January 22, 2013

The Paths You Make. ~ Jenna Penielle Lyons

Photo: Jenna P. Lyons

Quiet down and let me hear the paths you make.

I wanted to talk about paths today. And I wanted to talk about walking on the ground and being rooted firmly in all the things that we are as people.

We all strive to have some kind of stability in our lives—whether that stability occurs on a minor level (like eating the same cereal every day) or on a major level (like never moving away from the same town), human beings strive on a biological level to maintain a sense of stasis.

When I moved to Montana, I found myself in an emotional abyss. I clung to the things which reminded me of life at home in Idaho…the mountains became my closest friends and yoga and running and climbing and drinking coffee and sending letters to loved ones became the most intimate relationships I had. Strangely enough, now that I have many more friends than I did when I moved here, I feel a profound gratitude for the things that have nurtured my spirit and held my soul when it was the most fragile. And I still cling to those routines. But now, instead of calling them routines, I will call them paths.

Those paths have created the person I am and have led me to the place I can now effectively call home.

I find solace in doing things in cycles, repetition, and routines—in walking these paths over and over again. I become excited when I write letters and walk them down the street, across the bridge, past the river’s bank, and into the post office—and I go the same way every time. I don’t buy stamps because I love walking to the post office. I know all the people who work there. I make coffee at my house, but still visit my favorite coffee shop for the sake of looking forward to the people and things I see there. I look forward to visiting the places I find to be sacred in both Pocatello and Missoula.

I think that these feelings make up a sense of community…when you have a love for the places you inhabit—the places you make your paths—you are a member of a community.

You are a product of the places you go, the things you see, and the things you take away from a place and its people. I think there’s something really divine in that process.

Have a lovely day. I hope you find a new path to walk on…and not one that necessarily leads to something spectacular. I hope the path you took today led you to sunlight, to intention, and to some form of happiness.

Click and listen to the sound of this song that I listened to as I walked the dog around town this morning:

Her Radiant Limb

Stop today and listen to the sound of your own footsteps. That is your legacy.

Jenna Penielle Lyons was born in Portales, New Mexico among sage and sand. Raised in Pocatello, Idaho among the black rock and juniper, she grew up wandering in cowboy boots, running, riding bikes, skiing, climbing, painting, and studying classical ballet. She is a scholar of English Literature, a poet, painter, photographer, musician, metalsmith, and outdoorswoman. She winters in Missoula and spends the summer working for Snake River Hotshots. She is a lover of mountain bluebirds & elephants, tea & good coffee, Carl Jung, Salvador Dali, yoga, harp music, and sagebrush. Her favorite foods are borscht and any combination of chocolate and cayenne pepper. Check out her work and follow her adventures at http://www.thelyonsroarliterature.blogspot.com.

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Ed: Lynn Hasselberger

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