Early in November, I was part of a wonderful retreat at Ghost Ranch in Abiqu, New Mexico. Here are a two short musings from those days. BLR
Very early before the sun came up this morning, I heard the words of the poet David Whyte in my mind:
sometimes everything has to be inscribed across the heavens so you can find the one line already written inside you.
The great sky is always above us and things --many things--maybe everything, is discoverable there; whether I'm in Indiana, or my family farm in Ohio, or on top of Mount Monadnock in New Hampshire, or standing on the Carolina shore or in the Cullins on the isle of Skye. Here I am in New Mexico-clearly with another opportunity and in another place where the veil between worlds feels thin: where earth world, underworld, and sky world meet up and beckon me. Walking the ground today I felt something rise to greet me--maybe it was the ancestors, my spirit guides, or maybe it was my own awakening life force. I think I'll just listen for messages and weave whatever poetic threads I can from the fibers of this experience. Today I followed my feet with my eyes and the line of the rocky path below as it rose in front of me to meet the sky. It takes a great sky I thought, to find the one line. It takes a curious calling to set foot to path--and resolve to remember to breathe and look up.
My daughter, Harper comes to me with a dream: tells me she was visited by an older sister, or someone who declared herself such. The dream visitor is an accomplished young woman, pre-med, following in her father's footsteps, absolutely holding a position of older sibling authority over her. “How old was she?” I ask. “Maybe two years older than me,” she says, and the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. “What were you feeling in the dream?” I ask. ”Mostly displaced, like I didn't have first position any longer, it was scary, uncomfortable enough to wake me up.” She tells me this and my eyes well, as much for her discomfort and sense of displacement as for my own sense of what never was, the promise of a baby lost in an early second trimester almost two years before Harper was born.
Each living sister has a ghost sister. They've never visited me in my dreams, so I'm curious and moved by how they might show up as guides for my daughters. They know the facts, our girls, about our years of waiting and those mid-way pregnancy losses, but will never know the ways I mourned or the ways those losses shook something profoundly in me--unmooring me from my body in ways I’m still trying to heal, more than 25 years later.
Life simply goes on. It does and it did. Am I envious of Harper's dreamtime visitation? It's been so many years and my living daughters continue to be my greatest work and love. My glass is and always has been more than half full, so my mood and these words today scratch out only part of the story. What breaks through in the raw dryness of this mesa air, in the vast expanse of this spirit-filled sky, is today's deep sadness for all that promises to be and never is. For all that passes through me, unseen, unheard from again..., for the hard lessons of growing up that my young adult daughters face and on some elemental level, face alone. And which I too... understand this moment in some fundamentally poignant way, as the long journey of growing up to learn how much loss is just love passing through.
BLR for the Poplar Grove Muse 12/7/14