Flying Lessons for Myself

Flying down the hill at 159 Km per hour in my beat up magic school bus yellow pathfinder, I was coming back to myself.  I had left my mother’s house in determined peace after she wouldn’t come clean that she put me in a pressure cooker all my life.  

The journey back to my home was difficult, at best.  First, I was unfamiliar with the roads as I had moved to a new town during the year.  Next, the GPS on my phone wouldn’t work.  Finally, I have to admit I have a terrible sense of direction, and despite knowing I should have a map in my vehicle, this time I did not.  

After getting turned around in a little town called Viking, I drove for hours and felt hopelessly lost.  So I stopped at a motel called Junction 23.  I spent a bit of time looking for the lobby but a gentleman and his daughter who was two or three years of age, got out of their truck and walked into the hotel office.  I followed them and asked for directions back to my home base.  

The man, the father of the child, sent off slight bad vibes but his daughter came running up and greeted me with bouncing curls and smiles in her eyes.  She babbled something that I didn’t quite understand but picked out the word “train” from her speech.

“Did you say train?”  I asked.

“No,” followed by a bunch of words strung together in childlike ease.

My slightly pissed off ‘friend’ who had GPS on his phone asked me what I needed and pulled directions for me.  He was kind enough to give me clear instructions that I could understand through the constant chatter of the spirits in my head.  

As expected, the directions back home were “Right turn, Left turn, Right turn.”  I practiced moving my hands in the air in the pattern of the roads and marched out of the building karate chopping the air as I glanced back and thanked the little girl, and her dad.

With great resolve and determination, I slid back into the vehicle, patting my war dog on the head and telling her she was a good girl.  Barking the directions home to myself, I slowly reversed and got on the correct highway.  After about ten minutes of driving, and working through the bad vibes I got from the girl’s father, I pulled over and called my son.

“Hey Trent, I’m coming home from Grandma’s and I got turned around in Viking.  I’m on Highway 36 and I think the directions say Right on 26 and Left on 835.  Is this correct?”

He looked it up on his phone and confirmed the directions, asking me if I needed anything else.

“Well, can you tell me where those roads will take me?”

“Highway 835 turns into highway 56, but it’s the same road, just the numbers change,” he said.

That was the best advice I had been given in a long time.  The numbers on the signs at the next corner didn’t match up with the directional numbers I had been given, but I could figure out the correct turn anyways. 

That’s just the way it is, when you go with the flow.  Tom Cochrane’s “Life Is a Highway” playing on the radio. With wildflowers all down the left side of the road and back up the right side of the road.

The beginning of the soothing came and I went back to the dream of the rainbow toe socks I wore in junior high school with the words “foot loose and happy free” embroidered on the top cuff.  

To get there, I needed to slow down and find my own path.  I needed to go back to the forest and pad along the soft packed dirt path with moss and wild grasses along the shores of the path.  I remember flying down the path with my blond hair streaming behind me like a flag.  I was running in happy anticipation of glimpsing the frog’s eggs in their next stage of development.

My grandmother had taken us, my sister and I and a group of our neighborhood friends down to the river’s edge.  She taught us not to go off the path, which has a multitude of meanings, if you just look.  She showed us the gelatinous glob of frog’s eggs as well as pointing out the string-of-pearl toad’s eggs lurking, diving, sinking into the shadows beside.  For some strange reason, I couldn’t pick out the toad’s eggs, I just couldn’t see them.

Throughout the weeks we, my sister and I, ran down the path to the river’s edge to watch the black dots in the eggs first grow a tail and then sprout feet and so on.  I told my sister I couldn’t find the toad’s eggs and she said, look, it’s a necklace.  All I saw in my mind was a chain.

It wasn’t until years later, while talking with a very good friend, that he showed me the picture in reality of those toad eggs hanging like a string of pearls for the swine.  The very toads who would feast on the tadpoles as they both grew into beings.

“The toad mother was very smart to lay her eggs by a food source,”   I said.   I still remember the look on his shocked face.  It took him by  surprise when I thanked him sincerely for showing me what I had been missing.

“I couldn’t have seen that without your words”

It was as though he showed me to peek under the bed and see the lost sock the monsters were so afraid of in the Monster Under the Bed movie where the fictional Harry monster travels up the 8 stairs of fear to find peace within himself.  And then, and only then, was I, the hairy monster, turned into the beautiful soul princess.

It was a process, that’s for sure.  Those stairs were spaced really far apart at the bottom of the case.  It felt as though my heart had been broken a multitude of times with each attempt to master a step.  Indeed, it had been shattered in more than one step.  With each wound, I called out to God to show me what I needed to see.  But, when a bond is broken, calcium floods the wound and glues the organ together making it ever stronger and larger than before.

Starting to tie the threads into a fish net, I practiced casting it in my living room.  As it flew over the couch I peeked under it and saw what lay beneath.  That proved to be futile.  

A long time ago, my neighbor Mary gave me a small black and white book with the picture of a cat on a keyboard.  Inside it was blank.

“It’s something to write your dreams in, because if you don’t write them down, you’ll never achieve them,” Mary said.  At the time, I was in the desert and couldn’t even think about dessert.  Now, after finding the lost sock, I open my gratitude journal and find my perfect occupation and only then, may I look for a partner.

One who is Patient like my son Trent, Tenacious like my daughter Victoria, Blunt like my daughter Helen, Encouraging like my daughter Leanna, and Educational like my son Travis.  These are the dominant qualities of the people who mean the most to me and those are the attributes I’m looking for in a soul mate.  It only stands to reason since these beautiful children are closest to and from my heart.

Now, and only now, am I able to cast my net from the inter and out into the world.

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