I am an earth girl.  My feet are rooted in the ground like a big old oak tree.   When the going gets tough, I count on a low center of gravity to keep me from disappearing.  When the winds of life are whipping, I cling to reality and let go of dream.  I hold on to dear life to the things I know are solid–things that are close to home–like homemade stew, fresh baked bread, my son, a close circle of friends, and my work.  Also things like my values and my sense of connectedness.

Its not a bad way to be.   But it can be a bit …well…heavy.

But sometimes I wonder what it would be like to be the kind of person who is comfortable riding the winds of change, like a kite flying on the beach in March.  Who is comfortable in the air, being light.  Who is carefree not careful. 

As winter approaches I think about this alot.  The darkening days, the heavy sweaters, the autumn rituals around fear, all these things can push my normally grounded and earthy self right over into the edge into leaden heaviness.  The other day at work a friend commented that I looked as though I had the weight of the world on my shoulders.  I was tired, true and stressed and a little bit ragged from the pace of work but still it made me so sad to think that is the image I am projecting.  It kills me to think that I am a heavy person.

Because truth be told,  I have dropped off so much Samsonite these days I feel like I am walking with all my issues tied up neatly in a little kerchief on the end of a stick.  The thing about walking alone–ain’t no one round to carry your luggage for you.  You gotta downsize.

I have thrown away the false belief that if I tried just a little bit harder I could have saved my marriage.  I have also come to terms with the fact that I really don’t know how it will all turn out on the relationship side of things–that I may not find another true love and in fact I may not need to in order for my life to be great. 

I have also let go of any sense that I can actually keep the house clean.  I try, but when it all falls apart I just let it go along with all the judgement that I used to heap upon myself and my mess.

I also have let go of the belief that I can keep myself from feeling pain if I force myself to just act cheery enough.  Its too much work to struggle against the waves of grief and anger that come from simply being human.  Holding these emotions back with my little heart seems like a futile exercise anyway and I would rather just ride them to the sandy shore and be done with it.   Grief is not so bad if you can just hold it lightly.

I am working on letting go of other things too–perfectionism, self-judgement, blame, old stories, fear.  I still have bits and pieces of these old bags lying around but for the most part I have downsized on this front.  And I feel so much lighter because of it.  But tonight in the dark, even with so little weighing me down I don’t quite feel light.  I definitely don’t feel like a kite.

I think, for an earth girl like me, its not just about letting go of the baggage.  Its true I don’t feel so weighed down anymore but I actually may need to cultivate lightness of spirit in order to soar.  I need to leap, and spin and float on a cloud of silliness–I need to be aware of my tendency toward gravity.  I need to find more yang to my yin. 

So I sieze all opportunities to giggle and to dance. 

I stretch toward the stars and loosen the grip of my toes on the earth.    As it grows dark I will sing more, and nap more, and build fires and bake cookies and get icing all over my face and hands.  I will move more and read silly books and knit silly hats.  I will make mistakes and not care too much.  I will ask myself every day–“Can I just let this go?”.   And if I can, I will.  I will let it all go…

And maybe, just maybe the earth girl will feel what its like to fly.

Last night I went to bed at 10:30. 

In the two months since I have been wheat-free I have been a bundle of energy up until all hours of the night, extending my day with electric sunshine–our house the one that is lit up until all hours.  I sit on the front steps with Jackie, I practice my guitar, I read, I fold laundry and clean the house, I send emails, I even write a bit.  I do it all until I fall into bed exhausted.  Falling into bed exhausted feels right to me.  The activity feels good, healthy, a sign that all is moving forward, that I am recovering. 

And without fail, thanks to wheat-free living I am up with the sun 7 hours later.

But at my check up on Friday, my doctor urged me to rethink this plan and to indulge in sleep a little sooner.  To allow myself to really recharge.  To turn the lights off sooner.  So last night, with Max and his best buddy Jake asleep in the living room at 9, I fell into bed myself with a good book.  By 10:30 I too was off to dreamland.

And now its the morning.  Its still so very early but I can’t sleep one minute more.

The deep dark silent morning of approaching winter surrounds me.  How different from the mornings in spring, when the sun rises earlier each day, the birds pulling him up out of bed with their songs.  This morning is so still and rich and lazy.  Like Oaxacan hot chocolate, I want to drink it in.

I cannot turn the lights in the house on.  It would feel rude.  So I sit here now with candles lit.  The street lights still flicker down the street with the same golden light.

Unlike the evenings when I buzz with activity, now all I want to do is sit.  Sit and take in the silence.  Wrap the velvety coat of November mornings around me and just be still. 

After a month of near manic activity, I am ready for a month of quiet reflection, a simple social calendar and getting back to the basics.  I need a month to reconnect with Max, the sweep the floors, and to find a new gluten free bread recipe.  

Today we “fall back”, let the clocks stand still for an hour as we finally embrace the dark of the changing season.  I am ready now.  I think I am finally ready.

October was a busy, almost manic month here at our house.  There was lots of activity.  Camping to pack for, parties to prepare for, festivals to travel to, house guests to host, weddings to attend.   I am exhausted just thinking about all that we did in October. 

October used to be my favorite month.  Its the month when the weather actually starts to turn, when sweaters come out.  Of Sunday with golden light and bright blue skies.  Its the month when soups are appealing again.  When the days grow shorter and we stay in with our loved ones, cuddling up against the coming cold.

Now I struggle with October.  It is the lonliest of months for me.

Juan and I were married in October.  We have so many memories of years of wonderful Octobers, of being new parents, of traveling to Mexico, of carving pumpkins and hosting parties, of  decorating for the fall holidays.  I loved rushing home in the darkening October days to rake leaves with him, or sit down to a spicy stew cooked just for me.  October reminds me of all the things I cherished about being his wife, that I appreciated about our partnership in better days.  And so now, even years later, even with all the water under our bridge, October without Juan feels a bit empty and hollow to me.

Its true that I still really miss him.

So I spent the month distracting myself.  I did it on purpose–making sure that every weekend we had something to look forward to, an event that would allow me to build new memories of October, new associations with the beautiful life Max and I have built in the last few years.  I surrounded myself with events and people that would allow me to hold October with happiness again.  And it mostly worked.  Each year that we pass through this month I feel a little less melancholy.  This month I mostly felt blessed and happy.  My focus was on my present not my past.  I felt that I was exactly where I needed to be, for better or for worse.

But in the letting go of October I need to admit that I still feel the loss of him–need to face it so it doesn’t haunt me like a ghost left over from Halloween. 

My dear friend Stephen likes to remind me that the mark of a truly intelligent human being is that she can hold two completely contradictory ideas in her mind and know them both to be true. 

I have said over and over again  (and meant it every time) that the loss of my marriage was one of the most important events in my life, that it was a test of fire that shaped me in a truly positive way, that it provided the kick in the pants I needed to wrestle with some really mean demons and that as a result I am a much healthier and happier person.  This was a journey I had to take and I am so glad to be on the other side of the mountain,

But tonight I acknowledge that even as  I am blissfully happy in my new life, I am also terribly sad to have lost the old one.  That while I am so happy to be on the road I am on, I sometimes wish I never had to go here.  That I love where I am, but hate how I got here.  That I wish I could share this magical place where I reside right now with him.