How can a place
Contain what was, what is and what will be
Leaving us with a sense of all the roads traveled
That have converged
To lead us into this moment
Where everything is possible
And the joy in this knowing
Fills the cracks from the weathering of life
And we are made whole.
Arriving at my Kentucky home, my houseboat on Lake Cumberland, I felt the rest it makes possible. This is a place over the last 20 years where I have said over and over: I find more of my Self here and this is still true. The foothills tree-lined with rocks at the base hug every square inch of this lake and all of us tucked in this piece of paradise.
One year ago today, I arrived here on what was a blazing hot day. I pushed the wheel barrel full of my essentials for the weekend out to my houseboat and was drenched in sweat so I spontaneously threw on my swimsuit and jumped in the lake. I began to cry feeling all that was, all that is and all that will be. The year before, I had decided to sell the boat not wanting to be here anymore but on this day, I knew that being here fed me in a way that nothing else can. I climbed up the ladder out of the water and dripping wet, I went inside to get the scissors and cut down the For Sale banner that covered the front of the boat. The neighbors on the dock cheered me on tearfully, delighting in my choice to stay.
Nothing is the same because nothing can stay the same yet here I am, okay with what was, what is and what will be. My drive from Nashville to the boat took me on new roads with views of Tennessee that were far different than my route from Indianapolis but they were equally awe-inspiring. I didn’t get to go across Wolf Creek Dam as I have done a thousand times with all my windows rolled down blasting my music and saying Hello! to the lake. But I did get to soak up new vistas as I blazed the new trail here companioned by travelin’ tunes that had me dancing in my seat.
I walked inside the houseboat announcing: I’m here…And being silly asked my late-husband, John: Are you here, my love? My sister, her husband, my niece and her fiancé laughed along with me. I said: Wouldn’t it be crazy if he started flashing the lights to let us know he’s here? and they agreed. And just then, a black and yellow butterfly swooped around the front of the houseboat, dancing about, leaving us all still in the knowing that John is indeed here with us. My brother in-law tried to blow it off and then, he joined in reaching his arm out for the butterfly to land and perch. It was a powerful moment filling us with the magic of this place, a place where our greatest memories were carved from the play and John and my wedding day to our greatest sorrow where John lived his final moments out and breathed his last breath.
As the night fell and we were basking in the glory of the day, my sister commented that the butterfly was definitely John reminding us that he is with us in spirit and it is a sign for our new beginnings here in this season and this life – leaving us with a sense of all the roads traveled that have converged to lead us into this moment where everything is possible and the joy in this knowing fills the cracks from the weathering of life and we are made whole.