Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Lake Erie: Parts 1 and 2

Lake Erie from Sherod Park, Ohio

This past April I pulled on my big girl boots and took the longest solo drive of my life. 8 hours to central Ohio to take a personal growth workshop entitled "The Rhythm of Life Design." The drive was significant in that I've metaphorically been hiding in my shell for a very long time. Because I really wanted to go to that workshop, I had no choice but to just get in the car and go.

I initially rented a guest house for two nights but then decided to extend my stay at the encouragement of a good friend. "Live your life!" he said. And so I did. I stayed in a beautiful old house on 100 acres of land with a pond and a beautiful breakfast nook where I spent a fair amount of time writing in my journal. I also was perusing a small traveler's guide to the area and found that I was relatively close to Lake Erie. Normally, I don't go in for lakes. I prefer active or flowing water and I just wasn't feeling it to drive to the lake. "Do you hear yourself?" said the voice inside my head. "You are playing it safe. You didn't come all this far to not go a wee bit further and see one of the Great Lakes. Get in the damn car & go." Okie dokie....  I got into the car and drove 12 easy miles. (All my driving in Ohio was easy.) As I was wondering when I would see it, and how big it really was, all of a sudden.... Gasp! Is that it??? Oh My Goodness!!!! I had absolutely no idea how big it would be as it covers almost 10,000 square miles. Waves crashed to shore and I could see big ships on the horizon. This was not the tiny local fishing lake I knew as a kid.

I was instantly awake.

I spent quite a while walking that beach, picking up small rocks to bring home and happily tracking sand into my car. Sand, In Ohio! Can you believe it? (I obviously don't get out much.) Though I drove a billion miles to get to Ohio, it only took a wee bit more to have my breath taken away from me and to experience something so wonderful. I had to admit that I had no clue when I'd ever see it again.....

10 days 057

This past Labor Day I spent the weekend at an amazing event called the Great Rhythm Revival held in Sherman, New York. After the event ended on Sunday, I was invited to stay at a new friend's house who lives near Findley Lake. After spending a few days there I looked at a map and once again saw that I was only about 12 miles from Lake Erie. And believe it or not, I almost didn't go back. But then the voice spoke once again. "Get in the damned car & pay your respects from a different state!"

Though I was staying in New York, I drove up through the chimney part of Pennsylvania to Freeport Beach in North East, PA. Once again I'm wondering when it will come into view. I swing into the beach parking lot, see the lake and begin sobbing like a baby. This 2nd (solo) trip to visit this massive body of water is so representative of my willingness to move forward & continue to transform my life. To remove things that are not serving my highest good and replacing them with ones that do.I CAN do ANYTHING!

I did one again get out and walk the beach but had to fight heavy winds to gather more stones. But all the stones are all so large, wait... that piece of wood, is that drift wood? Yes! And so I wandered the beach trying to shield myself from the wind as I gathered a bag full of the most gloriously smooth driftwood. I'm not sure I've ever even seen real driftwood and I just kept thinking about all the cool things I could make with it.

I took the bag back to my friend's house and happened to meet her in the driveway as she was returning home. I sat on the ground, dumped out my bag and told her my story... still with tears in my eyes for simply giving myself permission to DO SOMETHING and live life.

10 days 092

Do NOT be afraid to live your life! Wanna go somewhere or do something? Just do it!

Lake Erie: A Pictorial History  Under Lake Erie  Lake Erie Living


Megan Warren said...

How wonderful that you are embracing life and trying new things! Now go make that sand mandala!

Anonymous said...

You are brilliant! Really. This was very moving to read and I just want to reach out and give you a big hug. What a wonderful inspirational story AND you have all that loot to play with now. Thank you so much for sharing.
Sand in Ohio, who knew?

SMR said...

My cousins grew up blocks from Lake Erie, so I saw a lot of it from the north shore of Ohio as a kid. Then on family vacations, we went to all the other Great Lakes, each with their own personality. It's a worthy pilgrimage. I live in Minnesota now, and I have yet to see Lake Superior from this side. Maybe I should!

hap said...

Very interesting entry Stephanie! As they say "every journey starts with a single step", and in our personal journies each emotional step often seems insurmountable. Being brave enough to "take" that first step, move outside your comfort zone and begin the external (and internal) exploration of self and growth is a biggie! Congratulations and keep on going!

Discovery is not always about finding new horizons, sometimes it's about learning to see the horizon with new eyes!


Anonymous said...

unexpected treasures are often the best. something too about the road less traveled.

you got to come see the BIG lake - michigan

drive on

Unknown said...

Go go go!

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