Last autumn, in search of rituals that would help me kick off the next phase of my life, I stumbled upon a little Chinese one. Its called something like the 49 wishes. A friend of mine had told me about it once and I had kept it stored away in my brain for the right time, the right place. Essentially it goes like this. You write a wish or a prayer on a piece of paper 49 times. You burn that paper and scatter the ashes to the wind. You do this for 49 days straight. Its a special kind of magic, setting your heart and mind on something–like a mantra. Putting it out into the universe and having faith that it will be delivered. For me this ritual was like plowing a field, making my heart ready for something to take root.
For 49 days I wrote this little phrase down “FEARLESS TRUE LOVE”. I haven’t told anyone this before really (except maybe Jackie) partly because I didn’t know what it meant and didn’t know how to answer the inevitable questions. Was I asking for permission to love myself fearlessly? Was I opening my heart to a rockin’ love affair? Seeking the gift of soulsistership and friendship? Maybe…all of it? Maybe something else entirely? I didn’t quite know what it meant to me but something inside me said “Just ask…the rest will follow”.
In the act of all that writing I must have drawn a magical door. It is a door through which people now seem parade into our life, boldly changing it with the blink of an eyelash. Some are folks who have known us awhile and love us well. But others just a year ago were strangers. Total strangers. In some cases they dropped by for a short while and left us with gifts to last a lifetime. In other cases, they moved in and continue to help us grow and stretch and blossom in new ways. I long to tell the stories of these strangers who have become dear friends and of the certain kind of magic that happens when people lead with wide open hearts. This spring I might just start.
This week, one of my favorite recently former strangers, wrote a series about how to encourage creativity in children. In one particular post, she urges us to teach our children to welcome strangers. I loved this post and embraced the wisdom in it. I have done it from the minute Max was born, sometimes against my better judgment. But I did it because I want to teach him that the world is good. Now don’t get me wrong, I have taught him well how to keep safe (do not go anywhere with strangers and always follow your gut when someone strikes you as icky and weird, and always stay close to a grown up you know and trust). I want him to know the joy of welcoming people into our lives and seeing life just open up in amazing ways. I want him to wake up prepared to be surprised about the wonderful things life has delivered to our door. Strangers are a critical ingredient to a creative life–whether you are a child or a 38 year old mama. So we talk to new people as we walk downtown, do our grocery shopping or play in the park. We ask questions. We follow-up. Its been life-changing.
On particular version of this magical portal for me has been this blog. I am forever amazed at who I have discovered coming through this way. I have found myself encircled in a community of women, strong, beautiful, brilliant women–soul sisters really. Women who have brought out the best in my writing, who laugh at my stories and who help me shoulder grief. It is a gift.
I have lately been particularly interested in connecting in “real life” with you amazing women I have discovered typing away. I want to know your stories. I want to hear how you ended up where you ended up. I want to invite you in and pour you tea and listen as you tell me what you dream about. Whether you live just down the street, up the coast a bit, across the country in a windy place or sunny space, or in a far away magical land, I want to make tea possible. Something tells me in the coming months, these and so many more wonderful creative women will be leaping through my door, virtually and really truly and I want to celebrate that, honor it and invite you all in for tea.
So here is a challenge–Leave me a comment on this post and let me know you are here. On Friday, Max and I will put the names of all the beautiful you who comment here in a hat. We will pick one of you lucky friends and will send you this beautiful hand painted mug (pictured above) made by Kara a new found blogging friend whose art speaks to me of magic and sisterhood.
Howdy stranger…Come on in and have some tea. We have a lot of catching up to do.
A little postscript: A shout out to Laura and all you other Philadelphia Flyers fans. Your boys skated well tonight. While I cheered for my Caps I have to call ’em like I see ’em and that was some rockin’ hockey played by the orange and black today, especially by Martin Biron. It will be an interesting week as we move into game three all tied up…