I say my morning prayers at sunrise and this morning I was treated to the sight of the sun making this path on the ocean. I smiled to myself because it was a symbol of a recent, very emotional conversation I had had.
I had been sitting in church next to a woman who had complimented me on my singing voice (being a former professional opera singer it’s hard to dampen it…”why–do they shut Me out of Heaven? Did I sing–too loud?” –Emily Dickinson 😇) She inquired about my opera career and somehow, because she was such a good listener, I found myself describing the years of discipline similar to a professional athlete, the constant traveling, the thicker skin one develops, the loneliness, the passion, joy and complete transcendence. I went on to describe how, when one’s passion becomes a business, it can drain the joy out of it. Also, how there were certain aspects of a performing career that I no longer wanted to tolerate. So after years of this career, knowing since I was 3 years old that I would be an opera singer and after grieving the giving up of this path…I set my feet upon a new path.
As I began to describe the new path that is beginning to get clearer and clearer, I found tears springing to my eyes and my heart beginning to swell and I realized, yes, indeed, I am on this path and it too is becoming a passion and a joy. That surprised me! It kind of snuck up on me. The process was subtle.
It began by taking on a new profession, that while, not my first choice, is very satisfying and has allowed me the means to branch out into real estate purchases. I bought a beautiful cabin in the Georgia mountains and began equipping it, furnishing it, landscaping it and creating a comfortable, cozy home on 2 1/2 acres in the woods. While doing this, I began to realize that I wasn’t necessarily doing this for ME. I realized that I was creating a place of sanctuary for others, I just didn’t quite know who those ” others” were, only that it would be a place for them to find sanctuary. a place to regroup, refresh, read, write, walk in the woods, or simply to stare out the window and daydream. It would be a place of quiet, with only the sounds of the wind soughing in the pines, crickets and bird calls…and at night, sleep under the bright mountain starlight. The others are gradually beginning to come there…friends and loved ones who need a time out. It is bringing me tremendous happiness.
Then I was very strongly “prompted” to acquire land in Texas. My first thought was, “Not again! More looking, making offers, going through the closing process… not again!” But tiny miracles began occurring around obtaining this land, too many to document in this particular post. As a result, a yearning and dream I had held secretly began to burgeon inside,
It, again, had to do with sanctuary. I miraculously acquired my land in Texas not knowing that another miracle awaited. I only knew I had begun the process of creating something about which I’m finding myself as passionate as about opera. It will definitely be “a process”. As I sat there pouring out my heart to “the good listener”, I realized I’m closer than I’ve ever been. So what is this new path upon which I’ve set my feet?
Sanctuary again…this time for horses, donkeys, mules, doggies, kitties, birdies…any critter that needs home, food, healing and care AS WELL AS for humans who may require healing of the heart. As I’ve seen other organizations do, I want to put human and critter together to find this healing, this care, this wonderful love. I know it will have to start small and “organically” but already, one of the miracles that occurred was: 3 months before I closed on my 85 acres in Texas, unbeknownst to me, a young couple with children had bought a home and 10 acres adjacent to my land and guess what? They breed horses, care for horses, ride in rodeos. They are willing to teach me anything I need to know. They are kind, generous souls and we’ve become friends. It’s a good start to the beginning of this new path!!! It was a confirmation to me.
As I shared all of this with ” the good listener”, the tears now streaming down my face, a song I used to sing started playing in my head …
“Sure on this shining night
Of star made shadows round,
Kindness must watch for me
This side the ground.
The late year lies down the north.
All is healed, all is health.
High summer holds the earth.
Hearts all whole.
Sure on this shining night I weep for wonder wand’ring far
Of shadows on the stars.”
( poem by James Agee, music by Samuel Barber)
May we travel down the new paths set at our feet in wonder and in joy!