Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Travel essentials and learning to let go





Ordnance survey maps marking the trail we've laid out: check

Guidebook for exploring small villages and historic points of interest encountered along the way: check

Nuts and dried fruits as energy-supplying provisions for the trail: check

Sunglasses for keeping out the glare of this unusually, sublimely sunny summer day: check

Daypack: check

Mobile phone: check

Ovulation test for surreptitious use in whatever public bathroom might be encountered en route (purpose obvious): check



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Yesterday, on what has surely been one of the warmest, loveliest days of that mythical beast that is the English summer, H and I decided on an impromptu away day. I was getting myself in a knot about job prospects and baby making and The Future and how they all fit together. None of which will find any resolution through my worrying; so okay, why not get outside my own head for a while? And what a wise suggestion H's was. We went here:

Starting the hike


Through the perfect sunny day we walked twelve kilometres, keeping the sea on our right and the gentle rolling farm fields to our left. And the sun shone and warmed our stiffened bones and the soft sea breeze blew up from the coast, cooling us down and emptying our heads of all their anxious contents. After the first few kilometres our feet began to tingle with that pleasant ache. It was a day full of small gifts. We foraged marsh samphire that will become tonight's dinner. At a bird sanctuary near our final destination we were lucky enough to see not only puffins (I've always wanted to see wild puffins), but dolphins and even a glimpse of a whale.

It was one of those rare, random days of utter bliss. I felt insignificant and calm and very, very fortunate. I felt deep gratitude. As always in such surroundings, I felt very close to S, as though his presence was everywhere, interwoven with the warmth of the sun and the vibrant colours of the wildflowers and the lapping of the waves.

And with all this filling my heart and my lungs and my head, I didn't think of appointments or interviews once. It's hard to when you have views like this:






Starting to feel the burn

We encountered one beautiful, secluded cove...









...after another...



...after another.














Here be pirates!: Smuggler's Cove



Whenever I see one of these, I think of S



Lunch time: a bench with a view


Unlike it's cousin the public footpath, the one on the right will let you eat chocolate cake for breakfast and stay up past your bedtime



The trail


Friendly faces along the way.


A well-earned rest


The end!



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So much of life is about learning to let go, and we often assume that this process can only be a painful one; that letting go is tantamount to quitting.

But there are so many ways in which this process is brave and fertile and creative and healing. Letting go of expectation to make room for possibility. Letting go of fear to make room for hope. It's an expansive gesture about flinging your arms wide open to receive whatever the universe has in store. 

The entire journey of grieving the loss of S has been one of letting go for me: letting go of the grief/rage to make room for the grief/love. Letting go of the dreams I had for him as a child who would grown as our family did, to make room for an acceptance of the fact that while he'll never grown physically, he's become a part of our family in ways we never imagined; his brief life a source of inspiration, a reconnection to the spiritual and the magical in life.

It's never an easy process and I don't have any answers as to how it can or should happen. But I do know that when all those why?why?how?when? questions are running circles in my brain, building into ever tighter coils of tension until I lose sight of any of the reasons for why I am seeking something in the first place, there is no better antidote than to leave myself for a bit, to place myself in something much bigger, that makes me and my problems feel small, the worrying seem futile. That makes me breath deeper and just know: things are unfolding as they will. And yes, you are going to be ok


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On Monday afternoon, after discussing it with H and allowing your gentle support and encouragement to rest with me, I emailed the organization who offered me the interview. I explained that I had a prior, unavoidable appointment which had been scheduled well in advance and which would prevent me from attending the time they had initially set, and wondered whether we could discuss alternate times/dates for the meeting. Then we went on our walk, getting up very early yesterday morning to catch the sun and then, (partly because we wanted to preserve the natural endorphin high of the day and partly [ahem!] because that ovulation test came back positive) we went straight to bed on our return. As of writing this morning, they still haven't come back to me, either to say they're not amenable or that they're looking into it. Although it would have been nice (and one would have thought professional) to receive an acknowledgement either way, I'm hoping that silence means it's the latter.

But for right now, I'm going to keep the spirit of those turquoise waters and crashing waves with me. I have to keep learning to let go of the things that I can't change, in order to make room for all the good that I don't even realize can happen yet. And I can think of no better place to do that (metaphorically or otherwise), than such paradisaical surroundings that remind me in the simplest and deepest possible ways just why it is I keep trying at all. Whether or not I can accurately predict what it is right now, something good is on it's way. I'm continuing to let go so that I can make room for a recognition of how much more there is out there, and the belief that I belong in that more and better as much as anyone.   


26 comments:

  1. What a beautiful hike!!! Lovely :)

    I hope they get back to you. And good luck with this cycle too!

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    1. Thank you so much! And yes, it was beautiful!

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  2. Wow that looks like a beautiful hike!

    Hopefully the organization is a bit more flexible with the dates so that you can get out there to interview!

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  3. Oh Sadie, I adore these gorgeous, thought-provoking posts from you. What a perfect day the two of you shared. Those pictures are amazing. I think my favorite part was when you talked about feeling S woven through the landscape and the beauty all around you, and how he has become a part of your lives in ways you and your husband never imagined. It just brings me to tears. What beautiful souls you are. There are good things to come. I really believe that.

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    1. Thank you for your kind words Annie. I'm really glad if my writing about my experiences helps or touches you in some way. After all, that's the point right?

      I really do feel that when I am surrounded by beautiful natural elements, that is when I can spend time with S, because truly, that is where he is now. It's a magical feeling, and one that took me a long time to recognize, but I'm so grateful for those moments now.

      I hope you're right that good things are coming. I want to believe that.

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  4. beautiful post. so reflective. i don't know what is more beautiful - your pictures, your prose, or your outlook!

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    1. Aw, thank you for your kind words Kimberly!

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  5. Oh my goodness Sadie, this post has me all choked up.

    Letting go to make room for possibility - yes. Such a challenge, such emotional upheaval, such depth of character required. This is a process rather than a moment in time... Letting go of different levels of grief/rage at different points in the journey to open ourselves to the grief/love that comes in different stages.

    This is a beautiful post. One I'm definitely going to read again and again.

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    1. Alicia, your comments are always so sweet and so affirming. Thank you!

      You're right, this is all a process and a constant learning curve. But I continue to believe that there is something good that can come of it, even if I don't quite see what that is yet. Stories like yours remind me of that too :)

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  6. I love this post. You always seem to find the perfect way to connect with nature, connect with your husband and connect with your emotions... it's just inspiring. And I've told you before, I am just in love with the way you write.

    Everything will work out. Everything will be OK. It will!

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    1. You're too kind Amanda! Thank you for your sweet words. Sometimes you just gotta shut off to save your sanity, but other times feeling connected is really rejuvenating, and reminds me that there is a lot of great stuff out there.

      I love your conviction in that last line. You're right, everything will work out!

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  7. This sounds like such an absolutely beautiful day. And the concept of letting go is certainly one I can use right now.

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    1. It's something we have to keep reinding ourselves to do, I think. The day and the natural surroundings help a lot.

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  8. I love everything about this post. I definitely think Hubby and I are in need of a similar get-away to clear our heads of all the what-ifs and do some letting go of our own.

    I hope not hearing back immediately does indeed mean they're trying to accommodate your scheduling needs for the interview. Best of luck on both fronts.

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    1. Thanks Daryl. I think you guys need that too! You've been on a bit of a treadmill recently. But then, let's hope you'll soon have a very good reason not to travel ;) I have everything crossed for you friend!

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  9. Your positivity always astounds me, mainly because you make ME feel better! You're so right about escaping from one's head for a while, and no better way to do that than by immersing yourself in nature, something bigger than you.

    I'm glad you emailed the company. I hope you hear back from them soon and to say that they can accommodate you at another time. (And if they can't, well, then, they're arseholes!)

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    1. This is one of the best compliments you can give me Lauren. I'm so happy you feel encouraged :)

      I agree with you about this organization: if they're not willing to show a little flexibility, then they probably don't deserve me!

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  10. I love the last sentence of your post. You should go back and re-read your own words to let them sink in even further.

    Those pictures are amazing. I can see where you found your inner-Buddha.

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    1. Thank you so much; I think it dawned on me a little reading over all your comments on my previous post that one of the side effects of all this horrible loss/IF stuff is a deep down feeling that I'm somehow not worthy...and I need to remind myself what utter crap that is. So this post is a kind of manifesto to myself :)

      It was totally gorgeous and very zen out there. We need to go more often!

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  11. Oh wow, this is just so beautiful, your words, and that place. This is what dreams are made of. And you saw puffins, and a whale and a dolphin, wow!
    I have always deeply felt we are all connected, and moments like this, where you experience it in your own skin are just... well magic.
    I hope this cycle will go well, that all will be well. Hugs.

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    1. It was, it was. Total magic. And seeing those beasts! I've always had a mild obsession with puffins, they are one of the few bird species that look cuddly but also somehow wild and beautiful. So that was totally cool. Maybe a good omen? Here's hoping! As usual Amanda, your support means a great deal.

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  12. I've always wanted to see puffins in their natural environment. I've seen them at an aquarium, but it's not the same. You're lucky to live near such beautiful sights-- I love the pictures!
    I have to say, your hopeful and positive attitude is inspiring. While "letting go of fear to make room for hope" certainly can't be easy, it's absolutely freeing and healing. I love the sense of peace I feel after reading these posts from you. Such beautiful writing.

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  13. This post is so beautiful. I can relate to how you're feeling. I am working on being open to whatever comes. We have no other choice, so why not try our best to find some peace and be "insignificant." Good things ARE coming your way. You're on the right path, my friend.

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