When you uncover
What you truly
Want in life
Passion rules your garden.
“But you have had an empty nest for a long time,” my sister said when I told her I have found new empty nest insights.
“Well, yes, that’s true, physically. But my children had not left my head, my mind, my thoughts.”
Would they ever truly? Probably not, but for sure it was necessary that they move to other rooms in my brain so that my mind could access them at will, not on demand.
It began with rewriting my title as Grandmother, the name I wanted to be called. “Too formal,” my daughter said. She chose Grammy. I had had a vision. Unfortunately, it was not the same for the parents of my grandson. Not to discredit their plans, they, after all, are the parents. I stood aside. There is no point in arguing. Lesley Stahl writes in "Becoming Grandma" about a similar discussion with her daughter. “Then there was the issue of what Jordan would call us. I told Taylor I’d like to be Granny. 'No way' was her reaction. 'It sounds frumpy.'”
This was the beginning of my awareness of the degree to which my children have become their own person with their own ideas and plans for their future and strategies for implementation.
Of course this had been my goal all along. I raised my children to be intelligent, kind, independent, free thinkers.
Kind is the pivotal word. Thank goodness I succeeded. They now express, with kindness, that their free-thinking, independent plans aren’t in alignment with mine.
Rule # 1
No dropping by
And so began the task of making appointments to visit.
The nest in my mind is emptying, making room for a new me. In her book, "Goddesses Never Age," Dr. Christiane Northrup explains, “Agelessness is all about vitality, the creative force that gives birth to a new life.” I achieved menopause. I was now giving birth to the wise woman I am.
The issue of how to remove my children’s problems from my mind continued. I realized I could not solve their problems. Unsolicited advice was received with a smile, yet not heeded, nor welcome. I learned that worry would get me nowhere. It is the worst kind of worry because I can do absolutely nothing. At least when I worry about my own problems, I can take action, do something, change something. Not so with adult children. As young children I could implement consequences or lecture or have long discussions in the car on the drive to school or soccer practice. None of these strategies are currently available. Now, there is no point to worry. The ultimate letting go has to occur. Don’t worry, I tell myself. I raised them right, did the best I could. They will figure it out and handle whatever comes along.
I consult my Garden Girls. They represent the wisdom and power of flowering minds of all my girl friends brought together to create. I wrote about them in my memoir, "The Garden Girls’ Letters and Journal." They live in my fantasy world. I invented the Garden Girls to accompany me on my quest to live the layered life of an artist — What does it take to become a Garden Girl? A desire made manifest, to discuss intimacy, passion, wisdom, and authority.
The Garden Girls are at an early morning gathering in the woods. No one is clear as to the plan or the direction. Spider-woven fairy handkerchiefs sprinkled in grass lead the way as we follow the instructions on Honeyrose’s invitation: Listen to your intuition and breathe deeply.
Each girl arrives in her own time. Artemisia, old, wise and playful in a bark beret, brings violets and greens, the secret ingredient for achieving a powerful menopause.
This gathering, my dear, is the beginning of unknown inquiries. We have no idea what we are going to inquire about. With blue beads in her hair, Honeyrose, the woman I am to become, says, “Our life is not our circumstances, our life is our story.” I gather the Garden Girls to discuss concerns significant not only to our selves but to every weed, tree and shrub that surrounds us. What I want to know is when does the voice of authority arrive, speculation end, and assertion begin?
Our altar in the woods is a large multi-level out-cropping of smooth rocks. We each find a place for the gifts we brought, then begin looking for our perfect spot to sit and speak and receive each other’s messages. As far as I can tell everyone is accounted for. Honeyrose reads from Sage, the thinker’s, latest letter. “Freedom is the ability to create passion,” Sage wrote. She had become a ritual queen in a colony of women up north. Rose has a picture of her back home on her own altar wearing a twisted green head band. “And our passion,” Honeyrose enunciates, “gets stirred every time we choose freely.”
Today, I choose freely. And create passion. I eat plenty of greens and focus on green as I shibori dye silk. I read Deepak Chopra’ new book, "Super Genes." He emphasizes the importance of lifestyle choices. It’s where new growth takes place. Of course, green is what is needed. It is the color of growth and balance and self-reliance. Growing allows me to increase my value and confidence. I remain sexy. I have evolved into my own voluptuous self. I do what I want, whenever possible. Now that my children have grown, I am free to live from the wisdom of my soul. This is where I truly flourish; this is my second spring. My flowers are in full bloom. Blossoming.