This entry is a bit of a departure from my normal gardening-related posts. If you were expecting a post on prescribed burns, read this entry! Otherwise, please indulge me in a little personal reflection.
I don't know about you, but there are certain mental obstacles or stumbling blocks that I have trouble hurdling. Negative baggage that holds me back, no matter how many times I thought I'd abandoned it at the airport, forwarded it to another address, or stomped up and down on it with a herd of elephants.
I see now that I've lightened the load over the years, but I still have a lot of sneaky old crap hiding in my purse and carry-on. These containers are smaller, but they're still heavy. They weigh me down. They hold me back. They don't contain anything I actually want or need, but in moments of vulnerability it's all too easy to reach right in and grab a stinkin' handful of old habits, unhealthy reactions, and broken ways of thinking and feeling. I let it smolder and sometimes I even fan the flames and before I know it, I'm engulfed. I let old crap be new crap, and it shouldn't be. It should be in the past.
Recently, something has changed in me, making me want to actively face life more honestly, more positively, and in the words of a certain president's commencement address at a nearby university, with the audacity of hope.
It has meant a lot of struggling, admitting things to myself I desperately don't want to be true, facing them anyway, seeing patterns, crying like a baby kitten, feeling stronger, crying again, getting angry, and finally realizing: Wait a minute. I am strong. I have faced a lot and achieved a lot and taken some chances in my life. I can do this, too. I am. I can. I will. I wish. I deserve.
Old crap should become sweet new compost. And the only thing being fanned should be the flames engulfing my old baggage.
On July 4th, I'm declaring my independence. I'm going to write down the things that drag me down, that I need to let go of, and throw them into a bonfire. (And some buckthorn stumps are going in there too!) Think of me at 11:00 pm EST on 7/4 or start your own fire!
I posted a shorter version of this on fb and decided to go public (thanks Xan for the encouragement) because maybe it will hit a chord with you, too. If you plan to do this with a real fire or in spirit, let me know! If you want to tweet about it, please use #letitburn.
Thank you to everyone who has talked to me about life and shared their experiences with me, especially in the last few months, and to my blogging friends who have always supported me. I've been trying to let go of fear and tell people I love them. If I haven't gotten to you yet, (warning!) don't be alarmed when I do!
Update: Photos from Let It Burn are here.