Within the next few days, I’ll be leaving Southwest Florida—this beautiful house, sunrise through the palm trees over the lanai, good friends and neighbors, the best and most humble Iyengar Yoga teacher I’ve ever had, close proximity to my sister, Suzy, who lives on Fort Myers Beach, and one of my very favorite things about living here—the late afternoon/early evening downpours that occur in the late Spring to early Fall. They are the downpours of my childhood—the ones I could go play in. I loved them then and I love them still. As long as there was no thunder and lightning, I even swam in this pool during them. As I leave this house (that will become someone else’s home), I feel some sadness, some loss.
And I feel something bigger. I also feel the certainty that my own home resides primarily within me. So, with both fear and courage, I step into the unknown.
30″ x 30″ oil on canvas, Regina Leffers 2017
I do know a little bit, which I’ll share with you now. I know that my first destination is Santa Fe. I’ll stay for a few days and make a pilgrimage to Georgia O’Keefe’s home and studio. While there, I’m going to absorb and integrate some of her Spirit. I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to feel it—that Spirit. We share similar qualities–her’s, on the more austere end of the spectrum, mine, on the succulent end. What I’m wondering is if her fierce independence came with confidence. If it does, that’s what I’ll absorb. If it doesn’t, I think I’ll gain a little more confidence knowing that she may have felt unsure too.
My second destination is Yosemite. I will spend several days, hiking in the park and immersing myself in “Big Nature.” My intention is to be a good friend to myself and give myself the benefits of some extended forest-bathing.
Next, I’ll spend a few days in San Francisco with my brother, Casey, and his family, and will hopefully see my sister, Denise, too.
My fourth destination is the Hoffman Institute’s program in Saint Helena, California. I am very excited to be able to do this! It is designed to reprogram the brain to release patterns learned in childhood and replace them with consciously chosen alternatives. It’s grueling. The program runs from 7:30 AM to 10:30 PM for 7 days. I’ve opted to stay an additional two days at the end to help myself gently integrate the changes. If you want to know more about the Hoffman Institute, there is a lot of information about it online.
The last destination that I know about so far is the southern coast of Oregon. I want to immerse myself in the general area of the Oregon coast to the West, Eureka, Oregon in the middle, and Crater Lake to the East. I feel myself pulled. I can see myself doing some creative work there, along with exploring Big Nature.
And finally, I leave you with a page of my current art journal. The words on the left are: “What she wishes for is more light. Much more light.” And: “Life leads you to some pretty interesting places, doesn’t it?”
Yes, it does!
The next time you hear from me, I’ll be writing from the road. Here we go!