I suppose you know you’re a true fanatic when you find yourself outside at 5 a.m. watering and talking to the Mother of Thousands, who – quite synchronistically – has (finally) found “her” place in the garden. And because she’s home, she thrives.
Ever since I’ve been on my own (it was 1976, after hastily marrying a professional surfer with a penchant for women, waves and weed), I’ve always had something green to tend to.
In those early years, it was Pothos, Spider Plants and Wandering Jews in hand-thrown pots and beaded macrame hangers. They could be found hanging in the bathroom, kitchen or – if I was lucky – outside on the patio.
It also wasn’t unusual to find weed growing in one of those same spaces, only minus the macrame. I can still smell the buds, red haired and stinking up the air.
As I matured and my home (along with my family) became a little larger, there were simple outdoor plants to care for: A 50- year-old Camilla, rambling white roses along a fence, or a few pretty annuals. Fortunately , watering and the occasional trim is always enough to keep a low maintenance yard looking nice. And a nice looking yard makes me happy.
Finding my Happy Place out in nature isn’t something unusual. There are hundreds of thousands – millions! – of us out there. We recognize each other by the slight green tinge to our fingers and a bit of dirt under a nail we missed. People garden for all kinds of reasons and I do so for many. One of the important ones? I hear God in the Garden.
With the sun warming my back, perhaps on my knees bent over something in my hands, I often hear that Still Small Voice – the voice of the Divine.
I heard it again this morning as I was futzing in the yard. I find myself instinctively in a “Spring Cleaning Mode” these days, even though we are well into Fall. Oh, how I love this time of year. It at once energizes me and breaks my heart – in a good way. For some reason, I am particularly tender this time of year. Things move me. And with the Season of Thanksgiving almost upon us, I find myself breaking out in spontaneous bouts of gratitude…many times, with tears streaming down my cheeks. 2017 has shaped up to be an amazing year, albeit not without it’s challenges. I’ve experienced SO many answered prayers. Prayers about the important things like faith, family, connection and healing.
This is also a season of LETTING GO. And THAT is what the Voice was talking about.
I quit my job yesterday. I’ve been there 6 months and just simply couldn’t bear it a moment longer. This morning I woke up free from the pain and discomfort I’ve had in my head and neck for weeks. It’s just GONE. SO not a coincidence. And the symbology isn’t missed. That job has been a pain in my neck for months. Thankfully, through an amazing set of circumstances, it is over and I’m yet again amazed at the wisdom held in the soft animal of my body. She KNOWS, intuitively and intelligently, what is best for me. She speaks to me in pain and peace. Her wisdom is true.
Not only am I pain free, but I can’t wipe the smile off my face. PEACE flows through my veins like a river, and joy bubbles up like a spring. It’s a time for me to be (re)planted at home, tending my family and my garden, waiting for the New Great Adventure to arrive. Like my Mother of Thousands plants, all it took was a SHIFT to different location to begin to thrive.
With a sigh of relief and a heart in overflow, I can say with all certainty…..
It is well with my Soul.
Yes, I wrote over 50,000 words in 30 days and did so as a single mom working full-time while raising two kids AND blogged regularly! I even wrote guest posts for other blogs, including the Pep-Talk variety for other WriMos! WHEW.
No sooner had I accomplished my goal, though, when something really weird happened: I lost all motivation to write and stopped almost completely. No more novel writing, no more blogging. In fact, I stopped writing anything that wasn’t absolutely necessary, specifically, journaling and whatever was needed to fulfill my professional obligations.
REALLY weird. And the burn-out or whatever it was lasted for years.
I learned a lot about myself from 5 years of NaNoWriMo-ing, though. I learned the early morning hours are my most creative, and that it’s HUGELY frustrating to need to stop in the middle of The Flow because Duty Calls. I experienced how elusive, magical and fickle The Muse can be. And, perhaps most importantly, I discovered writing fiction isn’t really my thing. My natural inclination leans towards storytelling based upon my own experiences. Real Life Stuff.
But I think that is about to change.
A couple months ago, while on a lunch and shopping date with a girlfriend, I had the most amazing encounter . WE had the most amazing encounter, I should say. And Thank The Writing Gods I had a witness to all that happened. It all started with a unplanned stop at an antique store in the Old Towne district of Tustin. We weren’t sure if the shop was still opened since the sign in the window said “Open”, the sign on the door said “Closed”, but a bunch of framed art was still outside on the sidewalk. So Girlfriend went to see if we could get in, and after she waved an “OK”, I got out of the car and went immediately to the art on the sidewalk. One piece in particular caught my eye: Framed in old Walnut, it’s a large 3 x 4 oil painting…of trees.
Those who know me know I am a Tree Person. Our home is surrounded by them and we love camping in the middle of them. A Tree Hugger for decades, I’ve hiked miles to embrace the oldest living ones on Earth (in the Ancient Bristle Cone Pine Forest). I’ve blogged about them (Like HERE and HERE), painted them, planted them and every room in our home has some sort of homage to The Tree.
So this old painting really spoke to me on several levels. After a day of fruitless shopping, I thought I had finally found something worthy of taking home – until I saw the price tag.
Anyway, we went inside to look around. It was your typical antique shop in that it was so PACKED with all manner of collectible, vintage, and antique goodies, we could barely squeeze through the displays. But we did, making our way eventually to the back of the shop and THAT is where it all happened.
I’m not going to tell the story here (sorry), but I am going to tell the story and I’m going to use NaNoWriMo2017 as my kick-in-the-literary-ass to write it. Yes, I’ll still work on the cookbook. Or not. But I have to do this. I mean, I have to. The first thing my friend and I did when we got into the car to leave that day was to turn to each other, wide eyed with amazement, and simultaneously say, “WHAT JUST HAPPENED?” In fact, it was Deb who first told me, “You HAVE to write that down!” And her encouragement hasn’t stopped. So, I’m going to. I feel like if I don’t, I will regret it for the rest of my life.
And the old painting? Well, it’s hanging right here over my desk while I’m typing this. How THAT came to be is part of the story as well, and another reason I know I have to do this. Why?
Because Trees Talk, don’t ‘cha know?
November 1st is fast approaching. If YOU are participating in NaNoWriMo this year, please let me know! I would love to be part of your posse and lend you my support! You’ll find me over there under the pen name JaneBond.
Life is full of magical moments and little synchronicities.
Several happened to me last week and many of them related to my cookbook project. This might have been the coolest.
It’s been a long standing habit of mine to check two pages of any devotional book before buying it. Well, I bought one this week based solely on serendipity.
This first photo is from a chapter I wrote back in the Spring entitled, “The Well Stocked Kitchen”.
Now this one: A page from a little devotional book I picked up last week at the Good Will entitled, “A Grand New Day”. It’s the page from my birthday, March 30th.
I’m still grinning ear to ear.
Happy Serendipity Sunday to you.