Now... here I am. I've done the little haiku-thing to ease in, I've created the visuals (isn't the slide-show a handy little thing?), so it's time to say something other than I'm Back."You'd think no-one ever went on a trip before! It's not unheard of, surely! So, just get on with it, now you're back!"
That's what I'm saying to myself, and still, despite being back in the country a week now, and back home for 3 days, I'm still casting around for the things that will ground me and make me feel like I'm home, and of course, those things really involve touching base, making contact with the people who have been important in my life - who are important in my life. I've seen all my family, met up with most of my friends, emailed new friends to let them know I've safely arrived back, but I realise there are friends out there - in Blogland who have missed me. I've been reading a few blogs, and have been really touched to see here and there people say they noticed my absence. Aaaw. Well, I missed so many of the pals here that I can't possibly start to list them, but you all know who you are, and many of you were with me in strange ways - sights would remind me of something you'd referred to in a post, or I'd see something I knew you would appreciate.
So, my trip involved: (for those who don't know, I set off from my little corner of Ireland on May 16th for Santa Cruz, CA, to do a few days training in facilitating SoulCollage
, and then spent a little over two more weeks visiting friends in California, travelling up the coast through Oregon, and on into Washington State, travelling back down the I5 (I love saying that, it sounds so exotic to me)). Travelling to the US, travelling solo (despite the fact I was meeting wonderful people all along the way, and had a companion for some of the trip), driving on highways and big roads (an automatic car, on the "wrong" side of the road), big distances - all challenges for me, all new for me. I travelled 1700 miles (which is like driving up and down the length of Ireland twice). This is what made the trip an oddyssey, and made it feel like more than just a holiday. The focus of the training, which involved deep soul-work opened me up in wonderful ways, leaving me sensitised to any and all experiences... and with everything (even the apparently mundane) being new to me, I was like a child in wonderland, marvelling at a squirrel, a supermarket shelf, a roadside snack-shack burritto (I did it! - Who's adventurous?)
What happened in the course of the three weeks was interesting, in that words became increasingly less important, and I simply soaked up impressions, images, being-in the place, so that I dropped my Morning Pages after about a week, then scribbled only a perfunctory journal-note of where I'd been each day, wrote only a couple of pages of poetry-beginnings, until by the end of the trip, the only writing I was doing was my nightly list of ten gratitudes.
Returning home to people asking How was it? Tell us all about it!
- I was so flummoxed as to how to begin to capture the experience. Words like Wonderful and Fantastic keep coming out. I don't regret a moment,
I'd say, and that is true. I set off with a loose itinerary (after the training), and followed urges, promptings and invitations that seemed to call me, and I feel I just went where I needed to be, met the people I was meant to meet, and was in the right environment for me right now. I'd just completed a hard block of work, just completed a draining and very difficult emotional task, and am at a point of new beginnings in my life. This trip was a soul-journey, something special for me, and one way I know it was so special is that now I'm home, it feels complete. There is no part of me wishing I'd gone elsewhere, or done other things, or ... it was as it should be, and it is complete.
And I'm home, and looking forward to being regularly in touch again with all my blog-pals.
Oh... yes, another thing to mention. Strange, there was an unformed plan to get together with a few blog-pals, and circumstances seemed to conspire against it. Part of me was frustrated with the "so near and yet so far" of that, and then, part of me felt maybe it's ok. The friendships made within this community ARE real and valuable, don't need to be reinforced with real-world meetings (nice as that would be), and maybe the fact that it didn't happen will leave me knowing that it doesn't need to happen. Make sense?
Enough for now.
Good to be home.
Thanks to all of you who kept the home fires burning (or the home air-conditioning turned on, whichever was necessary).