This weekend has been magical. I am currently enjoying a “staycation.” I had planned to head up to the mountains for an indian summer getaway with friends, brimming with yoga, relaxation, big hikes and peaceful, meditative pondering. But what I ended up realizing was that my body, mind and spirit were holistically craving a staycation. I am about to start nutrition school and, what with my dad’s health situation, I felt deeply compelled to make my getaway one of staying.
Sometimes to get away we just really need to ground and be present.
So I’ve played at home. Yoga, friends, meditative pondering and cooking here in my humble abode, and then a visit home to my family. I spent yesterday and today in my breathtaking hometown, a valley nestled way out in the country, surrounded by vineyards and rolling hills. I went for a long walk in my childhood sacred space, yesterday evening, and my soul is still soaring from it. Six miles of ground I’ve spent my whole life walking. Stepping out the front door and trekking briskly through “town” (if this tiny slice of country heaven can be considered a town) and deep into the woods is something that delights my being more than words can describe.
It’s really quite a spectacular feeling, to tread the same path one’s known one’s entire life. To tread the same path one’s own mother walked whilst pregnant. My mom’s told me of these walks, many times, and how she dreamt of picnicking along the side of the path, beneath the canopy of old man’s beard and charmingly snarled branches. We’d chuckle at the thought, because we never have picnicked there. We have, however, walked, hiked and traversed the stunning territory together for 25 years now.
Last night I was solo. This allowed me to not only fly along at the pace my long legs crave without leaving anyone behind, but it also provided me a deeply reflective space. I spent the hour and some in the company of my own thoughts, memories and imagination. Sunlight filtering through the trees, the beat of my own heart within my chest, the unchanged landscape mirroring my own true nature…deeply transformed and yet somehow very much the same.
Today I ducked back out into nature, as I tend to do at every chance when visiting my dear home, on a breathtaking ten mile bike ride. Apart from being a yogini, I have a very soft spot in my heart for several other physical activities. Hiking, brisk walking, cycling and rock climbing. This morning I went flying.
Cycling makes me feel like I can fly. In fact, I said exactly that this very morning, in so many words. Whoever said human beings can’t fly…never soared down a mountain on a bicycle. My stepdad nodded appreciatively.
I felt a little like the last threads of the veil had been pulled away from my eyes. Oh…but I can fly…
Just when someone or something makes us think we’re merely mortals confined by gravitational pull and human fragility…we take flight. Heart beating wildly, lungs full of fresh air, eyes wide and flickering; the earned sense of freedom radiating from every pore. There’s nothing in the world like realizing you can fly.
The descent was partial, I seemed to just float from then on. I spent the afternoon with my dad. Bliss. Bless. Blithe. Quality father daughter time. I feel so charged up on parental love!
We sat in the backyard talking, I sipped tea, the sun danced on our limbs as we hunkered in the shade. Such a glorious day. This time of year is absolutely magical. I told my dad the story of when I first realized I was head over heels, no looking back, smitten with autumn. I was young, elementary age, and I was playing make believe in the front yard. The leaves were crisp beneath my body and I was gathering up goodies to take with me to Halloween Town (any ’88 Disney channel babies around?). I was pretending to be a witch. I paused from my game, imagination halting, all play-act vanishing for the moment; I remember looking around myself, looking up, the sky shining blue through the brittle golden leaves. It was warm, but a light warmth. Not the heaviness that often clings to summer air. More than anything I vividly remember the sensation in the atmosphere…one of divine enchantment. I could feel it and it almost gave me goosebumps. Maybe it actually did.
Since then I’ve grown more and more bewitched by autumn, with each passing year.
Today was no different. The magic in the air, the beguiling aura, it intoxicates me. It fuels my creative power, my depth for understanding the world around me, my medicine woman healing faculties…I truly run on such magic. Consider it fuel in the tank.
What freedom. Realizing that the two human beings who crafted my life, and the etherial allure of autumn’s approach, are enough to leave me spun in the gold of total rapture. What freedom. To want for nothing. To know everything I need is right here. We all have this freedom. It’s ours to cradle and squeeze and hold in highest regard. It’s there. It’s in the air, it’s in the eyes of those you love, it’s in your very own skin. It’s in the crunching crimson leaves that descend gracefully beneath your stride. It’s in the light warmth of a fall afternoon, kissing your eyelids. It’s in the aviation of a steep hill in the saddle of a bicycle.
Freedom is all around us. Step into your joy.