The coyote loon that changed me.
Preparing for my retreat with my Magic Making Cirlce this past September I gave myself 3 days alone before anyone would arrive.
I first saw the lake as I pulled in the narrow (scary) driveway in the pouring rain in my van filled to the top with food, pillows, bedding, decorations, altar supplies, sheepskin rugs and every part of my Loft I could tuck in. A huge lodge with several cabins and a view that my made heart flutter were my gratitudes for making it all the way down that crazy little dirt road.
I had groceries to get out and coolers filled with frozen meatloaf and muffins, so I unloaded stuff out of the van and onto the cart that pulled supplies to the lodge. That’s when I realized there were no keys. Nothing locked. And I was alone. And soaking wet. For three days in this huge openness.
Nothing locked. City. Girl.
The first night I sauteed apples listening to the wind ring the porch bell and watching the storm that had forced me inside to do just what I thought I had wanted. Be alone.
Alone has been a journey that brings me to my knees. And one that I have known I must be inside of, to know myself in deeper ways. To find my power and strength without the voices of others. And I was being tested hard that night.
I settled in and barely slept in that lodge without keys, thinking of my game plan if some crazy person tried to come in at night while I was sleeping. I put my keys under my pillow because my mini van key is pretty fierce.
The next morning at sunrise, my coffee and I found our way to the dock, which would become my morning and afternoon ritual for the week. My church. I had arrived at the retreat not just as a guide but to be guided. I was feeling myself in my own skin, feeling fear being alone, wrestling with questions and longings. Questions burning on my surface.
The sun set on the second night after a day filled with moving furniture and trying to make a dusty lodge look a tiny bit like The Loft, and that is when I heard the coyote-bird. I texted my friends, “Um, is there such a thing as a coyote-bird cause I am freaking out a little bit.”
That’s when I learned about loons. Our spirit animal while we retreated on the lake. Their sound moves right into your body, it finds all the spaces left untouched and opens them. As magical creatures do.
That loon became affectionately know as the coyoteloon and by the end of our time at the lake there were 3 loons celebrating with the women who had come to know themselves more.
On our free day, Jenny (who was the creator of magical decorations and crafts during the retreat) and I went into town to relax and feel the space that Maine gives to your heart.
On the drive I saw a blue canoe on the side of the road for sale. My stomach leaped when I saw her. The most beautiful blue, silver linings, huge.
“Jenny, I think that is my canoe.”
I am wild and impulsive and scared often of that part of me, as it has been dampened over the years.
Jenny calmly said, “Ok, let’s check it out on the way back.”
She did not tell me I was crazy or remind me I lived in the city in a Loft with nowhere to put a canoe. She let me have my wild.
And wild it was. I bought the canoe. (That is a whole other crazy funny and amazing story.) We put her in the lake and I felt like I was home. Not in Maine or on that lake but in trusting myself, one of my deepest longings.
Jenny brought the canoe home with her to Vermont to use on their lake and love up. It was that easy.
What if it could be easy?
The canoe was so heavy, and it made no sense. But it became a great story and an even better friendship.
We named her #coyoteloon. She is beautiful.
The canoe and Jenny allowed me to feel like the most amazing creature on this earth that day because I was safe inside my wild. I was free and held and loved.
Since our canoe partnership Jenny and I have been dreaming of other ways to continue to feel safe and wild and free. She is an artist, dreamer, doer. I am a coach, visioner, doer.
We are growing #coyoteloon from a canoe into something much bigger.
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“I beg you, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.” ― Rainer Maria Rilke
This quote became the theme I used for our time at the lake. For the retreat that gathered 26 women from all over the world, Scotland included.
I was living the biggest question of my life when I arrived on that lake, anxiety and fear had been holding me for too long. I remember sitting on the dock, feeling so deeply into the question as though I was growing it inside of my body. Every morning I would take my coffee to the edge of the smooth water and the question would start to feel more and more like it was a part of me.
The coyoteloon would howl.
I would breathe.
The question without begging for an answer was the most peace I have ever felt.
One month later I was living inside of the answer, as though the lake had touched a part of my soul that was finally able to stop searching, controlling, fighting.
It was surrender. The lake was my prayer.
And magic and wildness and safety are my blessings. I am changed. As love does. As it does.