How to find BEAUTY within:
While growing up, I lived across the road from the city reservoir, where my dad walked with his 3 children, most Sundays. I cried at age 16 when we left that home to move to a house that my mother wanted…I must admit that the view of Cayuga Lake was pretty. For many years since then, during the summer, I still visit Potters Falls a few hundred yards down from the reservoir, where as a middle-aged adult I learned to swim nude; scary due to my religious strict upbringing to be modest, or rather learning to be ashamed of one’s body.
About 9 years after my first marriage dissolved, my dad died, leaving me enough money to put a down payment on the small lake house my mother was then selling. I have many fond memories of swimming, sailing and ice skating with my two young daughters, as well as playing in Stewart Park which was less than a ten minute walk. I taught my youngest to ride her bike there. It wasn’t until my girls were 12 (Megan) and 15 (Erin) that I was able to save enough money to drive a rusty dodge van that my boyfriend owned across country to camp and hike in many National Parks; which I have a love affair with since my first cross-country trip thanks to my first husband’s interest in the national park system.
During August 1986, we hiked in several national parks on our way from New York to California, where Yosemite, Kings Canyon and Sequoia dazzled our eyes. Then, on to Oregon’s Crater Lake and Washington’s Mount Rainier, where a six mile hike opened up to a 360 degree view of rugged peaks, clear lakes, boundless colorful wildflowers, (tears now), where I stood with tears rolling down my cheeks for no apparent reason.
It wasn’t until several years later that I understood why.
When Erin was 16, we moved to my then boyfriend’s home, because there was more room, which dismayed Erin; I had felt such feelings at 16; I understood that she loved our lake house. Later, I sold it. When that relationship did not work out, I bought a barn-style A-frame home that my girls liked, surrounded by trees instead of water. From this home, they launched their lives into college, all 3 previous husbands (2 stepfathers) present at Megan’s high school graduation. By their college graduation, I had finished my masters degree and was in private practice as a psychotherapist, married a fourth time. Since 1988, I had been chain-sawing down trees on my property to use as fire wood for our woodstove, opening our home to more light, not realizing the connection to my heart being ripped open to deep pain through my marriage.
During the nineties I was drawn to primal therapy, which is truly “gut-wrenching” …and healing, like childbirth’s labor turning into joy of the newborn! It was during a primal-session that I connected with the tears I spilled on Mount Rainer; the beauty that I had seen with my eyes, I did not feel in my heart: the beauty of my body or my soul. Although I had received a 65 in English my freshman year at Cornell University, I was motivated to begin writing books about the healing connection of tears to LOVE. To support this self-publishing venture, I sold my home, and rented a renovated chicken coupe on big sky farmland, on top of a hill, surrounded by light, across the road from my favorite state park garnering many waterfalls of grandeur and gorges of glory.