Tag: Cycling

Sometimes Life is…Amazing

Sometimes Life is…Amazing

The smoke detector went off at 2:42am this morning. Just little beeps that indicate the need for a new battery. I wasn’t sleeping well anyway but had drifted off just as the blasted thing started acting out. The ceiling is too high to reach with a baseball bat and the ladder is outside…in the cold…in the dark. And I don’t have the proper replacement battery.

Obviously I’m not supposed to sleep. I’ve been putting off writing this because I truly can’t piece it all together in a single blog post, can I? How can I take two years of intense growth with the aim of returning to the mountains and all that it entailed into a single entry?

The summary? It’s truly amazing how everything came together after a really difficult and challenging period of inner clearing. If you wish to know more, read on. If you just want to look at the pictures, enjoy. This is to honor the Path. And the incredible journey that ensues when a person dares to step onto It.

Even back then I knew change was coming. I felt it. And as usual, I see things that will happen in the future and think that it means now. When it means a lot later than now. Here’s the jest of the entire two years–trust the Path and the places it takes you with unyielding faith. Do your inner work and wait on the right timing.

After my home had been on the market a while, I had a contract and a few months later they had a contract on their home but the deal involved no less than six closings happening. Any bobble and the entire thing would collapse…but that never happens…right?

When I came up to look at homes again I was directed, by a cousin and another cousin, to look into an area I had considered in passing as my favorite place as a child…the area around Cherokee, NC. I had looked for over a year in the Asheville and Black Mountain areas and wasn’t feeling it. The growth and crowded conditions and high prices were all turn-offs for me. Nothing felt right.

So once my buyers had a contract it all started to be clear…I needed to look where I had always dreamed of living. I found a home and everything was aligned. Finally.

Until a week or so from closing and my buyer’s buyers pulled out of the deal because of a three day delay in closing.  And then my buyers backed out. My home was packed. I had just purchased a new vehicle. Had quit my part time job. And quite honestly this broke me apart….or open…it was stressful (like a bomb going off in your life is stressful).

So I cycled to stay sane and when I realized I was pushing myself too hard I started walking on the beach before sunrise. I couldn’t eat. I was in freak-out mode. How can this happen?

I had the thought that I should just look for a job and rent a home in the mountains as I didn’t have a mortgage but dismissed it. Later that day my friend Rose called and said she was standing there washing dishes…I think or was it me washing dishes when she called…and had the thought to call me and suggest I look for a job and go ahead and move. Okay….that was good confirmation.

So I looked at the tribal website and found a teaching position that closed that very day so I had to work hard to get everything submitted. I also applied for other jobs as a children’s therapist with a private agency. And then I let go.

Then, the next week I got three calls to show my home, one from a couple who had seen it months previously. And they made an offer and we agreed on a deal. The house I had a contract on in Sylva had a new buyer by that time so I knew that wasn’t my home but I had to return to the area to find a home.

On the home-buying trip I had an interview scheduled for a children’s therapist position in Sylva. I hadn’t heard anything from the Cherokee tribal human resources.

I was supposed to stay with a friend in Sylva but that didn’t work out so I called and stayed in Cherokee that first night. I awoke before sunrise the day of the interview and decided to dress for the interview, check out early and go up to my favorite sunrise overlook in the Smoky Mountain National Park.

When I got there I stood outside and looked out over the layers of mountains and sky and asked to be shown where to go and what to do…I asked to be given clarity. And the entire drive back down to Cherokee I kept hearing, the therapist job is not what you want. I decided to do the polite and keep the interview appointment anyway.

I was walking around the visitor center in the national park and my phone rang. The person that was supposed to interview me had double-booked herself and couldn’t see me after all. I just started laughing and got a few stares from wary visitors.

After a hearty breakfast in Cherokee I returned to the visitor center and changed into jeans and hiking boots and spent the morning walking around my favorite places. One is a pull-off in the national park and I walked down by the river and said a prayer: Show me where I can be of service, where my gifts and talents can be used.

As I was pulling out of the parking lot back at the visitor center a bit later, I got a call about the teaching position on the Reservation. That was a quick answer. But I still had a house to find.

In reality, the house found me…and the land. It’s a quirky cabin style home with one tiny closet and a master bedroom that is too small. So I inhabit the expansive loft as a bedroom and office and one basement bedroom is being converted into a storage closet.

As I sit at the dining table, the view is of the national park. And the view is exactly where I said that prayer for clarity…looking back at me.

I start the teaching job in four days.

A great cycling shop has given me connections to my love of cycling and has helped me re-connect with mountain biking…the technology with mountain bikes has changed so much since I had one 15 years ago it’s mind-blowing. Everyone is so nice and helpful…thank you Motion Makers!!

There’s a favorite bathroom stall at Lowe’s now and I think they are about to offer me my own marked parking spot.

I installed bi-fold doors today where the ghetto curtain hung to hide the washer and dryer. I nearly poisoned myself and four animal companions with fumes from stain…and got up at 1am to remove the doors and place them on the front porch without caring if the cold messed up the stain.

The fire alarm needs a battery and I have to haul a big ladder upstairs to make this happen. And return to Lowe’s for batteries. Why would I go anywhere else?

But here’s the thing–when I sit down to eat I am the view looking back at itself. This area is what I saw that morning and so many other mornings when I photographed the sunrise from the park. This place  is part of the layers of lavender and pink, this is where my prayers carried to that morning.

Never would I have imagined during that time of breaking open that I would feel so very grateful the domino deal fell apart and I lost money from a home offer in Sylva. As I felt the intensity of fear and disappointment and loss I could never have imagined how incredibly perfect everything would be as it comes together. I fully expect to meet a nice guy soon that loves cycling and diving and dogs and cats. And the way it’s going there will be bluebirds and butterflies hovering over his head.

I’m only ten minutes to work and the national park. The little house, in all its quirkiness, is already very dear to me. Buddy’s fence is ordered. The cats screened porch is in the works. And I have a job working with children…always my heart returns to the young as they are our greatest hope.

How can things go from being so completely messed up to being so incredibly wonderful? Perhaps we need to allow ourselves to break open, to unravel a bit for then the light can reach those dark, scary places and the healing goes deeper and opens us up to exactly what we dreamed of as children…what’s been waiting all along.

So many people have supported me during this journey and for that I am deeply grateful. There has also been support in the realm of Spirit that has been unwavering and as steady as a drumbeat. Thank you. I feel that beat in my bones calling me home.

P.S. The smoke detector never made another peep…or beep after I started writing.

Cycling in the Clouds

Cycling in the Clouds

It wasn’t high altitude that created the sensation of cycling in the sky. The clouds came down…far down to sea level.

While the space above me was beautiful, it was the puddles of puffy clouds below that expanded my sense of space and time. That sensation of pedaling above the ground stoked my imagination, fueled my spirit.

Life is so much more than we see at first glance. If we look a bit closer we find Oneness reflecting back to us in the most unexpected places.

The Not-Summer Season

The Not-Summer Season

Perhaps the most noticeable change of seasons in coastal Alabama is when we have less humidity in our air. Humidity seems to fuel everything here. Sodden, seemingly melting air is never missed by those of us who call the Gulf Coast home. By the end of the summer–October–we reach a dazed lack of tolerance for clothes sticking to our sweaty skin.

So it is with an audible sigh of relief that I report our first real cold front of the autumn season moved through yesterday. It was like a freight train from hell with tornados, lightning, winds and rain that fell in sheets rather than drops. The one or two earlier little fronts didn’t compare to this doozie.

I got in a good bicycle ride early in the morning but the early-arriving, pre-front clouds pelted me with the biggest raindrops I’ve ever seen. It felt like stinging nettles as I pushed and pedaled against a strong headwind to escape the rain.

It’s nice when the transition from one season to the next isn’t so violent. But sometimes change can be quite dramatic….and even painful. However, the outcome is definitely worth it.

I look forward to a chilly ride in the morning. Just hoping my cycling shoes are dried out and my helmet isn’t soggy. And might I add, Welcome Autumn!

Frogs & Clouds–An Illuminating Experience

Frogs & Clouds–An Illuminating Experience

In preparation for a yoga and cycling retreat in Ireland, I purchased a light system for my bicycle. So when I woke up at 4.30am the trails called. Not sunrise yet? No problem!

The waning moon offered light as did the stars but in order to avoid Mr. No-Shoulders and little amphibians I used my new headlight. It was an illuminating experience.

First, being on the trail an hour before sunrise gave me a glimpse into creatures that I rarely see. And mostly, it was frogs with an occasional toady. Some appeared to have springs in their legs as they leaped in a single bound across two bicycle lanes. Others stared me down and refused to move, their bright, beady eyes sparkling with greed at insects swarming over their moist, green heads.

When I got to the beach it was clouds that illuminated my mind and heart. Every shape and color seemed to shine in the pre-dawn light. Stars, planets and that waning moon all joined with the clouds and Gulf of Mexico to create a remarkable experience. I found it difficult to get back on my bicycle and turn my back to the spectacle.

But eventually I did and the entire ride was filled with clouds and colors and yes…more frogs–who seem to love the new boardwalks across the marsh. It was one of those epic rides that I wouldn’t have missed for anything.

Illumination….shining light where there was none. Funny how something I bought for road cycling safety in another country brought me into another realm of beauty this morning. All I had to do was say, Yes!

Chasing Sunrise

Chasing Sunrise

The route has been the same for a few years now. If I time it right, the orange orb rising over the swamp greets me as I traverse the cross-over trail. And if I’m really lucky, there is mist hovering over the area.  I am a creature of habit.

Now there are many new trails over previously inaccessible areas. And the Gulf of Mexico wonders where I’ve been all these months. Where did you go? she whispers in Her waves as they kiss the shore.

So many choices now. Which way to go?

First, I answer Her call. Straight to salt water before the sun arises from slumber. Sometimes She is rowdy and throws Herself on white sand and other times She is metallic turquoise and barely moves, containing her energy. But every day Her voice whispers advice or leads me deeper into silence.

And then the sun calls me and I do something not previously done….I ride into the Light.

I realized last week that for years I have planned my rides so that I don’t have face the sun…who wants to stare into the sun when there are other ways and routes that prevent this? But sunrise over the marsh, elevated on the boardwalk is exquisite. The Light calls me to face it….to turn towards it and allow it to bathe me in its glow.

I used to want to observe the sun as it peeked over the swamp. Now I want it to wrap around me, shine upon me and fill me…so every day I cycle I chase sunrise.

 I have started a line of shirts called, Follow the Light. The first one is now available for purchase. The sale of these tees supports my work and allows me to do more of what my heart calls me to do. This design is available in white unisex sizes or ladies v-neck rocking a modern cut and design. Support the work but above all, Follow the Light!

There is a limited number available on this first production.

Purchase here or send me a message to purchase.