My time here is winding down. It's been a good visit, of course nothing like I imagined. Not that I imagined it wouldn't be good - more that I thought it would be endless days of wandering the land, caught up in creative pursuits. Reality is often far from imaginings. As I write this, I am outside, watching robins fight over some treasure they probably both want for their nests. Something to help nurture their young. It's spring time and nature is alive and abundant! And sometimes fighting.
A friend came to visit me yesterday, made the journey to this island, to spend time away from her life and with me, here, in my life. It was a perfect day in many ways. It meant that I was out and about most of the day. When I came home, late in the afternoon, I wandered down to my hut and found, just outside to the east, a painted turtle laying her eggs in the lawn. I felt so blessed - that she would entrust this little yard to keep watch over her buried treasure. I was excited to think of little turtles emerging after their time in the earth, to venture out on their own.
And it reminded me of a card from my Ocean Oracle deck - 41 - Turtle - Protection. I have posted that card on The Ocean Oracle page, and also below. For me, it is a reminder that sometimes you have to entrust someone, or something, else to help birth what you have created. That sometimes you don't have to do it all yourself. That you can ask for help for those things that you can't necessarily do on your own. And also that Mother Earth is always there to protect you. In all sorts of weather. In those times when you thought you could do it all on your own, but realise that the reality is otherwise. And entrusting someone else to look after your 'baby', is sometimes the wisest option.
41 Turtle PROTECTION
He watched, fascinated, as the turtle made her way towards the beach. He was mesmerised by her ancient being, and her deliberate focus on the task at hand. It was the season of egg laying for the native turtles. Each year they came from all over the area to lay their eggs on the beach, deep within the sand which offered the eggs protection as they gestated. They trusted the earth, in which the eggs were laid, to look after their young, to help the eggs develop into what they would become. When the time comes for the eggs to hatch, the mothers return to help their young emerge from the earth, reborn. Earth Mother looks after them until they are ready to enter the world, and blesses them with a shell to protect them once they leave her womb.
What are you protecting right now? Do you need to be protected? The instinct that has you in protection mode - is it fear? Do you need to find a safe place to birth an idea? Can you trust someone or something else to nurture what is being birthed from you? Protection can keep you from harm but may also limit your potential. Be aware of intent. You are protected by Mother Earth. Like a turtle retreating into her shell for protection, allow Mother Earth to be your shell at this time.
I have continued to post a card from the Ocean Oracle deck while I've been away. Which feels appropriate since a lot of the creation of the deck occurred while I was in this space a few years ago. I am visiting this home earlier than I usually do. I've come before the summer and tourist season start in full. And although the island feels spacious and green and accommodating, I can't help but notice the busy-ness as everyone prepares for the summer onslaught. I was able to witness some of it, being here for the first official weekend of summer - Memorial Day. I could feel my own patience stretched, dealing with the extra people and cars and bikes. It requires an extra something from every body, to get through this time with love, grace and ease. It's hard, this going from quiet and calm of the winter months, to the craziness of summer and it can be easy to forget that we are all one. We all have stories and things we carry. We are not so dissimilar to each other. So when I pulled this card this morning, with thoughts to the week ahead, I felt it was very appropriate and wanted to share it here.
Give awareness to the journey a piece of driftwood has had. The piece of wood you find washed up on the shore has had a most eventful life, often not considered. This piece of wood is here before you, and you only see it in its present state and probably think it is not much; and perhaps not worthy of your attention. For a moment, though, consider the journey this wanderer has been on. He started out as a seed and grew in circumstances you will never know - was he nurtured, tended with love; or neglected, left to his own to grow up? Did he grow tall in a forest? A plantation? On the side of a road? Where did he grow? How old was he when he died? Was he felled? Cut for timber? Struck by lightening? What happened in his life to bring him here, at your feet, only a piece of his former self? How did he end up in the ocean? How long has he been at sea? Was he part of something greater, which has now broken apart? Be open to the lessons his journey provides for you.
Your path may not be what you imagined, but be thankful for all the aspects of it - good and bad. Remember the stories of your past and your path but do not be ruled by them. They have shaped you, but they are not you. No matter your journey, your true essence will always remain. Mighty oak or driftwood - they both have their place and are of the same vitality. Be grateful for your journey and without ego, know that the mighty oak and the humble driftwood are of the same beauty.
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.