We're back from the Meeting the Parents trip...and, as is bound to happen, I'm in that place of reflection, pondering things in my heart.
When I'm in this place, the above "Gathering Wisdom" bronze by Mark Hopkins speaks to my soul. She was the one I brought with me from the States to my new home here in The Netherlands. [She actually was one of three Mark Hopkins bronzes I had to choose from and you can see here why I chose to keep her.] She reminds me of what's important...and the work I must do to put the pieces of my puzzle together.
Speaking of which, my daughter's eyes were bigger than her stomach when she took a 2,000-piece jigsaw puzzle to the cabin with us for the long weekend. We all LOVE puzzles but with everything else we did, we were lucky to get all the border pieces found and put together. But that's a start and a lesson in life: Go find the edge pieces and set a frame/boundary around the image you're trying to create. The rest will follow.
Which reminds me of what Clarissa Pinkola Estés says in Women Who Run With the Wolves. We are the Wild Women, the strong, healthy Wolves, who know instintively and intuitively how to go out into the desert to collect our lost bones...to recover and resurrect them, breathe life into them, and sing over them. This "old woman" in each of us is The One Who Knows how to change and transform us, to keep our souls and tell our truths:
That's why we do all the things we do. It is the work of gathering all the bones together. Then we must sit at the fire and think about which song we will use to sing over the bones, which creation hymn, which re-creation hymn. And the truths we tell will make the song.
When we took grandson Nicholas (age 10) to the same Fair he's attended every year since age 2, I pondered how he still knows what rides he can and cannot ride. "No, G'ma. That one's still too scary." And I thought to myself, when did I lose that ability to say NO with such certainty to something I knew instinctively was not good for me!
This Wild Woman, by the way, also knows what needs to die and what needs to live inside of us. I'm noticing this with my children. I'm getting better about what to keep and what to let go. What to cry about and when to laugh. How to sing my own song, letting it resonate throughout me. MY song, not theirs. I ask myself, Where is my own voice? Is it out in the desert still buried or have I finally found it and breathed life into it? And if I have a song to sing, what is that song and does it make me alive once again?
Yes, I say. I do have a song to sing that comes from out of the depths of my wilderness journey. It resurrects me and makes me whole. I howl at the moon and see a way prepared before me.
If a woman holds on to this gift of being old while she is young and young while she is old, she will always know what comes next.