One of my dear friends sent me this talisman as I journeyed one day. Knowing the trepidation in my heart and the courage I had mustered, she selected just the words I needed to hear, to remember the hidden possibilities that grow from such endeavors.
It’s easy to grow flowers
Sun does all the work.
What beauty my friend,
grows in your darkness?
What hothouse, earthenware gift
do you bring today?
Last week, I sat with another dear friend as we began our conversation to design a multi-generational gathering for women leaders next spring. Held in a space bordered by the thriving, abundant green leaves of my inside tree, a birthday gift from The Scientist, and the soft white, snow laden boughs and berms outside, we spoke of the trepidation and courage felt and faced by women leaders everyday as they navigate their worlds, drawing their own maps, heeding an inner compass. We remembered these are worlds being shifted and shaped by beauty growing in our darkness.
On Sunday I hosted the season’s first “Painting from Within” intuitive painting session. Several women, both practiced and new to the process, accepted the invitation to dive into their creative wellspring, and use paint and paper to illuminate the gifts of their curiosity, opening to the surprise of letting go and letting come. Sitting in silence, holding space for their journeying, a headache harbingered the effects of too much, too fast. What letting go is being asked of me, to let come? I recalled the words of another Catherine who, when I consulted several years ago for an astrological reading, wondered if I was prepared to let go of the identity I’d successfully nurtured to let another one come?
In today’s new moon, I sit with my morning americano, again appreciative of the gift that pretend retirement brings, “moving at the pace of guidance.” A year ago I would have been dressing for a winter drive to work, warming the car, wiping the snow, scraping the frost. During last week’s snow, surrendered to moving at the pace of slow and stalled traffic, I paused to really notice and take in the beauty accumulating with every flake. Like being held in a cocoon, I feel soothed by the white and flat light. I sense a shift in rhythm triggered by shorter days, longer nights, trees standing in their starkness. The slowing down, turning in gifts of the growing darkness.