There is a turning taking place within me, a tectonic movement of ancestral memories, surfacing and shifting my inner landscape, transforming it into something far more spacious and strange than I’d ever imagined possible. I am learning to love the ways in which life reveals itself—always as a spiral, never as a line. I am learning again to surrender and feeling comforted by the knowledge that this is not an act of weakness, but of remarkable courage.
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I am back in Texas now after a month spent traveling through New Mexico, Arizona, and Southern California. Springtime in the desert was magnificent. The Ocotillo, Saguaro, and Prickly Pear were all in bloom, and the morning air still hummed cool and clear, alive with the memory of winter.
Returning to the heat and humidity of the Texas hill country has not been easy. The last two weeks have been marked by sleepless nights and swirling thoughts about the future. But the heavy rains of Springtime have conjured a prodigious season of blooms, and at dusk, the world comes alive with fireflies like dancing stars in the amethyst black of night. These small spring things I treasure, for they lift my spirits and give me hope.
Since I last wrote, something monumental has come to pass. I own my home now. I have moved innumerable times over the last decade and have been dreaming of this moment for years. The house itself is a ramshackle cabin, built by hand long ago from wood the color of honey and salvaged windows whose shapes are seldom seen. There are stained glass doors, timeworn limestone steps with crystals in the crevices, and a south-facing deck that looks out across the lake.
It is peaceful here.
The oaken branches beyond my window are home to cardinals and hummingbirds who bless me daily with their presence as I watch in awe and try to make sense of what it means to “own” this place. If anything, I feel more like a guest than ever before, and find myself filled with a sense of sacred responsibility, for now it is up to me to tend this small patch of land, and serve as steward to the more-than-human life which inhabited it long before I did, and will surely be here long after.
I am humbled by this blessing.
To know a home in such uncertain times is undoubtedly one of life’s greatest gifts. For the world is changing in ways we can all sense, but which no one seems able to understand fully. It is dark and nebulous, this experience of living through such unprecedented changes. It is exciting too at times, for something new will inevitably emerge in the wake of what is waning.
Whether we give in to fear, stand firmly in possibility, or oscillate wildly between the two, each of us searching in our way for connection to ourselves, one another, and the natural world. So how do we continue to make meaning, make love, and live honorably?
Every day we must listen and pray, do what we know to be good for ourselves and for our planet. This is a time to be more impeccable than ever before in our practices of presence and of praise; a time to pay close and careful attention to the wisdom which lives within each of us, and requires daily dedication and devotion to access.
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Recently, I have been reading my friend Sylvia Linsteadt‘s book Our Lady of the Dark Country and her powerful prose have awakened something vast, ancient, and unnamable within me: a feeling of grief and recognition; a remembrance. What her stories have shown me is we are each our own most precious resource, ally, and advocate; that we are capable of so much more than we can imagine, both as individuals and as a collective.
Her words have reconnected me to the primacy of feeling. It is so easy to get caught in our heads and to believe the elaborate stories our intellects weave to justify our actions and the actions of others. But our feelings will always guide us toward the truth, beyond appearances.
This month, give yourself full permission
to pay attention to what you are feeling
and invite it to guide your life.
So often we suppress our emotions, fearing that they will be too inconvenient or life-altering if we acknowledge them fully. But this is their gift and their wisdom. They are meant to guide us toward that which is life-giving; toward that which our soul is longing for.
During this time, we are faced with so many stimuli which incite grief and overwhelm, that it is almost impossible not to numb ourselves to the sensation or compromise our values just to get through the day. But there’s a reason we feel overwhelmed, discouraged, and drained when we buy things in plastic packaging or see yet another condo being built where just last week, there were only trees. Our emotions are intelligent, and when we listen to them, they will always guide us back toward wholeness.
The first step in making any change, whether personal or planetary, is to acknowledge what is and is not working. This will look different for each of us. But no matter what, it will require the bravery and humility to learn something new, even if we don’t yet know what that is.
This month, take time to notice your thoughts, assumptions, and desires. Ask yourself what’s underneath them. Identify your needs and know that they are valid, no matter what. Furthermore, recognize that whatever you’ve been doing to meet them up until now may not necessarily be the most effective way to do so moving forward.
Is there a way to meet your needs that is more aligned with your values? If so, what actions can you take to make this a reality? Try journaling about this or talking it out with a friend. Sometimes this process can be a lonely one, and it helps to have others who can affirm your experience and support you in self-discovery.
Finally, don’t be afraid to leave space in your life. Only by saying no to those things which are not meant for you, will you be able to say yes to those which are. Forget what is possible, probable, and practical—and reach now for the life you imagine you might one day live. Ask for more, not less.
You deserve this.