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prayers for the living

In the fallows of what will go down as one of the most memorable summers ever, as I pad around my kitchen this morning in the quiet ritual of sunrise and coffee, I am still with the same question that has been trying to work its way through me all season long.... how much of myself as a human, am I truly willing to risk? 

... for life... for love... for creating more far-reaching change and desire and light in a world that is both treacherously beautiful and spectacularly flawed.  

It always feels like there is so much on the line.

At times my spirit feels so close to breaking. Being tender-hearted in a life wide-open is never easy, yet I can not choose to sleepwalk. I've tried and it's too painful, goes too deeply against who I am, to quiet the seeker and truth teller for too long even on days when I want to pull the covers over my head and hide. 

As a girl growing up, when I felt overwhelmed I used to "run away" into the trees. The two giant pines at the edge of the woods on my parent's property stood close enough together that when you walked in between them, it was like stepping into a womb. The cool, green darkness was an immediate balm to my soul, and I'd climb the branches as high as I could go and sit, waiting to be recalibrated and reclaimed. I know I was also searching for something else too, some kind of rescue inside that dark and feral place.

These days I don't climb trees or tumble into forests, (though maybe I should). I go inward, collapsing into myself where the only rescue that can come is from me. This is where I have been most of this summer, in the messy wildness gathering prayers for the living - for my own life, one breath, one beat, at a time.

There was a surprise moment when I realized what a huge precipice of change I am on. A week ago, I was sitting in a cafe about to read the blog that I always go to when my soul needs a serious lift. I've read every post since long before I actually met Elizabeth and we became friends, from way back in her Blue Poppy days. Her writing somehow always captivated and sparked something deeply vital within me, soothing words for my spirit for nearly a decade (thank you, e <3). This time though, when I dialed up the medicine on my phone the first thing I saw was this photo of my own back yard. At first I was confused, and then it hit me... love, manifested. If this is not evidence of power and magic in my own life, I'm not sure what is.

So, how much of myself as a human am I truly willing to risk?

The answer, I know, is everything.

Because, the unknown is the prayer. As well as all the love one can muster. There is no other way forward.

As I watch the trucks clear away the debris from Saturday's fire of the house that burned to the ground just 3 doors down, I know there will be a literal rise from the ashes. I am watching it happen and feel it so deeply in my own bones, the same prevailing resilience of hope and perpetuity, and how we are all heroes inside our own lives. Life is extraordinary and it is a battle, to stay awake and alive and to keep moving through the hard stuff. To find the joy amidst the rubble and know that no matter what, we are never truly broken.