The tumultuous winds deep in the night mirrored my heart and soul. There are very few times that I ever feel alone in the darkness, but last night was one of those nights. Being a good West Texas girl, born and raised, I don’t generally get unsettled by the sound of wind but as I laid dosing the sounds outside would actually make my heart jump and wake me up again.
The past couple of weeks have been tumultuous in my own life, my emotions racing, my heart aching, and my mind seeming to travel at random. I need to seek solitude, put my heart at rest but just have not and I can’t really find the reason.
Tomorrow is the one year anniversary of dad passing into the spiritual realm. It has been a year of ups and downs and emotions that I have locked away and not dealt with. It has been something that until the last couple of weeks I didn’t realize just how shut down, how closed off I have really become. I have put myself back into survival mode, not venturing out to take pics, or even wanting to leave the house to go to the grocery store unless I absolutely had do. Going through the motions and not feeling or wanting to feel the pain, putting myself into a bubble to protect and hide from it all. I make the occasional phone calls to those people that I am supposed to, my aunts, my friends and it is easy to help each of them, to listen and share with them, not often but to keep some sort of connection to the outside world. I have moments of clarity, of anger, of growing and of mourning but for the most part up until the past two weeks I had just let the world outside these walls exist on it own.
Saturday afternoon, we got in the pick-up to travel to a wedding in between Joshua and Cleburne. For the first time in a long time I was excited. Excited to go and share a very special moment with people that I truly love and cherish, excited that I was going to be out of the house and on the road. There were many emotions racing through my heart as we drove, I slept for the most part of the trip, letting John drive. His health does not allow that to happen often. For several years now I do the biggest part of the driving and well honestly the biggest part of everything. It is hard to watch someone that has always needed to be around people, the party guy sit in the house and watch television non-stop. To sit in the pick-up while it is me that goes to the car show. Even when Kristen was a little girl, I would beg him. Please let’s get out of the house and go do something. Lets go to the museum, the lake, anywhere. The only time that he wanted to go out then was to party and drink with his friends. As time passed, I learned that Kristen and I would spend her growing up years going on our own to do things like that. I learned that the man that everyone thought of as outgoing was really very shy and timid away from his drinking buddies. He had grown up different than I had. He had grown up seeing the world through the television and science fiction books. I too was an avid reader but, even though I was incredibly shy, sought the world as my play ground. I wanted to read about the world and then go explore it. I wanted to meet people. As hard as it was for me to actually begin to talk to people I wanted to be around others. So, yes it is hard for me to step outside the box. I feel sorry for him, I get angry with him, and there are often times that I resent him. Why you might ask, because as a caregiver I am stuck in the house too. Taking care of Dad was awesome, for he encouraged me to go for a drive, spend some time with friends and live. Taking care of John, he is just as self centered and selfish as he was when he was drinking. It is all about him. I have to change something at this point in life, I have to seek what my heart yearns for too.
The wedding. I had planned on wearing my new strappy flip flops, my white capris and one of my new blouses. At the last minute, I changed my mind and threw on my tan jeans, my boots, and the blouse. As I parked the pick-up in the field near the practice arena on the 200 acre horse ranch, I knew that this was going to be a wonderful night. I had pulled up to the arena opening and let John out with the boys to help him into the arena. So the walk back up to the arena was just me. Watching other guests arrive and park, watching them as they got out of their vehicles and make their own way up to the arena dressed in jeans and boots, or boots and dresses I felt at peace in my own skin. I stepped into the arena on the soft dirt, walking across to the center and sitting down on a hay bale next to another woman. Talking to some of Kelly and Ashley’s friends, and family and listening to the other guests as they talked among their selves. A smile crossed my face as you could tell who was country and who was city. Though we all meshed together well, it was still obvious who was who. The smell of the fresh dirt, the air that still carried upon it’s breezes the aroma of the earlier rains, the sound of the horses in the distance and the guinea hens clattering about all the people around brought home memories of my childhood. I sat quietly playing in the soft dirt with my boot, pulled a hay straw and tasted the freshness of the grasses, listening as the city dwellers complained of lack of air conditioning, the occasional fly buzzing through, or having to sit upon a hay bale. The cool breeze danced through the arena, the clouds of earlier rain storms began to break apart and let the sun shine down on a loving ceremony. The fresh cut grass and yes even the smell of all the animals came together to give the bridal couple a sense of wholeness, of connection to the earth.
I watched as a small girl dressed in a sky blue, frilly party dress sat fidgeting on the hay bale next to her mother. Never complaining but you could tell that she was itching to play in the soft dirt. After the ceremony, the same small girl shucked her white shoes and her leggings and promptly sat in her dress in the dirt playing happily. All the children did the same thing. Bare feet playing in the cool brown dirt, being allowed to be children el natural. They had all sat patiently through the ceremony, being wonderful and well behaved children then they were allowed to run and play and get really dirty.
The ceremony was beautiful. As the wedding party stood on the little stage in the middle of the arena surrounded by friends and family, Kelly and Ashley became one. One in the ideal of marriage, but one also in the universe to face the world together. Daniel did a hand tying ceremony to bind the couple together for a life time. I watched as a young man stood filling the shoes of his father that passed less than a month before. As he started the ceremony opening the circle his voice faltered. His insecurities showed for only a moment until he got his bearings. Seeing the Celtic Religion is always soulful. I love the fact that the Celts have kept many of their Druid beliefs. I love that Daniel opened circle, calling upon the earth, the fire, the water and the wind in the name of God. I guess if I had to claim any faith that it would be Druid based. Based in the love of all things nature, the animals, the earth, and the spiritual but also wrapped in the love of a Fatherly God. A God that loves his children unconditionally. That teaches people to have that same love for the earth, the animals and more importantly for each other. Teaches that acceptance is part of that love of self and of others. The couple both consenting to being tied for this life and the ever-after was pronounced man and wife by the minister.
This is where the phrase “tying the knot” comes from. It is an old ceremony and Daniel pulled it off incredibly well for his first time.
After the ceremony, the couple had photos to still have done. In the time between the ceremony and the reception, I had time to wonder around the arena, watching the kids as they took off to the far end of the arena to play ball and enjoy the dirt. I watched the adults as they began to mill around and visit. I walked to the pipe railing along the southern side of the arena, stood with my boot against the bottom rail watching people. A few minutes of solitude.
This week had come to a close with a beautiful place, a beautiful ceremony and some time to reflect. I have been rightfully accused this past month of shutting down and not sharing my heart, or for that matter much of anything. With my own heartache, also came a shaking of my trust in others. That I have yet to actually verbalize but have instead given my self writers block over. Until the storm last night, I was unable or unwilling to put it all down on paper. Realizing where I was in my own world, growing leaps and bounds this past week and seeking to break into the air and light of dark waters, I was also forced to face other facts. I guess more than anything I was hurt that my trust had taken such a hit.
I learned that the gifts that God gave me is one of the reasons that I stay closed off from people. I hate people being in my bubble for then I can feel what is in their hearts and minds. I know when they are hurting or when they are excited. I know when their phone lights up from a call from someone else and they are excited about that. The stronger I care the stronger that connection. So I generally keep people at a distance. I am not saying that I don’t feel for other people, oh on the contrary. I am the best friend, the lover, the mother, daughter, and a gentle soul to everyone I encounter. But when it comes to being totally and utterly in my bubble, I can’t or won’t let that happen. I have been asked many times by my friend Karen, “What is it that you fear.” My answer is always the same, being alone. But in the past week I have learned that my big fear is being that connected with someone else. I am a person that trusts without question from the start. I don’t judge people by their bodies, their clothing, or anything material. But I do judge people by their actions. It is incredibly hard for me to trust someone once they have crossed that line. What they say seems to just be words, for if they have betrayed that trust once then it is bound to happen again. I realize that people are influential, I know that it is hard to focus when you feel you are being pulled in many directions. But I also know that if doubt doesn’t already exist, then nothing anyone can say or do can cause you to doubt. It is taking every fiber in my body to keep my head on straight and not walk away.
Mom and Dad taught me that when someone passes into the spiritual side, that major decisions should not be made for a year. Even though I thought that I was preparing for what decisions I needed to make, instead I was just sitting. I had given up on chasing dreams or rainbows. I went to the doctor with a bad case of high blood pressure. After doing all the blood work, she looks at me and takes my hand and says….. your heart is broken. Well duh, I know it is broken look at the readings of the cuff. She laughed, “no, you don’t understand. Your blood work is amazing. You are heartbroken.” When mother died it was the blood sugar that went haywire, Daddy dies and it is my heart that goes nuts. I don’t know how to scream, I don’t know how to let all the emotions out. I am probably the only person on the planet that does not physically know how to scream. Maybe if I could I would be able to cry also. It has been a year and the crying gets stuck in my throat. A mass amount of tequila will net you one small crying spell. I am to the point that I need to release all this hurt and I honestly don’t know how. The doctor says I have to find a way to release it or my blood pressure is going to continue to do ugly things.
I am hurting. Not just for the loss of Dad, but for the loss of one of my best friends, for the loss of trust in someone I love. For once in my life I want to lose control. I want to seek out new horizons.
At the wedding the other night, I walked out to the truck and opened the door and sat down on the door jam. I bowed my head surrounded by all the glory of nature, and I put out into the spiritual realm all that filled my heart. I begged forgiveness in not being the role model I should be as a woman to show others what unconditional love is. Not being the epitome of all the love God has to offer. Forgiveness in being selfish in my thoughts and actions. I asked for the universe to embrace me and put me back on the right path. I gave to the universe my hopes of tomorrow. That I find a place in the country as beautiful as the one I was sitting on. Filled with animals and plants to occupy my heart, my time, my very being. I asked that I be put back into that county life. To learn to be gentle and kind to all that cross my path and that they can in turn pass that love along to others. I asked for the knowledge and vision to be able to accept the things that are hurting me, and release them from my heart. To find healing both physically and spiritually. I sat there for a long time, releasing myself of all the pain, all the anguish and asking that the friends that I have that are struggling with heartaches also be wrapped in love and strength. I asked that I be allowed to release the people in my life so that they too can follow their own dreams and needs. That they find in someone else the things that they need to make their own lives whole. I sent out into the universe the love that I hold dear to my heart, the one that heals the weak and weary, that gives me the words from beyond to help them find their own paths. The love to be supportive of others even when it is breaking my own heart and soul. I asked that the universe provide me vocal words to help and over the weekend I found that I did have a voice. I found that calling upon the winds of change came through the face of the earth last night in a tremendous gust. Winds that truly made my heart jump inside of my chest. I know that it is only through sharing our own experiences that we help others, that our own trials and hurdles are what help us teach.
It is through these winds of change that I know I am humble, I know that I am blessed beyond words. It is through these winds of change that I set sail in a new and wonderful direction. That it is now time to step back out of this box, out of this prison back into the world of the living. It is time to seek out my daughter, and be there and support her again. It is time to reconnect with friends and look down this worn path I have chosen to walk upon and see a future filled with wondrous and beautiful things. I know that it won’t be perfect for even I know that I have many more lessons to learn. But I can’t learn them sitting idly in a box. I must begin to move. I must take the talents and gifts that have been bestowed upon me and use them now.