2nd Nature

Flying Lessons

The day before my oldest son graduated from high school I was schooled in letting go, by a spirit named Robin. 

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It all started when this sweet baby leapt its nest outside our bedroom, landed on the deck and was ready to take flight. I didn't think I would have enough time to grab my good camera, but after watching Robin pace back and forth for more than five minutes, I realized that I just might have all the time in the world. 


I don't know about you, but I never gave much thought to the process of a bird flying from a nest. In my very limited imagination I assumed it just flew, unassisted, when it was ready. I was surprised to witness the pacing, the uncertainty and the hesitation that Robin unapologetically exhibited until what I will now and forever refer to as THE SONG cut through the air. It was a short, but certain call, that I translated as THIS WAY.  

Again and again: THIS WAY.





Concise. Clear. Commanding. 

Robin kept looking to the left and then forward. Left. Forward. 

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THE SONG kept coming from a nearby tree where two robins patiently sat, one with a mouth full of feed, the other, a few branches above, calling Robin forth. 

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Finally, Robin flew to the left...

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...careened toward the window and thankfully avoided what could have been an very unfortunate mishap...

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...and, then, softly landed on the ground. 

THE SONG continued because Robin was not quite into the woods yet. There was one more ledge to go. 

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Attempts to hide behind the fire pit did not silence the two encouraging parents...AT ALL. 

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Eventually Robin followed THE SONG to the final ledge, beyond the prisonesque fencing, and took another leap, landing on the branch of an evergreen in the heart of Nature, Herself.

Precisely where Robin belongs to live this one, precious life. 

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I've been holding onto this gift of a story knowing that my son's graduation was nothing more than that first leap from the nest and that we had another ledge to go this Fall. It was a beautiful reminder for me that a parent's biggest, perhaps most important, job is to let go so their child can land in the heart of his/her Nature, wherever that may be.

So often we think our job is to guide each other out of the woods, but I'm pretty sure our first job is to prepare each other to fly in—dangling a little food, singing THE SONG just a few feet ahead...enough to help each other realize that we're all equipped, in our own special way, to do whatever it is we came here to do. 

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I find comfort knowing so many of you are perched alongside me on a branch right now guiding a loved one, and yourself, through some form of transition. I find even more comfort knowing that we are all just part of a chain of SINGERS singing THE SONG for each other. 

We are, you know. 

Wherever you find yourself right now—singing THE SONG or heeding the CALL...slow down, take it easy and look around. These parts are filled with magic, as long as you're willing to bear witness to it all.

Letting Nature take her course

(This is day 213 of heart finding for me on  Instagram . Follow along and find your own...)

(This is day 213 of heart finding for me on Instagram. Follow along and find your own...)

I was writing a post for the past year titled, The Elephant On My Head. It detailed my decision-process-trip through (first) the end of hair color, (second) the beginning of living life with a gray pixie and (third) meeting assoholic comments with dignity. I was ready to hit publish and then I realized that I was the only person with this elephant-on-my-head issue, everyone else didn't think (and hasn't thought) twice about saying whatever they want to say about the way I am presenting my shade of gray. 

That revelation occurred a month ago when I dreamed that I fell off the wagon and gave in, coloring my hair that weird red-brown that I thought was natural before I discovered it was very clearly not. I woke up in a cold sweat (over hair color, no less). 

I dreamed the same dream last night only the skit played through long enough for me to feel ashamed that I started covering up my natural hair again. Ashamed, which to me is a word very close to ascared (my version of scared circa 1976). 

You might think: it's just hair. Turns out: it's not.

Most people ask me the same question: why did you decide to let your hair go gray? At first, I didn't think twice about telling the story. But the story, like all stories, is just a story. It's just my version of events. The reality is:

I did not decide to let my hair turn gray.

My hair turned gray approximately eighteen years ago, on its own

without asking for my permission or approval.

So, to be clear, my role was to simply stop pretending that Nature didn't take the course she took. My role, the only control I could possibly exert, was to take the shortcut, literally, and prune my hair back to the roots. Worth noting: I was not ascared to do this.

I remember the moment I decided I absolutelyhadtodothis. It did not feel impulsive, it felt mandatory. Not coincidentally, it happened in between sessions with my shaman. When she saw me, newly pruned, she asked if I knew that hair holds memory. Did you know that? It was news to me, but it also instantly and clearly explained why I felt so light and free and grounded. I didn't just release hair, I released the commitment required to color it, the feeling of disgust every time my roots peeked through, and that constant nagging feeling that something about me was off, along with 40 other revelations and counting. 

It has taken me a year to share all of this. It has taken me a good year to get accustomed to the subtle but very real changes this continues to usher through. As you can imagine, none of this has anything to do with hair and everything to do with knowing that I am more than meets the eye. 

I just want to remind you that you are, too. 

You know. 

And I know. 

We have always known what's true.  

If you need further guidance...here's August's message: 

Would you like to receive a year of love in the mail?  Now you can...

Would you like to receive a year of love in the mail? Now you can...

Saying hello to Creativity

There was a point in the Spring when I decided to stop creating things (as if that would help me). As if placing my hands over the flow of creativity was the way to feel better or simply happier.

I quickly felt even more depleted. Not to sound too dramatic, but certainly: dead inside. 

It took me about a month to remember this was my choice, my desire, to not go with the flow. And I decided at that moment (and, I'll admit, again for the millionth-exhausting-time) to change course. Instead of saying NO, I would simply say YES. I would do whatever Creativity asked me to do: write, photograph, cook, create, construct, play, explore.

No questions asked. No explanations needed. 

I would just DO. 

This devotion to Her required a little unplugging and pulling back. It also required a lot of trust. It is a holy choice to team up with Her. To not worry about what everything looks like on the outside and instead just focus on how it feels on the inside. 

I was having lunch with my son, talking about a place where Creativity led me (baking artisan bread, no less) and he said, "Your brand is all over the place. How can people understand what you do?" 

And without thinking I replied, "Everything I do is nourishing on some level. For me. For us. For others." And that's as good a definition of Creativity that I can muster up. Creativity is nourishing at the soul level. 

Whenever I have a conversation about Creativity there is always someone who adamantly claims to not know Her at all. They usually throw their hands up in the air as they say, "I'm not creative in the least." Often, they appear either proud or embarrassed. 

It's silly to deny Creativity. 

She lives in the both sides of the brain. So whether you identify as right brain or left brain, She's there. Sometimes she works with Logic. Sometimes she works with Art. Sometimes she works with Both. 

She's not one to hide, although (for some) She is difficult to recognize. I think that's because society labels Her as Artsy, but (like all labels) that's wrong. Creativity is just as present in the single mother who figures out how to feed a family as She is in the artist who paints Angel Fish. She guides the CEO to build a profitable company as much as She guides the photographer to capture the perfect shot. 

How? She is Life Force, by another name. That's all. 

Our language has and continues to limit and separate us in ways we don't even realize. I wonder what would happen, could happen, if everyone just accepted their relationship with Creativity was what it is: purely individual, purely sacred, purely Divine. 

Where would that lead you? What would you do? 

96 words on anger management

Strip your mind clean of enemies, 
just call them people instead,
don’t offer them
the satisfaction of your anger
don’t let them feel your racing heart in their empty hands
don’t let them fill their voids
by creating one in you.

Love them instead.

Shower them with the blessings of the high heavens;
step out of your ancestors' matryoshka nest
and ask them to cradle these broken hearts instead.

Your fire is too precious to squander
in tugs of war not worthy of devotion,
love in God’s stead—
it’s precisely what you were born to do.