The last few months, damn, am I right?

The Astrologers say that 2020 is the year to start anew, to work with your blank canvas. This resonates for me on so many levels. They also say that this will not be easy, that the karma from your past will play little tricks on you, pushing your ego to react to situations in the same way it used to. I’m already feeling that existential roller coaster bubbling up and around me threatening to draw me back down into a spiral of fear and a narcissistic self-loathing hermitage, one in where I hide behind my duties as mom and corporate wife; but those shells don’t exist anymore.

I am reminded of the poem “The Chambered Nautilus” by Oliver Wendell Holmes, this bit the most:

Year after year beheld the silent toil
That spread his lustrous coil;
Still, as the spiral grew,
He left the past year’s dwelling for the new,
Stole with soft step its shining archway through,
Built up its idle door,
Stretched in his last-found home, and knew the old no more.

Year after year my world revolved around other beings, they grew and grew, I spiraled through those years, ducking, bobbing, changing, growing, building a foundation for the children to launch from. For myself, I sought a foundation of Higher Education as my launch point, I opened the door to my kitchen cave and stretched into what I hoped would be a new community, a new way of thinking, a place to launch myself anew, and to “know the old no more.” And in December, this task was done.

And in December old fears and anxieties crept in as the holidays and celebrations brought the past to visit. In December my second child became independent, emotionally and economically, a new balance of roles and expectations choreographed itself in our relationship in a dance of delicate steps that are finding their rhythm in February, as he celebrates his 25th birthday. My youngest keeps unfurling her wings while exhibiting her bravery and tenacity, in January she set off for her second semester of college more confident and independent than three weeks of vacation should have allowed. And now it’s February and my feet still haven’t hit the pavement and I feel that I’m still wearing that old shell.

I have lists and lists of what new chambers my new shell will hold, commanded as I am by Holmes words:

Build thee more stately mansions, O my soul,
As the swift seasons roll!
Leave thy low-vaulted past!
Let each new temple, nobler than the last,
Shut thee from heaven with a dome more vast,
Till thou at length art free,
Leaving thine outgrown shell by life’s unresting sea!

I appreciate his use of “temple” and “noble”; temple having to do with divine worship and noble having to do with improved moral principles and ideals. For these are the pursuits in this half of the journey, at middle age. No longer is the journey material, those desires have come and gone. The next canvas asks us to paint something beneficial, conscious. Something that floats out into the greater whole contributing to the web of connection that binds all sentient beings together in this finite space and time. Its is gentle and kind, and quiet, yet assured.

But, damn, these last few months! I hope to wake up and feel the growth, to recognize the patterns broken and deal with those that still exist. I hope to wake up and feel the joy and certainty I used to feel upon waking and tending to my chosen path, so assuredly, as mother. I hope to wake up and find myself transformed into this lovely butterfly with divinely gorgeous luminescent wings flitting from task to task, from person to person, emitting love, joy, light, and butterfly kisses.

But, damn, these last few months, am I right?!

Well, another day has dawned, and today the yard tasks begin, and the self care tasks maintain, and the daily errands ensue, and I will tend to these things, and I will know that winter passes, and as it always does, spring brings forth the new.

So, until the Spring-

XOXO and Butterfly Kisses!

Mama Donata

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