Today I embarked on a quiet adventure. Dressed in my black jeans and top, my new bargain fake leather jacket minus any holes, a sparkly scarf in pink and blue and gold and yellow, black beanie and my trusty shoesave wellies. On my back was my red rucksack ready for action in Seville when summer begins but needing a little outing in advance.
Destination .. the same as all week. The forest I know and love but had looked different every day. Today it shone in a way that required a full blown quiet adventure with a rucksack. I left looking like I was 12 year old about to embark on a mission to a far flung land that no one has seen before. Inside my rucksack.. music, water, four cream crackers with cheese and four chocolates given to me by L sometime ago but saved for just the right occasion.one of which said “be a helper, be a hugger, be a safe place, a friendly face, be a storyteller, write a letter, make the world a little better”. I was feeling that chocolate this afternoon.
As I started my quest a magpie sitting on a branch said to me “remember .. all that glitters is not gold”.
I’ve always known that I replied, I know who the treasures are. They always glitter and they never disappear. I followed 3 wise old monkeys in front before finding myself faced with two paths. The one I know well or the one that takes me to the unknown. Today I chose the one I know well because I wanted to feel this walk.
As I walked further along I sat down next to a wigwam made of branches and read a message from my friend in Italy. Things feel so strange here she said.
I felt glad she was ok but what a crazy time this feels. I have not thought about it other than sadness for those people who have lost loved ones but I felt others worry in it when I heard from my mum checking I was ok and when I met a cake maker who stood in a queue of a shop.
She felt bad for coughing. We started chatting as she saw my Betty Crockett devils chocolate cake. Are you a baker she asked. No I laughed but I do love chocolate. I had randomly seen it as I walked to the counter. I had only gone to hobby craft to to get some cotton to mend my girls coat. But was caught in the sparkle of all things creative. I want to create I thought and walked round filling my head with ideas but no money to spend.
I don’t need any.
When I was a girl I spent half of my time cutting people out of old catalogues and turning them into families and friends. It used to drive my mum mad with all these little paper people all over my floor when she came to hoover They all had a back story and a life and all dressed beautifully in catalogue wear and surrounded by all their mod cons that could be purchased over 20 weeks.
I created a whole village of men with chiselled chins, women with flawless skin and long silky hair and kids that looked perfect and like every parent would want them. Every now and then there would be a sad loss when someone would get caught in the hoover.
I would get annoyed with my mum. You just broke up that family.
Was I already in training?
As I neared the counter I saw that box of cake mix that even I couldn’t mess up. Surely. So realising I got a student discount I skipped to the counter armed with two cake tins, my cake mix and a reel of cotton.
The cake maker showed me the beautiful cake she had made for her own wedding. It was something to behold. Black white silver with diamonds and petals.
This down to earth girl who baked herself a little piece of magic for her special day. I loved her cake and her. She had an inspiring feel to her in her easy going and friendly way that feels so part of where I’m from and who I am.
I was starting to feel a little of that person resurfacing from all my walks and this afternoon I felt her in all her lightness. The girl who had been living a lifetime in a day. Who was finding joy in all those little moments. I thought about one of my favourite lives ever that saw me feeling happy and full of wonder like a young girl on a first date mesmerised by the sparking world from a bridge, giggling on a bus as a leg doctor climbed aboard, and munching on popcorn at the movies.
I had lost those giggles and wonder as it was wiped out and replaced by feelings of intense sadness, darkness, insecurity, guilt and a loss of any self love.
Feelings that I gave back this morning but in a way that was easier for them to hold.
I think I needed to feel it. To really feel a pain that felt completely unbearable. To be able to hold and feel it so that she knew I could and still be there. Why me? Why not someone so much more educated and experienced. Someone who might have all the answers by knowing more.
But perhaps that was how it was meant to be. The universe decides.
I was there in that time and that place feeling completely out of my depth. I still do.
But Perhaps it needs to be someone imperfect that will just try harder.
A person who will feel it. Because if I didn’t feel it then where would the genuine be in that. Hiding behind a counsellor mask, pretending to be clever and have all the answers, and then trotting back to my own happy little world of my own creation. Its why I lost myself. Taking myself to that world is what helps me in my own struggles and I had nowhere to go. Nowhere that felt safe. Only the Trees felt safe for me.
But feeling it is how I’m made. If I wasn’t made that way then I might as well be a used car salesman selling her a newer more sparkly model of the car she already has. Her car doesn’t need to be fixed. it just needs some love and care.
As I squelched through the mud and jumped into some puddles (One of which was shaped like a heart) while munching on my cream crackers, I was thinking about all the people I love. I was thinking about all the different sorts of love there is. And I thought how lucky I am that I have felt every kind of love that I would have ever wished to feel. And I thought how a love from my childhood feels less painful every day. Because it is felt by a person that knows how to really love but a love that can’t be taken by them. Maybe through regret or guilt or sadness or just an inability to feel. My mum always tells me .. it is and has always been his loss. But although I am no longer waiting, that love will always there should he ever come looking for it. It belongs to him.
As for the girl whose pain I felt. I feel glad she has come into my world. She is special. Special in a way that she can’t see. But I can see. so very very clearly. And I will keep trying my hardest to help her see it too.
Sometimes super special just turns up in a disguise. You either feel it or you don’t. I’m so glad that I feel it.