This is Part 2 of Bone Collecting, where I continue to explore the story of the mythical woman, La Loba, and how she helps us to pay attention to our weary heart and achy bones because “it might just be time to go into the wild of your own heart and start collecting every last piece of you that has been discarded and neglected.”
As promised, today I’m sharing a personal account of collecting and singing over my own bones with the wisdom I learned from La Loba.
You can read Part 1 here.
I spent a long time wandering in the desert wilderness, looking for lost pieces of myself.
It was often a discouraging journey because I wasn’t even sure what I was looking for. At times it seemed as though I was crawling on my belly through the sand, exhausted, dehydrated, barely alive.
Would I ever find life again?
One evening, I walked into the living room as one of my kids was watching a YouTube video about plants. Curious, I sat down to watch. A woman showing how to care for succulents.
All of a sudden it was as if someone or something blew on the very last glowing ember inside me. A spark, a flame, a small but noticeable energy rushed into me and I felt excited about something again. I felt life entering into me.
It was a remembering. I’d located one of my lost parts- the one that loves plants and is really good at keeping them alive.
I’d forgotten how much I loved them. It was a part of me I gave up when I became a mother because I thought I was supposed to lose myself in order to be a good one.
The next day I went to a popular greenhouse nearby. It was like heaven inside. La Loba was there, in every inch of the place, and she’d chosen just the right song for me. And it sounded so familiar. It was a song I’d long lost and forgotten.
The air I breathed in was a song to my lungs.
The texture of each leaf was a song to my fingers.
The vibrant, intense colors of the plants was a song for my eyes.
The fresh scent of earth and flower was a song to my nose.
It was as if every plant were reaching out to me, touching my soul, bringing me back to life.
I couldn’t stop myself from gently touching and connecting with them back. Stepping into that place felt like going from a dry, arid, desert where nothing could survive, to a lush, colorful forest full of life. And mine was returning to me by the minute.
How could I choose? I wanted them all! But there were a few that specifically called out to me.
I brought them home and with the most tender part of my heart, I cared for them as if they were a part of me. Because they were.
What started with a few, quickly turned into a jungle! I was so thrilled, so in love. I got to the point where I could tell what they needed just by looking at them. I could feel what they wanted.
All except one.
One plant wasn’t growing, no matter what I did.
I moved its location, changed its watering schedule, and tried fertilizer. Nothing worked. Not only was it not growing, it was starting to die.
I couldn’t figure it out. I had followed all the instructions for the plant. Maybe, I thought, it needs a good long dose of sunshine. So one summer afternoon I put it out on the patio, in the direct sun. I was going to just leave it for an hour or two, but left it the entire day and overnight. The next day, when I remembered, I gasped when I saw it. It was burnt to a crisp. There was barely any life left in it. Just one slightly green vine with one barely green leaf.
I felt awful. It was my fault. I couldn’t survive that much sun.
I brought it inside, carefully cut the dead parts away, and kept the one green vine with it’s one green leaf.
Instinctively I placed it in a cool darker corner, next to a north-facing window, where she’d get a little sun each morning and evening.
This didn’t make sense logically, but felt right inside. I wasn’t sure why. I just knew that’s where she needed to be.
Then I sang to her every day. I sang over her scorched little leaves. I sang the songs that made me feel alive, because she was me. We sang and we sang until the ground shook.
Maybe it was the singing, or the water, or even the moonlight as it poured into the window at night, that brought us back to life and caused our gorgeous vines to tumble over the edge of the pot and onto the floor.
It turns out our souls had dried up from being planted in too much sun and we needed a little time in the dark, to collect our bones, and to sing over them.
Thank you La Loba for teaching us a thing or two about the soul.