From Vermont Views Magazine







We finally got some cumulative rainfall in New England, a downpour, and the day before, a quiet rain overnight. This is needed here for the crops to grow … that slow penetration of water, to mingle and make available the soil nutrients, then sun to warm and energize. I think about how our lives are no different. The essential self is affected by our environment of growing up, just as the wind or drought will affect seedlings. I think that none of us come through childhood or life without those difficult events that begin to shape us. Whether we are presented with the deeply challenging circumstances of thoughtless or hurtful people, significant loss, or consistently unstable, undesirable events, environments or conditions, all these things take the developing self and place restrictions and encumbered shackles upon it. I have come to believe that since most of us go thru this (to differing degrees) that it is actually our opportunity for growth being laid out for our lifetime. I would even go so far as to say that it is perhaps our map (in a reverse way) to finding our way back to wholeness and happiness.


I’m beginning to think we come into this life being given the circumstances we need to be broken, then are given the means or circumstances to grow out of them, albeit sometimes very slowly, as it may take a lifetime. Oftentimes it takes recognizing that we can become set in our beliefs, habits, patterns, pain, or restrictions, which can hold us in unhappiness and limitation. But, this can eventually become our comfort zone, and we are hard pressed to change our minds, hard pressed to turn things around. It takes a conscious choice to stop making excuses… however sometime I glimpse that it’s as simple as letting go—letting go of the absolutes, of the mind cage, of the answer No.


Recently I’ve experienced this type of restricting mindset in my day-to-day life, as I have found myself impossibly behind, trying to catch up to a life that was on hold for the last few years, as I passed through the resolution of grief. I found myself in a repeating thought process: that I’d never get caught up, never get things done, never get everything back to a functioning whole, to a new normal… then one day recently I saw that if I did one thing a day, one thing at a time, that eventually things would get done… not quickly necessarily, not finished tomorrow, but projects begun, things in their proper places, un-needed items given away etc. I saw that it was my thoughts that were holding me back, keeping me stuck.


I have heard it said that we over estimate what we can get done in the short term (for instance, in one day) and that we under estimate what we can get done in the long term, (over a few months to a year or more). This idea has helped me to open my mind to pull away from the restrictions and fears that I carry around with me—some of which go all the way back to my youth.


As we all know, change is inevitable: we may not want it to happen, but it will happen in spite of us. In fact, if we freeze in the face of necessary change, the choices will be made for us, and they may not be what we could have chosen. It’s hard to change ourselves. Perhaps as we each struggle through our own path toward change, I’d encourage the letting go of the absolutes that hold us in place, allowing us to begin to see what happens as we allow the nourishing rain of new possibility into our hearts, to warm the soil of our future selves.







I found a box full

Of the possibilities I once was

The fettered and unformed youth,

Whose past held a future undiscovered


Are we the sum of our trinkets?

Empty picture frames & nail files

Marking moments of dawn to dusk

Before one moment that divides the rest


How the heart grows through sorrow

How each and every thing that gets piled up

Gets taken away


And so I sort thru boxes, photos, mementoes

Little things that seemed important

Lifetimes in substance


Yet all of this matters not

For now I carry all my treasures within

Gather up the life

And give it away.


© Julia Ferrari, 2016






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