I left something behind in Indiana.

Not my toothbrush. Or a pair of dirty socks.

Twelve hours in a car one way is exhausting. Another 12 on the way home leaves me swearing I’ll never make the trip again unless it’s on a plane.

But it’s not all steering-wheel clenching stress and agitated bladders. Along the way, there is magic in the mountains – peace in the pastures. And lots and lots of time to think. And be. Feelings are felt. Decisions are made. And somewhere along all of those miles, the Letting Go happens.

I felt the love of both of my parents this visit, and at my father’s, delighted in a recent addition who was cooing in my arms the last time I saw her. Now an official toddler, this precious, angelic, dimpled-cheek child whisked me away from all of my bothers and pulled me into a place of pure, present Love. And when my father said she reminded him of me at that age, I felt his love for me wrap around my soul and hold me tight.

I looked around at my family, patched and rebuilt, and my heart smiled. Black and white cows lazed on the hillside in the back of the house while chickens pecked the ground in the front yard. The tree was lit up with bright-colored bulbs and electric bubbler candles that sparkled in strands of silver tinsel, some of which ended up in the dog’s hair. He was in seventh heaven with so many human playmates.

My visit with my mother was full of love and some sadness as I considered the inevitable future. She came to life when we removed her from the toxic environment, and her Alzheimer’s took a backseat while she played with the pup and asked my favorite son questions about school. It was calm and beautiful, and reminded me of our time spent together when she was recovering from her illness a few years ago.

As we put mile after mile behind us on the way home, I let go of Chaos. I let go of Fear. I let go of toxic people. In exchange, the Universe gifted me with Love and clarity, for which I am most grateful.

What a great way to start 2022.

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