Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Fearlessly Forging Forward
Three large suitcases. One set of golf clubs. One carry on. One handbag. That is all I am taking to the other side of the world with me. Whittling down my life to approximately 200 lbs of clothing and possessions took some ruthless editing and more than a few anxious moments, but I did it.
In two days, I will check the bags through to Brisbane. There is mostly clothes and shoes in two of the bags and the third bag is an odd assortment of things I could live without but simply did not want to leave behind. Mostly meaningful things. A couple of books, framed photographs, my favourite mug, my softer than soft pillowcases, gifts from friends over the last couple of years that symbolize my journey. Stuff like that. And yes, Margot - a 4 lb carved stone that has been my house protector for 20 years. It must work - I have never had a break-in. It will grace the front door of my new house one day.
Anything that did not fit will be stored here in Canada and over the years, perhaps bits will find their way back to me...or not. The last move I made meant leaving behind even more and already I struggle to remember what most of it was. Things. Just things. It would have been unfathomable to me 10 years ago to find myself so unburdened as I am now.
One "thing" I came across today in my wallet has only been with me less than a year. It was a small medallion given to me by a very close friend. I have treasured it from the moment she gave it to me because every time I have worried about or doubted my decision to move to Australia, it has helped me move forward. On the front, as you see above, is an image of a woman or goddess, her feet are roots, firmly anchored in the ground and her arms are raised above her head, reaching, seemingly taking nourishment from the sky. She is a symbol of strength and conviction in my mind. She is sure-footed, confident, in touch with herself, her body vulnerable, exposed, without fear. Her foundation is solid and her outstretched arms have also found a place that feeds her heart and soul. Her spiritual life, clearly as grounded as her physical form, completes her.
On the back of this medallion is one word. Courage. She came to me when I needed her. Or did I? Certainly there were moments when I felt a need to hold her between my thumb and fingers and meditate on what she symbolizes to me. At other times, she was just a comfort to me, a reminder that I was on the right path. A touchstone. I would repeat the word over and over in my head. Courage. Courage Deb. You can do this. She also symbolized the support and encouragement I have been given from the friend who gave her to me. It helped me recall the many conversations we have had over the past months. The analyzing, the dissecting, the laughter, the tears, all leading me to where I am today.
I tucked her back in my wallet where she mingles with some coins, guaranteeing she will be seen often. Once in a while I take her out for a walk with me, tucked in my pocket or in my clenched hand. I used to worry about losing her this way. But now, I doubt that even if I did lose her, I would never really lose her message.
She has really rubbed off on me. People keep telling me I am courageous. I used to hear their words and think, ME? Courageous? I always thought courageous people were heroes like firefighters or policemen or soldiers. But now I realize that courage comes in many forms as do courageous people.
And I guess, like the cowardly lion, I had it all along.
Only, this time, I am following my own yellow brick road.