Homecoming came at 11:45 on Monday night. I miss the mountain – the gorgeous weather, the people, the fellowship – but there is serious relief in being home as well. My Kit, my kids, my cats, my bed… yeah, there’s a lot to be thankful for at home.
My clan this year was Camel, focused on yoga. Yoga is many things, but much of it is breath. Yoga is the mind surrendering to the breath and the body, quieting the chatter and focusing on maintaining the flow.
Much of yoga is balance. Balancing the body in the pose; balancing the breath with the movement. And when I drew a tile for my weekend goals, it was imced. The weaving comb represents, among other things, balance, or a need for balance. I was surprised. In hindsight, perhaps I should not have been.
That’s hindsight, though. In the moment, I was surprised.
From Shadowscapes Tarot by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law
Sunday night’s ritual continued the theme, but added a wrinkle. There were dark places during my walk, areas where I could not see the terrain below. In order to continue, I had to trust the darkness, the unknown. Imced was needed… as was The Fool. Be ready to fall in the pursuit of your answer, and embrace the fall.
I did the walk twice, focused on my questions. In what form or manner do I find imced? I wondered during the first walk. I was asked, “Why is this your question?” and suddenly found myself in tears. When asked, “Did you find your answer?” I could only nod, because the tears were pouring down my face. To speak would have meant complete breakdown; if I needed the breakdown, I promised myself, I would have it later.
My answer was chaos.
I touch on it a lot, but don’t detail much about my day-to-day life. First thing: I adore my family and would not change my life in general. That said, I’ve mentioned a few of my Kit’s various challenges, which have only gotten more so over time. We both have day jobs, and then the household has to be managed as well (including cats, a teenager who shows signs of fibromyalgia, bills, and so forth). Kit tries hard to help, but because of his various conditions, much of it falls on me. I knew it before, but somehow this weekend it hit me that much harder that I have caregiver fatigue. For months I’ve been teetering on the edge of actual burnout. And no, I haven’t sought the support that would help me cope, nor have I taken the time to take care of myself. My mind has been in complete chaos trying to keep up with everything, and I have felt entirely helpless to change it.
This weekend, I was shown that I am not helpless.
Imced is order. The Fool is, to some extent, chaos. One cannot exist without the other. I cannot impose order in my life and expect it to stick – it’s neither realistic nor desirable for me. So it came time to determine my next question: “How do I balance order with chaos?”
Again I walked the circuit. Again I was asked the questions. This time, I did not find my answer. This time I was Told, “This is what you must learn. This is your winter Work.”
For eight years, I have had the tool to find that balance. Yoga.
Have I mentioned that I’ve always loved it? There are a million excuses as to why I haven’t pursued it more, but with encouragement from my clan, my friends, and my family, those excuses are fading.
Close to the exact print I received.
I finished the Sunday ritual feeling sore, but accomplished. I had my Work; I had my tools. I sang with the Covening and prepared for a good dinner.
And then I received my tarot card.
I don’t know tarot as well as I know my Stones, but there are a few cards that have stuck with me. The Fool is one; the Tower is another. It means change – dramatic change, out of which one does not escape unscathed. Per the Shadowscapes deck I have:
Upheaval and sudden change, crisis, releasing all emotion, suffering a blow to the ego, revelation and seeing through illusions.
It doesn’t mean bad change, nor does it mean good change. But dramatic.
My immediate reaction was fear. Now that I have a little distance, I can see where it would apply to my winter Work. I can see pain and some upheaval on the path ahead. Finding balance is never easy, and with yoga in my toolbox, I can imagine a complete deconstruction of my ego. (This is not a bad thing, but it will not be easy.)
Monday morning brought gentle yoga to restore from the night’s hike, a little sunburn, and a delightful ride home. I have brought home that gentle yoga routine and continued it, ten minutes or so every day, to keep from seizing up or losing my groove. Meanwhile, an awesome friend (who is a certified yoga teacher) will be helping me set up a daily practice, and for that I am crazy grateful.
Today is my second day back at my day job, headed back into my daily routine. This time, I feel more prepared to cope.
I am a Camel. I have resources to get through the changes ahead. I am not helpless, and I am certainly not alone.
My clan, and the gorgeous lake at the mountain.