This is my first official blog since stepping across the threshold of retirement. This word, for me at times, has evoked some less than positive thoughts, so I decided to review its definition as provided by good old Webster’s. His definition of retirement is as follows: “withdrawal into privacy or seclusion”, with the lovely synonyms of “desolation”, “quarantine”, “separation”, and “solitude” thrown into the mix. Who wouldn’t want to sign up for that? Well, if you are not yet totally depressed, let me tell you that, although I enter this new phase of my life with a little trepidation, I do not intend to embrace Webster’s depiction of retirement, but choose instead to open my mind to discovering what is possible, both through the eyes of nature and exploring the inner dimension.
I am enjoying my first few weeks of “seclusion” in Sedona, Arizona, where my husband Terry and I resided before we ventured into the wilderness of Yellowstone National Park and all of its wonders. Since Terry and I will be doing some traveling and will spend a good portion of our time south of the border for the forseeable future, I could not leave before feeding my soul by visiting my friend Barbara for a few weeks.
I met Barb approximately 5 years ago at a company picnic where I spotted her across the lawn and our lives have remained entwined ever since. Barb is a gifted artist and musician whose life took a sharp turn when she was exposed to heavy metals in her studio back east. She is now confined to a wheelchair, and although she is entrapped in her physical body in many ways, her mind and soul still soar with the eagles! She is so in tune with nature (delighting in her plants and the birds in her garden) and expresses herself beautifully in her artwork and her writing, all perfected on the computer with the use of her big toe!
One of the simple joys for me when I am with Barb is our bedside chats, which actually is me crawling in bed with her to say good morning and sharing personal thoughts and reflections. At these times I feel we are standing before each other, stripped down, being true to ourselves, no pretenses, no judgments. Barb has a way of cutting through all that is irrelevant. Does she realize what lessons she is teaching to those of us who are blessed to know her in this way? I think not.
Barbara is my anam cara (soul friend), the one who reminds me not to be afraid to show the world the real me, the person who I am and the one I want to be. It is fitting that I should begin my retirement in a place of beauty like Sedona, alongside the beautiful spirit who is Barb. It is fitting that my initial blog honor Barb, the one who sees me as I am, loves me as I am, just as I love her.
Please enjoy the photos of Barb’s garden and those of Sedona and, for those who are venturing into retirement, already there, or on the path to getting to know and honoring their true self, “take your candle and go light your world”. ~Kathy Troccoli~