The courage to let go

Myriam Joseph Loeschen with the owl necklace

Some lovely girlfriends came into town recently, one from Canada and one from Los Angeles. It was the sweetest kind of reunion since we were all together in San Miguel de Allende earlier this year and hadn’t all been together since. I decided to take them to the most magical spot I know — Point Reyes.

Point Reyes is along the coast and has some of the most gorgeous beaches and hiking spots in the world. It is quintissential, wild California coast. One part hippy hiking dream and one part sophisticated foodie wonderland. It also has a special place in my heart because it is home to Cowgirl Creamery – some of the most sublime cheese I have ever had. And I have had my share of cheese. Whenever you say, “I’m going to Point Reyes this weekend…” people swoon. It’s that wonderful.

Cowgirl Creamery cheese, shot with Canon Xsi

Carmen McDonald at the magical potion store, Garden of Eden, Point Reyes Station

Mati on the beach, Limantour Beach

The day before we left, Mati emailed to tell us that she was glad we would all be together because it was an auspicious day – the 10th anniversary of her marriage that had just recently ended. She asked if we wouldn’t mind doing a ritual with her, and of course we felt so honored she asked. We didn’t plan it out. I think we all just knew that the right ritual would find us, most likely on the beach.

After gathering a feast of picnic supplies, we drove all the way out to Limantour beach. The weather had been gorgeous all over the bay area, even at Point Reyes station, and our hearts sunk a little when we realized that the only foggy, cold spot in the bay was right over Limantour Beach. But we quickly realized that the weather was the perfect mood for the ritual we were about to do. It would have felt strange if it was too bright and sunny. Foggy was just right.

Mati with feathers, Limantour Beach

Myriam noticed the feathers first. Why don’t we gather 10 feathers? One for each year of your marriage. You can let them go, one by one in the water. And so she did. A beautiful little bouquet. A way to honor each year and also let them go. So powerful. So brave.

Myriam with feathers, Limantour Beach, Point Reyes, CA

And then it was Myriam’s turn. She gathered five feathers, one for each pregnancy she had lost and one for the baby that was meant to find her. So touching and beautiful.

We were all in tears as we watched her toss her feathers into the ocean.

Myriam, Limantour Beach

As we gathered together back on the sand to take it all in, we looked down and noticed something extraordinary in the sand — tiny, child-sized footprints at Myriam’s feet. It felt like a sign, an unmistakable serendipity reassuring all of us that good things were to come.

Damn straight! Good things are coming.

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13 Comments

  1. Posted September 26, 2012 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    Andrea: this a beautiful message today….it made me cry…it is so powerful to see incredible women sharing themselves with each other…xo

  2. Posted September 26, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    P.S. My favorite Cow Girl Creamery Cheese: Mt. Tam with hazelnut fig biscuits from whole foods…

  3. Posted September 26, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    Wow – that gave me goose bumps. And now I want to go to Whole Foods for some Cowgirl Creamery cheese, super-yum!

  4. Posted September 26, 2012 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    so beautiful…xoxo

  5. elizabeth
    Posted September 26, 2012 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for sharing this story, it left me in tears…I am inspired by Mati & Myriam they are courageous and brave. I’m a big fan of rituals and I wish we had more of them, but I’m also a believer in finding your own way.

  6. Posted September 26, 2012 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

    I am so moved by these stories. Thank you for your courage and inspiration, Andrea, Mati and Myriam. Love to all.

  7. Posted September 26, 2012 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful brave!!! So poignant , so strong to do with sisters.

    Point Reyes is one of my favorite places too!
    And Cowgirl Creamery…? … Even the smell of that place gets me excited!

    Your courage course sounds like it might be just the kind of thing to help bolster my transition into the dark months…<3

  8. Posted September 28, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    This is beautiful. I have also performed similar, unorchestrated ceremonies of release – and they do something powerful…

    Good things are coming, you say. I sure hope so. :)

  9. Elisa
    Posted September 28, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    Note to Myriam. Eli was my fifth pregnancy. It can happen. Even when you don’t believe that it will. I was seven months pregnant before I was ‘expecting’ anything at all. You don’t have to think good thoughts. You don’t have to eat the perfect food. You don’t have to meditate or go to yoga or find the right ‘healer.’ I was ‘perfect’ the first four times. I was without hope or will by the fifth. I drank diet coke and ate crap. I scheduled my prenatals so the doc could tell me, “It’s over, go get a d&c.” Instead, Eli at my breast.

  10. ellie
    Posted September 28, 2012 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    I just signed up for the class! i interviewed today for a job that feels more ambitious than i have gone for in the past – an act of courage for me…and decided i want to do more courageous acts …looking forward to the class and the daily nudge to be courageous..thanks for the offering!

  11. Posted October 3, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    Goodness. What a beautiful post. Reminded me, in all the good and all the heartbreaking ways, of the things we have survived. Thank you. x

  12. Posted October 3, 2012 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

    Wow. Amazing. Beautiful. Timely.

    Thank you

  13. Posted November 3, 2012 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    So beautiful. I have always admired your courage to talk about the big, real, and messy stuff. Honesty takes such courage! Loving your new site & hope to take part in some of its goodness soon. :)

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