Be That Little Girl or Boy

A couple of weeks ago I had a dream. Well, it wasn’t really a dream. More like a vision. It happened during that magical hypnagogic state that dream-weavers talk about – the moment right before you drift off to sleep. It’s the time I like to put out requests – maybe for an animal dream or a bit of wisdom to help me out when I’m struggling. It doesn’t always work, but getting settled and quiet as you drift off to sleep can bring about the magic.

On this particular night, as I was fading away, I saw what seemed like a portal. I peered through it and there I was as a little girl, playing in the snow in our Detroit neighborhood. I was wearing one of those one-piece snowsuits and my red rubber boots with buckles like we had back in the ’50s.

 The vision lasted only a few seconds but it had a profound effect on me. I woke up the next morning remembering it clearly and I can still picture it now as I sit here typing.

 Later that day I went for a walk in the woods and stopped by one of my favorite trees where I often go to receive heart healing and wise counsel. She’s a beautiful, strong Birch tree reaching straight and tall towards the sky. I’ve named her after a dear soul sister who has been my rock during these past two years. 

When I pressed my heart to her trunk I heard her say “You ARE that little girl. BE that girl.” 

 As if the vision/dream wasn’t enough, this confirmation put me in reflection mode all day.

 I love playing in the snow. Last winter I would sled down my hill to the mailbox 🙂 and it left me feeling like a five-year-old. This winter I’ve been snowshoeing out back in the woods and I have big plans to ice skate on the frozen ponds/lakes around here, like we used to do growing up in Detroit. I still have my decades-old skates just waiting to be sharpened.

 I was a December baby after all. And moving where there was a real winter with lots of snow was at the top of my wish list. Kind of strange, because I don’t like being cold. But I’ve learned how to dress for winter fun. 

 Of course, this goes so much deeper than just a story about playing in the snow. 

I like asking people to think back to their childhood and remember the things that they loved to do.

No matter how troubled your childhood might have been, I’ll bet you can think of something.

 I loved crayons and painting and riding my bike and reading reading reading! Mostly fiction. I loved to build forts and hide. I loved being alone. 

 All of these things still can shift the energy in me from being stuck to feeling light and happy.

I was (still am) a rockhound – always looking down at the stones under my feet. Now I live in the Granite State where giant ancient boulders settled thousands (millions??) of years ago. Some of them are my friends and live right here on the land where The Bear Den sits. Talk about wise counsel…

Do you want to know what chore makes me happy these days? Picking up sticks on my walks in the woods for kindling or in the case of Pine branches, for tea.

I am finding joy in the simplest of tasks.

It reminds me of all the hours I would spend walking the shores of Michigan lakes searching for stones.

When I was living in NYC and later JC, I rode my old pink bike almost every day. It has a basket and a bell, just like my little girl’s bike had. The minute I started pedaling my mood would lift and I often heard a voice talking to me, giving me guidance. I wrote poems in my head and saw paintings that hadn’t yet been painted. 

There’s something pure and childlike about creativity. 

For many of us we haven’t experienced the level of instability and uncertainty in our outer world that we are now. Much of it we can’t control, as hard as we try. But, we are always in control of our own energy and how we choose to keep it healthy and balanced. 

The next time you feel that dreaded drop in energy, or fear, anxiety, or the hint of depression trying to take hold, think of something you loved doing as a child and just maybe it can help you shift into a more comfortable space. 

It’s such a simple prescription and better than any drug (or bag of potato chips!), in my humble opinion.

My love of trees began as a child in Detroit and when we would go up north on vacation the Pine and Birch trees were my favorite. So, the fact that I am surrounded by them here is just another way for me to be that child.

In his book “Nature-Speak: Signs, Omens & Messages in Nature” Ted Andrews writes:

“Birch: Balance and healing is necessary; opening of new dimensions.

The paper birch is often found among conifers, like old friends and often the message of a birch will tell us something about a friendship of ours.

Birch is the “Lady of the Woods” and she helps connect us to all goddesses of the woodlands….The birch tree is one whose spirit and essence has ties to ancient forms of shamanism. 

The birch tree reminds us that new dimensions are opening for us. As they do, balance is necessary for the greatest success in entering them. She awakens the energy of new beginnings and a cleansing of the past.”

Recently, I came upon an area in the woods I’d not seen before. There was a circle of Birch trees surrounded by young Hemlocks and White Pines. It took my breath away and for just a moment, as I stood there, I fantasized about crossing dimensions and disappearing into the fairy realm. The stuff of children, right? 

I no longer have the stamina of that five-year-old girl. And certain body parts groan and try to resist when I want to go out to play. But, I still have her Spirit. We are never too old to play, to fantasize, to bring Joy into our lives.

Sometimes it’s the simplest of things that can bring about healing.

So, be that little girl. Or boy. And see what magic appears. 

Much Love,
Barbara

P.S. Full disclosure on the above photo – I couldn’t find a pic of me playing in the snow but found one of my sister, Sue, and a neighborhood friend  named Mike (my first crush!) Between our house and the two houses across the street there were twelve ?! kids. We practically lived outside. And, because our street was never plowed  it was our playground.

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