I gave myself some extra time to explore while out on my walk on a recent day that hinted of coming summer. I meandered along the edges of the creek and found a rock containing a “spirit line” as my Native American friends would call it. Spirit lines are typically placed in artwork to allow the spirit of the artist to exit the work when it is finished. The line in this rock invited me to wander past some of the sharp edges of now and into gentle thoughts and memories of people and experiences I am grateful for.
The line on the rock that has now taken up residence on my hearth is light gray with a narrow black line dividing it down the middle, like a road. When I hold it my finger traces this spirit road until I find myself in warm past summer places, remembering all who helped me along my path to the person I am now.
My mother started me out right with bright white walking shoes and “You can do it honey!” It was the summer of my second year when I finally took my first steps unassisted. Her applause urged me on, though after waiting fifteen months she may also have been secretly cheering for herself and her aching back that had hefted a rapidly growing me since birth.
When I was off and running she and my father took me out on summer nights to see the stars that floated down to glimmer about our yard. They each cupped their two hands like clamshells and urged “You can do it sweetheart!” as they caught blinking stars one by one and placed them in a jar for us to admire.
Their love of being outdoors showed me a love for and connection to nature that sustains me still. That early championing of my abilities fortified me with courage and the assumption that all adults – that they approved of, of course – would back me with equal sincerity. But not all adults were so easily swayed as you will see in my next edition. Until then breathe in the beauty of this day, your day, and the Earth that supports you! Wishing you well in it!