This is my tree. No, it isn’t in my yard; it lives in a small walking park down the street. Why is this tree so special to me? Let me explain …
Four years ago, we got the cutest puppy ever, Daisy Florence! Energetic puppies need, unless one desires to have their couch and undies eaten, a lot of exercise, so she and I, on one of our million walks, stumbled upon a little park where my tree lives.
In my little park, some days, I am singing loudly with my earbuds in, while I walk the winding path around my tree. My Abba tribute phase was something else, but the Christmas season is an especially dangerous time to be in proximity to my park. Sometimes, I am giggling about a funny podcast, or something ridiculous.
Occasionally, I’m crying while I’m walking. This is, without a doubt, a season of my life that is heavy with letting go. As I have attempted to process all that life is flinging at me, the good, the fun, and the downright shitty, I have watched my tree also manage change. My tree has become my mentor, as it so gracefully surrenders to each new season … giving, taking, growing, losing and renewing over and over again. My tree gives me courage, as it bears all with such dignity and confidence.
I also began to hear a voice on my walks … calm down Amanda, you can postpone taking me to the home for the confused and dilapidated. I only hear the voice inside my head (well … mostly). It whispers to me over and over, “Take the space in your heart for what will never be, and create something new to fill it”. Okay, that’s a super-duper, awesome idea … but what do I fill it with???
Can you guess whose voice that was? Well … it was the voice of Inspiration! I like to imagine that Inspiration takes the form of a delightful, little, fairy that flits to and fro on adorable, tiny, gossamer wings. If you are lucky, and you invite her to, she swoops in close, so only you can hear and she whispers ideas in your ear. This is what I imagine my personal Inspiration fairy looks like. My dad suggested I name her Helena, how perfect! I was blessed with a Mother who has a whimsical, creativity; I called her and asked her to draw a fairy for me, she didn’t even ask why her 50-year-old daughter wanted a picture of a fairy, she just created my lovely Helena!
I have named her Helena because after writing about my angelic Helens for the last few months I found out something surprising. My Dad sent me a message that said, “I don’t know if we ever told you but we named you Leana with your Oma Helen in mind. In low German Helen is Helena and all her friends called her Lena. So that’s how we came up with Leana!” Ummm … no, I had no idea. Not only that, but my Dad checked and found 5 Helenas on his Mom’s side!
One day, Helena had an idea, “You need to start a blog!” “Uggghhh …”, I said, “Not a blog. Everyone and their cow has a blog! There is even a guy who has a blog called Lonely Cheetos (it’s literally pictures of Cheetos he finds on the ground). I mean, I feel sad for the poor little Cheetos and really hope they find friends … but seriously?” “I’m in charge of the ideas here, and a blog it is … plus you hate Cheetos”, replied Helena, firmly. “But no one will read it”, I said. “YOU WILL!”, she replied, “That is more than enough reason! Take all your hurts, happies, jokes, and ideas, and create something that’s all you”. “But … IF people DO read it, they might think it’s stupid, and I’m crazy?”, I whimpered. “It’s none of your business if people think it’s stupid, and … people already think you’re a little odd … so? … “odd people” just don’t care about conformity”, said Helena.
My darlings, never ignore inspiration, regardless of the outcome. Inspiration is absolutely enthralled with the idea of creating with you; work with it, and together you will open doors to your soul.
So … I listened to that fanciful, sprite, Inspiration Helena, and I started a blog. I knew my tree was going to be involved, I just didn’t know how … yet. While I was weaving together thoughts, ideas and dreams, I kept seeing an image of Dennis and I dancing, without his ever imposing, three hundred pound wheelchair. Inspiration had a plan all along … I was going to dance with my love suspended from my tree!
And so … with Inspiration, and the help of a lot of dear friends, I planned a “Rose colored glasses” themed event. Now when Inspiration gives me a theme, I run hard with it, some might say obsessively … whatever! We had pink glasses, Rosé wine, almost everyone wore pink, and we danced to La Vie En Rose (Life With Rose Colored Glasses) by Louis Armstrong and Rose Colored Glasses by John Conlee.
What an amazing day! It was indeed! The love at this event was so palatable, I swear I could taste it. What does love taste like? Well, to me… it tasted like warm cinnamon, sweet honey, fresh apples, and …. well … eternity. It felt really wonderful to hold my husband standing up(ish), and all kinds of emotions flowed freely. Thoughts of what never was, and never will be. Thoughts about everything Dennis and I have gone through, the great and the tough, together in the last 16 years. Mostly though, thoughts about this amazing moment in time, when inspiration became reality, and Dennis and I lived in the beauty of a moment that was magical, fragile and perhaps slightly dangerous (no worries, everyone is fine).
When Inspiration and I plotted out our dance, I thought the point of the whole thing was to substitute an experience (dancing standing) with a flawed facsimile, a guy dangling from a tree. Nope … wrong … again … I realized that the whole project was really about something else. It wasn’t about trying to produce something we couldn’t have! It was inspiration helping me create something new. Sweet peas, you know that sound your cell phone makes when you get a new message? Well, my brain went BLING, new message;
Dennis, exactly how he is, is your Muse. That is his gift to you!
Fondly, your heart
Definition: Muse/ noun/: A person or personified force who is the source of inspiration for a creative artist. Yes, I’m owning the title creative artist. Well … Damn … All of our obstacles and struggles are in fact, forcing my soul to fully express my own creativity. Loving Dennis has helped me to unearth more of my true self … and people think Dennis is the lucky one. What a gift his love has given me!
My dearest hope, sweet readers, is that you will find the thing, person, cat, book, city, supportive brassiere, roller derby team, circumstance … whatever it is that unlocks the passions of your heart. Then, I’m hoping you will find the courage to share your passion.
So … what is Inspiration whispering in your ear that you’re not listening to!
Oh, and take heart, we’re all in this together!
Love Mum, Auntie Lee-Lee, Tart, Goose or Dennis’ favorite Naner