A Safe Place

dandelion-field Last (month) was the last in a series of four Expressive Writing for Healing classes at Wellness Within in Roseville. It is an amazing healing place that I have immersed myself in over the past few weeks. Taking advantage of this time, after most of my active treatment is past and my body engages in the work of healing, to do some important soul work. I have wriitten, for myself, most of my life. This class, however, has encouraged something new in me. Something deep. In fact, every class I've taken here has promoted Growth and Healing in me in a way I can't fully comprehend or explain.

After a time of settling in and calming down, centering, we are given a prompt. We then go our separate ways; I always go to the front porch, overlooking the healing garden, to write for 20 minutes, after which time we are called together to share with the group what we've written. What this brings forth is remarkable. My first thought is always, "Crap! It will take me 20 minutes to think of something! I've got Nothing on this right now! I don't feel one bit inspired! I'm going to be sharing a blank page!" And then I begin. I just start writing. The Editor in me has to still herself. There is no time for her. When time is up, we reconvene. I listen to one and then another of my classmates share and it is all good and real and precious. As my turn inevitably approaches, I realize I have no idea what I've written. When I read it aloud to them, I read it aloud to myself. Sometimes I choke up in tears, even a sob, as I reveal something buried deep within my heart and soul to myself and to the others, my witnesses. Not everything I've written in class is something I would feel comfortable to share with the world. ‘What happens in class, stays in class’ is a very important rule. It is a Safe Place where all is accepted, heard and kept in confidence.

The prompt last night was a picture of a field of dandelions gone to seed. The caption: “Do you see weeds or wishes? What is your deepest wish?”

My Response: Vibrant health, energy, passion, joy. And time, time to enjoy them, are my fondest wishes just now, in what I consider to be the late summer of life (early autumn at the latest), the specter of an early frost. I have been so reduced in the past 10 months. Aggressive surgery, chemo-therapy and radiation have taken their toll. Asked by a robust young friend recently, "How are you?" My reply was, "I get up like I'm 95 and I go to bed like I'm 95, but inbetween I get a few good hours that I'm living the hell out of!" And that, I think, is the secret. The gift. If there is such a thing in this. Focus. I am focused like never before. I cry more easily than I've ever done in my life. Everything just seems so damn beautiful right now - everyONE - total strangers, as well as my most cherished loved ones. Nature, always my sanctuary, positively Holy to me now. Every pulse of life, so precious. Every hour out of doors an epiphany. I feel both larger, and at once, smaller, than ever before. Flowing with the river, softening in the sun and blazing with the stars. There is a profound peace within me now, juxtaposed with an urgency to seize it all. It frightens me a little, this rapid growth. Am I bolting into seed, ready to be blown away like a dandelion at the next strong breeze? Or is this, truly, a new beginning? Me; bright and green and reaching toward the sun.