It has been a time of many firsts. The first of my children - who happens to also be the firstborn of my children - getting married. A huge first in so many ways. A setting of the stage for this next stage when my children do not just move away from the nest but truly begin to build nests of their own. Far away from mine and with only room for two right now.
I thought I had it all together about this first. My son has loved this beautiful woman for many years, and many years before that, too. As have we all. And so I thought I had already moved into this new phase of my life that occurs as my children move into these new phases of their own lives. But I haven't. This marriage triggered in me great loss along with deep joy. A truly palatable shift took place in an instant. I was unaware that it was coming and was surprise to find that I am not prepared.
But as with all things, each day settles me deeper to this understanding that this passage of time and life and love is just as it should be. And the choosing of a path that turns my children outward from the home that my husband and I created for them is just as I had hoped. And as I had nurtured. And though I know that we are a formidable family unit - big in personality, with energy that runs high, I have reinforced to each of my children that breaking from me is what is good and right and I wish that for them all.
Still it is hard.
Now is also the first time that I danced on a Friday night Dance Tribe. Santa Barbara Dance Tribe meets every Sunday morning and lifts my spirit as the music and motion grounds my body into the earth. I love this dance. And once a month, on the first Friday of each month, these lovely dancers also spin and swirl together. I have been meaning to go for some time now but it never unfolded. Or, in truth, I never made it a priority to get myself there. Until this past Friday. My birthday. That the beginning of my new year would fall on a night of dance made sense and I knew it was time to join my fellow dancers.
My daughter went with me. We have danced together at Dance Tribe before. And so we did on this night. In sweet and graceful movements and heartfelt holding. And at the end of the night, after we - all the dancers now warm from movement - stood in circle and honored each other and the time spent together, my daughter announced that it was the day of my birth and could I be lifted. A Dance Tribe tradition. And so I soon found myself held up by all the other sweet souls and carried round the room. The weight of my body draped against many hands, my heart filled with love. A light shined bright from within me. I could feel it.
I had a first hike, with just myself and my dog, up Horn Canyon. Up to where the stream fell over the rocks to make a small waterfall. I had been up Horn Canyon before. With my husband all the way to the pine tree grove. And with my dog once before but only to the second of three water pools. But this time we made it to where the water fell sweetly over the rocks and trunks of trees that had fallen. It was cool in the shade. And moist. My dog drank fully of the water there before we turned back down the mountain trail. You can see in the photo where she drank from a pool as I made my way across small stepping stones that challenged my balance.
And it is the first time I have taken a trip for no other reason then because I can. Yes, I have been away before but always for a purpose. A designated destination so to speak. A specific reason for the journey and so there was an intention, a goal, a reason. And so there were parameters put upon the trip that gave it structure and substance.
Not this time. And though I have a plan - to eat pea soup at Anderson's in Beullton, and drink good wine at Foxen Vineyards - the going away is purely a going.
I am conflicted in this being away. A part of me wants to be home. I miss my dog. I missed her the minute I dropped her off at the daycare where she boards. And I miss the familiar. Where I get my coffee. And my gas. Where I eat and where I walk and the rhythm that is my day.
I can see sometimes how people can reach a place where they don't want to leave their house. There is a safely in the familiar that can become so necessary that moving away from that becomes impossible. I have had moments like this. Not many. But some.
And this gives me pause. For this missing - of my dog and my shoes and my everyday days - when I explore it, this missing feels like fear.
I will look at this more. While I am away on this trip. And see where it takes me. I have a feeling I will find that the understanding of why it is hard to be away lives in the same place where It is hard that my children move away.
The balance of this makes sense to me. Alas, a writing for another day...