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Friday, June 17, 2016

It Got Better

After posting on Sunday - and then hearing that dreadful news from Florida - BD and I took a walk to a very special forest and meandered its fairy tale-ish mossy green paths. I hadn't been there for weeks because it has been under water - which is stupid because I own high end rubber fisherman's boots - boots meant to keep you both comfortable and firmly rooted even when the deck is awash and tilting. I could slosh through any puddle a month of rain could lay in my path. But for sure - I know this special bit of woods is a healing place and I should never, ever think I'm in too much of a hurry to stop there and let it perform its magic on me.

RIGHT BRAIN:  She's right, you know.  All too often you zip on home without stopping to take advantage of that gift

 LEFT BRAIN: I know. And you feel too down in the dumps to believe, or even remember, that it only takes 10 minutes to feel that magic.

And that magic is palpable.The first time I felt it was way back around '89 or '90, when I had my first experience of Life After a Library Budget Cut. I'd been through many personal budget cuts ... i. e. being flat stone cold broke ... but that was always my issue. I just hadn't found a job yet. I could do something about it. This was different. This involved OtherPeople'sMoney. Our little library was then in its infancy and was operating on the thinnest of shoestrings.  Suddenly there was a revenue shortfall - probably the result of the savings and loan debacle - and $ for libraries took a massive hit. I was so depressed I couldn't even look forward to going to work. That 35 acres of woods had recently been cut and the jumble and tumult of regrowth had made it a Sleeping Beauty tangle of briers and thorns.  BD took a machete and hacked a sort of path out of the wilderness and I walked through it for the first time.

It wasn't even pretty. It was winter, all bleak and brown and dead leaves. It was a wild tangle of greenbriar, blackberry and holly leaves. You couldn't walk there without scratching your arms to shreds and still yet - in the middle of it all I felt the magic. The peace. The assurance that as dreadful as things get - the earth still breathes her gentle, cradling pulse up and around and through and into you. And like Antaeus - we can draw strength from our mother too - we can heal and stand tall and shuck off suffering and straighten our shoulders - not to lift a heavy burden but to realize that the burden is not so heavy.  I walked out of there knowing there was work to do, but confident that I could do it.  And I did.

And I have known since then that there was a magical place I could go to for healing. Over the years,the tangle has resolved itself into a forest and then our darling Randy came along to make the paths wider - YAY - but rougher, as he cleared away the leaf loam and revealed the tree roots. He also triggered another of nature's amazing tricks - for when the damp paths have no leaves on them emerald green moss, dotted with pale bluets, will spread atop them.  Imagine, if you can, the dark green of a heavily shaded forest with a bright green network of paths woven all about. Here you can duck the heat of the sun. Here you can imagine pixies and fairies, elves and sprites, peeking at you from behind a fat white oak or a fringed cypress tree. Here there is a place for all of nature's land magic. Here you are not in the seat of dominion but in the throng of earth's family. Here - if you let yourself, you can restore your soul to peace and calm.

On Sunday I spent several hours there and Monday, on the way home, I realized that it would take only 10 minutes to top up my peacefulness tank if I just pulled off the road and got out of the car. Nothing I had to do at home was as important as seeking the healing. So I did just that. In my work attire, shoes that were definitely not walking shoes, I slipped beneath the caress of the trees, down a path till I was just out of sight of the road, and soaked in the magic.

For sure - there is ALWAYS enough time to soak in the magic.

RIGHT BRAIN: So don't listen to her

  LEFT BRAIN: And don't listen to her either.

 LEFT BRAIN:  RIGHT BRAIN:   LOL listen to us both. Stop on the way home and take a walk.

I won't. Or I will. I'll remember that we are responsible for making our own selves happy. It's a choice.

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