I am gazing back at another year like a rugged ridgeline I just finished climbing. Looking deep down into the gardens that were created by my labor. I am soaking in the sunshine, glistening in the sweat.
Admiring the lessons of the past while feeling the sorrow of the solitary steps I took and experiencing the growth from those isolated seeds I planted. Celebrating the exuberance of the steps I shared and the seeds my community helped me plant. I am remembering the lonely losses, the glorious gains.
Knowing the sadness of sacrifice, the glory of growth, the humility in honesty and the realization that experiencing and acknowledging all of these emotions set me free. I place my flag on top of this statement and declare my independence.
This year is so distinct. That ridgeline I am looking back at, the beautiful garden I planted is a 15 year journey that has come to an end. The enormity of this declaration and it’s possible descriptions have kept me stumbling since I made the initial decision.
This time was different- I had patience, another lesson I am constantly toying with. I allowed myself the time to stumble, trip, fall, get up, tend to my wounds and try again before I put these words out there for all to see. Experiencing the full range of emotions for myself before I shared it with others is something I have learned is an immeasurable lesson throughout this journey.
This trail I have been on I know well. I blazed it just like every other trail I have set out to conquer in my life. I know what to take, how hard it will be and how to get to where I am. I know the way. I have the instructions.
This is precisely why I need to start bushwacking my way down a totally uncharted and ambiguous path. I needed to start planting new seeds. I was comfortable in my professional world. I was at the pinnacle of it. I was standing on top with only the facile way down left to go. What on planet earth would compel me to give up this secure, stable, surefooted path with all the cairns I set up along the way showing me how to comfortably summit? What on earth would make me leave this well tended to garden of opportunity?
“A man has made at least a start on discovering the meaning of human life when he plants shade trees under which he full well knows he will never sit” – Trueblood
This is not what living is about. It was time to turn that opportunity over to someone who will use it to grow. My time was over. I gleaned all I could and had I continued to leech off the fruits of my labor those fruits would become stale and free from the nutrients I needed.
It is time I plant a new garden of my own and leave the beautiful garden I was given to grow behind for others to tend to and benefit from. My soul has moved on and I listened to what it needs to receive to continue to flourish.
This statement is so pure and true it is very hard to swallow for some. The mass confusion and reactions from the people along my journey isn’t something I was new to. I expected it- I knew some of those flowers in my garden were hiding their thorns. I bled when I realized this. I wasn’t unprepared for this. I allowed myself to feel the pain- knowing as always it is only temporary.
In my healing from this it allowed me to uncover those beautiful weeds, caterpillars and fertile dirt so I could clearly see these things in others who were waiting to transform with me.
“What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have never been discovered” -Emerson
With this statement I begin tending to a cleared space. A new pile of dirt, a new mountain to climb so I can begin sowing fresh seeds and blazing new trails. This new garden will be one that has never been tended to before.
I know well from the garden that was given to me and the trails that were traversed before I will get lost, some trees will die, others will flourish. I will get dirty, it will get ugly before it becomes beautiful. I will plant the wrong seeds, I will come across bad seeds. I will get results from the ugliest of weeds in my garden. I will find treasures down trails that looked like a lost cause.
The only thing that is certain- my soil is rich, full of love, peace, hard work and gratitude. With those things I can turn anything into a beautiful place worth sharing.
I have so much to prepare, so much content to write, so many empty pages to fill, countless rows to plant, and miles of uncharted trails ahead to explore.
To begin this new journey in a new year with a new life ahead of me I plan to start it off with the quintessential roadtrip. My two favorite fellas on earth will load up an RV and hit the open road for 12 days- from here the rest is unwritten.