Earth Wisdom Tarot Sacred Art

"Trapped in Paradise!"

in Family, Island Life

Some faraway, online friends have recently asked me why we decided to move off the island.  “But you loved it so much,” they say.  Yup, we did.

Well, I could say it’s because Craig’s Pluto in Virgo is conjunct my own South Node.  An astrologer told me many years ago that he’ll always be dropping bombs on my comfort zones . . . with the corollary, of course, of pushing me — kicking and screaming at times — towards growth and my destiny (North Node in Pisces in the 10th).

Or I could say that our decision to move last August coincided with the onset of Saturn in Virgo squaring my Moon in Taurus (translation:  complete restructuring of one’s home life).  And that transit ends in May, when we’ll be nice and settled in at Cedar Hills House.

But astrology, like Tarot, only points out the timing of opportunities and challenges in our lives.  It’s up to us what we do with the bundle of energy that’s available to us during those transits and progressions.

I could also say that when we moved here, an old-time islander ranted to me about the dang “newcomers” who arrive and build houses (like we did) and stay for only eight years, but leave their damn houses behind.  “Eight years, that’s all they stay,” she snorted in disgust.  “I’ve seen it time and time again.”   I was somewhat dismayed by this less-than-stellar welcome, and muttered that we planned to stay here the rest of our lives.

Well, it’s been eight years.

I’ve heard people say that this island has a real healing energy.  It’s a place where people often come to live for a period of months or years, get their heads together or their hearts healed, then leave to make their way in the world again.

If you asked Craig why we’re leaving the island, he would say it’s the F-word:  “Ferry.” Not the ferry itself, but the long wait lines (getting longer all the time), the distance to town, and the ferry fares which are rising astronomically.   (All islanders are feeling the pressure of the ferry situation.  It’s a political hot potato right now.  “We’re trapped in paradise!” one old-timer exclaimed to me recently as we discussed the challenges of getting to and from town.)

If you asked me why we’re leaving, I would say that there is always give and take in a marriage, and that Craig definitely instigated this move.  I had a period of grieving, then moved on.  I focused on all the things I will enjoy about being closer to town.  And it helped that I found a house we could love, and it happened in such an amazing, gracious way.

Now that I’ve had a few months of reflection, I would also say that I see a pattern emerging:   I came to this island for an eight-year retreat in which I conceived of and created the Gaian Tarot.   Even though it is not quite done, it’s very close.  And of course its structure — its bones — have been complete for a long time.  The return to town feels to me like a re-entry into community life.   And I’ll be taking the Gaian Tarot out into the world in a bigger way than I’ve already done.

But as I’ve said before, the island will always be part of who I am.  I’ll always come back to visit the secret beaches and wooded glades where I’ve found so much peace and inspiration.  There are several living room couches where I’m always welcome to spend the night, and don’t think I won’t take advantage of them!

My island sister Michele said a kind thing to me the other day.  She said we were leaving a great legacy on the island, with this beautiful straw bale house which is such a healing space.  She said, and I agree, that the new owners will undoubtedly be amazing, wonderful people.  They will be the kind of people who would fall in love with a handcrafted house like this.

Between building this beautiful house, the friendships we’ve made, the artwork and music we’ve created here, the volunteer work we’ve done — I think we’ve left the island a bit better off than it was when we arrived.  At least I’d like to think so.

Blessed be.

Thoughtful, sparkling comments. . .

  • Lunaea Tue - Apr 08th 2008 10:46 am

    Though I was not as rooted or invested as you, I too had a period of four years of feeling “trapped in paradise,” on the Mendocino Coast, and whatever feelings of loss I had on leaving were helped by knowing that the magical place is still there, ready to be a retreat for me if/when I need it, and perhaps in an even more powerful way than when it was an everyday habitat. In the meantime, just let the feelings flow. As Leonard Cohen says, “Now I know why many men have stopped and wept / Halfway between the loves they leave and seek…”

  • Nora Wed - Apr 09th 2008 9:57 am

    The island truly is a place of healing, heart, body, mind and soul. We tried so hard to live on that beautiful island together, didn’t we sister? Only for me to find my true life partner and for your home to be ready with a near miss of two weeks…like ships in the night, I moved off island and you moved on.
    Now, you move again, downsized and snuggled in. Your new home will continue to shelter you as you and Craig birth beautiful music, gorgeous art, fabulous meals, old and new friendships and good-medicine laughter. As Grandmother Cedar stands protectress of your new home, I wish you both many, many years of beauty, love, joy and happiness.