What if somewhere in your heart, you already knew what next steps to follow on your path? Imagine that your intuition would guide you through each major decision and you could mark each challenge and each victory as lessons. What if you could believe that everything would unfold exactly as it should? I truly believe that if you listen and observe your surroundings and are willing to surrender attempts to “make things happen”, you will be offered opportunities beyond your wildest dreams.
It started way back when for me. When Neil and I split up in our late twenties, I missed him in every significant moment after that. I tried to move on, believing that you could create that kind of connection with anyone with enough effort. I really tried, knowing that I wanted to get married, have children and have a house, I moved on as best I could. I attempted a marriage and was blessed with the children that I was born to raise. They are sensitive, intuitive, compassionate, intelligent and extremely creative. I thought about Neil every day, wondering what he was doing and whether he had been able to move on.
When my marriage was over, I googled him for the umpteenth time, and amazingly he popped up. Unbeknownst to me at the time, he had just been promoted and that’s why he was listed on his company’s website. At just the right moment, I reached out by letter. He held onto it a few weeks, recognizing my writing but knowing that once he opened it, his life would be changed forever. It was. We have celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary and about ten years of being back together. We’ve known each other for twenty four years this April.
There have been so many big life moments, happy, challenging, heart-wrenching and raw that have challenged us but we both know that we are on this path together and it’s the right path for our family. Those opportunities and chances taken have benefited our children in too many ways to count. The country life with a small school is the exact right fit for them. They spend their free time outside playing, inventing, and having a childhood more like those of the past with limited screen time and unlimited opportunity. We don’t have a TV though we do watch the occasional movie. The boys get one hour of screen time per day and the rest of the time they are finding their own things to do. They know how to use most power tools, taught by my husband as well as taking apart electronics and making them into inventions with working motors and steering. They know how to start a fire, a Swedish log, and basic construction skills enough to build a lemonade stand and cat tree playground. They run into and solve problems all day long.
What if I hadn’t listened about the job at Discovery Lab in Thorp? What if I hadn’t known I was right about moving the kids despite the lengthy expensive court battle with their dad? What if I hadn’t paid attention to knowing it was time to leave the Discovery Lab despite having no plan for employment? What if I hadn’t applied to Thorp school for the art teacher position I didn’t think I had much chance of getting? All these moments took bravery. It’s hard to put yourself out there. It feels easier to stay put, to do what you know, but is it better?
My psychic teacher once said, “The universe taps you on the shoulder, the universe slaps you across the face, don’t wait for the universe to run you over with a bus.” Oh wise Mel, you have taught me so much. Still timing matters and listening matters. It’s like keeping the phone line open in case that important call comes in, before we had call waiting.
About a year ago, I happened to notice this house along Westside Road that we travel at least twice a day. I noticed that the snow had not been plowed to the driveway which meant nobody had been there. I watched it all winter, no tracks. The snow melted, I watched for signs of life. I told the boys about it, they termed it Mystery House.
The house had this magical patina. It sat back from the road with a pond and tall evergreens separating and adding privacy. We watched it through the seasons, wildflowers in the meadow in the springs, dry grass by summer and deer grazing by fall. Neil looked it up on the county assessor sight. It was 18 acres, irrigated and rated as an accessory building not a house.
We loved to fantasize about it, what if we lived there? We could ice skate on the pond in winter. We could build a fort on the island. We could have green grass pastures for Endy and Inez. We could have a garden, maybe a hoop house for spring and fall growing. We could hike to the top of the property and have a place to do yoga and meditate. The boys could build a down hill mountain bike trail. Maybe we could even foster an orphan or two from the Yakima range if needed. I could ride to the Iron Horse Trail easily. Neil could have a place to weld and work on his Porsche and all of the other things he currently has to fix out in the elements or in our carport.
Neil and I talked about me writing a letter. I wasn’t ready to write it until I felt like I had his buy in so I waited until he gave me the address for the owner that he had researched. Still I waited. Finally on solstice, I felt the magical timing was right. I practiced writing it then rewrote it smaller so it would fit on four pages. I felt like our story was an important part to share, an introduction. Into the mail on December 21st it went. On the 23rd I got a voicemail from Kay, who had received my very long letter about her “magical property”.
After the holiday, I called Kay to talk about the mystery house. She was giggling as we chatted about the “ironic timing” of my letter. The morning she received my letter, she and her 85 year old husband were discussing putting it on the market in the spring time. Our conversation felt like old friends telling stories and I realized that perhaps what drew me in, what attracted my whole family to the magical mystery house was the joy and adventure that she and her family had there. To be fair, the mystery house is not really a house. It has a kitchen and a bathroom and a warming room and garage doors on either end big enough to drive a semi-truck through. You know what else? The upstairs, the biggest mystery of all? That’s where Kay has her roller rink. Nope, I’m not kidding.