Part Two: Ecstasy in The Bear Den
I’ve been up since 4 am. It’s my birthday. 🙂 And I’m in a state of ecstasy here in The Bear Den. Words have been piling up inside my head these past few weeks, and I finally plugged my computer in to open the floodgates.
But the first snowfall (an official Nor’easter) is happening as I type, and I keep getting up to open the door and marvel at the silent beauty of it. To take photos, to smile with glee, to weep with joy and gratitude. I feel like a kid waking up at the crack of dawn on Christmas.
I have lived here just over a month, and I’m not kidding – it felt like home after sleeping here one night. That is remarkable and something I don’t take lightly.
When I woke up and sat up in my bed and saw the sun rising over the Ossipee Mountains for the first time, I thought my heart would burst. Every day I look at that view in awe, noticing how it changes from hour to hour.
This wee house has twenty-five windows and three doors, so there is no shortage of views.
I’m not going to lie; moving was a bitch! But, I had so many angels who swooped in at the last minute to help me (on both ends). I purged and purged but still arrived with way too much stuff for this house with so little storage.
I’ll spare you the frantic details of the move – suffice it to say that I left too many things until the end, and so it turned into a purging/packing marathon that I thought would never end. Remember, I said that I’d never move during Vata season. But I did. And I survived.
I just kept reminding myself what was waiting for me on the other side. I am still swimming in boxes and frankly don’t know how I will find a place for the things that need to stay – art supplies, jars of herbs, books, etc. I’m taking it one day at a time, one box at a time. For now, it’s all piled high in the “room of shame” downstairs, awaiting my attention. My friend, Robin, is returning in a few days for a visit. Little does she know what I have in mind for her…
I have fallen head over heels in love with this house and the land surrounding it. Just as I put out there to the Universe, I can walk out my door and into the woods. There are fairies there. And something purely magical happened about a week ago. Do you remember my story about Jack, the Spruce tree I met in Ireland? Well, look who lives just down the path.
It gets dark here around 4:30 pm, and I rather like that. I’m a professional hibernator, after all. I’ve been going to bed early – no tv, and I just got internet two weeks ago – and sleeping like a baby. It’s pitch dark and oh-so-quiet. If I wake in the middle of the night, I see stars!! I’m even starting to remember my dreams again. My body seems to know that it’s time to wake up just as the sun begins to rise over the mountains.
This part of New Hampshire is achingly beautiful. Willow and I have been doing a lot of driving because nothing is nearby – except the tiny post office, which is a whole other story that I’ll save for later. On my first drive to Squam Lake, AKA On Golden Pond! for lunch, two bald eagles flew over my car.
I haven’t seen a bear or a moose, but evidently, they’re here. And everything in between. I just looked outside and saw tracks coming out of the woods onto my driveway.
I got Willow New Hampshire plates with the state motto “Live Free or Die,” thus entirely dragging her into my Sagittarian fire/Lioness activities.
When I got the plates, I also received a sticker for the trash/recycling center because The Bear Den doesn’t have trash pickup. I loaded everything up, got directions from Betty, my navigation lady, and headed to Transfer Station (still unsure what that means). All I know is that when I pulled in there, my first thought was, “this looks like a National Forest!” Leave it to New Hampshire.
As I drove around the bend, stopped the car, fully confused, I heard someone yell out, “Hey? Are you lost? Is this your first time here?” A man had emerged from the office and told me where to park my car. I saw that he’d gone back into the office to retrieve his mask, and I told him not to bother. I’d been dismayed to learn that the mask madness has even reached central New Hampshire. So he put the mask down, and we had a lively discussion about it, culminating in a sweet stranger bear hug. I miss stranger hugs so much.
Kevin, aka Smitty, and I have become fast friends. He has a heart the size of Maine, his home state, with a thick accent to go along with it, and he’s wicked funny (as they say out here). He’s taken on the task of showing me around the area, hoping that places will soon look familiar and somehow, magically, I’ll develop a sense of direction. Yeah, I don’t think so. 🙂 It’s been a lifelong challenge for me. I can get lost in my driveway.
Anyway, it seems that Kevin knows everyone in and around Sandwich and how to survive out here in what seems like wilderness to me, coming from the city. I like to think I’m a pioneer having this adventure, but I’m not sure I entirely deserve that title just yet. As I sit here all warm and cozy writing on my computer, snow looking like it’s soon going to reach my windowsills, my new friend is out plowing the roads, keeping us safe.
The reality is that there are people who need to get out. People may be without power (I’ve already survived one power outage here. It was NBD because I went a whole month without heat in the city after Hurricane Sandy.) But, I’m fortunate to be at home surrounded by this vast beauty.
I sometimes wonder if living like this might make another person go mad. There isn’t even a coffee shop nearby. But, I don’t drink coffee, and I don’t know that there’s a person alive who loves solitude more than I do. I enjoy my own company. I talk to myself, laugh at myself, dance with myself, etc. You get the picture.
I’m 67 today. I know people (women mostly) who would never admit that. It just makes me smile. I still startle a little when I look in a mirror and see my strange grey/red hair, but I’m rather starting to love it.
Honestly, I feel infused with fairy energy from all of this Nature and like a kid again. I loved snow growing up in Detroit – forts to hide in, ice skating in the park at the end of our street, sledding down any hill we could find. I don’t think there’s anything that keeps you feeling younger at heart than doing something as an adult that you loved to do as a child.
And this brings me to why I titled this post “Ecstasy in The Bear Den.”
I was listening to a podcast with Zack Bush, MD, without a doubt one of the gifts 2020 brought us when the interviewer asked him a question. I don’t remember which podcast it was or what the exact question was, but Zack answered it by saying something about living our lives in a state of ecstasy. My jaw dropped, and I got full-on goosebumps because that is what is happening to me right now, here in and around The Bear Den.
I can feel my entire body vibrating. I have never felt so grounded and yet floaty at the same time in my life. When I visit Jack and hug him, I feel the energy coming off of him. I feel ecstatic. I literally cannot stop smiling and saying “thank you, thank you, thank you” all day long.
Do yourself a favor and listen to any of Zack’s interviews. They are magical and will give you an entirely different perspective on what’s going on.
I have a wood-burning stove to sit in front of at night, sipping tea and reading. My sweaters all have soot on them from fussing with the fire. Do I care? No.
I hope to get back to writing my book soon. I’m giddy to be a country gal for the first time in my life.
I want so badly for those of you reading this who know you want a change of place to be as blessed as I am to find it. Trust your intuition and follow the bread crumbs. Take baby steps. Or giant ones, if you feel like it.
It’s not lost on me that I am feeling this level of Joy, of Contentment, of Ecstasy after a truly hellish year for the collective. How does one get so fortunate to have this happen during such a tumultuous time?
I feel like I answered a call to be brave this year. To let my Lioness out and to speak my Truth in the face of some pretty ugly pushback.
I stayed the course. I was true to myself all while coming from a place of love and concern for what I was seeing unfold before my eyes. My inner voice has been a megaphone this year, unable to ignore.
This state of Ecstacy is my reward. It has come in communion with Nature. And it’s a reminder to me that the most incredible gifts often come after rough times. It has been true for me all of my life, and I would not trade any of the hard times because of this. It’s what makes life experience so rich.
Following our soul’s true path.
When I made my mental list to the Universe, to my guides, to a greater Power, I threw in that I wanted to live somewhere with four distinct seasons. Where I would see snow again. I’m sure when I finally make it outside to shovel a path, clean off Willow and am forced to travel down my steep driveway, I might give the tiniest pause about my wishes. But for now, on my birthday, please allow me just to revel in the beauty of a winter wonderland while safe in The Bear Den, fire roaring.
May you find Ecstasy in your life, at whatever age, in whatever form it comes to you. This is how life is truly meant to be lived.
All my Love,