Freedom…”not just another word for nothin’ left to lose.” Janis Joplin

My older sister asked me to come to Florida to take care of her duplex for the month of January this year. She was accepted into a program at the Hague in the Netherlands for a month-long course of study in international law. She is a retired attorney and 72 years old. She also started taking piano lessons after she retired and practices for 2 hours each day, to challenge herself and to play for her own pleasure. I travelled to Florida to be there a few days before she left, and stayed for another few days after she returned, so I got to hear her practice. She’s working on some of my favorites: Beethoven’s “Fur Elise” and “Moonlight Sonata.” I have seven siblings and she inspires all of us to continue learning, continue living fully, brightly, expressively, enjoyably.

I went to help her, to be there just in case the air conditioner went on the fritz again, or her tenants needed any assistance. I had no real idea that I would benefit. I’m a person who enjoys getting out to walk in any and all weather—I just need the right equipment for the job. (My absolute favorite time of year when I lived in south Florida was the summer. I passionately loved the afternoon downpours, when the sky opened up and rain came down in buckets. That was my favorite time to swim. I realize that’s not the usual reason people travel to Florida.)

I did benefit.

She lives just a block from the beach. I walked meditatively for a couple of hours every day. Gradually, the thoughts that had filled my heart and mind prior to this brief respite from my everyday life fell away. When you’ve been a powerfully dedicated worker, as I have been, work sort of sneaks back up and begins to fill the cavities of life once again. As I walked, an intention began to form in me, and it sounded like this: “I wonder what it would be like to have the freedom in my mind to think about what I’d enjoy doing.” Just having that thought made me realize that I crave more time spent in epic nature. I have since signed up for a week-long class with Jean Houston at Esalen, on the Big Sur coast of California. I will also be looking into teaching classes on Consciousness there. 

Stay tuned. I’m excited.


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