I am two-thirds of the way through my month-long stay in England. An emotional, spiritual roller coaster ride through the west country. Picture me racing through winding country lanes in a dodgy gold Yaris with the engine light on. Back to my roots. The thrill of not knowing if I’ll get to my next destination is all part of my great British adventure. The knocking in the engine makes for an excellent reminder not to take anything for granted, including my next tea date with yet, another dear friend.
The fields are burnt browny-yellow from the too-hot weather. It smells like a Mediterranian summer with notes of long camping trips in France in the 80s when I would happily spend my days in a pair of boys swimming trunks—making friends and existing in an endless summer.
Being back is comfortable and familiar, like an old pair of gardening gloves, a little stiff at first, then whoosh, the perfect fit. I’ve been consciously opening my heart and allowing myself to relax into the experience, to stay present with the myriad of emotions that push up for my attention.
Early this morning, I did a guided walking meditation. I marched out of the village into the countryside, taking the route through the church graveyard. I went through the kissing gate, down the mud tracks and into the valley. As I rounded the hillock, I saw an opening above the path. The bright sun caused the field entrance to look like a gateway to heaven, so I took that route which brought me out into an expanse of fields. One tree stood at the centre of a naked corn field. It reminded me of a dream I had as a child: I flew from the top of the tree in a diagonal line to the ground, where I kept running along a path. Here I had found the field from my dream. I continued past the tree along the trail, and before I knew it, I had wandered onto a private airfield, so I turned back the way I had come.
I returned to the trail heading back to the village. Suddenly, the voice in my earbuds said, “lie down. Wherever you are,” to which my mind responded, “it’s a bit cold here,” and I looked longingly at the sun-soaked patch beyond the trees. The instructor read my mind, “don’t think, just lie down now!” So I did. I lay down on the cool, damp stony mud track in the shade. From this strange angle, I took in the scene, the blue sky with its soft billowy clouds, the trees canopying the path, and the early morning sun unable to beat through. A pair of fat wood pigeons fly across my postcard-perfect moment, and the beauty of nature humbles me.
I close my eyes and surrender to the cold dewy earth beneath me. Merging into the infinitive space around me, I watch the thoughts, “a dog walker might arrive and think I’ve collapsed.” And still, I lie there. “Now focus on the love,” and I see images of friends and family, and my heart brims like a cup overflowing from an endless stream.
When I get home from this epic adventure, I take my coffee to the garden to practice for my upcoming show. Soon my mother joined me, and I babbled excitedly about my spiritual experience. She listens, smiling. All this before 9 am.
I’m not the same person I was yesterday, and I’m certainly not who I was when I was here last October. I want always to be moving towards the light and stepping into who I am, not away from it. Doing Hilarapy has taught me to own my past and stand in my power. Next week I am performing in my home town, Bath, England, to a gaggle of friends, family and strangers. My life is a beautiful journey, not without its challenges and what I know today; right here, right now, is all I have. It’s all any of us have. So thank you for being a part of my journey.
Keep your heart open and for goodness sake, keep laughing!