I just returned from Big Bend National Park Sunday night with my husband and son.
I sat out under a million stars, galaxies and a moon so bright it hurt my eyes. I experienced deafening quiet. I walked across deserts and over boulders until my legs were numb. I sensed my smallness, my bigness, our interconnectedness and how powerful, gentle, awesome and brilliant nature can be.
I crave these feelings and this level of stillness and solitude (you can hike for miles and not see a soul). That’s why we usually sojourn to Big Bend annually—one of the least visited but most unforgettable places I’ve ever been, Istanbul and Palenque included.
Every time I go—without fail—I have wild, almost hallucinogenic dreams, big ideas and visions, access to totally new perspectives, unique and life changing insights and the unclear becomes clear. Sometimes instantly. Maybe it’s because it’s like going into a sensory deprivation tank—the absence of sound, media, people and visual stimuli leave you to the expanses of your inner frontier.
Friday evening before I went to bed, I drew an inspirational card from a Zen deck my brother gave me several years ago. I asked for any insight or guidance around where I am right now—professionally and personally.
I got “Ripe.”
Ripe. As in ready to birth what’s next. Ready to pack my bags and visit the hidden chambers within my depths and dust off, drag out and bring forth the treasures that lie within. Ready to share what’s been brewing and is asking to come forth to be seen and heard. Ready to write. Ready to create, irregardless of the outcome or as Wayne Dyer says, “the good opinion of others.” Ready because it’s my time. And what’s coming through me is unique and deserves to have a voice.
When I woke up this morning, Dawna Markova’s beautiful poem called to me (one of my favorites to read it when I led career change workshops for professionals).
Perhaps if you’re ripe, it will speak to you as well.
I will not die an unlived life.
I will not live in fear
of falling or catching fire.
I choose to inhabit my days,
to allow my living to open me,
to make me less afraid,
to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing,
a torch, a promise.
I choose to risk my significance;
to live so that which came to me as seed
goes to the next as blossom
and that which came to me as blossom,
goes on as fruit.
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Image: A juicy, quite ripe plum.