(There will be a lot of links to look at in today’s literary log)
As many of you know, if you have been reading my writing lately, I really do love being naked. I wrote about it here. And also here. There is a freedom in this. And a beauty of this. And, for me in this tree, an alignment to this. To the nature of it. To the stripped down, it-is-what-it-is, power in the roots that allows the tree to grow independent and strong. To the branches raw and uncovered and my arms and legs, skin and body uncovered, too.
I love this photo. It is the last of a series of many that were taken. I love them all. And I loved taking them. Rather having my dear friend take them after I dropped off my clothes in a pile on an outdoor yoga floor and climbed up onto the great and wild branches of this incredible tree.
I did this in Nicaragua.
I was in Nicaragua for five days. On a yoga retreat that was offered and honored by the extraordinary Tasha Marvin. She is also the dear friend who took the photo. You can find her here. The retreat was in partnership with an equally extraordinary organization called Paso Pacifico. You can find out more about them here.
I went on this yoga retreat in partnership with this amazing organization with my mom as my partner. I have no links for her but I do have a deep link to her. As her daughter. And also as her friend. And most recently as a supportive piece of a complicated puzzle that is stripping away her ability to remember language. Retrieving it and understanding it. It is an awful disease.
And so my mom went with me, on this trip. Rather, we went together on this trip.
There were many pieces to navigate on this trip with my mom.
There was the deep and necessary desire to immerse in the intention of this trip. To embrace the quietness of the beach and forest. To settle into the rhythm of yoga and breath that Tasha offered up to us with honestly and love. To stand, open and receiving, in nature. To take in the connection of soul and spirit that was so present in this beautiful country. To connect deeply and internally with self - separate from all other me’s that I am.
And along with all of this was the relationship with my mom.
Being in this space not just as just me but as me with her. The interaction as mother/daughter and those patterns that have been there for a long time. The interaction as adult women, together. And with these layers, the explaining where we were going and then where we were, again and again because part of the loss of language is a loss of comprehension and so where we were was not always clear. And where we were going and where we had just left was often times lost quickly. With this comes a shift away from mother/daughter and woman/woman to caring for my mom in a new way.
There was beauty in the repetition of it actually. Which I see more clearly now looking back at it, but which I felt in the rhythm of the words that were restated and then restated again. Whether as explanation of what was to come or as a reminder of what was right there in front of us, the words I often spoke, I spoke again and again and again.
This was most evident to me on our first night.
Paso Pacifico is an environmental not-for-profit organization and one of their main priorities - and the focus of our trip - are the sea turtles that would come up from the ocean and lay their eggs. Which they did on this first night that we arrived.
It was late. And we were tired. But still, after settling into our rooms, we took a long drive over uneven dirt roads to witness thousands of mothers, full with their babies, work their way up a dark and night beach to lay their eggs. And when my mother asked me, over and over again, what these creatures were called, turtle became a mantra for this moment of such power of focused intention that these mothers had for their task at hand.
And a reminder of all that mothers do, whether they are mothers or daughters or just women together.
There were many more times like this. That took me away from my just being in the moment so as to explain the moment to my mom. And again, this became part of the trip and of the relationship with my mom in this new place called Nicaragua and called Primary Progressive Aphasia, both.
For, just as I was in this space of connecting with source I was in this place of caring for my source, for the woman who made me. The juxtaposition of this is not lost on me. The bitter-sweetness of it was there even in those moments that were the hardest.
When this photo was taken of me in this tree my mother was not there. It was a time where she had chosen not to engage in the yoga that was offered but instead to be by herself in this now familiar place. Where once the walk from our cottage, set high above the ocean, to the main lodge where our meals were served, was challenging and difficult, as we neared the end of this trip my mom was able to move through the resort easily and with confidence.
And so we were not together for this photo of me in this tree.
She was off feeling the strength of her own roots of independence while I was here, nestled in - me in this tree.
Mother, Wife, Friend, Sister, Daughter, Dancer, Rower, Runner, Dog and Cat lover.