Wednesday, August 17, 2016

turning towards simplicity

While the calendar says otherwise, today marks the end of our summer. 

the thermometer also indicates summer still has us - and this poor bunny! - in her fiery grasp!

Today Cowgirl had a half day orientation at her new Middle School. Tomorrow is the official First Day.

Middle School.  Yes, I am clutching my heart as I type those words.  I am also trying my very best to remember that my middle school experience (level one of Dante's Inferno) has no bearing upon what her experience will be. 

Still. Cataclysmic changes here.  To mark the end of our summer break, the three of us went to see the movie Pete's Dragon.  It is an incredibly sweet, lovely movie.  It was especially wonderful as we were the only three people in the theater.  A private screening if you will for my dragon daughter. It is a gem of a movie in the vein of simple, uncluttered story telling with characters you immediately like It was so good the Girl overcame her initial resistance to a furry dragon with a dog-like nose.("Dragons have scales, not fur!")   Overwhelmed by all the nostalgia - end of summer, dragons, little boy happily living wild in the woods - I cried several times. I thought I was sneaky about it, but at the end of the movie my girl outed me. "I heard you crying mom."

Yes, a computer generated dragon brought me to tears. Or rather, it was the moment when Pete, the little boy, separated from his dragon woefully cries "I want to go home!" and then howls like a wolf lonely for his pack.  The emotion of that moment brings me to tears right now. Because the pain of such immense longing touches a tender space of longing within me.

I want to go home. Who hasn't longed to return to the place and time when life felt simpler? When love was clear and connection unquestioned?  I watched my newly minted preteen staggering under the weight of a backpack loaded with school supplies making her way towards a middle school that I swear looked ready to swallow her up. In that moment I wanted nothing more than to whisk her back to age 2 ... to the summer cottage where I bathed her every morning in the kitchen sink (there was only an outdoor shower.) 

I want to go back to the time when my mother bathed me in the kitchen sink of a different summer cottage. 

Of course nostalgia and memories tidy away the confusion and chaos.  But such simplicity can be a practice and every day I have a choice to turn towards it.  Pete's dragon  can make himself invisible. He chooses to reveal himself to those whose hearts allow them to see the dragon for who he really is: not a dangerous monster but a loving, playful and loyal friend. 

The world feels crazy right now ... it seems like the way forward requires making choices that require sacrificing our dreams or ideals.  In the movie (spoiler alert!) we imagine Pete faces a  similar fate. He cannot stay with his dragon in the woods and so it seems he will have to  leave that world behind. Except ... he doesn't. He can have both worlds: the human family he misses and the relationship with his dragon - his best friend - Elliot. 

I am determined to create that life for myself and for my family; I am determine to see how I can stay in the simplicity of summer the whole year round. Feeding our dreams every day and every day living in the space of dreams manifesting: that is something I choose to embrace, I choose to feed.  Reconnecting each day with what truly matters and letting go of the internal clutter that confuses or distracts me is part of my practice.  And through practice - whether it be meditation, chanting, painting, running, patio daydreaming - I strengthen the connection between heart, intuition and imagination. 

In our family, we see dragons. I am determined to keep it that way. 


  1. ha! i cried when i watched the *trailer* for that movie when we went to see The BFG. not even kidding. it was a scene where The Authorities were trying to catch Eliot or somesuch and my heart shattered into a thousand pieces. hormonal? perhaps. but mostly it just zeroed right into the whole dream-slayer vibe with which i'm doing a perpetual two-step these days.

    we see dragons too. or, at least, i do....and star-boy....girl-child wants to admit she sees them, but is just so afraid sometimes. but that's a mother's heartbreak for a different day.

    big love to you, darling Lisa -- you're one of the true-blue magic-keepers. xoxoxo

    1. Ah, I was thinking of you as I was snorfling in the dark! I was thrilled to be able to lean over and whisper to my girl her wisdom "Dragons help, not harm." Please let your girl-child know we here are keeping the faith, holding the line if-you-will and that she is not alone. We know too well how wearying it is in a world of nay-sayers BUT our hearts are true and strong and so is hers and yours! Band of sisters, right? xo

  2. That "home" place. Several years ago, I found that home is what we make it, of course this knowledge ebbs and flows. I have been looking at that again, in limbo, home is adventuring for me. I hope to stepping into another one soon, but this time sharing it with the family. I love your idea of creating each day with the simplicity of summer. Wishing you the best! Congratulations to your girl, may she shine!! xoxo

    1. "Home is adventuring for me" I LOVE it! Yes, it ebbs and flows and it is so disorienting to "wake up" one day and realize I have drifted away from a sense of home. But that is the practice and the joy, right? Returning again and again. xo