When my children were young, out chasing rose petals flitting about our lawn in early July, chasing dandelions even earlier in May, chasing lightening bugs during hot late summer nights, all the while tramping through the smallest of neighborhoods, but one that included a covered bridge and swimming hole beneath it, enough woods to spy a fairy, and a few kids to trade baseball cards with, I wondered, what would become of these little people? Would they love to dance as much as I do? Would they find beats that drove them to the clubs like I did when I heard Black Box or Madonna or other late 80’s dance sounds? Now, as they have grown into young adults, with passions and degrees, with loves and jobs, I am thrilled they have found joy on the dance floor. Little makes me as happy as sharing that space with them…staying alive and living life! Continue reading
Heading west on United we chased the sunset for hour after hour until the sprawling life below pixelated the blackness with a warm twinkling gold. My destination, Los Angeles, is a carnival of lights spreading in every direction; my time ahead equally shimmering, a whole week to play like a tourist. Normally, I only visit briefly with my kiddos but with a few extra days I not only experienced some favorites but several new spots too. In light of our notorious non-presidential Presidential candidate “suggesting walls at the border and shutting out entire groups of people, it is more important than ever to travel and connect with your fellow humans–whether they’re from Hamburg, Houston, or Havana. Travel is the antidote to fear” (Cosgrove, Editor in Chief, AFAR). Whether you visit the next town over, or the furthest from it, let your vantage be about adventure. Be fearless.
No one knows exactly how it happens, but it does. We spend an easy two decades just bopping around, flitting from idea to idea, from that self to this, sort of, kindly put, finding ourselves. Then we hit 30. That magical decade when we are found: Career, Spouse, Homeland. You know the drill. By your 30’s one is expected to know it all. By 30 I had three underfoot, a divorce pending, a new relationship and career underway, and a burning desire to write, write, and write some more; and so, while children grew, outgrew, and moved over and out, I kept at it. All of it. Before I knew it my 30 years had doubled.
Yoga is comprised of postures that either constrict your blood flow, your organs, and your muscles, or expand and stretch and release all those parts that make up the whole of you. By practicing these back and forth poses you create space in your body, mind, heart, and who knows, perhaps your soul. Just by reaching up while at the same time pressing down. Sort of miraculous. As often happens, these yoga ah ha’s penetrate my consciousness until I’m thinking about creating space in every area of my life. After such a long and constricted period, clearly, I surmised, it was time to fly away. So, I did just that.
Tonight I am traveling clear across the U.S. to see my three Cali kiddos. Why? Well besides the why the heck not, it’s time to get the party started! October is my birthday month, and as I intend to keep it as joyous as possible, clearly, being greeted by these smiles is the best way to start. Most of us, myself included, never find it easy to shift decades, to make the leap from one seemingly big number to another even BIGGER one, especially in our youth-celebrated and fearing-the-future culture. But in the spirit of all those fabulously daring women who were still dancing at their 80th, and have forged a colorful path ahead of me, I too plan to make an even bigger splash next year, and the one after that, until, well… I’ll be floating beyond all of this…
daily we are cautioned to embrace the journey. love the highs. learn from the lows. forget the destination. this is not easy. at least for me. I’m impatient. thrilled with the takeoff. headed somewhere. with the notion of arrival. it takes something big and awesome or small and stinging or something tenacious and afflicting to get me to stop this pursuit. the chase of the high. the push to get there already.
My fascination with Los Angeles began quite young, younger than I can pinpoint. But my first visit to the West Coast occurred the summer after I graduated from 8th grade. My parents sent me to spend the month of July with my aunt and uncle who lived in a LA suburb with two of their four children still at home. This was fairly common practice in a large extended family. A few years either I had been sent for a two week stay with relatives in Montreal. But this trip, to California, made me the envy of everyone I knew in New Jersey. I pictured myself an overnight surfer girl. Taller, leaner, tanner, practically living on the beach, basking in the sunshine. It was the assumption of everyone I knew that I would return with golden hair and honeyed skin (despite the fact that my hair was a deep auburn and had skin that only reddened under the sun). Instead of this fantasy, my days were quite mundane: I learned to sleep to noon, eat drive-through burgers, and in fact, spend hours driving, for nothing was close in sprawling Cali. Strip-malls were everywhere and really there were as far as my aunt and uncle’s cultural foray drove me. I stepped onto a beach once. After the month, despite my friend’s disappointment over my pasty complexion, I vowed to return to the indigo sky lined with tall palms and air perfumed with night-blooming jasmine. Even that one could glean from the backseat.