Lessons From Within

Can you see me? Deep, deep down? My heart is wide open, and there’s lots of room. I’m going on a journey to find my way back home. Crossing the ocean to reach my islands. They’ve been waiting so long. So much longing, but still I’m afraid, says the child inside.

My mother tells me, “I carried you in my womb. Still I carry you. When you walk with your bare feet on the ground, I hold you. When you rest your head on a coconut tree, I am there.”

But what if I fall?

My grandmother tells me, “When your tears fall, I have sat beside you and cleaned your face. My hands have touched yours. When you weep, it is a prayer, and I am there.”

But what if I get lost?

My sister tells me, “You’ve come as a seeker. You are a warrior. You are a goddess. When you look up at the stars, I see you. You’ve come for a reason, and you are guided. You’re never alone.”

My sister, my grandmother, my mother- they are all parts of me, pieces of my heart. I’ve come here to love and learn about love. And I know there is still room in my heart, and it is wide open.

Photo: ehscapist


She goes, she goes. And if she lets go of everything, there is nothing to hold on to, and nothing to keep her from going. It makes her feel alone and free. This is what brave is.

In the morning, she lets the world creep in, slowly. Softly, the rain taps on the roof. The sun’s light gently touches the walls. It’s peaceful out there, but slowly the thoughts creep in and it’s not so quiet for long.

That’s when it is time to rise, to allow other distractions to interrupt the mind. So she packs her things. Boxes of clothes, crystals wrapped in paper and put into smaller boxes. Books meant to be read but left unopened, the tops left with a faint dusting, go back into a box from which they came. Along with journals filled with a grasping that never quite reached. Some letters written, but to a recipient never realized. Intentions.

All half trying. But too late for those things because it is time to go forward. So she compartmentalizes her life into cardboard boxes and ships it off to another life she won’t be going back to.

She is not quite a clean slate, and she doesn’t need that. Maybe a clean rag- a piece of something bigger but who knows what. Perhaps beautiful once, but so worn and tattered now. Yet there’s use. She could be of some use, she thinks.

So she goes. And thinks of salty sea air that is calling her, she thinks of a sun that touches her deep into her pores. It is not her home, but she will make it so for the time she feels she’s needed. Until she has completed something in being there. She does not expect to be completed in return. But she hopes for something.

And so she goes.


The days bleed into each other. If we learn of the day, it’s all the same. Everyday is Sunday or everyday Wednesday. Mornings stuck in bed. We promise ourselves we’ll wake up earlier tomorrow, but somehow we dismiss the 4 alarms we set. Defeated, giving into warmth, in the bed of our Dream Away Palace.

“Good morning, beautiful. Did you have any dreams?”

And so begins the daily ritual. Consequently, mornings begin late. Tomorrow, tomorrow, we’ll be better tomorrow.

There is comfort in the known. I know what today will be like and foresee what tomorrow will bring. The fire is lit, breakfast made. I’m just now rolling our shared tobacco. Something as simple as this. A slight change, a minutiae of growth is big in my eyes. He grins sweetly at my first success and I grin back proudly.

Everything is fun size here. From Our little studio we spend our days in, to our miniature stove we light occasionally in the Dream Away, the medieval looking tent. We call it our little tandoori. Little tandoori requires the smallest pieces of wood, a stove fit for a gnome. We doubled over laughing at how ridiculously small it was when it came in the mail. Henry finds zen in the act of chopping tiny pieces. We light tandoori for yoga and special evenings before bed. At night we watch the firey reflections dance on the walls. A small bundle of wood sits in front of the Dream Away, with the flue from the stove sticking out of the tent, I imagine what sort of people, or non-people live there. A British Flag hangs in the entrance. I joke it’s the British Occupation.

It’s kind of crazy, we spend every waking and sleeping moment together. When he leaves to grab something, I say, “Ok bye, miss you already!” Knowing I’ll see him in less than five minutes.

We talk. We talk about our future, our past. From if we were an animal scenarios to if we could change the world. Layer after layer, revealing ourselves. Secrets I’ve held onto for fear he will finally see me and turn away. But instead I’m held tighter, loved deeper. Embraced.

This time it’s different. The fear of expressing the truth of our hearts is open. And finding validation in those three words is real. This moment, these days, they won’t last forever. Shortly, we will part and continue onward towards our dreams. But this love, this bond, this truth-it’s solid and strong, unwavering, and real.

I thank the stars for giving me something to hold onto. For giving me a home. When I have searched for so long to find this home, seeking it in other countries, other towns, other places. I’ve found it in a heart.

Cosmic Latte

Yesterday I learned the average color of the universe is cosmic latte. It made me smile. I thought to myself, I want to drink that. To sip brown sugar stars and steamed milk of fluffy cloud swirls. Lick crystallized specks of sweet sun rays. A dash of tree and a blossom of flower. From the tip of my tongue to down deep in my belly, I absorb and nourish all that I need, and let go of what I don’t. And I feel the universe within me, and know also that I am the universe. Because you are what you eat, or in this case sip.

What Feels Like Home When I’m Home

2 1/2 years since I’ve been home. Among all the jumping around, family celebrations, family drama one easily forgets and amusingly is reminded of, feasts, embraces, glasses clinking- somehow there are moments to breath. Moments to hold on to and cherish. When everything stills as I remember. Yes, I’ve been gone too long.

The song of the cicadas only a native finds soothing. I sit in tall grasses and listen. It brings me back to late summer days and late fall afternoons walking back from soccer practice. Or evenings at home, falling asleep, they’d be singing from my window. This is peace. For me at least.

My nephew asks for hugs and I hold him tight. He shows me how he holds his 2 cats who trust him so much. He checks on me to see if I’m awake so he can greet me with another hug in the morning. Oh, how I’ll miss this. My heart aches, but fills me with wonder. What love is waiting from something 2 people create, I can only imagine.

Driving down winding roads with my best friend from high school. Trees lining the way back home. We stop in the middle of the road to take pictures. We know no one’s coming. With bare feet, I step out onto the gravel, out into the humid air, clean air, country air. We laugh as she directs me.

“Put one leg out. No, the other one. Now walk away from me,” She instructs.

And then we run back into the car which is still on and get to where we’re going.

“Profile worthy,” I proclaim.

Together we sing a throwback song from another time. We know every word. Finally, we’re feeling old.

I sit in the middle of my Dad’s living room, surrounded by framed paintings by William Blake and cat hair. Evlis, his cat, sits by my side. One half of his paw is missing, and when he walks, it reminds me of a pirate with a peg leg. I can always hear him coming.

I look out the windows onto the neighborhood street, and it’s absolutely still and quiet, save for the cicadas and the crickets. What town is this, I wonder, where I can feel like I’m the only person that exists in the middle of this place?

Again when I return, there will be more reminders that fill my memory. From the insect’s songs, to a simple embrace, or another impromptu photo shoot that is sure to ensue. I can’t be gone for this long again.

I was Raised on the River


I say I'm an island lady, because it's in my blood.  But really, my mama is the one.  She was born and raised on the islands of Fiji, the Pacific ocean molded her.  I grew up in a tiny rural town called Salem, NY, and the river molded me.

The Battenkill River.  I had always thought it was an ominous name, however the Battenkill was more of a teacher to me than anything else.  When I was young, on hot summer days, my parents would take me out on the canoe.  For long trips we'd begin at the Vermont boarder and end at the Georgi; a beautiful property running alongside the Battenkill which was donated to the public after Mrs. Georgi passed.  The house was transformed into a museum and as a child, I remember walking through and hearing the story of Mr. and Mrs. Georgi.  How Mr. Georgi traveled all over the world.  Every time he returned home to Mrs. Georgi, he presented her with a crystal or rock from his travels.  Along with numerous paintings, their mineral and gem collection is on display, which I remember most.

In June, when everything is as green as can be, there's a long row of white blossoming trees.  I used to daydream that I'd get married there one day.  But still, the islands are in my blood, it's a fare toss up.  I spent so many summer days in the green grasses and little sandy nooks of the Georgi.

I learned the meaning of my name on the Battenkill.  Quietly, contemplating down the river with my parents.

"How did you find my name?"

"Your Dad found it in a fairy book.  Fay, Fairy, it's what your name means."

I learned my Dad named me.

I learned some currents aren't to be tested, but if you're caught in a rough one, ride the current.  I learned to be calculated in my risk taking.  And of course, I learned leeches suck…literally.

Swimming in the Battenkill was ritual.  Wherever there was a bridge, there were people.  Parents and children finding their sandy spots,  and teenagers, the brave and reckless, jumping off their bridge into the flowing, frigged depths.  Of course, a hap-hazardous spray painting proclaiming 'I love So-and-So,' was a quintessential part of the scenic river experience.

One summer swimming day stands out.  I may have been 5 or 6.  My first best Friend, Rachael and her Dad took us swimming.  It was only the 3 of us for a while.  Hot sun, cold water.  Simplicity.  Always.  A girl emerged onto the rocks at the edge of the river, hair blonde with blue and green colors in it.  She wore a long flowing skirt.  Everything about her was colorful.  She sat down on the rock with a book.  I had never seen her before.

"Who's she?"

"A gypsy."  My friend's dad (Of course I can't remember his name) replied matter-of-factually

"What's a gypsy?"

"Someone who doesn't have a home and travels from place to place."

For a long time I wondered about her.

During my childhood years, I was a water worshiper, never getting out if I didn't have to.  Only now do I realize how much that river shaped me.  My affinity for rocks, my nature to ride the tough currents, because somehow, I believe I'm protected.  And now, it seems I am that gypsy with colors in her hair, sitting on my rock.  Hot sun, cold water.  Simplicity.  Always.


California Love

Spending the summer in California. I think it’s safe to say this state is my home.  Every time I come back from a long trip away, I’m reminded how beautiful this place is.  Although this isn’t the best ‘mountain view’ photo, it does have something to say about the bonds I’ve made in California.  There’s something special about a place that draws people from all over the country and world.    It’s California love.