Several years ago I came across a warning system for the community at Avalon to know when I needed a little bit of space. I want to share that short writing here as a precursor to today’s musing. I wrote this at the beginning of winter which has traditionally been a time of more challenges for me. Most years, I warn all my friends and family that I may stop communicating with them much. Becoming a hibernating bear is my greatest desire every winter.
I have come up with an “early warning system” for those of you who come to Avalon during the colder, wintery months. Watch for what color hat I am wearing!
Purple hat means go. If I am wearing a purple hat know that I am “safe” to approach and converse with. No hat or a green hat (can’t find one I like in green yet) is okay too. Margo pointed out on Monday (a fairly grey, grouchy day for me) that I needed to put my purple hat on because purple is my play color. She was correct and it did help shift my mood. Purple is play for me. (I actually have lots of blue hats this year.)
Red hat means STOP! I love the color red. It is one of my favorites. I am also reserving my red hat as the way to warn people it is a challenging day for me. And it would be best to approach at your own risk. 🙂 I am using the hat as a way to simply say I am feeling more vulnerable, edgy, tired, etc. Might not be the best time to ask me about a new project. Could be a great day to come up and just give me a hug!
I do my best to take joy in simple things and find the good in every moment/situation. I live a life filled with abundant opportunities for joy and love. Yet sometimes I need a little more space than others. I encourage all of us to find ways to let others know in gentle and clear ways what we need. Colorful hats are just one way.
This year, I think I should just be wearing a red hat every single day. Actually, wearing all red might be an even better idea. As winter progresses and we inch closer to the first day of spring, I’m not experiencing much of the hopeful feelings I usually do at this time. And it’s been an amazingly good winter. I am fully aware that this year it has nothing to do with external weather and all to do with my internal barometer.
I’m spending my days trying to plan for the future – embracing new learnings, planning for lots of cool new things at Avalon, dreaming about the trips the kids and I want to take this year, desiring to deeply declutter our house. I’m spending many hours reading healing books, having great conversations with folks, and trying to work at the farm. All I want to do, I mean ALL I want to do is become a recluse and hide away from the world, coming out only to get food. The way our house is set up in its own little valley I could easily go days upon days seeing only my kids. And that would be 100% okay with me.
Looking forward to the first day of spring is now intrinsically intertwined with the day Russell died. Yes, yes, yes I write and speak about dancing the center line between dark and light, grieving and healing. But this one is kicking my ass a little bit, some days a lot. One of my favorite days of the year, the Spring Equinox, is now also the exact date of Russell’s death. In my very good moments I can find wisdom and peace in this. But lately, there have been lots of not good moments that just leave me feeling like the wind is permanently knocked out of me. I simply can’t believe it’s almost been a year, and yet it also feels just like yesterday. It is a crazy, crazy journey to be on.
I’m feeling angry, edgy, weepy, and really just don’t care about much of anything outside of my children. I don’t want to see the good side of things as is my natural inclination to do. I don’t want to cheerlead, encourage, plan, dream or scheme. I just don’t. I’m trying to go through the motions of running a large, healthy farm/business. I’m trying to at least fake caring about events and activities coming up. But it is all just going through the motions, there is little to no joy or desire in me for any of it. Heck, my own horses could probably start talking out loud to me and I would just say “Hmm, that’s nice.” Even getting the focus to figure out what color hat to put on each day is too much.
Oh I know that I will shift again at some point and begin to seek the healing wisdom in my life. But I believe for this time, this moment I’m just going to settle into wearing my red hat for awhile. Remember, it doesn’t mean I’m angry at any of you. It just means my insides are close to coming through to the surface and I am in need of more hugs. The thread of sadness, missing Russell and the ending of my hopes and dreams for us, is wrapped tight around me. Until I feel all that is for me and allow myself to do whatever I need to do for my own healing and my kids, the red hat will be staying on.
Wow, do I hope and hope and hope that spring time brings a deep cleansing and healing and releasing as it usually does for me. I’m tired, so very tired of feeling like this and talking about sad, heavy things.. I just want to feel like talking to people again and laughing and playing for hours on end. I want to feel warm and capable and fun and clear again. I want to wear only my blue or purple hats.
In this time, in this moment…I wear red.