For a while now, I have been meditating on what I want to do with my life once my children leave home. In 2002, after 25 years of working in corporate management, I left that demanding world and slipped sweetly into the full-time role of mother without trepidation or regret. I found home in the rightness of my life, in the immediacy of now, in the juice of life’s present moments.
Years have passed and with my eldest boy entering high school and my youngest soon to complete elementary, I sense the natural fork in the road approaching, when one day my boys’ lives will go in one direction and mine will go in another. Where the practice of letting go will become more of a necessity, than the day in and day out control and gentle guidance that comes with parenting.
I am still in the ‘thick of it all’, my boys remain (inter) dependent on me, not fully grown and gone yet, and I have no intention of rushing this season of true happiness, but change is in the air, it is a comin’.
As I look more closely at my own life, I feel compelled, pulled, called to take a spiritual and literary journey, a quest for the truth, a woman’s pilgrimage to writers’ and artists’ birthplaces and sanctuaries throughout not just the United States, but foreign lands. To travel near or far and rediscover their timeless writings, relish in their art, uncover their eccentric and/or simple ways, relive their passions for living, and share their profound philosophies on the meaning of it all.
Right here in the wine country, the spirits of Jack London and M.F.K. Fisher inspire me to visit and write of ‘turning point’ moments in their lives, of London’s love of the wild, of Fisher’s love of pots and pans–letting their thoughts, words, passions and writings breathe into mine. Further south, John Steinbeck and Henry Miller, to name just a few call to me to write of their one time on this precious earth.
Circling with the literary, artistic and mystic greats of the past, marinating in their brilliance, inspires me to take a pilgrimage of my own making, letting my life unfold through the love of words and wonder.
“As I make my slow pilgrimage through the world, a certain sense of beautiful mystery seems to gather and grow.” —Arthur Christopher Benson (English Writer, 1862-1925)