Bringing Home

While enjoying my days at the Hermitage, basking in its beauty and serenity, occasionally this peace was interrupted with some familiar chatter in my brain.  Negativity can creep up in many ways…. usually unannounced… fears,worries, anger, sarcasm (who me???), comparisons, even stress can just pop right up and can quickly consume the moments.  One morning, in the middle of some wallowing, I caught myself and wondered: “what is that doing here?”  “Silly girl….” answering myself…”you brought it with you”.  I thought about how carefully we plan for our retreats from our daily grind… picking the perfect getaway, packing the right items, researching all the details to make it perfect.  Yet we still bring with us our “homes“, all that we carry with us everyday… the good and the not-so-good stuff.

I remember the amazing hermit crab I saw a few days earlier.  Walking on the beach I spotted a huge conch shell washed up on the shore.  So excited, I carefully rolled it over with my flip-flops, only to be greeted by a pair of bright red claws retreating back into the shell.  This beautiful shell was the crab’s home that it carries around on all of its journeys. Picking the perfect one, it needs to meet all of the requirements for the crab to live in… have room to retreat and hide, grow, be easy enough to carry around and be vacant and available.  Wherever the crab wanders, so does its home.  So too, when we wander, we not only pack our suitcases, but ourselves.  We take ourselves and all that we are. 

 

It was difficult to leave the beauty and serenity of the Hermitage.  Arriving home, there are still the same problems waiting: chores, paper-work, responsibilities.  But there is also the same good qualities: family, friends, a backyard filled with surprising critters… and room to grow.  So returning back home, I still have the choice to meander off,  listen to the chatter in head, and become distracted from the journey that I am on, or I can carry with me everyday those attributes that I will need to make this journey one that is productive, amazing and filled with new opportunities.

Guess who was in my back yard when I came home.

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Moving in a New Direction

Toulouse the Gopher Tortoise

After a whirlwind of five days, family, grieving, tying up loose ends…. trying to bring some order to the chaos, it is time to move on.  I spent one more  quiet day at home with loved ones before beginning my creative retreat.  Car packed with art supplies, clothes, dive gear and my red bicycle strapped tightly to the back, the music seemed to lure me forward on my drive  Crossing the bridge over the Myakka River, it began to rain…while Van Morrison sang “And It Stoned Me”….”oh the water….” . I knew I was moving in the right direction… a place to nourish the soul.  

 Wandering around, looking at what will be my home and STUDIO!!! for awhile…. I was greeted by Toulouse… the local gopher tortoise….  moving slowly, but moving forward…. being present.