Written by: Karena Osborne; Moon Bathing
Spring is in the air, finally!
Yesterday my husband, two dogs and I got in the car and drove ten minutes down the road to a beautiful oasis called Princess Point. We had never been there before but loved it. During our hike, we came across lily pads growing in the pond. I was so excited, and shared this story with my husband:
“After my parents’ divorce, my dad started to bring us ‘down-home’ more often, where he had grown up. This drive was 3 hours both ways, taking us down country roads and always into the arms of someone we loved. On one occasion, the night before heading down, my Dad’s sister called and was talking about how much she’d love lily pads for her new pond and, for whatever reason, she couldn’t find them. Fast forward to the next day, dad decided to detour along an old dirt road because he ‘wanted to check something out’.
This didn’t take us far off our travels but I remember him being particularly determined.
My dad had a very distinct happy, ‘Yes!’ As we pulled up along this pond, he let one of those roars —we had found some lily pads! After we stopped, I was hurried to the back of the station wagon, keeping his six, as he dove in the water and gently plucked the plants from their roots. As quick as he was in, he was back out and rushing back to the car — soaking wet, with plants in hand. He opened the hatch of the station wagon, grabbed a towel and placed four lily pads beside our duffle bags.
When we arrived at my aunt’s that story was ‘The Story’ of the weekend, as well as countless weekends after that. My aunt laughed so hard, as she told dad to jump in her pond since he was already wet and dirty. And, jump in, he did!”
After telling the story I let out a huge sigh. Like a million years had been lifted from my chest. I made a mental note to come back to this story I was holding and offer it space.
Last night, I sat out under the stars and allowed this memory to replay. This time I became a silent observer. In that little girl’s memory stored so many things: fear, shame, excitement, joy, freedom, confusion, a knowing, a feeling like I was a part of something… and did I mention fear and shame? I remember at the moment being afraid my dad was doing something wrong, but I also knew that it probably wasn’t that serious. I remember being very happy the story was received by everyone so well, but I also wasn’t sure if this was a story I personally was allowed to tell. I do know that as I’ve retold the story it’s one of the best memories I have. Not just that story, but the cumulative story it’s since created.
As I explored my thoughts, my purpose appeared; I am a secret keeper until it no longer needs to be a secret. I keep six while guiding you through those shadowed thoughts or the shadow side.
Suddenly the lights turned on and I leapfrogged my way into a whole new perspective. By giving space to what my adult memory held as a good memory, I was able to give light to the darkness that little me had been carrying.
Just like the lily pad, memories aren’t just sitting on the surface. They are rooted in place. I hold the power to carefully, bravely keep six, to empower others to dive down deep and weed the secrets they hold, freeing them from the shadows roots can sometimes hold.