January 10, 2013
Deep winter in the canyon
I can honestly say that I am glad that 2012 is over, and though in the future I will likely look back with nostalgia for an incredible number of beautiful moments and realities, for now I feel beaten, bruised, short of breath, and desperate for a quiet, peaceful space. 2013 is a Hermit year for me, and because of our birth dates, it is also a Hermit year for Jeff. Last year, the one leaving me feeling exhausted, was, of course, a Strength year for both of us. I am glad to be moving forward despite knowing that we are moving directly toward a Wheel of Fortune year - a year of big, big change. Whew. I am determined to be ready. On a global level, the Lovers year (2013) will be about making choices that directly reflect our common values, and how we, as a people, see ourselves.
This past year has held many extremely transformative hardships for us, lessons you may call them. If I look back with clear eyes I can see that we did so very well that my heart swells with pride for us both. I don't think I ever really knew us until now, but I can now say that I have a deep trust in each of us individually, and especially together. We are nearing 14 years as partners, and there has been no greater gift to my life than Jeff. I simply cannot imagine taking a breath in this world without knowing that Jeff is here with me. Even in our deepest, darkest trials... in our hardest moments where we are forced to grapple with one another to work through... we are so good together. We fight well, we love well, and even in the painful moments when we simply cannot, cannot agree... we trust. Even when we don't want to, even when we fear that we cannot, especially when we are certain that we should not... we trust. And thus, each decision is made.
It has been a hard year. A year that has left me at times, standing still, broom in hand, staring unseeing at the tiles, yearning, desperately recalling and feeling, a past time of ease, of absolute peace. A time when all things were simple and certain, when happiness was easy.
Five years ago we set out, naive yes, but with the intent to transform completely. With the intent to become the very best versions of ourselves, but also to transform our very way of being in the world. This was both naive and deeply inspired. We knew and we did not know. We could see where we were headed, but could not have known the harshness of the road between. We knew that it would be hard, yes, but foreseeing hardship and weathering it are so very different.
In the past couple of days I have felt a deep shift within. A 'thank god' return to a knowing and trusting that I lost almost four years ago.
I don't feel strong. I haven't yet accepted my deepest fears. I often look with fear to the future, but something way, way down, has woken up and simply knows that it doesn't matter. Whether or not I accept, I know that I will come through. Nothing but the end of me will be the end of me. I have learned through a lifetime of sought after experience, that each pain can be alchemy or it can be carried until it becomes alchemy. One way or another you will learn from your experience. I cannot escape anything that I must learn in this life. I cannot escape any pain any more than another, but I can choose to let them blast through me, tearing out what I don't need and leaving me with something new. Something that will make me more whole. I choose to carry my unlearned lessons as unopened tools rather than burdens. I choose to experience each moment rather than resisting. If I cannot escape the path.. and I cannot because I would choose it again and again... then I see only to keep walking it with an absolute trust in the necessity of each experience.
I have learned so very much this year. I have learned such practical lessons of existence, but the most important thing that I have learned is my own indestructability. No shame, no fear, no guilt, no confusion, no loss is going to destroy me or change the fundamental me that I have known my whole life. At the end of each day my children provide for me a barometer for how I am doing. At the end of each day I have borne witness to my children's fundamental happiness and desire for the life we live. I witness their absolute belief in me and in themselves. I see a childhood unadulterated. I know that my tween son will say 'I love you' at least three times today, just because, and often minutes after we may have disagreed.
I am ready.
Life is coming, as it is going, and being, and I am here always. I'm still here, and I wouldn't change a thing. Given the opportunity... I trust too much... I wouldn't change a thing.
Nichola playing in the forest by the river which runs beside our house - taken this past summer