We have been in Colorado for the last week and a half. For the first few days, we were exploring the mountains and creeks around Telluride and for the last 5 days we have been in Beaver Creek at a Suzuki Institute that Eider is attending. Tomorrow is our last full day. It has been amazing. On so many levels. I notice myself pausing from time to time just in total and absolute awe of this magical and charmed childhood that our children are having.
And, I am ready to go home. I am ready to dig in the dirt a bit more around our place and see how much our chicks have grown. I'm ready to have all of the parts of our family together, if even for a short time. And I am ready to feel into my own rhythm with a bit more attention right now.
You see, I have been feeling very quiet. Like I am a bit uncertain about how I proceed from this particular point in my life. In many ways, it has been brilliant for me to escape into the momentum and thrill of family adventure with my people. It has provided me with a little bit of pause from the question being begged. I am starting to understand that that question is begged of most mothers who have experienced pregnancy loss. I would love to get past the question. Or get through it perhaps? So, it has been great to get a break from it for a bit, but now I am ready to return to my own work with a little more attention.
Before we had left for our trip, I was taking refuge in 3 things. Plants, Bikram, and Dark Chocolate. I was planting tons of perrenials. Like, really, at least a plant a day. Which is interesting for 2 reasons. The first is that I have never had a very pronounced interest in planting non-edible foods. In other words, I am a vegetable gardener. To varying degrees every year, I plant seeds or starts that will grow into things that I can harvest, prepare and consume. Sure, I have planted some flowers, but typically of the annual variety. Which leads to the second reason: they are perrenial! Like as in, something that may not even take shape for several years to come. I have been busy putting down some more tangible, physical roots. Which, for anyone who knows me has not been the case since we moved from rural sw Wisconsin to a small town proximal to a big (for me!) city 3 years ago. And it is true. I do feel myself rooting there. I love my house. I love our neighborhood. I love the way the whole of my quasi-urban little yard and home seem to breathe with us through the seasons. (I remember noting quietly to myself on one especially verdant spring day that I feel as if the plants are talking to me. Maple, just as much to herself as my comment had been for me said: I always feel that way. A comment, which in I would argue, totally sums her up.)
The Bikram practice has been an obvious- to me- place in which to retreat. Because lets just face it, it is so fucking hot in there that the only place to put your attention in on survival. Basic, raw, human, survival. That is such a draw to me in that practice. All I have the capacity to do in the Hot Room is simply the very next thing. No lists, no real judgements, small and relative expectations. Just me and the pose and the sweat and sometimes even the grief. And that is the incredible part. I am suffering in there too hard to even try to do anything with the grief. No answering questions, no making a plan, no rationalizations. Just the shitty, ragged, and ugly truth of the whole thing. 90 minutes later, I stand my soaking body up and walk out of the room and in that moment I am beautiful. Cleansed and Shining and Empty. My pity party lessened a bit and my mind quiet within the expanse of my own honest humanity. It doesn't hurt my practice either- but those are some thoughts for another day.
A few weeks ago I was in a class with a local teacher whom I adore. He might have even just in passing said the word forgiveness and I immediately plugged into something with my kids. There are all sorts of virtues that we learn from becoming parents. Some of them are so totally cliche. Like forgiveness. But not forgiveness of myself you see. I had not considered that particular teaching from my children before. Sure, I have learned by virtue of being their parent that I hold within me a vast and infinite well of forgiveness for them as they stumble through their own becoming. But I am only just now beginning to consider forgiving my own self in the ways that I forgive them, and that they -on an even a bigger and more profound level- always forgive me. Of my short comings. Of my mistakes. Of the ways that I botch my job with them. No questions asked. Just total and complete and absolute forgiveness. If I afforded myself even a fraction of what we give to each other like that, of what they so freely give to me, unconditionally, I might begin in both small and huge ways, to work myself through this next question of my own becoming.
And, then, dark chocolate. Because, well, of course.