Trays of delicious food are brought to my room at meal-times, and I sit and eat in the quiet, gazing out to sea. This is such a treat, and a special part of this re-treat that I’ve given myself.
I have the space to write a hand-written letter to my friend, and to sit and draw,
to wander by the sea and soak up the late winter sun,
and to play in the sand once more. The piece I carve into the ironsand is called ‘Journey back home to myself.’
The journey takes me over dry leaves
and into the greening centre.
My centre isn’t yet greening. I’m still sleeping a lot. But I’m also taking in the freshness of the ocean with my daily walks. My body is being nourished by the lovingly prepared food,
and the perfect book was waiting for me on the bookshelf. Joan Anderson, ten years on from her ‘Year by the Sea’ when she took time out for solitary reflection, found herself losing the very treasure that she had found. Selling and publicising her book, which became a best-seller, and doing the same for the sequel, running workshops, travelling coast to coast, all took their toll. ‘The Second Journey’ is the story of how she took stock after her doctor, friends and family all expressed their concern at the consequences of her roller-coaster lifestyle.
What resonance! For me, the costs have not been so extreme; however I’m feeling the burden of trying to run a business selling my books (8 now, one out of print), running a psychotherapy practice, offering service through my spiritual community, and much more. With the seeds of a new creative project thrusting up, sprouting away and demanding attention, I realised that ‘something’s gotta give.’
Joan Anderson ended up travelling to the Scottish Isle of Iona. My journey has been less dramatic; just an hour’s drive from the city. And here I’m finding the pathway back home to myself. I draw a mandala to harness the yearning.
Finding the sacred centre. It’s only here that the well can fill up once more.