Appreciation of a Caterpillar before the Butterfly spreads its wings
Observing a caterpillar on my friend Loren’s jeans last night, I picked up the little fella and put it on a leaf outside. There’s the obvious representation of a caterpillar emerging into a butterfly that i like in relation to my own life emerging into beauty and colour but what also struck me is the vulnerability of picking up this creature and putting it somewhere relatively miles away and observing how it shuffled into the next. The lower quarter of it’s long tubular body held tight to the crest of a leaf i had delivered it to, as the other three quarters trustfully flapped about in the air to blindly flip it’s whole body to the underside of the leaf, what a move Mr Caterpillar!!
For those of you that have followed my blogging, I want to acknowledge that what i dreamt of whilst dancing in that yurt in Oregon really has come true. I’ve managed to manifest a home in the countryside, a person to live with who’s whole heartedly reminded me of the freedom to create and be as I am – she’s inspiring because she deeply cares about letting it all hang out, seeing the labels we use to navigate and often limit our lives and reminding me to delight in the paradox and the beauty of irregularness. I I simply adore her. Her names Loren and I found her by putting a very candid note out on the Bristol Permaculture email list. This list was the master idea of my dear sister girlfriend Ted (Susanna) who’s started a small business growing Organic vegetables (https://www.facebook.com/MawsWoodOrganics). I dreamt of living close to her and being near her for hugs, chats, cups of tea, sewing, planting and most of all giggling. She’s a beautiful soul with a courageous spirit – I’m lucky to be on the receving end of her tendrils of kindness and warmth. She’d a beautiful muma of two boys Oaken and Harley and partner of Nug (Simon), the marathon runner, who’s a rock in her life.
So since arriving here a month ago I have been unraveling memories of myself in the time of my childhood with time to wander, collect bits of nature and be free! I love these cosy Somerset lanes and being able to walk to Ted’s land where the summer’s veg is starting to grow in abundance, where Oaken and Harley are growing up to learn about the simplicity of being close to nature and where i can then feed this simplicity into my Dancing Freedom facilitation and its choice of music.
Today i walked down the lane near my house on a day when the skies finally broke open. I want to thank my intuition and her voices that have began to nudge me towards being of service to people through freeform dance – it’s feeling like the most natural thing to do. The trajectory there started late last year I found Caroline Carey’s shamanic dance workshop (thanks to Teya -http://carolinecarey.me) meeting Sarah Bullock who introduced me to Samantha Sweetwater and Dancing Freedom (www.dancingfreedom.com), arriving home to the UK and immediately having the desire and confidence to offer a space for others to dance and explore a fuller relationship to themselves.
And then being given the chance to re – enter the LifeBeat family (www.lifebeat.co.uk) on the 8 day summer camp that empowers young people through inspiring creative workshops daily including dance, visual art, spoken word, meditaion, yoga, Kayaking, singing, drumming – you name it and it’s there. The young people who attend these camps have been surviving out there in the big wide world with their protection jackets firmly zipped up, coming to Lifebeat they get given permission to remove those jackets or at least undo the zips and take creative risks to grow. By being a safe container for young people to flourish in, us as the adult facilitators get to feel the warrior like energy these young people express – it’s a powerful experience that comes with its challenges and huge rewards. It’s a tight nit community and the days are long and full on, so there’s was no escaping intense emotions brought on by lack of sleep as the young people’s energies simultaneously mirror your own unattended pains which have to be held and dealt with away from the safe container.
An emotion that stood out for me clearly on camp and over this last year is grief with a capital G. LifeBeat, Dancing Freedom training, Sweat lodges and splitting up with an ex boyfriend I fell in love with, have shown me deep tears attached to pain and feeling lost (mini anxiety attacks) – it feels like they’ve been revolving around in circles for a long time causing all sorts of dramas. Luckily 2013/14 has dispensed the magic medicine of being more mindful in body to really feel what’s there and break that cycle turning pain to joy. I check-IN daily with my body through dancing, yoga or a jog down the lanes and now any tears that fall are cleansing. My current mantra is work with what you’ve got rather than what you haven’t got.
Here’s to caterpillars metamorphosising into butterflies, to getting it wrong because there is no right, to watching the season change from summer to autumn to winter in the blink of an eye as us mortal beings bravely balance on the textured tightrope of our multi layered realities.
Come Dancing Freedom I say like a preacher who’s found her God! I hope to offer you a space to warm your spirit and soul somewhere in Bristol and Glastonbury from this September onwards. Further details to be announced.
Also, keep an eye on The Wave project in Bristol (http://www.thewavebristol.com/Team/) . Once the lake and the surf wave technology are in place next year, it’ll give people a chance to surf inland. I will be creating a team for the project that will provide healing arts and activities in a fun and accessible way for ages and abilities to compliment surfing.
Wishing you all the beauty and celebration of being alive.
A humble bow and a chink of light in the eye.