Wednesday, January 4, 2012

New Year, New Blog!

Why me? Why a blog?  Tis a curious trail that leads me here.

If you had told me prior to March 2005 that I would be starting a blog, I would have said you were absolutely certifiable nuts.. period.

At that point in time, while I didn’t quite fit the description of “soccer mom”, I was, well, conventional.  Happily raising my 2.0 kids in a suburban neighborhood, going to work every day, doing everything I thought was right and good…

Ever listen to Jackson Browne (the Pretender)?

Then, in the following four years, everything changed.  First, my mom died.  I know, parents grow old and die, it is in the nature of things.  But Mom was so vital, she was healthy, it was a totally unexpected accident that took her life.  Dad and the whole family were robbed, not only of the wonderful person she was, but of the bedrock of our family.  That led to a series of very distressing set of decisions and changes, as Dad had Alzheimer’s disease.  Although at the time, relatively successfully being managed with medication, he was not capable of living on his own.

And then my husband was laid off.  Talk about the carpet being pulled from underneath your feet. 

Well, I know we are just one of many families negatively affected by the “economic downturn”.  So, you know, I tried to be  philosophical and optimistic.  But as the months went by and the savings dwindled…let just say I descended into a personal hell hole.

See, I was trying to follow in Mom’s footsteps, taking on the role of the one who served as the secure cornerstone of my immediate family.  Mom would not fail.  She would keep things going, keep the family’s hopes and dreams alive.  That’s the ideal I had and the example I had to follow.  And I did.  But it has been a rough road.  Again, I know I am not alone, many others have had to follow this path! .

 I took on a moonlighting job and a freelance job besides (somehow); my husband got a sales job (commission based) which in good months is great; in bad… well its just bad.  So.  It is what it is, but it is not without hope!

Along the way… my spiritual path.  It has changed.  And that will be the subject of future posts, as it deserves its own story.  But in brief, I have always been searching, since childhood.  I have early memories of a picture Bible, and asking my minister pointed questions about what I saw there, as early as kindergarten age.

Tonite, I will tell you why my blog is called the Hemlock Grove.  It is after a very real place.  I discovered it in my teen years.  It was (and hopefully still is) a grove of very old hemlock trees, in a ravine that culminates in a beautiful and somewhat wild stream. When I found it, I was drawn into its woods by a deer trail…which I followed.  Its delicate path threaded slowly down the side of the ravine, along this wonderful stream.  At the time, I felt like I was the first human discovering this place.  I knew that wasn’t true… but still …  the awesome stillness of the space beneath the old hemlocks had the very atmosphere of a church.   This was sacred space.  Beautiful, wild, free…. And holy.

As I said, my spiritual path has taken its crooks and turns, but I always retained what I felt, when I was in the Hemlock Grove.  Upon the death of my father, I had at long last an occasion to return to my home town.  So many unexpected feelings were invoked..

And so in a very real sense I have returned to the Hemlock Grove, to rediscover the elements that are the essence, and true nature, of my spiritual identity.  As I explore them, I will share them…. Along with the other joys in my life (my family, including my dogs!, my garden, and cooking)

My hope is that others of like minds will find this blog… as paths of like minds cross, I hope many ideas will be shared and discussed!

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