Today's post is like a page out of my journal. Just a moment to connect with you on a personal note. Behind the scenes and the beautiful photos, life is messy and hard. Heartbreaking, actually. What we all post on social media is only a little slice of our day.
What we don't share all the time are the difficult moments of parenting or homeschooling, the sometimes gruesome challenges of farming, the heartbreak of loss. But we all experience it. We all have that in common. To deny it would not be genuine. So here I am talking about it. Let's open the conversation together--it creates community. And we all need a place to belong.
In January I took a drive up a mountain road, one that I had been wanting to explore and one that had actually been tugging at me for a few weeks prior. It kept popping into consciousness when I had a quiet moment, when I felt the need to just be alone and connect with the forest. So one day after a sewing lesson, I found myself with a little time on my hands and drove up that road. It was cold. The little bit of snow on the bottom of the mountain had already dissolved, but as elevations got higher, the ground was covered in white. Icicles dripped from rock outcrops and I found myself gasping out loud at how beautiful it all was. I had the road to myself and all was quiet, except for the rush of the creek that ran alongside it. I rolled down my window to listen despite the cold.
When I got to the top I had to pull over. I knew I was where I had to be. A magnificent waterfall fell from higher up on the cliff and into the creek below. I scrambled down the bank to the water's edge and all my senses tingled. I could feel the energy. I could smell the crisp cold air and soil. The rush and gurgle of water spoke in it's own language as it flowed over rocks. The color of the water was mesmerizing. Rocks, tree roots, moss, all of it was just so overwhelmingly beautiful that it broke down a wall that I had been trying to dismantle for years. It was there to protect my heart of course. That's what we do when we experience trauma and pain. We protect our hearts any way we can. But in that moment, the wall crumbled and I was overcome with forgiveness for all that had happened in the past. Tears welled up in my eyes, not from sadness or pain, but for gratitude. I finally forgave.
Since that moment a few months ago, I have experienced more loss and more pain as some of you know. But with my heart now open, I have been able to truly feel it--and that's okay. With the wall down, my heart is able to heal. I can experience the grieving and let it go. It's an ongoing process, don't get me wrong. Surely I am still mourning and healing. But with an open heart other things are happening too. Opportunities are coming my way that couldn't get through because of my protective wall. It served it's purpose when I built it, but now it's time to let it go. And in doing so I made room in my life for more love, more positive experiences, more doors to open that were not accessible before, and to truly be present in my own healing. And I am truly grateful. For all of it-- the experience of becoming myself through the trauma, the experience of forgiveness, and the experience of gratitude. Thank you for listening and witnessing my process. I am grateful for you too.