The shift into winter and anticipation of the New Year always pulls me deep into creation mode. Maybe it’s the change in rhythm at work as the students prepare for winter break or an innate desire to hibernate. Either way, this is one of my favorite times of year.
I have a few bits and pieces of the projects I’ve been working on to share with you this month before taking a little break to reflect on the year and make space for new energy in 2019. (Vibrant, masterful, sacred, magical…it’s gonna be the best year yet!)
The piece I’m sharing today comes from the book I’m working on now, Love, Child. Love. The title came to out of nowhere this summer while journaling. There I was, minding my own business, not even trying to write, write and the words love child love flowed through me with such ease that I couldn’t not follow them. I use those very words to invoke the muse each time I sit down to work on this book. Watching it unfold into an epic-poem-meets-fable has been a truly magical experience.
This is an excerpt from a longer dream sequence that opens the book. It’s inspired by my inner child.
Having children helped me remember pieces of me that I hadn’t paid attention to for decades. Singing, dancing, drawing are part of my everyday life now, and I’d forgotten that they could be.
The more open I become, the more that sweetest piece of me rises to the surface. Learning to embrace that little girl in me has made all the difference in my life.
As I wrote this piece, I imagined what it would be like to meet my daughter in a clearing and tried to offer my inner child that same love. I have to admit, it felt strange to do this, and I think that’s precisely what makes it so healing.
How’d it become so strange for us to give ourselves the same love we’d give a child in our care?
My children helped me see this piece of me, and my wish for you reading this is that it inspires you to check in with your inner child. Once you’ve read it, please do reply and let me know: what does this passage mean to you?
The sweetest piece of me.
Pine and birch surround me on all sides.
I wind my way through branches and trunks. I can’t see more than a few feet ahead. There’s no path, but I feel certain of the way. I’m drawn ahead, over roots, under branches.
The woods give way to a clearing, and I enter a field of tall grass and wildflowers. The sun shines on me as I emerge from the shadows. I stop, cupping my hand over my eyes as they adjust to the light.
I’ve never seen such vivid colors. Brilliant jewel-toned flowers sway in a verdant ocean. The air is alive with wild bird songs.
Someone approaches across the field. It’s too far to make out any details, but I see that it’s a child. What’s a child doing out here all alone?
I walk toward the child, worried they may be lost.
A few steps closer, I see it’s a young girl. Six, maybe seven. She walks toward me.
I wave, and she waves back.
As we get closer, I notice that my cheeks are wet with tears. My heart races. I know her.
She breaks into a run toward me, and I’m surprised to find that I’m running, too.
I drop to my knees when we meet. I can’t breathe.
She throws herself into me. Her small arms wrap themselves through mine. She’s small and warm, her hair smells of strawberry shampoo.
“I thought I’d never see you again.” The words escape through my tears.
Her eyes are wet, but she smiles at me.
“You remember?” she asks.
“How could I ever forget the sweetest piece of me?” My words float between us, dancing with the motes and dandelion seeds.
We sit between the shade and the sun and warm our backs. It feels like time has stopped, but the day must have gone on. We inch forward little by little as the tree’s shadow stretches out before us.
She tells me about who she’d like to become one day. I just listen. I watch her twist her hair through nimble fingers. The ruffle of her dress flutters in the breeze, and she taps her feet together to music that only she can hear.
She falls quiet and looks up at me, tilting her head to the side. “Why’d you go?” she asks.
“I thought that’s what growing up was,” I say. My voice cracks, and I wipe away another tear.
She looks at me, eyes wide.
“But you’re a grown-up.”
“Yes,” I laugh.
“Are you sad?”
“No, sweetheart. I couldn’t be happier than I am right now.”
“I was afraid. But that was before.”
“This, I think,” I say gesturing to the open field before us. “It’s so wide and open, there’s nowhere to hide.”
She shrinks beside me and grabs my hand.
“But I found something that makes me brave again. Do you know what that is?”
She shakes her head.
I watch her, and she watches me. The crickets let us know that night is on its way.
“I’m so sorry,” I say as we stand up and brush grass and leaves from our legs.
I am free now
in this dream.
Do not wake me yet.