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Dancing in the Sacred Grove

It’s been a rough few days.

Feeling stronger and braver last week I tentatively opened a door to my past and unwittingly let in a few malicious ghosts. Instead of sending them scurrying with some well aimed truth, I let them linger and cause non-stop mayhem. My hard fought peace was gone and fear ran rampant. Insomnia, illness and grief followed in short order and I’ve been struggling with anxiety ever since.

Blast and bother.

I hate it when this happens. Hate it when I let others snatch my peace away, let them trample my joy and smother me with fear.

At my worst moment I decided enough was enough. Even though it was raining I donned my favorite boots, called my dog Fletcher and headed for the woods. There’s nothing like a good tramp through the bush to sort things out.

Five minutes later I was back. I had neglected fly spray and the buggers were about to drive me mad. I thoroughly drenched myself then headed back to the woods, grinning as potential fly-bombers hove off at the first scent of the spray.

My tromp took me along the edge of the dam, lush with weeds and wildflowers. Fletcher ran about like mad, having the time of his life even as his fur got soaked and matted with stickers.

Just getting out into the fresh air did wonders. The falling rain relaxed my tense muscles and I felt myself starting to breathe deeply again. Funny how stress restricts the diaphragm and makes your breathing shallow, suppressing the deep, cleansing breaths that do no end of good.

I wended my way through chest high grasses, carefully avoiding the pretty but mean-spirited Scotch thistles, keeping a weather eye open for kangaroos I knew napped nearby. As I approached the bush I smiled, knowing exactly where my feet were taking me.

The Sacred Grove.

Bear and I discovered the Sacred Grove in December when we went on a sunny bush walk on Christmas Day. It’s comprised of a group of towering gum trees that somehow grew in a circle, their branches shading the meadow growing between their roots.

Stepping into the circle I closed my eyes, breathing deeply of the rain-washed air, luxuriating in the stillness. I opened my eyes and tipped my head back, delighted to see that the circle of tree trunks was reflected in the circle of branches above.

I don’t usually dance by myself in the woods, but on this day, I couldn’t help myself. I had to. After all the angst and pain of the last week, it was time to let it all go and celebrate the good things: true love, friendship, and real freedom.

I don’t actually know how to dance so I just started moving, a little jig here, a little shuffle there, so happy that only Fletcher was there to gaze at me in astonishment. Suddenly I was dancing like an Indian at a pow-wow, surely looking like a lunatic but it just felt right. The hopping-bowing-raising of the pow-pow dance led me around the grove. I felt grief leave me in a great sob, tears streaming down my cheeks, mingling with the rain. Then suddenly the dance changed and I was twirling, swirling, bobbing and weaving, grinning like a fool and feeling light and free. Fletcher came and sat at my feet, looking up at me in wonder, and I burst out laughing. Poor thing. He did not sign up for this!

I twirled a moment longer until suddenly I saw him, a bright orange and blue beetle scurrying along a yellow stalk. I was so startled by the tiny burst of color in a sea of green that all thoughts of dancing and twirling were gone as I knelt down to inspect his colorful little self.

The dancing had done its work. No longer consumed by pain I could celebrate life again, could find gorgeous little bits of beauty in snazzy bugs and perky flowers.

I am grateful.

Since then I’ve been able to work through those gutting things. To find forgiveness and peace again. Dear friends gave inestimable comfort and cheer and the advice I needed.

Today I read the following quotes and hope they shore up your resolve as they have mine.

“And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight inside the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” Anais Nin

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” Steve Jobs

“Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-all.  Do not let the hero in your soul perish, in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach. Check your road and the nature of your battle. The world you desired can be won. It exists, it is real, it is possible, it is yours.” Ayn Rand




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Amy B - I like the Steve job’s quote above 🙂

Krista - I like it too, dear Amy. 🙂 Think I might need to print it out and post it somewhere I can see every day. 🙂

patrishmorton - I don’t actually know how to dance either, Krista, but how wonderful to find a place where you are free to go for it:) Blessings and a hug to you – hoping that peace remains with you, dear girl! xo

Krista - I’m glad I’m not the only one, Patricia! 🙂 It was such a lovely feeling to dance unfettered, uninhibited, and unwatched. 🙂 XO

Hila - I hope you continue to fight back against those who threaten your peace. And dancing always helps 🙂

[email protected] - Steve Jobs was a wise man though often what he has said here is easier said than done. I love that dancing in your beautiful sacred grove has bought peace back into your life. Stay strong

Krista - I sure will, dear Hila. 🙂

Krista - I’ll do my best, Jenny. 🙂 You’re right, it IS easier said than done, but I’m sure going to try. 🙂

Jared and Breanne Mosher - I’d loved reading a bit more about your dance and the little beetle, that totally made my day when you commented telling me what you had done. I felt myself taking some deep breaths along with you and feeling a bit of that freedom.

bellni - Dancing with wild abandon does sound freeing Krista. We all need a sacred circle, a place where we can be who we are. I am sure this is a place that is different for everyone. I am happy for you.

Andrea and John - Sorry to hear you’ve been going through rough times, Krista – I have been too lately – blah – I hate insomnia and anxiety! Sounds like I need to go dance in the woods a bit too

Barbara @ winosandfoodies - I have this picture in my mind of you dancing in your wellies. I’m glad it helped and you are feeling better.

erin - I love that you took care of yourself and rediscovered a sacred place where you can be your best self.

Jamie - Husband and I have had some extremely rough and sad times these past 5 or 6 years and our solution was also to take the dog and tromp through the vineyards outside of Nantes and talk and talk and talk it all out. With no one to hear us, we could say anything, dream big, bash society and people who had hurt us, laugh, cry and you know something? It always helped! Over the years those talks and walks helped center us and focus us and made us feel a whole lot better. And helped us come to a lot of important decisions. The world is filled with people who drive us mad or make us feel bad or worthless and not one is worth a single thought. xoxo

Deanna - That looks like such a magical place. I’m always busting out random dances (you should see the looks I get at the grocery store), they always lift my spirits.

MaryAnn - Thank you Krista, maybe in my mind I can find that sacred circle and dance and be free.  I’m glad you felt better; keep feeling better and better.  I can really see you there; you made it come alive!

Amy @ Seven Grey Sweaters - Oh, Krista. You are an amazing storyteller. I’m really moved by this. Congratulations on living a good story, and getting your peace back. I need some of that myself, right now. 

And that Steve Jobs quote is wonderful. I love his definition of dogma. I’ve spent years unwinding a long rope of dogma (other people’s thinking) from around my life. The hardest part is seeing it. 

Krista - I’m SO glad, Breanne. 🙂 Anything that makes us more free and peaceful is GOOD. 🙂

Krista - I think you’re right, Val. 🙂 I’ve had a creekbank, my kitchen, and the beach. 🙂 They all served their purpose.

Krista - I hate them too, Andrea!! I hope you find a peaceful, happy place for yourself very soon. 🙂

Krista - Your picture is perfect, Barbara. 🙂 I was wearing my wellies!!

Krista - Ohhhh, me too, Erin! I didn’t seek it, but I’m so glad I found it. 🙂

Krista - Thank you so much for your story and your thoughts, Jamie. I could hug you tight! I love the picture of you tramping and ranting all over France. 🙂

Krista - I believe you ARE a random dancer, Deanna! 🙂 I’d love to turn a corner and find you shimmying down the aisle. 🙂

Krista - I know you can, MaryAnn! A dear friend talked with the other day when I was so sad. She had me close my eyes and picture a place where I felt perfectly at peace. I did and soon the peace joined me there on the couch. 🙂

Krista - That means a great deal to me, Amy. I think we have similar strands on our rope of dogma and you’re so right, the hardest part is seeing it. It’s been such a familiar sight for so long. I’m so glad I have some people in my life who can point out those strands for me. 🙂 xo

rain :: - oh sweet friend this is BEAUTIFUL!!! i love that you have your very own sacred grove and that you danced to the rhythms of your soul and found healing. love this and love you!!!

Devaki @Weavethousandflavors - Nothing worse than opening the doors to the past that have no business encroaching on the future -don’t we all fight that battle now and then! But your solution Amy is far more poetic than average. I love that you quoted Ayn Rand.

chow 🙂 Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

Krista -  Thank you, dear Rain! I love you too and am SO grateful for your presence on this trek through life. 🙂

Krista -  Thank you so much for stopping by, Devaki. 🙂 We DO fight that battle, that dreadful battle. What a glorious thing when it’s over. 🙂

Anonymous - Stay strong Krista! I know you can overcome this and anything else in your way. xo

Jeanne @ CookSister - The most valuable talent in the entire world is the ability to know what to do to regain your inner peace and balance when others try to take it from you – I love how your self-righting mechanism involves dancing in your wellies in the rain 😉

Summer On Our Queensland Farm | Citadel Kalahari - […] favorite place is what we’ve dubbed The Sacred Grove. It is a natural circle of trees that is a sun-dappled oasis far enough from the goats and […]

Things That Restore » Rambling Tart - […] sacred grove is as beautiful as ever, the trees grown taller, branches stretching out to each other across the […]

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