A week ago today I came back home, again to The Scientist’s warm and waiting embrace, and his home-cooked dinner (he’s even more adept in the kitchen after three months of cooking solo). I’ve arrived to yet again another spring, with lilacs and iris in full bloom, fruit trees resplendent with colour and scent as I walk my dear Peggy dog through our familiar neighborhood paths, and freshly picked rhubarb stewing on the stove. (YES, the Fair Weather Goddess blessed me with the most beautiful spring of my life, spanning three full months across two continents.) A fairly small pile of mail to open (again thanks to The Scientist’s careful and thoughtful sorting), an even smaller load of laundry to wash and iron, a few new emails in the inbox (I managed by traveling with my trusty little netbook), a closet switched over to spring-summer clothes before I left. Apart from forgetting where we keep postage stamps, how many and when our sweet, old and ailing Lady dog gets her pills, and re-orienting myself to counting Canadian coins and hearing only English everywhere, I’m home.
Over the years, I’ve learned that it can take several days for all of me to arrive, especially when I’ve been flying. It’s one of the reasons I fell in love with train travel…it eased me into the landscape, culture and energy of place. All of me arrived at the same time. So it was my last Monday in Germany that I heard a friend tell an affirming Zen story of a master sitting by the road after a long journey, and when asked what he was waiting for, he replied “all of me to arrive.” All of me has arrived. Thankfully because necessity, both anticipated and sudden, has insisted that I jump back into my life here, bringing into sharp focus both the title and intent of this blog.
Awaiting my re-engagement was a voice and email from the director of my department announcing that my position had been cut due to a reorganization and significant funding cuts, but that he is holding another position for me, and there might be some new positions for my application. Hmmmm…I admit not my first response…a BIG “what if” as I “re-stabilized” and applied wisdom gleaned from my journey.
- Trusting in the kindness of strangers.
- Knowing everything is possible.
- Returning to a practice of stillness and intentional action.
- Committing to my own inner resiliency, value and love.
After a bit of time and rest, I nipped doubt and doom in the bud and now sense all is well, though I’m totally uncertain of where this will take me. “Moving at the pace of guidance…sensing an emerging future.”
I’m in the midst of prepping for another long held dream. This weekend, after several false starts, I’m delighted to be co-hosting a women’s retreat at a simple and comfortable lodge located an hour or so beyond the city, in the pines and spruces on Strawberry Creek. Chantal Normand and I have designed “Living and Leading with Heart” (click on Events) for thirteen women who have accepted our invitation to rest, reflect and renew amidst the colour and life energy of spring. Last summer, when I visited the lodge and grounds, I envisioned us together, sharing the stories of our dreams, aspirations, strengths and challenges. I sensed the gifts of presence, wisdom, and experience that each of us would bring. And I knew we would create a community in which each of us would be supported to embrace those gifts to live and lead more heartfully, to face our challenges and complexities more boldy. Together we will be “moving at the pace of guidance…sensing an emerging future.”
Given my longstanding appreciation for good, local food, a love that certainly deepened throughout my journeying, I’ve stepped into an active role with our local convivium of Slow Food. I attended Sunday’s general meeting and volunteered to design and facilitate our visioning process (aka strategic planning) and am honoured to be doing the same for the national board meeting we’re hosting next year.
And that love of food…well I decided to waste no time and immediately returned to Weight Watchers the day after I got home. It was the first I’d stepped on scales in over three months. That prayer I told you about, “love it, eat it, let it go,” was definitely answered, as I’d gained only five pounds since my last meeting. YES!
Chantal invited me to a quickly convened coffee gathering of our Art of Hosting community to be meet one of its “mainstays.” As is our norm, we were each invited to “check-in” as we sat around the tables in a quiet corner of Starbucks. There I spoke of an inner knowing that has deepened and strengthened over the months away from work, and through my encounters with women from abroad. This gift of time and space, to move in my own time and at my own rhythm, has softened, smoothed and soothed me. I first wrote about this at the end of September, my first trimester of blogging. Since then, I sense that I’ve lost my edge, that armouring, closing and hardening of my heart and body, that insidiously results from too much, too fast, too soon, too outside of myself. When invited to say more about this knowing, to my surprise, I was moved to tears and deeply heard as I searched for words. Upon returning home, I was touched to receive an email from one of the women present, a woman who I had been long looking forward to meet. She wrote, “Would it be possible – once your weekend workshop is through, to connect over a tea/coffee, or a walk? I saw a woman ‘broken open’. Your year, your trip has shifted something deeply in you. There was a recognition of that wonderful generative space.”
It’s Edmonton Folk Festival Day on my radio station, the mighty CKUA. (We listeners raised $1,000,000 in one month to resurrect our beloved station several years ago when it was suddenly shut down as a result of gross mismanagement by patronage appointed types.) That means it’s time to get online and buy our Folk Festival tickets for four days of super music in August. Wow, am I ever glad I moved fast because in a record two hours they sold out of weekend passes!
Finally, and most significantly, my deep, heartfelt appreciation of and gratitude to each of you who read my blog especially during these past three months. Your words of love, encouragement, and evoked memories…your thoughts and prayers for my well-being and safe-keeping and for realizing my highest aspirations were a bungee cord of love and light that stretched across the land and seas to hold and comfort and inspire me. Words are not enough, though are what I have here to say “thank you.”
I intend to stay with my original intention and keep writing on this blog until the formal conclusion of my leave at the end of August, neatly, my final trimester. And then I’ll know more about “what next” as I am “moving at the pace of guidance…sensing an emerging future.” Perhaps by then, a new one will be born.
Blessings on the breath to us all.