Last night was the Capricorn Full Moon, making it exactly 9 lunar years since I first visited my husband Chris at his parents' lake house in the North Woods of Wisconsin. When we arrived after the 3 hour drive from the closest airport in Minneapolis, he led me down a magical path through the woods to The Boat House, a small cabin close to the lake with no running water. He had his father had built the house together when he was in high school.
And it was nothing short of magic.
It was the summer before my senior year of college, and it was filled with midnight boat rides, watching storms roll across the lake. We stayed up every night into the morning, I would paint, he would record his music, we would have sex (a lot) and smoke cigarettes and read Rumi to each other and watch the Sopranos and talk about the universe and plan for our future.
I knew I would be happy there with him, in The Boat House with no running water, forever.
After that summer, we slept down there every year during our annual visit, recharging and reconnecting to each other and nature. But when Oliver was born we decided that being close to running water was somewhat important. Also our schedules were busier, and our responsibilities more, so as our stays became shorter, we wanted to let the grandparents get as much time with Oliver as possible.
But this summer, we were able to carve out three full weeks of vacation and we needed The Boat House. We made that 3 hour drive after landing, and anticipated that familiar smell, feel and magic of that place. But when Chris and I walked in, I broke down crying. The distance from who I was then and where I am now seemed impossibly long.
The Boat House's energy was different. We were different.
Lately, our talks of the future involve things like money, and responsibility and "short sightedness" vs. joy, excitement and trust. And the artists, the romantics inside both of us are pained by this.
"This place just needs some love," he said. So we started cleaning. We moved out some furniture and books that had been put up there for storage. We mopped and dusted, put new sheets on the bed and burned some sage. I set up my art table looking straight out the sliding doors to the lake.
We took a deep breath. The boat house was still there. We were still there.
Sometimes life makes you forget your power, your agency, your magic. Sometimes you forget that when you are in alignment with who you really are, responsibility and joy are not mutually exclusive.
Sometimes it takes peeing every night under the stars to remember that.
You may have to trek into the hills, leaping from rock to rock trying out your voice against the mountain. You may need hours of starry nights where the stars are like face powder spilt on a black marble floor. You may feel you will die if you don't dance naked in a thunderstorm, sit in perfect silence, return home ink-stained, paint-stained, tear-stained, moon-stained.”
― Clarissa Pinkola Estés
Let's dance naked in a thunder storm next time we have the chance!