The plum blossoms and magnolia blooms are stunning this year! I find myself between worlds, seduced by their innocent beauty, and the quiet promise of another fire season ahead. I dwell between these worlds often, grieving for present and future time. I was like this before becoming a mom, but it's certainly amplified now that the "next generation" is in my arms.
My son Shaye's eyes are healed (after a 9 month illness and surgery in November), and shortly after a baby I was expecting in July became an angel. Life really is just, all the things. The ol' "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger" idea has really been working for me ;-)
It seems, between the brokenness and the mending, is our life...
We are loving this gorgeous essay on the nature of the Winter Solstice, and return of holidays to "holy days". Thank you Michael Meade for your inspirational thinking }
So grateful for one of our long time girls sharing a piece of one of her college essays - about her years in girls group! What a gift, on so many levels.
The first year I started attending I hardly talked, instead preferring to listen to the other girls’ stories and let the lessons they've learned wash over me until I learned them, too. Sometimes, though, I felt compelled to share my own stories. Each time I shared, I'd been bottling up my thoughts long enough that I knew how to articulate them when I started speaking. This taught me the art of listening deeply, and how it can create better empathy and connection. I also learned from others in the group that when I articulated my own stories in a vulnerable way, it encouraged the others to be vulnerable, too. Before that, I didn't know that I could empower others to be their true selves just by being authentic myself...
Though I adored tender and silly moments with these incredible women, and swimming naked in a cold river on a true Summer day, my favorite part of the whole adventure was the soundscape of the Appalachian mountains at night. Something about the wet heat, the stars, the woods and creek, and the overpowering symphony of nocturnal singers - it was like retreating to a safe rainforest. I remembered my first conversation with my now husband, when he told me his greatest passion was "listening" (swoon!) and about his interest in finding places in this world where one could listen to an uninterrupted soundscape. It was sweet to remember our "beginning", worlds away.
Departing and still upon return, I find myself in close quarters with grief. Grief about how over-full life is. Grief about finally committing to weaning, of that rushed airport morning being his last "num num" for the rest of his life. Grief about everyone I love aging, and time passing. Grief about how much precious time has been lost to fear, worry, managing. Grief about violence on all levels and the state of the world. I wished to leave all that grief behind, then in classic "Emily" style found myself holding space for others to grieve. Though I left those mountains feeling so, so blessed, I still left with grief close by, like an overly friendly shadow always by my side.
I am lucky enough to...
At first glance, it may seem like today’s young people have it pretty good... everything available instantly at the touch of a button. But is this high-tech world causing more stress than it’s curing? Take a look at some of the reasons that teens are so anxious.
Why Is Generation Z So Stressed Out, Paradigm Malibu
Why 90% of Generation Z Says They're Stressed Out, Psychology Today
Take off the weight of other people's needs, only your treasures in hand. Don't bring the book you've been wanting to read for months. Don't do any errands on the way. Go empty as you can. You don't have the time, money or freedom to do it. There is something else you're missing. Of the many gifts we're given, more time is not one of them. Go anyway. You are worthy.
Love you, Mama Emily
EMILY FROST is an artist and mentor working with youth and families in the Bay Area. She is the founder of LOVE YOUR NATURE, a movement devoted to girls and women awakening to their inherent wisdom, power, and purpose.