Friday, September 13, 2013. I am in one world. I am moving to the next one. That is how I see death of the body and transition of the soul. But I am not dying, at least not physically. I am leaving one world of the glorious high desert on the American-Mexican border. I am heading toward my daughters and my two very young grandsons who live in a city on land so flat a marble cannot roll.
North. I am moving very far north where predatory winters lie in wait. But not for long. POUNCE and HOLD. I know those winters. I left those winters.
I don’t write here currently because all I can do is repeat myself. There is much about this place here that I deeply love, yet it is all material. Mountains and plants. Trees and flowers. The colors of the soil. The shape of the rocks. My home. My garden. My physical freedom in the warmth so many months of each year.
What is love?
I write. I pause. I sew. I ponder. Or, even while not pondering have thoughts appear and sometimes insights….
In a recent telephone conversation with my oldest brother he commented that of the four of us older siblings who were actively involved in the Alaskan mountain homesteading when we were young children (there are two younger brothers who were not), all four of us not only love to garden, landscape and spend all the time we can out-of-doors, we have a RELATIONSHIP with the earth itself.
Of the six children in our family it was solely me who was the focus of the psychotic, pathological, mentally ill terrible abuse by our mother. Solitary confinement and forced isolation were a great part of the 18 years of my abusive childhood. I have always been very clear that it was my relationship with the place of Alaska and our homestead in particular that saved me. Any moment I could escape Mother’s hell and exist outside on the land I was in heaven. But that attachment was nothing like ordinary.
This came to me in thoughts as I was just sewing bags to take to sell at Saturday’s local farmers’ market. It is likely that the attachment I have to this glorious high desert place is not an ordinary one, either. I and the land have grown together. It is a surgical process that is separating me from it.
I grieve for Alaska, for our homestead and I will grieve for the incredible beauty of this place. (I have lived in Fargo and in that area before and I could not find beauty there. My soul has craved beauty for as long as I can remember.)
If I had the finances I would live a different life. Certainly I could travel frequently to visit my family. Destiny and poverty – coupled with my trauma-related disabilities – seem to be determining the direction of my life – yet again.
These translate into spiritual concerns for me. I KNOW it is the spirit of life that matters and not its material forms. PLACE is, as is body itself, a mere practicality for the work of soul in this material life.
The real work for me right now is to let go of my attachment – my deep and abiding attachment – to this place.
Yes I believe humans are designed to have a reciprocal relationship with their environment – even to love it. But we are a social species. Given safe and secure early attachment relationships with our caregivers we bond – and forever after CAN bond – with humans FIRST. When we lack these physiological abilities in our body due to severely traumatic earliest life we struggle all of our lives to find balanced attachment relationships.
My powerful bond with the earth cannot be limited to certain places. I need to grow bigger than that. I am still growing up!
Simply put I have reached a point in my life at 62 where I know if I do not leave here to live near my family I will die of loneliness. True, the earth here would dispassionately accept my remains. I can, at this time of my life, have better than that premature sad ending.
I am fortunate there are people in my life who love and cherish me and WANT me in their lives. I leave this glorious yet dispassionate place to go offer my love to them and to accept theirs for me.
Yet on the level of my emotions life has never been clear or simple. I have to FEEL what it FEELS like to be alive and living through all of these changes.
One month from today I will be in Fargo and all of this leaving-transition process will be history. A part of me is afraid that I won’t recognize myself when I get there. In the most important ways – I will. In the material ways I feel I will be starting my life all over again. It’s too much to feel most of the time. Too much to think about. So – back to the sewing I go!
Yet I cannot help but grieve that I will not be here next spring to watch the tiny praying mantis – being placed so carefully right now by their mothers in hard cocoons in safe places in the garden – chew their way out to help one another climb the gossamer threads to begin another season’s life here in this place I love.
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