Monthly Archives: May 2007

Do you hear nature speaking to you?

I love nature. I love every aspect of nature, whether it is a running stream, a field of wildflowers, a family of bunnies living in my yard, planting flowers, or watching the first snowfall. There are dozens of other examples, but suffice it to say that I feel one with nature, connected to it in a very intimate, personal way. It could be my Native American roots that strengthen that bond. I have Native heritage on both sides of my family, and my identification with that specific part of my ethnicity could help to explain the closeness. I not only admire nature and all it involves, but I have great respect for it as well, and try to treat it as gently and lovingly as possible.

Today, I am actively contemplating what aspect of nature most speaks to me, one that is like a nagging voice in my head more often than any other. I feel a strong connection to bodies of water, and that which I feel most connected to emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually, is the ocean.

I have made vacations and day trips to the ocean since I was a small child growing up. I remember many family vacations, camping trips, and day trips, to Hampton Beach in New Hampshire, and to Cape Cod in Massachusetts. I remember standing in the sand as the waves broke over my feet on the beach, and how it appeared that I was moving, when I wasn’t. I remember romping in the waves, riding them, getting knocked over, tasting salt in my mouth, my eyes and throat burning.

As an adult, I have made a pilgrimage to an ocean destination almost every year. Whether it be the North Carolina coast, where my parents rented a house for a week for ten years, or trips on vacation to Provincetown, Dennisport, or other Cape Cod destinations, or even areas in Delaware such as Rehoboth or Dewey beaches. I even visited the ocean last month in Florida, and got to romp in the Gulf of Mexico.

The ocean speaks to me when it roars, waves high and crashing loudly, knocking me over, surfing me to the shore, and reminding me of how mighty it is. The ocean speaks to me when it is calm, softly touching the sand, reflective and soothing. The ocean speaks to me with the sun and moon reflected in it, showing all that exists above it.

I remember when I was in my thirties, and my older brother died. I knew I needed to grieve, although his death had been imminent. I knew that my grief had to be observed in my own way, separate from my family, because of the level of denial that they had about his disease. I knew I had to go somewhere that would allow me to feel comfort, and also to feel the presence of his spirit. Without hesitation, I knew that I had to go to the ocean, somewhere, to connect. I travelled to the Jersey shore, I am not even sure where exactly. It was March, so it was cold and desolate there. The town was locked up tight. I walked out on the sand, stared at the wide vastness of it all, and spoke to the ocean, and listened to it speak back to me and give me comfort. I was there for only a few moments, but it brought part of my healing process that I so desperately needed.

Do you hear nature speaking to you? Is it whispering or shouting? Will you answer?

The power of healing

I wasn’t really sure what to title this segment of my ongoing life saga. But healing seems to be a pretty constant theme in my life recently. Healing of mine, healing of those around me. After so much pain and growth and tears and tearing apart of things, I think I was long overdue for some serious healing time.

One year ago, I made a decision that tore at the heart of my life at that time, by leaving my committed relationship with my partner. Believe me, it was not a decision that was made easily, or not after what was months of self-talk and thinking about it. It was the hardest decision I have ever had to make in my life. But necessary. Necessary or not, self-loving or not, it hurt like hell. It opened up a wound in me that I thought would never heal, for the rest of my life. Seriously. I had believed for so long, that we were for keeps, that we had what it takes to really make it and grow old together, without giving up, but I was pretty sure that she had given up, and I know that I had given up. I got tired, I didn’t know what else to do, so I left it.

Each time in that year since I said those words of “it’s over”, I felt like I was healing a little bit. I made active choices about my work and my social time to try to create some healthy ways to get better, move forward, go in a positive direction. Yet, the wound remained open, and sore, and vulnerable. I did a lot, I was busy a lot, but never seemed to feel like it was really getting better as it should. The wound continued to be a slow healing one.

Today, I can see the progress of the healing. The wound finally feels like it is not so vulnerable that it stings, because it is still open. The skin is still new, and it still needs time and nursing, but it is much better than it has been. I finally feel like, I understand the purpose of this whole crazy, scary, painful last year of my life. I really believe that in order to come back to where I needed to be, I had to leave where I was. Which I did, and I ended back where I started from, but different. Same location, different attitude. For both of us. We have both healed enough to be able to walk forward in this together. I think that we have both learned how to nurse our own wounds, so that we can be fully whole with one another. That feels really good to me.

Lessons Learned

Any American Idol fans out there? I really enjoy the show, although I don’t have as much time as I used to for the show every week. But, I do remember the year that Carrie Underwood was the winner of idol. I liked her, but she wasn’t my first choice. No doubt, she had the talent, but I wasn’t sure of how genuine she seemed to be. I know, kinda weird, not that I know her personally or anything, but I have always believed that a person has to be genuine in their message, whether they have a talent for it or not, for it to be meaningful to me.

Anyhow, my daughter got her CD last year, Some Hearts. She enjoyed listening to it, and I really liked the song, “Jesus Take the Wheel”, which still moves me when I listen to it. This morning, while taking my daily stroll around my campus here in Northeastern Pennsylvania, I decided to listen to her CD during my walk. I listened to “Jesus” this morning, with tears sitting in my eyes waiting to fall, because I woke up this morning afraid, afraid of what the future will bring, when I have reconnected with my true love, and I am so afraid of what I don’t know that is yet to come. I needed to give in, turn it over, let go, let Jesus take the wheel. Trust. Then, after skipping over a couple of the tunes, I listened to another tune on the CD, this one called “Lessons Learned”. It told my story completely. Of how grateful I am “for every break in my heart”, of how hard it has been to get through some of the days, and nights, on this journey. Of how hard it is to think of those lives that I have hurt in the process, so hard to believe that it was all meaningful in some way. “Some pages turned, some bridges burned, but there were lessons learned.” And this is it completely for me. In all of the lessons that the last year of my life has brought me, or that I have brought to myself, I have had to let go of many things, ideas, habits, and behaviors. Ones that are ready to be burned. I won’t have to go back that way again. There are also things that are in a previous chapter of my life, and although I am turning the page, they are always there as part of my history, as part of who I am and who I have become. And, the lessons learned are literally countless. Lessons that often take me several tries, but are now permanently etched into my being.

Rock on Carrie, and thank you. You put it all together for me.

Second chances

Is there such a thing as second chances in life? I firmly believe that there is. Second chances on career, on having a family, on being healthy and happy. We may not always notice, or takes ourselves up on the second chances that come our way, but I think they are almost always there. What about second chances on love, real love? I believe that it can be- again.

I spent ten years with the love of my life. We built an existence together, and also had a child to share in that. Over the years however, it seemed like the love was slowly drifting away, that we were growing apart. I never stopped wanting the pure love that I knew we were capable of, but it seemed to be gone, and there seemed to be little hope of reviving it.

So, after much anguish and pain, I left. I left the life, I left her, I said no more, because the absolute emptiness of it felt too great. I tried to create a life on my own, and actually, got strong in my own right again. Connected with friends, new job opportunities, focus on spirit and health, but still something was sorely missing. Even though I tried to get on with my life, and in many ways I did, I missed her terribly. I dreaded our strained, difficult conversations about shared parenthood and not much else. I missed my lover and my best friend. I hadn’t ever stopped loving her, I just thought we stopped working at the stuff that couples are made of.

We have been shown, and are taking, a second chance at love with one another. We have opened the door together, and we are walking through together, with mutual respect, both willing to work hard at communicating, compromising, and allowing for individuality with both of us. We have a lot of work ahead of us, but I am so grateful to God and the universe for this path, because it brought us right back to one another, better than ever before.