Avalanche Gardener or The Slow Migration of Change

The slow migration of change sometimes begin within waves which look like endings. Or in this case snow tracks on a northern slope that suddenly descend into hardy dirt paths- overlooked & abhorred for their non-eloquence.

But sometimes the dirt is where you find yourself standing. There’s nothing particularly pretty about soil on its own. Wonder if the first gardener decided to plant flowers and shrubbery because they got tired of seeing a bunch of brown earth and manure everywhere.

Sometimes the dirt and the shit is the only way to intentionally plant blackberries, ferns, a life that will give back and grow.

I got tired of putting up with other people’s collective shit so I left them and left a state that I had never really felt home in. Yet in the barrenness I found piles of my own bullshit and self-serving actions.

One good thing about breaking down in private is that left alone for long enough you start to really see your own toxic behaviors and ways of thinking that led you to act in ways you didn’t think you could. Sometimes you find the reason for your behaviors are linked to a specific abuse or unaddressed mental and emotional health issues. No matter how you got there your issues and setbacks, your faults and your traumas are your responsibility.

You find out who you really are when you finally accept exactly where you’re at. Real change comes when you accept the shit heap garbage person you can be without hating yourself for it. You must love yourself enough to fight for the good parts about your self and life.

It’s even easier still to track the cessation of a habit with apps that count the seconds, weeks, and years since that last sip, smoke, or snack. What about the last beating, the last puff, who measures the distance between god and the last time you stepped in church? The last time you saw your parent, your lover, your ex best friend?

I was the most stable I’d ever been at the onset of last summer- or so it seemed. You can travel the ends of the Earth and still not know wholly who you are until you’re too broken to keep running. Until you finally ask for help. Maybe that’s what this amazing fucked-up year; all these breakdowns and breakthroughs were about.

The heart and mind are each our greatest evolutionary inheritances. Without which we would be relegated to live like our first ancestors in tightly bound clans around caves and bands of forested rivers. But there is a wild peace in the barrenness. You learn who you really are when stripped from luxuries, designer brands, designer boyfriends, and endless cars & credit. I never really employed any of those for my own.

Travel and the search for authentic people, the wild experiences, raw expanses of landscape and personal truths are what set me & my finances constantly forward then back. Hopefully I’m richer for the wear rather than the other way around.

Your people are your modern-day tribe. Instagram stories are postmodern oral histories passing through 24 hours of dedicated finite screen time. We used to spend those days together. Why do our callings and wanderings leave us spread out so far apart from the people we most want to be with?

The college nights raged with best friends in glorious abandon? Those nights out on southern sun scorched patios filled with drunken laughter and chain smoked conversations? We often don’t realize how lucky we were when our best friends, our family, our lives were nearby.

The constant irony is that we’re hardly ever present for our lives as they’re being lived until the friendship, the love affair, until the blissful time is over. We lament because it feels like things will never be right again. So easy to forget when you’re living it that the Earth is supposed to go dormant in winter.

“A soil, exhausted by the long culture of Pagan empires, was to lie fallow for a still longer period.”

The fallow period of the soul lasts not forever. This ending is just a different knot inside beginnings.

Feet stomped through snow lead closer to new lands with every aching step. It felt like I’d never be happy again. I am almost back to my usual self, trimmed up and a bit more quiet around the edges.

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