Returning from that vacation I decorated the walls of my bedroom with Nova Scotia flags, and a large map of Canada. Two years later, the majestic landscape had been replaced with an equally large heart, made entirely from thousands of identical sentences that all said – I love Bruce. Bruce himself had been inconsequential, but the cramped hand that I received for my efforts, was the first of many self-inflicted wounds along the path of seeking approval through physical sacrifice. That road which I traveled for years, led only to a loathing so deep that the most vibrant parts of myself went to sleep.
Somewhere along the way I had lost my voice, given it away to people who told me you are too loud, don’t ask those questions, and this is our secret. I believed the lies about myself that I had heard. Lies, of unworthiness, about my talents, and my very nature. In an effort to silence those voices I had given up my own. At times it rang out in defiance, screaming it’s way to the surface in the middle of the night. Thankfully, in 1980 I was returned to Canada to reclaim all that had been left behind.
There have been many times since returning that I have questioned the sanity of trying to replant a life with so many viable roots still tethered to Canadian soil. This day was no exception, but as the meters flew by I thought about my attempts to extend life beyond the walls of my mother’s house. I have had the pleasure of navigating once familiar landscapes with new eyes. At times, some of these explorations began through the lens of childhood demons, and ended forever transformed as reclaimed treasures. It has been a worthy adventure that has included a renewal of acquaintances from the long ago past, and the addition of a few new friends.
Recently, I have begun to glimpse the vestiges of the wildness that from day one, fueled my essence. In truth I prefer this more mature version, who is perhaps somewhat wiser and a tad less impulsive. Now mostly healed, I find myself, even when consumed by my mother’s descent, inexplicably drawn to and excited by the stories as yet to be authored. Many include an Aztec Orange Harley Davidson Fatboy, rowing regattas, and sharing a simply remodeled easy to maintain home (while god or goddess help me) married to a beloved with a peaceful heart of value equal to that of my own.
During the years of denying the dragon’s existence, I hurt myself and did not stand up to others who hurt me. Admitting it was real helped me, to begin to explore a multitude of facets, but fearful of the the power it possessed, I still spent years in an effort to kill it with makeovers and self improvement projects. Thankfully I failed miserably on all accounts. So far, in my life exactly where I am meant to be at least for the moment, I have come to discover, that having a dragon, especially one who is your champion, can lead you safely home.