A cup of gratitude tea

After three months traveling on my own around the United States, I find myself back in my hometown of Buffalo, NY.  I'm not sure how long I am here, but one thing I know is that the journey continues.  The last week has been full of ups and downs as I reconnected with old friends, played music, dropped in at merge, bonded with my family and began preparing our farm for planting, and gardened at my house (which I am renting out to friends) and in the midst I and also mourned the loss of a friend and artist who was a huge part of our community here in Buffalo, Phil Durgan, as well as family relative who brought together my dad's entire side of the family for a beautiful ceremony yesterday.

Coming home is bittersweet.  My heart pulled me back here.  This land I grew up on in Lake View, just south of Buffalo, has been calling to me from wherever I was traveling... and yet, I'm not sure how long I will be here, or what this time is for, and my energy has shifted a lot since returning here.  A certain magic that I was able to maintain while traveling has fallen away, and I don't quite know why.  And I'm trying to get it back.

It has gotten me thinking a lot about how short our time is here, and how much I want to share, live, and explore in this life.  And I think the last three months I have been doing that, really living in the present, no worrying, and flying free.  My goal is to maintain that energy in a place with so many memories and plans, I often go into the mind here... thinking nostalgically of the past, and dreaming of what my future holds.  But I know it's in the present that the magic happens.

Sunday morning I woke up feeling a little groggy and funky, I wandered into the kitchen and my mom said she found a package for me, I opened it and inside there were two bags of loose tea.  They were from a dear friend who had visited Mount Shasta recently.  They were called "Gratitude teas" and on the back of the tea there was this quote:

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.  It turns what we have into enough, and more.  

It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity.

It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.  

Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.

- Melody Beattie

I hosted my first Dancing Freedom class here in Buffalo Sunday night, and I really felt for the first time since I'd been home that this was exactly where I needed to be, and what I needed to be doing... it was fun, I felt free, good and right.  And I plan to keep dancing everyday - even when it's not with a group, because dance is simply such good medicine for me.

And so is song.  I'll be recording some of the songs I've written over the last couple of months this weekend!  In the meantime, I leave you with this video from musician Ben Howard.  My brother introduced me to him a couple years ago, and this song in particular feels really perfect for what I am feeling about coming home.

Be sure to watch the video all the way through to get a full dose of inspiration.

Keep your head up.

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