Today is February 27, and my dad would turn 86 if life had not decided otherwise.
Today is February 27 and I am just a few days away from the 180 day mark.
I don't think the two are related, but I could not say for sure that they are not.
I left my little island cottage last September 1st. I remember turning back and waving at my cat, my backpack already in the truck.
I knew so little of what was to come.
I had some anchor points: a Retreat in Italy in September and two Retreats in Mexico in February. February feeling as though it was years away. In between? An AirBnb reservation in a small village Tuscany, which turned out to be not quite what I envisioned.
Other than that? A blank slate. A big, beautiful, scary blank slate.
After the Retreat in Italy, I started shedding my friends, the people who know my heart. A little bit at a time, they all left. By November 1st, it was me and my backpack.
It's been big. It's been humbling. It's been exciting.
Over the course of the last six months, I have made many new friends (lost one, too - not by death), have seen how both strong and fragile I am. I have eaten weird food, and dispelled some old preconceived notions. I have learned to become deeply comfortable in situations that would have intimidated the heck out of me last year. I have learned some things about me that I would like to change a bit. I have met some parts of me that I want to tend and grow. I have learned, also, that unless I use my Super Power to make someone's day a bit better, I could die.
I have learned that home is in my heart and in the heart of people I love.
I have seen that joy does not get snuffed easily.
I have witnessed how courageous human beings can be.
And now, it's time to go home and melt into love hugs. To catch up, to get moving on watering some seeds that were planted in the last few months, too. To see if my cat would consider forgiving me and no longer pooping on the floor. That sort of things.
Am I ready? I don't know. Truly, I could keep going another six months, especially if the people I love would come meet me somewhere for a bit.
It feels strange and it feels sweet.
One thing I know: I am very, very lucky to have a home to come ... home to.
Island Bliss Retreat
July 12 to 19
Happiness Retreat in Italy
"Thank you for sharing your wonderful, heartbreaking, exhilarating experience with the world."
"Thank You Laura for sharing, for teaching and spreading loving kindness. "
"I think I love you. You bring good things into my life, or remind me of things I love and know, but have let go of."
"Laura, you are so good for me. I laugh and sniffle and get the shivers when I read your essays. Thanks so much for letting all your wonderfulness run around loose."
"Heart-achingly beautiful, your words and how you reveal your truth."
"Thank you so much for who you are and what you share with the world. Your mere being transforms lives as it has transformed mine. This particular post did to my heart what water does to parched soil."
"Thank you for your gentle words that are packed full of wisdom. I have been struggling with the concept of what words can do to another person when they are negative words. Your words are the flip side of our word power, and shows how delightfully powerful kind words can be. Thank you."
"Once again Laura Lavigne takes you on an adventure of the heart. She has a way of pulling you right in the car with her. Asking you to consider changing a fear to taking thoughtful action. Whether she's teaching a class, leading a retreat or heading for a happiness sprinkling, Laura will invite you to shed old ways of thinking and be completely authentic. Join in!"
"Essentially pure love.
I enjoy how Laura is kind to herself and to us other humans who dance in and out of each other's lives. "
"Don't miss a post!
You can count on Laura for warmth, humor, charm, and a lift to your day and your heart. She inspires me to be braver than I am, and to love the world out loud. She's a gem, and a generous one at that!"
I write because this is the way I am able to taste life more deeply.