Bloom Where You’re Planted: A City Girl Finds Her Woods

Long ago, in a borough far far away, a girl who should have been born in the decade of peace and love found herself in uncomfortable circumstances. As someone who has always sought out the alternative, the spiritual, the unusual, growing up in Queens, NY in most ways was anything but. The concrete jungle, a place of noisy buses and trains, graffiti concrete borders, and constant movement, can be very draining on the soul of an empath, on a girl who felt anything and everything around her, and yet had a hard time finding connection.  

This same girl found herself years later, in school a state away, and in love with a boy who simply couldn’t thrive in a city setting. So she found herself in the woods, in a farm and acre communities where they together decided to build their home, their life.
 She found herself spending afternoons with her toes in the sand by the Long Island sound as her belly swelled with their daughter, and the crunch of leaves and twigs underfoot years later when she felt the kicks of her son. She found the sound of the woods at nighttime comforting her as she lay awake, and at times, to her surprise, she missed the din of the city sounds, the soft honks of busy travel and the distant music of nearby homes. She realized, strangely, there had been a peace in that familiar din, and with time and reflection, started to see how each setting had given her what she needed, in the time she needed it. 

It was in this longing, this homesickness, that she realized the vibrations of the two different settings each played to different parts of her spirit, her growth, her heart. The beat of the woods, the wind rushing past through the trees, and the crash of the light shoreline – it mimicked the heartbeat she felt riding the tunnels of the city, the base of loud cars thundering by, the rhythm that can only be felt as a city breaths, sighs, inhaling and exhaling people daily. 

She realized she found her peace in the quiet of rushing water, the coolness of grass on bare feet, the soft yet gritty feel of soil in her hands. In this peace, in the deep quiet, she carried the fire from her childhood, the passion of constant movement and the fire of constant stimulation that comes from a community filled to the brim with all kinds of imaginable people. Being surrounded by all these types, all these vibrations as a teen, used to chafe, like a rough cloth gliding over the same spot. She didn’t know it then. This place of her youth, which she found so draining at times, had given her a second but permeable skin, a toughness that chose the ability to let certain things seep in, if worthy, and the toughness to keep out anything that was not for her greater good.  

Now a wife, a mother, no longer so unsure and more grounded in herself than ever, she realized that this duel existence, this dichotomy, had given her the ability to thrive in all settings. It had taught her to feel the vibration of those around her without necessarily making it her own, and how to quiet the outside when she needed to hear her inner voice. It taught her how to move in different settings and allow the energy within it to feed whatever she needed in the moment – fire, peace, quiet, sadness, joy, support, passion, tears, or laughter, could all be obtained as long as she knew how to dig into the energy around her. 

This girl, now a woman, realized that she needed them both to grow where she was planted. She needed to visit her place of origin when she needed to refuel her fire, and needed to set her own roots in a place of nature to thrive. In using both settings, she is able to refill her cup, and sustain her family, as well as herself. In using both, no matter where she is, she is thriving, she is growing, and she is home.

Lauren was our Sage Woman Writer (SWW) for April 2016. 

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