I love spring, and if today was any indication of what is to come, I feel like this is going to be our best one yet! Yesterday was Mom’s Day at my youngest daughter, Madigan’s sorority. My longtime friend Marlys’s daughter, Marah, is a year ahead in the same sorority, so Marlys and I made the 40 minute drive to Lawrence, Kansas together and spent some time reconnecting.
I have only seen Marlys twice in the last couple years. Last summer at our friend Kristin’s 50th surprise birthday drive-by parade we got to wave as we passed each other, and on a beautiful Friday afternoon last fall when my brother, Beckett, and his wife, Kris-Ann, were moving from Kansas City to Minnesota, we hung out across a campfire as we all said goodbye to the backyard Beckett had nurtured into a literal wonderland and wished them well on their journey and new horizons.
Marlys and Kris-Ann have been best friends since college so their connections run deep. My own ties to each of them are independent of each other and profoundly rooted to some of my strongest teenage mentors. The experiences and people that have passed through our three entwined root systems are too numerous to remember, let alone count, but I try to acknowledge the dynamic power that exists in that triangle when I think about Mentors Week. Given our incredibly rich history and the fact that we haven’t caught up in years, there were myriad subjects we could have talked about, but….
It is March 20, 2021. The Spring equinox: the beginning of a new season awakening and the first day of the Spring 2021 cycle of Our Raw Material. Our conversation on the drive made it seem as if no time had passed and the weather was absolutely beautiful. I felt alive with nature and my palpable awareness of my own soul/ego balance. The obvious catch up topics - family, kids, work, play - remained on the table as Marlys and I gravitated toward discussing the things that we have learned in the past year, and what we are continuing to take in at an increasingly rapid rate since we had last talked. We spent little time relaying accomplishments, even though we both could have expounded on ourselves and our families the entire 40 minutes if we took that path.
Instead, we dove straight into the heart of motivations and insecurities. We talked about what makes us feel grounded and what doesn’t. We noted how differently we react to things now than we used to when we were younger, and how much more solid we feel about the qualities/issues we used to feel the need to change or hide. We talked about our mentors - shared and individually - as they relate to our current projects and focuses. We talked about where our passions lie and the ideals we see for our future, both as individuals and as part of humanity.
I tried to explain the Ego and Soul Scales and how they work together, and although I am getting closer to being able to explain it with words, I am also conscious that the process (or action) must be felt in the body in order to fully realize its function and power. This is a space where the mind and body come together in recognition and awareness that our individual self is connected to something larger. If we hold our individual self in true wholeness on our ego scale while accessing our soul scale, there is a 'magical' world of direct knowing that unfurls in front of you much like the Wizard of Oz’s Yellow Brick Road. It’s truly so much more than that, but I believe we will each come to know it in our own manner and I wouldn’t want to put words to anyone else’s experience when I can only scratch the surface on describing my own feelings about using these natural tools.
We arrived on campus and met the girls at Marah’s house. We were greeted by Marah, her roommate Ally and Ally’s mom, Nancy. We quickly bonded over astrology, Marah’s cat Zeus (who has his own instagram), and stories supporting the bonds of these friendships. I noticed to myself that the conversation revolved around service efforts and ideals, even though we were mostly talking about education paths and college life. Madigan is a freshman, and with the pandemic she hasn’t even set foot in a classroom, instead attending classes online from her dorm room. Their sorority has been unable to get together as a group so she hasn’t gotten the chance to meet many people, including her new sorority sisters.
It was the first time she had seen Marah’s house, which she loved from many angles, and also the first time she had met these friends of Marah’s who are also her sorority sisters. As the girls revealed bits of themselves, I watched my daughter connect more deeply to her sorority and to her own confidence. I saw her hone in on some ideals and values that move her forward with increasing conviction and self-awareness, just from recognizing how rooted she quickly became to a group of women she didn’t know before today, but will be enmeshed with as she moves forward in life in ways I can only imagine.
We arrived at brunch to a beautiful downtown hotel and a space that was ill-equipped to handle the crowd it was trying to feed. Even though we were as hungry as the next unseated group, I was aware that we were elevated by a ‘bubble’ of positive energy I can only attribute to acknowledging the deep root system of these mothers and daughters and their ties to the Alpha Delta Pi sorority as a whole, which was the first organized sorority in the United States. In my wildest dreams I can’t fathom the amount of people who have been touched by this group since its inception on May 15, 1851. (My dad’s birthday, just saying). We waited nearly an hour for our table and even in a crowded circle and masked faces, the natural beauty of each of these mothers and daughters was present with its own unique voice and style. I am universally grateful that my daughter is rooted to this group and its resources, and I look forward to seeing where these roots take her as her life unfolds.
I was seated in the middle of our table of eight, enjoying moving in and out of many interesting and engaging conversations over the next two hours. I was seated between Madigan and Marlys and I kept thinking about how many ways each of them have been mentors in my life, and even extending into each other’s lives. Madigan and Marah’s recollections of spending time together as kids took me back to how lovingly Marlys took my girls every Tuesday one summer while I worked - at a time when I desperately needed that resource. Every Tuesday, all summer… I also recalled babysitting Marah as an infant one summer, while I was pregnant with Madigan and imagining her life and future. The stories of our lives that branch out from those times could fill a series of books. As I marveled at our really cool moment in time, “One of these Nights” by the Eagles began playing. Marlys leaned to me and said “this is one of my two favorite albums of all time - the other one is Fleetwood Mac Rumors”. I agreed that they were also tops among my favorite albums as we exchanged a couple words about Mentors and Roots and we each went back to another conversation.
The very next song that played was from Rumors. Marlys and I looked at each other as we spent a split-second in awe of the universe and its timing; both of us appreciating our own unique root systems and energetically weaving the magic of this day into the fabric of all of the days to come, taking the lessons and experiences of our mentors into the values and ideals that shape our futures from here forward. The lessons and insights from our Mentors are beyond incalculable and I look forward to this new season of ORM with an anticipation that I don’t believe I have ever felt so strongly.
The rest of the day explored the same themes of Mentors, Roots and Magic as we encountered more moments of natural synchronicity and interactions with impressive human beings. I know that I value my Mentors more wholly with each session and I relish being able to see those connections with deepening awareness for myself and for those I love.
Spring? Bring it!