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The Lure of the Bear Cave in Winter

This winter, dear friends, I have been hibernating as deeply as any bear.  Like Arthur himself who was born, tradition tells us, beneath the sign of the bear, I have found myself drawn to the warmth of the primal cave that contains my soul and my deepest, most precious dreams.

Have you also found time to hibernate this season?

I don’t know about you, but taking time to reflect does not come naturally to me.  I resist it like crazy! To me it has always been difficult to balance “being” & “doing”.  But this season, I’ve found myself literally forced to, largely because this year has been such a whirlwind: I have succeeded as a new author, moved back to the “home of my heart”, and taken risks that test everything I am and ever dream of being.

My whole body & spirit has needed to rest.  But, just like the Jersey Girl I am (in, at least, part of my heart !), I have denied this soul-deep need of mine to go within, to allow myself to be nurtured, to take as well as give, to find within the silence of a beautiful natural hermitage the replenishment I have needed in order to grow and to create.  This winter, I finally came to realize, I needed to dream as well as to write–for, as writers should remember, dreaming always does come first….

No, no, a part of me snarls–and has fought me all the way. Every time I attempted to relax, this rough-and-tumble “achiever chick” voice inside me has been urging me to get off my butt and produce, more & more & more….AAARGH!  Jersey Girls are supposed to be tough, right?!  We chew nails for breakfast, thrive on adversity, dare the world to “bring it on”!  We’ll take whatever we get slammed with and toss it back with gum-cracking attitude–a single finger salute on steroids to anyone and anything that threatens us or those we love.

So, for this Jersey Girl to finally admit she needs to rest, to drop her defenses long enough to explore the vulnerable inner terrain  of what happens when you succeed in birthing at least part of your creative dream–and to undertake the responsibilty of follow-up that this entails–well, folks, it’s a big step. Especially when I realized the cost of my creative success turned out to be  higher than I expected in ways I could not have anticipated.  Was it worth it? Absolutely–but I have had to first allow myself to rest, to “take it all in” before I could fully process what has happened, where I am, & where I plan to go.  And honoring the silence & calm of  reflective time has been one of the most important and most healing lessons of this truly tumultous year.

So, my friends, I reach out to you again, as winter ice melts, as birds return, as kittens roll in the dirt of a Northwestern forest–clearly as overjoyed as I am that spring has again decided to grace us with its return.  As I curl up now, with a gentle cup of tea, I treasure this new growth in my own heart, and recognize how humbly grateful I am to have learned this elusive “winter bear” lesson.  No longer will I allow myself to feel guilty for taking time to hibernate, to reflect, to explore the sweet waters of that very ancient well that lives within us all.   For I have learned, it is only within these soft & quiet hours, when I allow nature and my own soul to heal me, that I am, at last, able to recognize the poignant jewels of the many journeys I have taken this year.  Thanks to the slumbering power of my private bear cave, I am now able to fully claim my new and evolving life–as an artist, a woman, a mother, an author, a teacher, a dreamer–and, yes, how could I forget?–as a gum-cracking Jersey Girl!

Namaste, my friends…. May your own springtimes be every bit as wondrous as mine is shaping up to be!  I will see you soon–now that the sweet, slumbering bear within me is stretching her paws, yawning, and crawling out of her cave to greet the magic & inspiration of the rising sun….

And, yes, for those of you who have been asking, DRAGON’S HARP’S sequel. DRAGON’S BREATH, is rising also–on schedule– within the mist. 🙂

Special thanks to Terah Van Dusen for her help & inspiration with this post.

 

See you soon…

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