It is late Friday afternoon in the Sanctuary. This Indian summer week has been nothing short of spectacular, with a stretch of cloudless blue sunny skies and unseasonably warm temperatures. The crickets are still singing, the katydids still chirping their notes. For mid-October in these parts, that’s pretty amazing. I spent today in the gardens, weeding the front and planting Chinese Lanterns in the back.
In my quest to build my local holistic family, I met with a new nature artist friend, Donna, yesterday. She showed me around her outdoor gallery of enameled and welded sculptures. I could not help but feel the peaceful energy and the love and passion she puts into her creations. It’s tangible at Clear Light Studio, Garden of Earthly Delights. This visit for me was spontaneous. I had met Donna in the buffet line at a Chamber of Commerce event a couple of weeks prior. We quickly chatted and exchanged cards. I found her cheerful and delightful, so I called her in the moment to see if she was at her studio and headed over. Her building is in the middle of a historic district, and stands out. It is a bright pink house, and one who is not familiar with genius might describe it as cluttered by “junk”. It is the type of place I appreciate and love as eccentric and magical.
When I arrived, she greeted me in the driveway. Although she has been giving this tour for 35 years, her enthusiasm showed as if giving it for the first time. She treated me like an old friend. We talked of loved ones as we walked the grounds. I told her about my children and with a whisper and faraway smile, she described her husband, gone eight years, while we strolled in between the sounds of falling water. When I told her I could make this a writing place, she invited me to sit anytime. And to bring a lunch. Before I left she offered plants from her plentiful gardens. Wild oats and the beautiful Chinese Lanterns. She wrapped them with care, apologizing for the dirt. We parted with a warm hug, knowing I would be back someday. I laughed and said a prayer on the way home as I glanced at the plants on the front seat, hoping they will survive the transplant.
Back to today, I cannot strip myself away from the outdoors. Dinner is going to have to wait until after sunset. As evening approaches, the drifting sun blazes through the trees. The stink bugs crawl over my screens. My giant spider, who has kept me company for a number of days now, is sprawled out nearby in his web. Often he spins a new one, always progressively more elaborate. He is showing off his decorated yellow and black striped legs. How they support his chunky body suspended in silk I don’t know, but he amuses me as he sways back and forth in the barely noticeable breeze.
A creek-side walk leads to epiphany. As I wander along, I notice that my landscapers moved my solo chair from outside to inside my fire ring so they could mow around it. They forgot to put it back, so it remains in the ashes surrounded by stones. The sun’s rays directly illuminate it, beckoning me to climb in and contemplate. Immersed in the warmth and still of the quiet nature that surrounds me, a knowing smile appears across my face, mind clears and the answers come. “Stay here in your sacred space. Keep your Sanctuary, let your dream unfold, repair your house, deliver your writing, Reiki and spiritual skills in nature to help and heal others sharing the abundant joy and love you have. Find and embrace your holistic family here. Florida will be there when you get cold.”
As I walk back into the house, the dream is already expanding. And so is my heart.
Find peace and answers in the stillness my friends, and bask in your garden of earthly delights.
Stunning photo credit, Sean Kennedy