Meandering Life

In last night’s Full Moon Gathering, we wrote breakup letters to our past selves and time traveled one year into the future to visit our new selves. With the Egyptian goddess of Ma’at and the Indigenous American Corn Mother as inspiration, we honored the natural life/death/rebirth cycle within and we used the “meander map” above as a kind of visual metaphor throughout the gathering.

This map was created in 1944 by cartographer Harold Frisk and it details the many routes the Great Mississippi has taken over the centuries; all the ways she’s jumped her banks; all the new paths that she’s carved out for herself. I discovered this map via a social media post from Elizabeth Gilbert years ago and here’s a bit of the wisdom she shared: 

I’ve been thinking lately about the ways that I keep trying to control my own nature. I see the rules and boundaries that I have set for myself over the years, and how often they have failed. I think about the vows I’ve made to myself and others about where I’m going to be next year, or who I am going to be next year. Endless, expensive, stress-inducing efforts to civilize the river of my being.

But if you were to look at the history of my life, it looks a lot like this map right here. This map could be a portrait of my heart’s own journey.

Maybe yours, too.

I often say that, after a certain age, every woman in the world could write a memoir called: NOT WHAT I PLANNED. We change. Life changes. We often feel shame, confusion and anger about those shifts and pivots. But what if we just trusted the river? She seems to know where she wants to go.

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