For whatever reason I saw fit to pull at least 4 very old to me books off my book shelf this morning and began to look at them. So interesting what meant a really lot to me long ago and what can still resonate today.
The books are: Hugh Prather’s 1970 book Notes to Myself
Elizabeth Kubler-Ross 1991 On Life After Death
Dorothy Dinnerstein 1976 The Mermaid and the Minotaur
Anne Morrow Lindbergh 1955 Gift From the Sea
Words/ideas of today were words and ideas of my mid years. It was all new to me then. New, exciting, freeing, and contributed highly to my marriage ending. I didn’t know how to see myself as a strong woman searching for words that made sense to my growing and stretching head and heart and bring a frightened and reluctant husband along with me. I was barely strong enough to get myself through the Women’s Movement, possibly sending sons off to Vietnam, racial turmoil, much less explain myself to my husband who had his own disturbing inner tsunami.
Today, in my 8th decade, I look back on the ’60’s, ’70’s, ’80’s and ’90’s with wonder and awe. 40 years of adventure, exploration, vision, dreaming, optimism and fear, believing we could make a difference. And maybe we did……yes, we did make a difference. Mostly what I can speak of with any insight at all is how those years affect who it is I am today.
If I had not, in my own way, fought for a place for myself in the world as a woman, I would have died. And I knew that. I called myself emotionally dying. I could not have continued to live the life that felt stifling and stunting to me. If I had not fought my way through the morass that was my life then, I would never have made it to Canada; I would never have known Clo and we could not have shared our life with my children and grandchildren, I would never have had the thriving private practice I have so boldly and gladly created. My dear Canadian friends and colleagues and neighbours and clients would never have been known to me. And I probably would not have seen Phantom of the Opera live on stage with 11 of my loved ones at Christmas time.
Such a loss that would have been. My full, rich, triumphant life. I rejoice as I prepare to gather together all that has been built here over 25 + years, nearly 30, and make into one piece that I can put in my pocket of life and carry into my wooded condo community in Michigan. I needed to leave the US. I need to return. I hope from the very deepest possible part of my soul that I am strong enough to return and that I have something to offer that might help make sense, provide comfort, give some words and hope to my US companions.
We had good and important ideas back then. I needed a respite….an escape. I needed to find a sanctuary and I happily found it in my life in Toronto. I found love here and succour. I grew professionally and personally. I like who I have become. I brought her with me when I left my US home and she thrived and bloomed. I love that I have named my business Blooming Relationships. Exactly. That is what I sculpt and shape and bless and hold in my arms and with my hands: the wonder of a meadow full of wildflowers that can surround each of us as we take root and find our place in life.
My words have changed somewhat over the years. My ideas have become more solid and clear. I return ripened, wiser, richer, way more transparent, and possibly even braver than I was when I left. I am excited about possibilities and curious about what is on offer. I welcome the unknown.