This is the first time I’ve written in this space since I left Seattle and arrived in Asheville. The drive across the country was so intense it rendered me mute for several weeks. So many layers of healing occurred in the midst of illness, treacherous roads, rough weather and endless hours of driving (8 straight days with no break). Yes, we arrived safe and sound, but the shock of how close we came to not making it safely took some time to subside.
First, came the illness. By the second day into the trip, I was extremely depleted and stressed which brought on heart palpitations, weakness, dizziness, lack of appetite and brain fog, making it difficult to focus and sustain my strength. I intuitively sensed that I needed to boost my electrolytes and also my magnesium levels. After three whole days of barely being able to drive, I bought a high potency supplement, and within one hour of taking it, I felt my strength return and my mood elevate.
Then there was the weather. We knew we were taking a chance traveling in December, but the weather that showed up during our drive was completely bizarre and extreme. Dozens of tornadoes, icy roads and major flooding threatened the route we took. Tornadoes ripped through areas that only hours ago we'd safely traveled through. Not long after that, over three hundred miles of I-40 were closed and 500 trucks were stopped due to icy roads and blizzard conditions. Again, we'd just safely traveled though that exact area two days before. Ironically, we had changed our route to drive south because I-80 was closed due to black ice, adding an extra full day of driving to our trip. I was certain that 1-40 would be fine. Instead, the weather seemed to be following us, nipping at our heels the whole way. Thankfully, we were just far enough ahead of it that it never actually touched us. What began as a simple drive across the country turned into a spiritual pilgrimage full of tests of my ability to focus, trust, surrender and receive the blessings of those who were holding the space for our safety and well being.
On the upside driving south allowed my son and I to spend the night in Salt Lake City (a beautiful city), to see some of the Arizona dessert (which he had never seen, even though he was born in Tucson) and also to have two incredible Mexican meals (one in Flagstaff and one in Santa Rosa, NM). We also found a lovely place to stay in Flagstaff.
There is more to say about the drive, but I still don't have the words. I’m busy integrating it into my daily life. I know that I don’t feel as though I’m the same person as when I left. Some of my values and priorities have done a complete 180-degree shift. I became aware of the importance of health and safety, without which, nothing else matters, nor is even possible to consider. In addition, the very idea of living as a nomad or doing solo house sitting holds absolutely NO APPEAL to me anymore. I’m complete with both experiences. I’ve burned through whatever lessons they provided me, and now what I want is to create a home base and build a strong community of friends while reconnecting with my family. My creative, health and spiritual values still remain, but my lifestyle values have radically shifted. I want my own space that is part of a larger community. I want to return to hosting gatherings and groups. I want to have reunions with family and share meaningful milestones with them again. I don’t need a lot of stuff nor do I need a large living space, but I do want to live amongst my own hand-picked belongings again. I want to nest and host. I want to bake things and grow vegetables and herbs. I want to invite friends and family for meals and tea.
I’ve missed those things.
Being a nomad served me, and though I will probably travel again internationally, it is highly unlikely that I'll ever live that lifestyle again. It’s exhausting to move around so much. This last drive across the country confirmed that to me without question. It’s good to come to certainty and completion of a life chapter. It feels clean and clear.
Finding my rhythm in this new life in Asheville. I'm inspired to move out of my typical ways of being in the world... being open to new ways of expressing myself. Healing with herbs, especially interests me because they’ve been so helpful in my life. I see myself expanding into new modes of healing and perhaps cultivating an herb garden. This carries me back to a time in my twenties when I wanted to learn about the medicinal properties of herbs, so this is, in a sense, a soul retrieval of that part of myself. My hands are also crying out to be used beyond typing on a keyboard every day. Sculpture and weaving come to mind...perhaps pottery. I want to be connected again to the physical to touching different textures and molding them into form.
Being open and receptive creates new pathways that expand our lives in new, often unexpected directions. My word for 2016 is FLOW. Again and again, I've been returning to that word to guide me in my decision-making and my way of being in the world.
It was a big leap to begin again and to journey so far. But now that I've landed I see how perfect it's all been. This is the beginning of a completely different chapter of my life, one intended to draw me into new experiences as well as utilize the many gifts and blessings I've gathered up until now. What unfolds from here is yet untold, but I suspect it will contain a blessed mix of just what is needed for my soul's evolution.
May we all follow our hearts where they may lead us...