Having just moved to England less than 3 months ago and after 7 years (a lifetime!) in Ireland, really turned my world upside down. As I knew it would. I have done this before. Several times in fact. Pack up and go. Start over. However, as much as "you know it" in your brain, in every tiny cell of your body, there is just not enough preparing your soul for it. Somehow, some bit of vital information gets lost in transit between your head and your heart. When your chest hurts from the crushing and ripping pain of missing your friends and your home, it just doesn't help to have your mind saying "but you knew this!" Reality is we can't control it all. And that, for me, is frightening. It's like drowning. I know I should just surrender, let my body float and I would be ok, but it's so hard to let go...so I kick and punch and gasp for air in a exhausting and helpless fight for life. This was my last three months. Every single day. But not today. Today something else happened. Today after so long thinking about all the things I have lost, all the things I don't have and I can't do anymore...today something else happened. I went for a walk in the woods and I got lost. Seriously lost! And it was like drowning. So familiar. But what was different was that, this time, I just couldn't allow it. I mean, I couldn't stay in the woods for the night! And I couldn't blame anyone for it or hope to be saved by someone. There was just me. And my choice. Choice. How I dread, fear, avoid that word. In my darkest moments, a choice to be made is like a shadow that moves and grows with no warning. That feeds itself on your fear and adopts the shape of all hunting thoughts. I could sense its weight today in the woods. As I tried to find my way back, I asked myself "what can I do now?" These were the words that I heard inside my head, over and over again. "What can I do now?" First I was only thinking about trees and trails but as I relaxed into my walk a shift of conscience and perspective happened and a parallel between my life situation and being lost in the woods started to emerge. "what can I do now?" I can walk in the woods and enjoy it, hug the trees, I can stop and soak up the sun between the branches...I have time now! I can read and write, I can take pictures, I can meditate. I can wake up early and I can stay in bed for a while. I can practice my yoga. I can go swimming. I can learn new things. I can iron my sheets and clean my kitchen cabinets. I can study for my English exam and I can work on my blog. And that is the story of how I got here today. The story of finding my way back to madebycata. I have a big list of things I cannot do with my blog and in my life in general, but what I CAN do today is offer you this words and this picture of the little gifts I'm working on.