Everything Happening Now
I've been thinking about time.
For two weeks I lived alone in a tiny village in Spain. I did not speak Spanish, and it was COVID. The locals were friendly from behind their masks, but there was not much chance of any human connection.
So, every day I went walking. I packed up a loaf of bread from the town bakery, some salami and cheese and wandered for most of the day. I walked into tiny towns whose only inhabitants were stray cats, I wandered washed out gravel roads, and foot paths into pine forest dotted with orange and almond groves. I walked all day and I rarely saw a single soul.
One day, I was exploring a dry river valley when I stopped to take in the view. Some whisper of intuition told me to stop and look longer. And then I saw it, a tiny stone cottage, the same color as the earth.
I picked my way over to it, and looked in. There was just enough space inside for one person to sit. The ground was damp, so I pulled at a large flat stone that had fallen from the roof, leaning against the wall. Behind it, I found a wonder.
It was a clay drinking jug, very old, broken where the stone had struck it, falling. I sat there staring , then opened my water bottle and took a drink.
I felt them there with me. The ones who had sat here so long ago. They had come in out of the wind and the rain to take a drink and watch their sheep. They had looked out on this valley. Like me, they had come alone.
My heart swelled with something great and unknowable. Time stretched like an elastic band and broke.
Before I left, I leaned the stone against the wall, leaving the treasure hidden, for another traveler to find. On that day, I will be with them. I will be sitting there still.
Yesterday, winter arrived on my doorstep. 4pm, and already the sun was setting. Outside it was cold and raining with a hint of snow in the air. To ward off the darkness I did some of the things I know to help. I brewed a cup of tea. I baked some bread. I put on pajamas at 6pm and snuggled in with a blanket and a novel. But the next day, when the darkness came again, it came with melancholy and I knew that another kind of magic was needed, so I put on my rain boots and my warmest coat and went for a walk.
When gathering items for making an altar, I let my eyes wander. I become a treasure hunter in a land that is full of surprises. This time I noticed Rosemary growing outside my house. A soft cushion of moss- emerald green. Under some big fir trees in the park I found a fir cone and some of the branches that had fallen together. Peeling bark of a madrone tree. A stick painted with yellow lichen. An acorn, A walnut and a chestnut, smooth and glossy brown. As I collected my treasures, something started to lift inside of me. See, said the something, there are wonders waiting everywhere.
At home, I arranged my gifts and lit some beeswax candles. A smell of smoke and sweet honey filled the air. When I make altars, I like to lay down something there to let go of. Something that feels heavy in my space that I am ready to release. Then, I welcome in the energy that would support to me . Gratitude. Magic. Wonder. Abundance.
I keep the little altar up for as long as it speaks to me, lighting the candles whenever I want to refresh my space with the intentions I have set. Then, after a while, I clear it away to make space for a time I want to create something new.
Over and over again, I notice the same kind of thing coming up. If a relationship truly isn't working for one partner, it also isn't working for the other. For example, sometimes one person wants to end a relationship, and the other person resists the change. But that doesn't mean the ending won't ultimately serve both partner's growth.
I also notice a lot of people struggling with feelings of guilt around making a change that affects others. Guilt is never anyones truth. It does not teach. It does not forgive. It does not allow us to see ourselves for who we are- people growing and learning through our experiences. We all have the autonomy and the freedom to create changes for ourselves and to try new things. Sometimes we are the one who wants to let go. Sometimes we are the one who resists a change or an ending. In both cases we can treat ourselves with gentleness, love and forgiveness.
Relationships are growth periods. If the growth period is over, we can approach the ending with gratitude and grace. We learned something from the relationship and now we can make space to learn about love again.
I'm Norina, a curious explorer of our magical world.