Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Everything is beautiful

As I was sitting aboard the Melbourne-bound Qantas jet, I began to wonder whether or not I should even be taking this trip. Everything connected with it seemed to disintegrate at the last minute, many of the plans I made falling through. At the11th hour I was left having to rejigger my expectations. In particular, I had plans to spend the weekend after the conference at a beautiful cottage in the Yarra Valley with a special friend, but just days before the trip that connection ended in such a way that I was left feeling hurt, confused and a bit stunned. And with a non-refundable payment for the cottage on my credit card. I asked around among friends to see if they wanted to spend the weekend there with me, but everyone either had other commitments or children to watch or an early ticket home.

As the plane crossed over the dateline, the sun rose and the passengers were beginning to awaken, I poked around on the screen in front of me for a movie to watch. I came across American Beauty and hesitated a moment. It had received so many awards when it came out but I had never watched it because I was put off by the thought of an adult man having an affair with his daughter's friend, which is what I understood the movie to be about. But I watched it anyway and realized it was about anything but that. It was about learning to live authentically and seeing the beauty that is present everywhere, everyday, in all that we do. There is one part of the movie where a young man has filmed a plastic bag dancing in the wind and watches it over and over because he finds the dance so beautiful.

As the closing credits rolled, I felt hot tears pour down my cheeks and thought, yes. In that moment, I saw the arc of my life before me and the beauty inherent in all of it. I saw the shock of the assault and criminal case and the disintegration of the old structure of my life, I saw the birth and sudden death of this newest relationship, and my coming and going across continents. I felt my heart expand and thought, “It is beautiful, all of it.” Because it is. I cried for a long time, silent tears of gratitude.

* * * * *

Today Kirrily and I drove up into the Dandenongs. It was a gorgeous, sunny day and we wound beneath the canopy of towering eucalypts. I just soaked it all in and I knew that everything about this trip was right. That what I needed was a window of silence in this place that is my spiritual home. To stay, alone, in a cottage in the mountains and just soak in the energy of this place, which has always been so transformative and restorative for me.

On the way back we stopped at a cafe in the mountains and sat outside under the trees. My body was buzzing. I could feel the old, familiar energy of this ancient land working its way into me and I cried again. More tears of gratitude.

Life is beautiful. All of it. The joy, the pain, the connection, and looking with compassion upon those unable to hold a connection.

We are all here, feeling our way along on our individual journeys and while we may be too often immersed in the painful aspects of our lives, how can we not look back upon it at the end and say it was anything but beautiful. It simply is.

Kirrily (Sunny Side Up) and her lovely daughter Lolly

This tree, at the summit of Mt Dandenong, is called The Wishing Tree. Legend has it that if you make a wish and look through the hole in the branches, your wish will be realized. Can you guess what I wished for?

It will be realized. I can feel it in my bones.


  1. And I'm wishing it for you too.

  2. Kristin, this post is SO beautiful that you have dragged me from my lurking to actually comment :) It's easy enough for us to see the beauty in our lives when things are good. It's a real gift to be shown the beauty in the hard and horrible things - in the broader pattern of life, in who we are because of those things, in the relationships that are made and strengthened in these times. Welcome to my home town - I hope it gives you what you need in the next few days.

  3. Welcome to our soul soothing hills. Breathe them in.
    I can not drive home from the city without winding my window down as I hit the hill that leads home.

    I only watched Anerican Beauty a year or so ago, as I too had thought it was about something different. That scene with the bag in the wind is amazing.

  4. It is going to happen. Trust me. x

  5. So glad you're here. And that you are with Kirrily. That makes me feel safe, somehow. xx

  6. i love American Beauty, it's a beautifully moving film and kevin spacey nails the role.

    maybe the plans you made disintegrated because you were meant to spend that weekend alone, just being, letting your soul breath, relax and recuperate. when things are meant to be, they always find a way of being so.

    as for the wish...well wishes are made to come true...


  7. @Stinkbomb - I think you're exactly right. x

    @Lindy - so glad you delurked! Thank you for your beautiful comment. I can't wait to see more of your part of the world.

  8. Ah, it will happen! xx
    PS. Love the blog header. Beautiful. x

  9. I will from this day forward see you as a majestic, tall eucalypt. It is written.

    Also? I am a better photo takerer than subject. It, too, is written. Or taken. xxxxxxx Rest easy while you are here. Rejuvenate from the inside out and it will help to carry you forward. Am breathing a deep sigh out as I type this!

  10. Ah hun, I am so sorry that the start of this trip was so horrible and that your new relationship ended so abruptly and confusingly.

    Thinking of you. XX

  11. A Koala that lays chocolate eggs?

  12. Welcome back :) I remember feeling that way 12 years ago - I even remember the moment I realised that life really is beautiful and everything is how it is meant to be. American Beauty is my all time favourite movie. So many messages. Have a great time - wish I was coming to the PB Event. Take very good care Kristin. xxx

  13. Stunning post!
    You are right, everything is perfect and beautiful! The journey has been worth the while!
    I would also not have changed my life now looking back! It was hard and scary and painful, but it made me into the me I am now!

  14. Haven't joined any blogs for a while but your writing is both heartfelt and witty so I absolutely HAD to sign up.
    Glad I came across you :)

  15. American Beauty is one of my favourites....such a reminder of what's important! Sounds like you stumbled upon it just at the right time! Funny how that works!
    Enjoy Melbourne!

  16. you look so relaxed and happy in this post.


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