Songs of Nature

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Day 22

Written By Eyleen Farmer

Image courtesy of Rebecca Webb Wilson, Hawkeye Nature Photography


For God alone my soul in silence waits; truly my hope is in God.
—Psalm 62:6

Image courtesy of Rebecca Webb Wilson; copyright 2010The days following my divorce had a surreal quality to them. Sometimes it felt like I was sleep-walking, as if someone was living my life, but I could not even begin to identify that someone as me. The only sensation was pain. I managed to go to work every day and complete whatever tasks seemed necessary. But what I wanted to do, needed to do, felt driven to do, was get away. 

I would have liked to get away from the thoughts going round in my head, and from the physical ache in my chest. But since that was not possible I at least wanted to get away from the familiar trappings of my life—home, work, family, friends, even the ones who had been the most supportive and sympathetic. There was an inner prompting to somehow put distance between life as it had been and life as it would be from now on.

So I took a road trip. By myself. There wasn’t much planning involved since the only destination was “away from here.” I ended up in the northern woods around the Great Lakes. It was October and beautiful. The sky was bright and deeply blue, every tree a shameless show off. I wandered, turned down any road that looked interesting, got lost. I was alone but most of the time not at all lonely.

When you are a pilgrim in the land of grief, there are places in your heart where no one can follow. Even those who have lived through losses similar to yours cannot know fully your grief. It belongs to you and no one else. It is a solitary journey, and it is important that you give it its due in whatever way is appropriate for you. One friend, when her husband died, went to a casino. Another, on the day of her divorce, got on a cruise ship and went all the way around the world. Yet another found a guide and went to Outer Mongolia. You may not be able to go on an extended trip, but you can give yourself the gift of an afternoon. Go window shopping by yourself, meander through the art museum you’ve never had time for, read a novel in the coffee shop across the street.

Loneliness hurts; solitude heals. Your heart will let you know what it needs. Listen. Give it your most loving attention.

O God, I trust you to follow me all the way. Amen.