I’ve done a lot of living in my lovely little home here in the barn – yes Mother, I’ve been living in a barn for 3 years. But, at the end of October I’m going through that pink back door one last time. I am going on walk-about, a journey, a pilgrimage, a vision quest…
My soul sorting began seven years ago on the path to divorce. I was lost in the jungle in Saipan where we’d lived for over a year. There was a full moon and I was not afraid of being lost in the jungle; I was terrified of being alone in the world. That night I vowed to live open-heartedly, to not shut down, and not shut out all that lives and loves around and in me.
Wonderful friends supported me through my last 2 years in Saipan. Then, five years ago my son and his wife took me into their Seattle home to care for their new baby Zebedee and his 3-year old sister Phoebe. Three years ago we all moved to Bellingham where my oldest daughter Sally and her husband Keith also live. Zeb is beginning all day kindergarten and Phoebe is now in 3rd grade. In May I finished my doctoral dissertation titled One Can Hear Only With the Heart, A Map of Living Openheartedly. In July, I turned 68, with a diploma stating I’ve earned my Doctorate of Ministry in Wisdom Studies. I feel like a kid just set loose – but I’m setting out with purpose.
For many years friends and I have talked about what we’ll do when we have only Social Security income and yet desire active lives mending this torn world. There are models available throughout the country for people who have independent finances sharing land and decision making but not many for women (and others) with limited resources living in planned and sustainable community. I aim to visit those while exploring and discussing opportunities for cooperative and community living with friends and family across the United States.
But wait, there’s more. Recently I had my first cataract surgery and the second is scheduled for October 10. I see this clearing my vision as supporting my third eye of intuition. In the meantime I’m doing the work of emptying file cabinets and throwing out little scraps of paper, the lists of things to do I didn’t do, recipes I didn’t cook, and all the things I’ve saved in the “junk drawer.” Hopefully at the end of my life I’m saving my family the days of sorting and sifting and shaking their heads wondering why mom saved this; and saving myself that particular indignity.
Thomas Moore writes, “Aging brings out the flavors of a personality. The individual emerges over time, the way fruit matures and ripens.” I think of this as a distillation of myself. I am woman, watch my steam.