Comforting Words: Peace at Last!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Peace at Last!


A month is long enough to settle and it has been just over that since my last post.

There is no special reason why I have not written, at least, on Comforting Words as I have been on my next favourite place every day sometimes even twice per day. That place is Facebook – but that is another story.

Anyone who has every left a job and had to participate in an exit interview knows that that can be a mixed bag. The exit interview I had with the “head honcho” at the institution I left in April to move to southern Alberta was, to say the least, unremarkable. Except for one question, it is as if the conversation did not happen.

That one question, however, and my response to it were anticipatory to my coming across this quote from an unknown author:

“Having spent the better part of my life trying either to relive the past or experience the future before it arrives, I have come to believe that in between these two extremes is peace.”

What a concept! Peace.

A bond that tied my last supervisor (at least one of them) and I was the fact that we thrived on chaos. After a ‘crisis’ on the unit where we worked, we would often look at each other and smile. When it first happened I was not so sure what it meant other than “phew, that was something!”

One day we got to talking about our lives and we both quickly realized that we smiled in recognition that what seemed as a ‘crisis’ was ‘normal’ for us. Our childhood and adolescent years, you see, were characterized by chaos and the daily drama was more impetus to our creativity rather than a damper to our spirit.

Things did not change much as we grew older and got into serious dating, got married or hooked up with long term partners. Our combined lives had so much chaos – the energy could power a category 5 hurricane!

So when this interviewer asked me whether I was fearful or had any doubts about moving away from Edmonton, Alberta – the city that I had began to call home after almost six years living there – my immediate response was “no.”

As I have written here – I love moving. In addition to that, I told her that I was in fact viewing the move as severing the last string that tied me to a past that had died so quickly and violently (emotionally).

This move signified freedom from the ghosts that refused to leave the stage of my life, lingering insidiously, trying unsuccessfully to bring me down to a level I was way beyond.

Calgary, Alberta is commonly referred to as “cow town” by their not so loving northern neighbours in Edmonton. I have been here over a month now and have yet to see either cows or wranglers on the streets. We are a couple weeks away from the famous – at least in Western Canada – Calgary Stampede and I suspect that will be my first encounter with the ranch hands and their livestock.

Truth be told – I love living here!

There are several reasons for that not least of which is I “see myself” every day without having to go to a specialty store or some ghetto-like area.

Statistically, the visible minority population is about the same as Edmonton – maybe even less in some categories. Maybe it is the side of town that we chose to live but I just seem to see more people of African descent on a daily basis than I ever did in Edmonton. And no, we do not live on the side of the city that is known for its “ethnic” population and there are those.

That might seem strange to some of you, that ‘seeing me’ is such a big thing but when you live in a country where one ethnic group forms the majority and wield all the power and privilege then you would understand.

The other reason I like living here, a part from the fact that we have a really nice condo, is that Calgary is so close to the mountains and British Columbia, it is fairly close to the United States border, and the types of recreational activities that I enjoy.

I found that in Edmonton, aside from the so-called cultural and other festivals, the cinemas and the world's largest, the enormous
West Edmonton Mall – there was little to do that did not include being inebriated. This is not to say that there are no drunkards in Calgary but I just do not feel that it is my only option other than shopping.

Last week, Robert and I took a day trip to Banff, Alberta – one of my favourite places in western Canada. It took us less than 90 minutes to get there. We got there in time for lunch, walked around, did a little touristy shopping and had supper after spending a wonderful day under the snow capped Rocky Mountains.

It was on the drive back from Banff that this strange feeling washed over me. It is one I had been feeling – in varying degrees of intensity – but could not name it. As we drove home, Robert said to me “look over there!” I turned in the direction he was pointing and saw what seemed to me to be one of the brightest and most brilliant rainbows I ever seen.

Peace! I am at peace for the first time in my 43 years.

I have a life worth living – always did but never realized until I almost lost it a couple years ago.

I have a beautiful daughter who is doing her best to become the woman she is meant to be.

I have a home – finally – that is not characterized by fear and negativity.

I have a career – a second one – that came to me by ‘accident’ but has all the components I prayed for – helping people in difficult circumstances to redefine and create a live that they consider worth living. And I am paid very well to do what I love!

When my previous relationship ended and I was lost, my spiritual advisors reminded me that I should write out, ask the Universe for what I need in all aspects of my life. I did a medicine wheel, making my requests known to the Master Mind in the four areas of life – Physical, Emotional, Mental and Spiritual.

In terms of relationship, I prayed for someone who had fully experienced life in these 4 areas. I prayed for someone who had been knocked down by life (as I had been several times), who had to pick themselves up, scrape themselves off the wall and start over.

This person would be scarred but not scared; bruised but not bitter; knows what it feels like to be betrayed to the point that they are utterly faithful and so in love with hope that they, without thinking, extended their hands and heart to others.

I think I have found the one. We are still learning each other, sometimes slowly, sometimes with passionate feelings and discourse but always with honesty, openness and love.

Calgary has come to mean so much to me – a new life, a fresh start, a path to financial liberty but more so a place where Peace has become my roommate!

Is it not wonderful to wake up each day, knowing that you are going to help at least one person before the evening sun? Is it not awesome to know that whatever may go awry in your life on any given day, there is such trust and open communication in your relationship that all is and will be well indeed!

I think it is the greatest thing in life to go to bed at sundown with a clear conscience – no matter how much money is or is not in your bank account – knowing that you caused no harm. And if you did, you were big enough to say “I am sorry.”

I dearly miss my few friends – Anni and the boys – who are still in Edmonton. We still speak frequently and they are on my telephone list of 'favs’ which allows me to talk as long as we want without thought of cost. In fact, one couple also moved to Calgary and another one might soon be on the way!

Marie Louise De Le Ramee wrote, “Could we see when and where we are to meet again, we would be more tender when we bid our friends goodbye.”

Goodbye Edmonton and I wish you all well who sojourned with me. I thank, bless and love you for giving me the space to take one step closer to being who I am becoming.

Blessings,


Claudette

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