There is so much darkness arising in the world – I cannot say that I pay much attention to headlines or politics, but I am not entirely ignorant of the things that are happening in my country. In the midst of everything happening around me, I have found myself wandering in the afternoon and getting lost in thoughts of things I haven’t lit on for almost a year. I have lost – and found – myself so many times over the years, and it is time I regain that connection with myself.
It was the dry season on the central coast of California when my mother packed the car up and took me down the coast to Big Sur – crashing waves to the west and the sound of the waterfall thundering to the east filled my ears and the promise of exploring one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen excited me. Our hike was steep and difficult for my small body, but being with my mother out in nature fuelled the experience. Once at the top of the hill that we had challenged ourselves with climbing, I looked out over… clouds. There was a sea of white and grey clouds stretching out forever before me, and I could see nothing below them. We were so high in the hills that the world was wrapped in the foggy blanket.
I felt alive, on top of that hill. I felt complete. I felt all of the energy of the world held within the cradle of the cliffs and ocean that I knew was below us. I felt the divine energy of the universe around me. I was surrounded by the dry, golden grass that grew on the hill – but, even though the life seemed to have been taken away from the ground, I knew that it was still there. I felt the heartbeat of the land, the breath of the wind whispering and speaking wisdom to my young soul.
My mother’s lessons on the divine were simple back then – spending time in nature was how she taught me about spirituality. They were profound lessons, and I will never forget any of them because of their simplicity. I knew that I was connected to the world around me, and I knew the truth that my soul spoke.
I have often wondered where (and when) the disconnect between who I am now, and who I was then, occurred. It has always saddened me that I am this cynical, unbelieving adult when I was such a free-spirited child. During a recent meditation to find the answer to those exact questions, I learned the answer.
Once my mother had started teaching me about the divine, I began paying attention to those around me and their beliefs – I wanted to learn as much as I could about this connection I had with the energy around us. During Sunday school (my mother was very open and supportive of my learning about different belief systems), I let slip my experiences with the divine. When asked what belief system we practised at home, I was honest with the teacher and told her that my mother was a Witch (my mother’s label for herself). I was shunned and attacked for this, and began to believe that my personal experiences with the divine were wrong. It was a painful experience to have at such a young age, to be taught not to listen to my soul, to the wind and the waves and singing of thunder on the horizon. Everything that had once been so familiar to me was beginning to darken, to appear false. Since that day, in Sunday school, I have struggled with my soul, with my connection to the divine. I have fought against the pull on my heart to dance in the rain and sing songs to flowers.
It is time for me to reclaim myself, my soul – to relearn how to listen to myself and reconnect with the energy of the universe, with the divine. I am terrified that, once I open myself, I will no longer know what is what in my life. I am terrified of the changes that I know this process will bring about, but at the same time, I am ready to come home to my soul. I have missed the connection I once had to the divine.
The women on my mother’s side taught me to trust my intuition, to listen to my soul – my soul has always known what is right. From a young age, a curiosity for the unknown was fostered in me, and I am working on bringing those magical aspects back into my life. It is the little things, the simple things – like a single tree blooming when the breeze still chills the bones, bringing the inspiration of Spring to the world despite Winter’s desire to keep the land prisoner.