Elephants, beavers and birds, oh my!

Is there a difference between meandering and wandering? Without looking it up in a dictionary I am finding myself defining them in my own terms. Wandering seems to be stumbling about without purpose, seeking and lost. Meandering, as I have been experiencing it since last April, has become an exploration of sorts, not from a place of being lost, but from a place of new adventure. Those are my definitions anyway as I am struggling this week to not feel lost. Some change has come over my days in that I am no longer feeling “meaderest” but astray and wandering about blindly. I am hoping this is a temporary condition and am combatting the aura with writing, reading, walking and mundane tasks that need to get accomplished like taxes and bills. There is an unsettled rest about my week, as I am recovering from an intense two weeks of teacher training in the Shakespeare & Company Month-Long Intensive here is Massachusetts.IMG_6222

There was difficulty in that training, a disillusionment in people who I have adored, exhaustion from too many hours without breaks and not enough sleep, experiencing others‘ emotional trauma and finding new connections with my own. I was rattled and am still reeling and recovering, wondering what is next. I miss my tribe, my family, the adventure of being on the road, discovery, meeting new people, the excitement of not knowing who I may encounter each day. Half of me wants to hit the road again, not settle, and escape my demons, but the other half knows better and has learned to revel in my own identity. Summing up…I am wandering, like a drunken man veering aimlessly down the straight roadway before me, missing my sparkle.IMG_6245

I haven’t wanted to blog, what is there to say? I went to my pond this week, and it was fogged in and beautiful and spoke to me in silence. It was icy and I wished I had some sort of crampons for my boots to keep me steady for it made walking around the lake slow going. I didn’t want to end up with another sprained ankle. It was so still, but for the sound of the crunching, icy snow under my feet and the whistling wind, very dense and other-worldly. There were places I had to carefully maneuver where the path was completely frozen over with a thick, smooth glassy ice flow. IMG_6234

I stopped and wrote in the Pond Journal (see On Benedict Pond) reflecting my mood of doubt and unknowing, but it was right to record the lows as well as the highs. This is life, not spent continually on the mountaintop, and I am content to watch how well I deal with this new phase. I am reminded of Gertrude and Betsy, two elephants that carry all our troubles up into the sky in a hot air balloon. Their story was recounted by a friend last fall who said her dad made up Gertrude and Betsy when she was little because she moved around so much and was afraid that Santa Claus would not be able to find her. So her dad invented Gertrude and Betsy the elephants that floated above and would carry messages and take worries with them far away into the sky and always be able to find her. 20200_10200201810275068_1299172856_n

This ridiculous image of two huge elephants in a hot air balloon tickles a place in my psyche. What a perfect way to release our fears by letting them float off with a pair of impossible pachyderms.  IMG_6239

As I came around the last leg of the pond two little chirping birds lead me along the edge. They kept just 5 feet in front of me the whole way, flitting from branch to branch and cheering me with their presence, always too quick to catch on my camera. I named them Gertrude and Betsy, the embodiment of elephantine vitality in very small packages.IMG_6246

I walked by the beaver lodges and imagined a cute beaver family holed up inside all toasty, rubbing their paws together roasting marshmallows over an open fire. I guess I am trading in my practical grasp on reality for animated animals to cheer my lonely, melancholic days. Speaking of animated…I saw Disney Pixar’s Brave over the holidays and LOVED it. Here is a song that has become my mantra this month…

When cold winds are calling,

And the sky is clear and bright,

Misty mountains sing and beckon,

Lead me out into the light.


I will ride, I will fly,

Chase the wind and touch the sky,

I will fly,

Chase the wind and touch the sky.


Where dark woods hide secrets, 

And mountains are fierce and bold,

Deep waters hold reflections,

Of times lost long ago.


I hear their every story,

Take hold of my own dream,

Be as strong as the seas are stormy,

And proud as an eagle’s scream.


I will ride, I will fly,

Chase the wind and touch the sky,

I will fly,

Chase the wind and touch the sky.


(Hear it here on youtube…Touch the Sky)


2 thoughts on “Elephants, beavers and birds, oh my!

  1. Maybe not exactly wandering but, like those beavers you imagined, just waiting; resting. Thoughts and directions need time to clarify. Sometimes it takes a chance discovery to complete the mosaic so, you rove to and fro. Watching; looking. For now.

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