La Foret

My dearest T brought me to La Foret halfway through my freshman year in high school. It was a UCC affiliated camp that she had been going to for years. Like the guardian angel she is, she knew that it would bring me the safety I needed to learn how to be me. And it did.

Even when I was an absolute mess, which was more often than not through high school, it was one of the safest places I’ve ever known. Full of people ready and willing to accept and love me for exactly who and where I was at any given time.

Some of my most favorite memories happened at La Foret. There were secret kisses in the meadow, under a veil of fog. There was my corner on the smoking porch. There was singing “Landslide” and “You are my Sunshine” at closing circles. There were mud fights after the rain. There was running through the forest in the dead of night carrying out glorious pranks. There was head banging until I’d lost all control of my neck muscles. There was writing, and sharing and connecting.

It was sort of like a fairytale land. Not because it was always perfect, because it wasn’t. There was heart ache and tears and loss. But regardless of whatever was happening there, or whatever I brought with me, it was always safe. It was always a haven for me to process and heal. And because everything was always just a little bit more beautiful there. And even when I was living at the very core of sorrow, my pain grounding me in the real, it always had an element of surreal to it.

I reveled in that piece of fantasy. I indulged in the notion that anything was possible there. That there was a place where a wish coming true was an actual possibility. That no matter whether joy or anger streaked my face, that I was always beautiful there.

These memories are one of the biggest gifts my past has brought me. Because they bring with them the safety of the place. The permission to create everyday in its image. To play architect to my present.

1 comment:

Linda said...

I always find it interesting that we go looking for safe havens (myself included) when, really, we are our own safe haven. We have it all inside of us and the only thing we need to do is to recognize the hope, joy, contentedness, safety, the connectedness and then to access any or all of it with our breath.........breathe my darling and embrace hope and all will work itself out in time and space. xoxox