“And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul.”
Walking through Breckenridge this July with my mask high over my mouth and nose, I found this sticker in a little bohemian store on main street. After almost 6 months of Covid and all its regulations carried on my shoulders, I immediately resonated with that phrase.
My mind has been in a thousand different directions these past months. Like you, my entire life has been disrupted. Like you, I’ve been suffering loss after loss. They have big and little losses; some more painful than others.
The only place I’ve found solace lately has been in these beloved Colorado mountains I call home. Each step takes me further from the weird normal and into what matters. It’s a no mask zone; filled with pine scent, altitude climbing and T cell explosions.
But maybe like you, I’ve found that finding my soul is horrifying at times, awkward and deeply sad. I find myself like the trees I walk amongst, peeling back bark revealing rawness. I feel unprotected. I’ve found that my soul was covered by BUSY.
Now that I’m left without a job, transitioned my eldest daughter to college 17 hours way, have my husband working from home until at least January and my younger two children online learning for however long our district thinks is best, I’m utterly exposed.
I used the peace and quiet of our home to sit and meditate in between the amazing busy of one of the best jobs I could have ever had. Now I see that too much movement in my home makes me critical. I sweep the floors and instantly they are covered again with grass clippings. I make food and find piles of dishes, after I’ve cleaned up, left in the sink. Toilets are left unflushed and clothes are piled high waiting to be put away. Quiet space to simply be me is now interrupted 400 million times a day.
All the things that used to be done quickly and efficiently are no longer a viable option in our home. That chaos reflects my heart. I feel stirrings of anger towards our government; how dare they tell me what to wear? I feel shame that I just want to be by myself. I feel deep discontent that everything is different. I find myself deeply critical of my inmost thoughts; critical of the things I used to think I did well. I judge others constantly. I’m overwhelmed, many days, by the distraction of this pandemic.
I have mourned. I have cried. I’ve stomped my feet and shouted “why” into the forest.
Soul finding is hard. It requires discipline to dig deep and speak OUT LOUD the feelings buried deep. No filters can be used. It’s raw and real. I can’t mask my soul with sepia tones and fancy fonts. Soul finding takes fortitude.
As I move ahead to a new space on this blog, that quote is my tag line for this season. I will bring you hikes. I’ll share my food journey and recipes that bring me life.
As I share in my profile, this is a no filter, no bull shit space. I’m done with the filters. I’m done with the place that says “here is what I should be like.”
Instead I invite you to be part of this nomad space; a place that I trust is authentic and real. Perhaps you’ll be surprised with what I say. I think I will be too.