Hubby always jokes that if map reading were on the bar exam, I never would have become licensed as an attorney. I’d love to refute this in some clever way, but last Friday I couldn’t even find the Rio Grande:
As you can see, the water level was extremely low but I’m pretty sure that only I could manage to miss the country’s fourth largest river and drive an extra forty miles through the entire 20,000 acre Arroyo Honda land grant before realizing it.
My week in New Mexico was supposed to be about learning MIndfulness.
But even though we meditated every day, sometimes I feel like all I accomplished was just more wallowing in my overly sensitive hypochondriac selfishness.
And I still managed to miss my turn.
But getting lost is part of the journey.
A good portion of our week was spent on the theme of permission. Dani Shapiro (author of the excellent memoir Devotion about the quest for meaning and spirit in middle age) delivered a keynote address where she pointed out that no one is going to fall out of the sky and give us permission to call ourselves writers.
Nor is anyone going to give you permission to do that big, magnificent thing you’ve been fantasizing about for so long now.
And that’s just one more reason why I adore travel so much … once we put ourselves in a new setting, after we’ve given ourselves permission to do something different … anything can happen.
I was expecting to spend a lot of time writing in New Mexico, to get inspired by the many talented writers, perhaps do some sightseeing, and maybe make a new friend or two. All of that certainly happened, but what I didn’t foresee was the start of a new healing journey I will be writing more about soon:
In September I’ll be attending an Equine Therapy retreat … that’s right, horse therapy (not for the horses). I’ve never owned a horse or taken riding lessons, but according to the website, working with horses is supposed to “compel you to reconnect with the truth of who you are through the mirror of the horse.”
But that’s not the scary part …
I invited my mother to come too.
She said yes.
(Someday I’ll learn that those invitations you extend just to be polite can backfire. Of course I’m just kidding, Mom, if you’re reading this … I really am
scared shitless about looking forward to our coming adventure.)
So now I’m back at home trying to figure out what other adventures to take before 12/21/12. And there truly is not much time left, as I was reminded of again last night when we attempted to rescue this poor little dragonfly from a huge spiderweb:
It wasn’t easy; I had to get him down from a web about 18 feet high and gently wash the gooey web remnants off his super delicate wings. He was traumatized and clearly couldn’t fly; I didn’t think he’d make it through the night but left him in what looked like a safe spot with a lid full of water.
It turns out that dragonflies spend the vast majority of their lives in a yucky larvae-like state (up to four years!) but then only live a month or two as pretty iridescent flying things before they die. Those that believe in animal totems say the dragonfly is a symbol of transformation and gratitude, reminding us to be present right here, right now, before it’s too late.
This morning the dragonfly is still alive, but won’t move. He even lets me stroke his tissue thin wings; I’m pretty sure the rescue was in vain and all I’ve accomplished was to deprive a hard working spider of her meal.
But when I check on him a couple of hours later after the sun has come out, he’s gone. So either he stretched his wings and gave himself permission to fly away, or he stayed where he was and was eaten by a crow.
I’ll never know. But I hope he flew.
And I hope you do too …
Question: Is there something in your life you have always wanted to do, but have yet to give yourself permission to? What’s holding you back? What will need to happen for you to decide otherwise?