. How did he get here, in this furthest space from any door? I need a container to catch him and all I have is my water glass, which ironically has a sticker on it which says sacred. The water glass is full so I try to empty it by drinking it - this is never going to work. It's way too early in the morning to be chugging water. And I don't want to leave, for fear of not finding the wee frog in amongst all that litters this space. I move to the window and open it. We have no screens so I dump the water outside. Then capture the frog in its sacred and mobile aquarium of sorts. He stretches his long legs against the glass as I pick it up and move to the window. He is happy to hop out and makes the long drop to the ground to hop away to tell his story to his tribe about this freaky white woman who tried to eat him! But he escaped through sacred space and lived to tell the tale. Phew! I grab the animal cards to read about Frog. Before I even get to the page, I remember Frog is Cleansing. There is talk of tears and releasing and water and rain. And how without rain, everything dies. And how our tears are sacred and shouldn't be hidden or shunned. Crying is a release and through release, such as rains or tears, new life can begin. And I am reminded of the frustration I sometimes feel when what I offer isn't taken up. How the tears flow and how I can't verbalise what is going on for me but crying always seems to clear some channel which helps make everything look brighter. For me the frog was a reminder that all is well and as it should be. After rain comes growth. After tears comes a brighter day.
First of March. First day of autumn. And with it...rain. I love rain and I love the introspective days that rain can bring, especially when I have time and space to enjoy them. I love being self-employed and therefore able to schedule my days with some sort of flexibility. So most days I am able to balance life and work and rainy day adventures. (Or sunny day adventures, should ever the sun decide to grace us with its presence again!)
I moved to NSW in 2001, to a job in horticulture. I was positioned in Young and I used to joke that I brought the drought with me. It was a tough 7 years in that district, especially for farmers, and I vowed that when the drought broke (after I had moved districts to Mudgee) that I would never again complain about rain. So a couple of years later, when I spent 5 months in the eastern US during a June where it rained 26 days of that month, I kept my promise and instead of complaining about the mould growing on shoes and walls and books and things, I bought a good rain coat and learned to talk with the ducks who had taken up residence in a pond which had formed next to our hut.
So what do we do with 'when it rains, it pours'? How do we bring into balance something which isn't? How do we go from drought to flood, with love grace and ease? By maintaining the inner balance we all have within us. By remembering that this too, shall pass. By remembering one extreme, while heavily in the other, and standing strong in the middle of it, if only in our imagination. By remembering we, like the land and nature, are resilient. And through chaos comes change. And through change comes growth. And through growth comes balance. Eventually and if we let it.
I love the power of story and story telling and writing is an integral part of my healing journey. More about me here.