One of the best parts about growing up is that I’ve realized how much of my essential self hasn’t changed since I was a kid. When I was young I’d go out into the woods and feel that I was being held. My awkwardness and uncertainly about life disappeared. It was a place of magic. I heard and felt things there that seemed more real than any of the religious dogma that I was being taught.
So of course, I raise my son through the lens of what I felt was lacking for me. Although I was raised by loving parents and was taught all the right lessons about how to treat people, my worth, good values, what was oppressive to me was the script of “absolute knowing” that was reinforced through Catholic school, Church every Sunday and the way my family interpreted the bible.
What is so beautiful is how it enabled a rebellious and sensitive thinker to begin the journey of coming to terms with my truth and belief system. I don’t take an anti religious stance with my son, but I find poignancy in embracing the great unknown. I find great joy in sometimes saying to him “I don’t really know,” so that I can watch him process and express the way he feels and play with and establish his thoughts in the world. It is magic to me. It is pure and utter magic.
I was writing at a young age about pain and darkness, but also about rainbows and unicorns. I think my first book, that I wrote at the tender age of 8 years old, describes my philosophy more than anything. Here I am a little Catholic school girl, writing a story titled, The Mystical Rainbow. It was about seeing a unicorn in a rainbow and it speaking its wisdom to me. The story continued of the disappointment the little girl felt when her parents didn’t believe that this had happened to her. From that point on, I began quietly defending my truths until I was strong enough as an adult to share them. Of course, much of this is now mainstream. But for me, seeing things in my room and feeling energy and being able to access another realm was the work of the devil.
I walk in the woods a lot with my son and it gave me a way to talk to him about spirituality. But more than that, it is where I rediscovered the divine beloved, the great mother, the source, the spark. Birds started to visit me, angels appeared in the clouds and I literally fell in love with a tree in my yard. I’d sit to meditate and I’d send my roots down to meet hers, and my life started to change. There are bits about my upbringing that I cherish (Jesus) and bits about “new age” that I can’t live without (crystals). But I am here for the great discovery.
I’ve been writing for a long time about my experiences with loss, grief, life and the path to reunite with some sort of sweetness. And that sweetness is an unfolding. There is no new beginning, it is just a constant state of emergence, which led me to sharing my writing through the blog and now to embarking upon the publishing of my children’s books.
In 2005, I studied yoga in India and was given the spiritual name Amrita. It means sweet nectar of immortality. I came home from that trip and my mother passed away 7 months later. I had already lost my father. I’ve struggled with tragedy and a crisis of faith most of my adult life. Strangely enough the struggle is where I found myself. It took me almost 45 years to realize the gifts are in the vulnerability. The poignancy, beauty is in the messiness, in the living. My path was through the struggle, not at the end of it. And an unexpected gift is how I can now, finally, be myself and show my son that the only absolute I am willing to teach him is LOVE.