Yesterday was unexpectedly emotional. My body was more charged than days before. I woke with a longing in my heart and a compassionate sadness pulsing through my body. I've felt this before and called it nostalgia. It feels a little different now and I cannot quite pinpoint a label for it. The closest thing I can call it is "trapped resolve". It's a combined energy of allowance and acceptance and frustration and impatience.
The sensations continued all day and in waves. Some hours in the day were less charged than others. I practiced presence and awareness without trying to do anything about them. I simply felt them and continued with the activities of my day. I breathed deeper than usual and I was productive.
And then, later in the afternoon, when I went to call my family, my phone had automatically created several photo memories. I was compelled to look at them and scrolled through the pictures and my heart skipped more beats than I expected. I could feel a strong wave of emotion channeling. And this time, the longing and sadness pulled me deeper towards a combined feeling of gratitude and grief.
I started to cry and I was overwhelmed with gratitude for the time I took in my life to travel and connect with people I love....even when I felt that it wasn't good timing or I didn't have enough money to do it. Somehow, somewhere I knew in my heart that the most important memories in my lifetime would be the moments I spent showing up for the people I loved and who mattered to me most. Grief for the moments that I don't know when or how these moments will ever happen again. I cried some more and just listened.
Things are getting very quiet now. I am remembering stories and times. Memories are flooding through and I recall.
I visited the home of Williams Wordsworth in the Lake District of the United Kingdom. It was the summer before I was studying abroad and attending the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at Keble College, Oxford University. I adored the Romantic poets in British Literature: Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Blake and Shelley. They inspired me and seeing where they gathered and wrote was important for me. I'm such a sensory junkie. I need to see, taste, touch, smell, feel to have a full experience. The Lake District was a gorgeous place with beautiful vistas of rolling hills and blue water and trees and this sense of animal and fairy magic, if you believe in those kinds of things. Beatrix Potter's home was also here.
That fall semester in 1989, when I studied in Oxford, was life changing in a profound way and the time I spent in London planted the seeds for me to take root in New York City three years later. As much as I loved the charming and idyllic countryside, the energy and vibration of the city was alluring for me.
New York City was my home and heart from 1992 until 2016. Lady Liberty, I have a love letter for you. That's for another day.
I Wondered Lonely As A Cloud by William Wordsworth
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced, but they
Out-did the sparkling leaves in glee;
A poet could not be but gay,
In such a jocund company!
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash
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