Autumn colours in BC

Reconnecting with yourself, sometimes years after trauma, is the ultimate freedom. That I can promise you! Several people have asked me what I do every day?  Who knows!  Seriously, I don’t think I’ve ever worked so hard. This is my time to reconnect with myself.  Today is my freedom, after running flat out for years just to keep afloat.  At 18 most of my friends were out dancing or travelling the world.  Now it’s my turn!

I’m writing too – hoping that something I discover may be useful to someone? I’m even writing in this foul-smelling ‘dog room’ on BC Ferries – a big improvement over ten years ago when dog owners had to survive freezing temperatures and stinking exhaust fumes. But still not great.

Beautiful eyes, taking in the whole world around them

I’m taking in every detail of everything… My grandson’s beautiful clear eyes, for example.  I’m soaking up every minute of every day after a lifetime of feeling as though my life was spinning like a merry-go-round at high speed. Merry-go-rounds are fun, but you can have too much of a good thing. I love this pace.

On a good day I spend time with friends or share a cup of tea in my Mom’s warm sitting room, surrounded by the majestic snow-capped Rockies. And I’m trying to sell my truck and get myself ready to leave again – which involves a lot of washing and polishing!

Carl polishing my camper
Thanks for polishing my camper Carl

I’ve cleaned up and sold my camper – I loved it but it was too small to live in. The truck carrying the camper was great too. But… Near Hope there’s a tempting place called Jones Lake, offering free camping by a pristine lake. Once on the twisting, steep, gravel road, there’s no turning round until the very top when, soaked with fear, I came straight down. Only go there if you’re a teenager looking for thrills and adventure! My truck was brilliant and saved my life.  Not so helpful has been my GPS, acting up too and sending me down tiny roads where trees brush the top of my camper or to copper mines out in the wilderness? Not sure what’s going on?

Mentor Mahmud Nestman, author of Trust Oriented Therapy
Mentor Mahmud Nestman, author of Trust Oriented Therapy

Some days I go for a walk on Cadboro Bay beach – where a huge black crow guarding his patch had Oreo cowering the other day!  Nature is amazing? I love this beach, covered in logs and waves lapping the pebbles. A kind of browny-green – or even fluorescent lime green – some days, thick with weed or algae. It was here I would ponder everything I was seeing, and remember the wise words of my guru and mentor Mahmud Nestman “Trust your self for you have all the answers you will ever need”.  I hugged those words to myself for years before I started to truly trust myself. Thank you Mahmud.

Mom, Carl and a visit from Ben
Mom, Carl and a visit from Ben

In Texas I spent hours walking on sandy beaches, where there were tons of birds (including pelicans) and it was hot (compared to BC) and sunny.  Yes, there’s the exploring and travelling angle but mostly the hours and hours spent walking beaches was to ‘reset’ me? Time…

Tragically the beaches, away from the tourist path, were littered with old garbage. Barges full of garbage were ‘sold’ to Mexico by the US and dumped miles off the coast in The Gulf of Mexico which is now washing up daily and littering otherwise pristine beaches. Stupid what we humans do. And very sad. Maybe this is what I did with my emotional garbage too so that I could get through the years when my family was young?

Beaches are big for me. I love the rocking rhythm of the waves and cry of the gulls, something about the water and the colours and the sand? All over the world I’m drawn to beaches! In Cadboro Bay nature looks so unspoiled: there’s part of a tree with big spiky roots sitting on the sand, looking like a pulled molar; white and grey clouds chasing each other across a blue sky; today is warm – so long as you’re sitting right in the sun; and my old dog is acting like a puppy again on her Amazonian herbs, getting sand on her nose.

Camper in a shambles after the Jones Lake fiasco
Camper in a shambles after the Jones Lake fiasco

Now we’re home – at our friend’s home… I miss having my home…  We parked between piles of orange and red leaves and shiny nut-brown conkers. Oreo’s sleeping soundly, curled up tightly in her beddy, exhausted by the day and the stress of a bath! I take my own long bubble bath and look forward to an evening of dancing.

Slowly, over the last year, the world has stopped spinning out of control – for the first time since 1984. I still lose complete hours and days sometimes – they just melt away? These days, time matters less. Or more?

Major road yet barely wide enough with branches brushing the roof
Major road to Sooke with barely wide enough with branches brushing the roof

I spend a lot of time watching all the people around me. Traumatic pasts wreak such havoc for years. Generations? It’s so important to find a balance between withdrawing into a shell and saving (pretty smart) and struggling to carry on as normal, but at great cost. I’ve seen so many extremes. It’s important to find a balance… If you can. When you can. Important to stop life from ‘spinning’ – because it feels so good.

The weather is getting colder and I’m finally thinking of leaving and sitting on a beach somewhere warm, getting my websites organized. It’s been a lovely summer of spending time with family and friends – so lovely it’s hard to leave. As my son said today, “What’s the rush? Go when you’re ready. So what if it snows?” That’s a new thought for me?  I’ve always dreaded the cold so it will be a new experience for me to ‘let it be’? Or at least not hate it so much?!

Indoor carwash in Calgary - thank you Dan for cleaning my truck
Indoor carwash in Calgary – thank you Dan for cleaning my truck

Went to a great GNM seminar at the Sands Hotel in Vancouver – and out to Rooster’s while I was there. Lovely to be with other GNMers – another tribe – so good to see my friends. Dancing was fun too!

Off to Calgary on the heels of a big snow storm in Calgary and eastwards. The mountains to the west were clear and the truck ran like a dream – and sold the next day.  When I arrived, having driven straight through from Vancouver to Calgary, I was exhausted but met by all my sons, my daughter-in-law, my grandson and my little grand-daughter. Words can’t explain how I felt – completely safe and wrapped up in their love and strength.  Priceless. Oreo’s not so keen though! There’s no grass to be seen and she’s constantly shivering!

The familiar dislike of winter doesn’t seem to be there in me?  I must find a car so I can go out dancing and celebrate?!

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