You are provided for. You are never alone.
The day after the Superbowl and the day after I spent 6 hours sitting on the beach in silence, waiting for a sign, looking for Orca whales, and hoping not to burst into flames, and saw one of the best sunsets of my life thus far, was Monday.
Its Monday, mid February, and my Christmas tree is still sitting on my 2nd story balcony patiently waiting for me to make friends and have a bonfire on Golden Gardens Beach and burn its needles in celebration of friendship and the New Year.
After witnessing the accident New Year's Eve, that's when I started talking to God and then God started talking back, and I still wasn't used to this line of communication, and still wasn't really sure if I hadn't just lost my mind and gone crazy from being so alone for so long.
I felt like I was going to burst into flames if I didn't have some intimate touch, my soul was screaming out for real physical and emotional intimacy. I couldn't stand to hear my self think any longer. For so long I had compartmentalized my spiritual self and my ongoing struggles with depression from my outward appearance and personal expression but the boundaries had started to break. From the outside I had everything going for me, on the inside I was slowly dying. What started to frighten me was that death seemed closer to me than ever, I felt an honest fear that death was coming for me and I wasn't ready to go. Not like this.
In future months, physical illness began to surface in ways that I could no longer ignore, I saw the writing on the wall. The doctors couldn't figure out what was wrong with me, I was diagnosed with an "auto-immune" disease, which just meant that my body was attacking itself.
Why would my body attack itself?
I had all the precursors of MS (Multiple Sclerosis) and this scared the shit out of me. I was going for blood tests sometimes twice a week. Finally, I realized, the doctors didn't know what they were looking for. And that was an ah-ha moment.
My red blood cells were mutated, my body was attacking itself and I had been prescribed hormones that I would have to be on for the rest of my life. No one had any answers and I still felt and looked like absolute shit. Someone told me, you're getting old, that's just the way it is. And I refused to believe that. My whole body was swollen and I thought I looked like an inflated puffer fish.
"You're getting fat, that's what happens when you get old," people would say. WTF? I started to see, that this is what happens when you don't take care of yourself. And on a spiritual level my soul was suffering because I wasn't listening to my heart and following through on my God given purpose in this world, and on a physical level this had manifested in my body as my own systems that keep me alive had begun to assault my self in disgust.
Since I hadn't burst into flames yet, I was determined to channel this energy in a constructive way and burn my Christmas tree, with or without friends. The guy friend, whose truck and help had gotten my tree to my house in December was not available to help me take the tree to the beach.
I went to three stores in my neighborhood looking for rope to tie the tree to my Jetta's roof. ROPE, is an important survival thing to have in one's home. No one sells rope anymore. WTF.
So I called my friend. I know you can't help me with my tree tonight, but can I at least borrow your bungee cords and straps for my car? Then he said the magic words:
"Sure. But I don't know how you're going to get that tree on your car and to the beach by yourself."
He may as well as challenged me to a dual to the death.
BECAUSE NOW I WAS DETERMINED TO MAKE THIS HAPPEN BY MYSELF.
Meanwhile, the sun had gone down. I went to my second story balcony and threw my tree down to the street level and it bounced next to my car. And as it bounced and then rolled next to my car in the dark, I got a little tingling feeling like I had just gotten myself in over my head.
So I go downstairs to assess the situation. My tree had been drying out for almost two months and had become almost as wide as my car is high, and the tree trunk was longer than my roof and trunk together. Standing beside my tree, its branches completely outstretched and unbending, next to my car, put the entire situation into perspective.
I was in over my head, but I was completely committed, there was no throwing that thing back on my balcony, and there was no way I was going to back down from "I don't know how you're going to do this by yourself."
I'm so doing this by myself. Its dark and I'm wrestling with this monster in my driveway. The first time I put the tree on the top of my car, I realize its actually too WIDE, and I have to wrangle it down again and use a 100 bungee cords to bend the branches inward, wrap a few cords around the center and back up in the roof it goes.
This probably takes and hour or more.... I get in my car. Looking through the windshield, the front of the trunk sticks out in front of my windshield and looking in my rear view mirror, I can see the top of the tree hangs off the back of my trunk. I've got it strapped down in as many ways and places as I know how, straps through my doors and hanging over my head in the drivers seat.
Fuck, I'm in over my head. But I'm totally committed. I can't put it back, and I can't leave it on the top of my car. I sit there in my parking space for a while. I have one choice, to see if this thing stays on the roof. I back out of my driveway and slowly go up the hill from my house..... seems to be staying, hasn't moved. Ok. I'm scared that someone in my neighborhood is going to call the police. I don't even know if its legal the way I have my tree strapped to my car, its just too big to be transported like this. And its February and I have a Christmas tree strapped to my car. But I'm committed.
I make it down the back side of Queen Anne hill and I'm sitting at the light to turn right and go over Ballard Bridge. This is it, I'm totally committed. If this tree comes off the back of my car going 50 miles an hour over the bridge, I'll just have to figure something out. Please God, let this work. Green light. Ok. GO.
Pedal on the gas, picking up speed, the bridge is in sight.... looks like its staying. As I hit the bridge, full speed, with my tree puffed out on the top of my car and the straps flapping in the wind. I think:
"I totally GOT this."
Making it over the Ballard Bridge, I'm feeling like a total badass. Perhaps a country badass with a Christmas tree, but a badass none the less.
I make it to the beach and its about 9 PM by this time. Its dark, though its almost a full moon. When I take the tree off my car, I realize its not going back on again, and so this means, I'm totally committed to burning this damn tree on the beach by myself. I didn't bring any wine with me, just in case I got arrested, I didn't want to be under the influence. I also had not brought any lighter fluid with me, I was determined that I would burn this thing naturally, and had even brought an old vision board with me to ignite the fire in complete symbolism. Silly actually, looking back on it now. I didn't know anything about burning pine trees, cause I was not prepared for what happened.
I drag the tree 50 yards out to the beach to one of the empty fire pits, I don't have a flash light or anything so I'm fumbling around in the dark and I stand the tree up in the fire pit, and I realize. "Holy shit, the tree is too big for the fire pit, the limbs stick out over the metal surround and so the trunk doesn't sit down on the ground and the tree is almost 11 feet tall to begin with and now its towering over my head in all of its silent grace. I have all over body tingling, I'm totally in over my head, and I'm totally committed."
Here goes. I placed my vision board under the bottom branches and lit the edges in a couple of places. In my naiveté I was thinking that the tree would slowly catch fire and as the flames would lovingly engulf the tree, I would sit and watch the fire, and be warmed from within.
This is not how it goes.
In the first few fractions of a second I actually think that maybe it wont catch fire at all. I mean the thought goes through my head, but then the bottom branches do catch fire, and in the next few fractions of a second the tree EXPLODES into 20 feet of raging flame.
My purse is next to fire pit and I abandon it there as I jump and fall back into the sand, scrambling to get away from the explosion.
Oh MI GOD.
And as I scramble to my feet and check myself to see that I actually have NOT burst into flames myself. I hear voices screaming and feet running towards me.
"HOLY SHIT! Did you see that??? OMG. "
"That's fucking crazy man."
Now there's a group of people standing around me and we're all staring at the gigantic flaming mass that was my Christmas tree.
The guy standing next to me says, "Did you do this all by yourself? "
Yes, I'm here alone.
"Do you want some wine?" he asks as he thrusts a bottle towards me.
"This is fucking awesome." someone says. "Holy shit we're glad you showed up, we were just about to run out of firewood. Mind if we join you?"
Um. NOT AT ALL. Mind if I join you?
And as I'm sitting around the fire pit introducing myself to a bunch of new friends and sharing sips of wine out of the bottle and talking about travel experiences and life, I hear that voice in my head, the one I know comes from that other higher place.
"You are always provided for. You are never alone."
And so it is.