01 Nov November: Embrace the Gap
I am writing to say that I will be taking a brief hiatus from these letters to give myself time to adjust to the immense amount of change that has happened in my life in the last months.
Moving to a new place has been welcome but hard, and losing my mother to Cancer has been unwelcome and very very hard.
I have been reading voraciously, mostly about grief and the grieving process, and have recently came across an author named Kate Bowler who was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer when she was 35. She has a wonderful podcast called “Everything happens” which is worth a listen. When the inevitable request for advice for moving through difficult time she said this;
“My psychologist recommended an approach he learned from people who hiked the Appalachian Trail. Most of them stock up with lots of gear and food, but by the time they get to their first campsite, they realize they’re carrying too much. That’s when smart hikers ask themselves, “Is there anything that you can set down? Is there any extra weight that you can strip off so that you can make this journey?” Instead of wondering why we can’t carry the weight of our lives, let’s ask: what small thing can I set down today?”
It is humbling to acknowledge personal limitations, that some circumstances demand an evaluation of priorities because sometimes the path ahead is a hard one.
For me, this is such a time.
I don’t know how I will be next month or next year but I know I will be climbing this trail with courage and curiosity, I will be writing and loving my people, I will be gently walking the beaches and forests of my new home, I will be holding my hurts to my heart with as much compassion as I can muster. I will be setting down things that need to rest on the ground instead of my shoulders.
I want to Thank you for travelling with me over these months and years. Writing these letters has been a source of comfort and spiritual practice for me and I hope they have added something to your everyday living.
If you want to stay in touch (please do!) you can email me, join me for a yoga class in my zoom room or follow me on Instagram @jacqui_willcocks
When it feels right to begin these letters again, I will, and you will be the first to know.
I’ll leave you here with a poem by Jan Richardson
BLESSING FOR THE PLACE BETWEEN
When you come
to the place between.
When you have left
what you held
When you are traveling
toward the life
you know not.
When you arrive
at the hardest ground.
May it become
a place to rest.
May it become
a place to dream.
May the pain
that has pressed itself
May the morning
make of it
a place to begin
So much love,