With only that which was given to me or what I found discarded along the park side streets and from inside abandon cabins filled with things someone once thought was important would be my only resources to make my little ramshackle of cabin feel like a home.
I turned some old red, white, green and yellow plastic patio lights into a tree branch chandelier that hung over a warped laminate kitchen table where I wrote each night. An old rusted bed frame was filled with fresh evergreen trimmings creating a living piece of art where I would lay mesmerized by the canopy of trees above.
For hours I would sit and stare at the beauty surrounding me but it was buried under decades of fallen leaves, the clutter of self-serving campers and from decaying cabins that were littered across the land. It was perfect. I could see beyond the surface and knew something special was hiding just under all of those layers.
At the end of each day, after I was finished with my work exchange duties, I would tend to my yard. I had exactly what I needed, my hands, a rake, a broom. I started in one corner clearing the ground, peeling it back, often on my hands and knees brushing the rocks as if they could feel my touch. I wouldn’t stop until the night fell like a blackhole and swallowed the light.
I gazed upon the perfectly manicured ground, speaking out loud as if Adam was standing next to me, “That’s gold!” I knew what gold meant now. The way the rocks would hold office on the freshly raked field were worth more and filled me with self value beyond that of currency or precious metal.
I no longer said “I couldn’t.” And now said “When I have to, I will.”
I became the ultimate Alchemist.
It was all of these extremes, these conditions and severity of the lessons I needed to learn was what strengthened my tether to Adam. My nonphysical voice of higher self would take me through the way of the Heart Guided Life and, like a good student, I faced every lesson in front of me no matter how difficult it was. Even being so cocky as to edge him on to make it more challenging – and it was. But that, too, was a lesson in disguise: Why do humans desire to set standards and parameters around quantifying life only in terms of less or more?