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Den of Discontent

Den of Discontent


In this den of discontent

Where the echo of love sounds

The emptiness of dissolution

Seeps into a vacant battleground


As inches become miles

The sting of separation flares

Leaving lonely and anxious skin

Searching for oxygen in precious air


Holding what breath remains

One must cross this blockade

While memories guard the gates

All passage is betrayed


Who will move with mighty mercy

In lonely corridors of perdition

Slaying dragons of animosity

Capturing the reins of admission 


Who will speak the words

Tender, forgotten and true

Filling this hushed vacancy

Forever abandoning the coup



This past year has been incredibly trying yet transformative in the most interesting of ways. An age-old truth rings true. It often takes the darkest of nights to appreciate the return of the light.  This past year, in the depths of darkness, everything I saw as “me” had been slowly stripped away. Likewise, in returning to the light, everything that was and is truly important has been revealed. 


I have not written anything for quite some time. This is because this illness is attacking my brain as well as my body. In a cruel twist of fate, the part of my brain under attack is for semantic interpretation. It takes much effort to write these days and a great deal of review to be sure what is on the page makes sense. Humility has been a constant theme of late.


There is a reason I write rather than speak. Writing has afforded a safe space for my thoughts without the need for conversation. Writing has always been a solitary activity for me and I like to walk through the words on the page rather than run. This peaceful unfolding of thought is relaxing and a necessary release of emotions that course throughout my body.


These emotions reside in a deep well, filled with the turbulent waters of contemplation. My well has been artfully capped for a lifetime under the guise of “self-control”. I may sound thoughtful when I speak, but this is a self-imposed exercise to avoid the tsunami of emotions that would most certainly flow out at any given moment. 


In yet another test of patience and humility, the area of my brain that is damaged, uncaps the well and makes it more difficult to hold back emotions or assess social cues. All these years trying to hide a part of myself only to have it all come rushing back in full view. The divine works in strange ways. It has been a year I laughingly call the “trail of tears” as crying has become a leaky valve unable to be shut off.


Thankfully my support network has stepped up in the best of ways. It is often in the darkest of nights in which those with pure intentions remain and those with hardened hearts move away from the discomfort. My forever partner, Dylan, has been my absolute rock. He has wiped my tears, listened to my overthinking, and held me tight when no words could soothe my broken heart. He has given so much of himself to me this past year and I am forever grateful. My son Zack has also demonstrated his ability to show great compassion. He is a busy young man with a partner and a corporate level job to foster, yet he has always made time to call and check in. He does not only speak but listens, a key component of compassion and a sign of true emotional intelligence. I am blessed beyond words. They are both porch lights in the darkness, guiding me home time after time. 


I wrote the piece above, not about a specific relationship or hardship, but about the many things we must come to terms with in finding peace. It has become clear, a great deal of living and learning is letting go of prideful identifications. This peeling away of layers takes many years and leaves us completely naked and exposed at the end of our lives, just as we arrived.  


On reflection, hardship is a great teacher.  The past year has required me to dig deep, evaluate what is important and let go of the many calculated ways I present myself to the world. What remains is just me. The baby that arrived into this world, wide eyed, curious, innocent and accepting. The young girl that did not put harsh expectations and rules on herself. The adult who did not think of career, money, or success as a measure of a life well lived. This is a person I am glad to meet at long last.


The Armor We Wear

The Armor We Wear




That Which I Cannot Name

There you are, 

Behind the eternal veil

Waiting for an invitation 

To my dinner table


Patiently you wait

Watching the mistakes

We have made,

I have made


The winds of change

Dance with this fabric

Calling out to me

Asking for my attention


Distraction makes me blind

All the many obligations

Pulling me away

From the beauty of this veil


A faint softness is

Viewed from afar

Teasing my senses with,

What can be, what should be


I cannot name you

But do not need to

You are the eternal gateway

To the between, to everything


When I get lost in myself

Forget my direction, lose my way

You whisper in the wind

“I am with you”


The veil dances into my heart

Filling a longing for this softness

Lighting up the gateway

Into the next





Yesterday, heart brimming with a slurry of emotions from the collective grief of our times, I walked on the beach and attempted to calm my weary heart. In this moment we must all stop the rhetoric and admit we all know far less than we think we do. The answers we seek are not readily apparent and the need is great.


One image I received while walking was of layers of armor shedding as if a butterfly emerging from a cocoon. We all have armor whether we admit to it or not. These layers have been added to the suit of protection we wear, sewn over many years, hiding our vulnerabilities.


This armor is complex. Sewn into its coils are race, culture, appearance, orientation, religion, profession, wealth and many other labels. We walk around every day with a tribal mentality thinking it protects us from ourselves. Our wounds and insecurities are often the driving force behind these hardline opinions and core values.  


As a student of the human condition, it fascinates me how we cling to this armor, no matter the contradictions, in a colossal effort to avoid facing our wounds. We have talking points and biases that permeate everything we do and say. Over time, it becomes more difficult to hear the quiet voice of spirit over a chorus of societal expectations and unbridled tribalism. If one ventures too far from their base, a disapproving slap on the wrist is given rather than shared dialogue in respectful tones.


Yesterday while walking, I found myself completely rejecting this norm. No longer wishing to wear false armor, I rejected the notion we all need protection from our most sensitive self. I am no longer willing to hide behind the “group” whether it be family, community or nation. I am no longer willing to blindly accept the terms of this social contract.


Great courage is required when standing up against the group and saying “NO”.  Many of you may have already felt this same call and experienced difficult conversations with your tribe. Let me lend you strength in saying it is OKAY to choose a different way. By choosing to approach life outside of the group, you are not being rebellious. You are living on your own terms, without the constant need for validation from the whole.


Shedding false armor can be liberating, as if a heavy weight has been lifted from our shoulders, allowing us to soar as is meant to be. Failure is quite possible, never fear failure. Failure teaches us more about living than success. It is in the moments of despair, after falling short time and time again that resilience is forged. Like iron to the fire, we use the unrelenting heat of discomfort to forge beauty from a blank slate. It takes many years of practice to be skilled at reinvention of self. It also takes courage in facing the heat of the flames, burning our skin as we return once again to build something out of nothing.


On the eve of what is to be a powerful summer solstice, with a new moon solar eclipse occurring on the Global Axis point of the universe, commit to bravely facing this fire each day. This is an awakening and we are all feeling the call and need for change. The new is waiting, patiently. A new way of being, a new way of viewing the world. 


Reinvention does not have to be scary; it can be fun! Imagine a blank page in which you are free to write your story in your own words, not the words of others. Simply begin with the first sentence and the rest of your story will unfold as it should. The universe is demanding us all to begin. Pick up a pen and change your story. Write about a world that is more equitable, loving and compassionate. A world where we care for the least of us without worrying about the bottom line. A world in which poverty and discrimination do not exist. 


If you find yourself saying this sounds utopian and therefore impossible, sit in silence for a moment with this thought. Is this statement your armor speaking?  Your fear? Breathe in and out and allow the feeling of discomfort and heat to wash over you. Become friends with this feeling and welcome it into your life. The time is now. Let us all welcome our most sensitive self to the table, lovingly wrapping our arms around our agitation and uncertainty. Feeling our heartbeat along with every other living thing. Breathe in, breathe out. Smile.



Permission to Just Be

Permission to Just Be



Remain still and you will hear

The new. Rustling the curtains and

Throwing open the windows while shouting,

Now is the time!



As the winds of change rush forth

Into the wild, unafraid

Challenging all that you know

Teasing the mystery



Stand in the center of the storm

Fell the calming stillness

Truth being the quietest voice in this void

Always there, but calling little attention



You know this sound well

Unlock the chains and

Throw out the endless lists of excuses

Now is the time!



Follow this whisper

Walk through the window and


Let yourself be free




Living at a campground during a pandemic is an opportunity to watch the natural world up close and without distraction. While we have no campers due to the closure, we continue to see the resurgence of nature in all of its glory. In the past few months, we have been privy to the birth and death of a variety of animals and plant forms. This heightened connection to the sacredness of this ground has heated powerful emotions within.


It is difficult to put into words the beauty of this place. For many thousands of years, humans have walked this beach and for many thousands of years humans have neglected it in the very worst of ways. How easy it has become to ignore what is right in front of us, while distracted by the desire for money and things. All having little to do with this organic togetherness.


During my morning bike ride, I was struck by a connection to something beyond. Looking up at the mountain side, across from the beach, I was certain I felt the presence of an ancient woman. This vision of a native Chumash woman standing boldly on the edge of the cliff, looking at the very same landscape as myself, brought tears to my eyes. 


On this day, feeling a strong tether to the past, I wept for this ancient and wise woman and felt her own tears falling down the mountainside. She and I are the same. We are from different times with very different pressures, but the transformation of middle age is familiar ground. Her powerful energy was emanating so intently, I had to step off my bike and gaze at the mountain. Hair flowing, back straight, eyes casting out into the eternal distance. She is me and I am her. I felt her deeply and mourned the loss of an ancient feminine circle of faith, trust and love.


As women age, we have historically been marginalized. While it may be nice not to be seen entirely as a sexual being, it is a strange transformation to feel invisible from the rest of society. Women are the caretakers, nurturers, mothers, daughters and lovers. Right when we begin to step freely into our feminine power, trusting the wisdom of the ages, the rug is pulled from underneath. A strong woman becomes gruff, or “bitchy” while a strong man remains a leader. Why our society has chosen to abide by these perceived roles I will never understand. It is this pain that I shared with the ancient woman, an understanding of how difficult it is to redefine ourselves and find our place in this ever-changing landscape.


Couple this with my recent medical crisis, the societal walls of productivity began to close in, leaving me choking with expectation. If not a working professional, then what? I am so much more than what I do, this is true. My true love is writing and will always be, but with a job title, health insurance and retirement, I am tethered to the rest of society by these expectations. 


This morning, feeling the breath and tears of the wise woman, a certain permission was granted to just be. Be sick, be aging, let my hair turn gray, be wild, be free, be everything I have been conditioned not to be. She and I sing the same song from these hills. We sing to our destiny, our purpose and our fast approaching departure from this place. With a desperation not found in early life, middle age women feel the beat of this song resonating in every act of self-love, acceptance and grace. We sing to the power of the ocean taking some of its strength for ourselves. If the waves can persist billions of years under unfathomable stress, we too can step into our power, embracing this eternal energy with the wisdom only found by living a beautiful and flawed existence. 


This knowing peppers the landscape with the brightness of the universe, a simple yet breathtaking vow. Finishing my ride, I begin to feel my grandmothers and see their joyful smiles through the morning fog. They are here with me and gently reminding me all will be well. Their strength lifts my spirit and a calmness washed over me as if the tide against these shores. My truth is my own, yet I am never alone. Women from the ages walk with me, guide me and lend loving support. Now each morning, I look to the mountainside and feel her presence. She feels my heartbeat and for a few moments we sing together.

Feeling all the Feels

Feeling all the Feels


Emotion and I are dear friends, connecting during both the darkest and most joyous of times. We have walked this path together and are familiar with the rhythm of life while feeling all the feels. As an ultra sensitive child and an INFJ born in the sign of Cancer, it has taken a lifetime to rectify how I see the world and how I feel about it. For you astrology buffs, add in a Jupiter trine Neptune in my birth chart, you get a sense of the emotional tides flowing within. Labeled as “sensitive” as a child, I struggled to feel less in my early years. Stifling back tears and shutting down rather than speaking my truth by sharing the tides battering my shores of solitude.

I buried an ocean of emotion behind walls meant to hold back the strongest of storms. In doing so, I believed I was stronger and better equipped to navigate what can be a very harsh world. A world in which sensitivity is viewed as a weakness, something that needs to be analyzed and in some cases treated as anxiety or depression. My experience thus far has left me disappointed with the discomfort shown by others when expressing feelings.

As this is my voice, I can only speak of personal experience. Knowing other sensitive souls over the years, It is comforting to know I am not alone. How wonderful to meet others who feel as deeply as I do and who read the emotion and energy of any space they inhabit. By finding others like me, the inner perfectionist was able to let go of self criticism and see the beauty of these gifts rather than something that needs to be fixed.

Recently, a number of difficult life events have forced me to consciously lower my internal walls thereby not allowing fear and anxiety to silence me. The first being grief. Losing someone close or supporting a loved one in the process of grieving takes huge emotional wells and is not for the faint of heart. Some face their grief wholeheartedly experiencing all the good, bad and ugly. Others, let grief eat away at them, unaware it can not be silenced for long. Grief will rear its ugly head in the most explosive of ways. It may take days, weeks or years. Swallowing sadness is a bitter pill and a recipe for turmoil on the road of healing.

Secondly, a major health crisis had me visiting a plethora of doctors over the course of a few months. In most cases, as I sat in sterile offices trying to explain frustration with my body and uncertainty for the future, I cried. Having no problem showing authentic emotion after a lifetime of training, I let the tears flow while explaining my disbelief of finding myself in this place after years of healthful living. Surprisingly, most of my doctors immediately considered depression was at play. The only one who did not was the trained mental health counselor who clearly saw a women letting the feelings of the moment flow. It is no wonder to me that we have a country over medicated when the very professionals patients trust with chronic illness are ill equipped to witness authentic emotion and uncomfortable with the prospect.

Midlife has made me a bit more defiant in these instances. I no longer feel like I have to apologize for letting my voice be heard or emotions to show. In fact, it is in moments such as these when empathy for others is necessary. Vulnerability requires great humility and loads of grace. Luckily, my partner is comfortable with feelings. He sits quietly and gently wipes my eyes knowing it will pass. Often I am sobbing as I try to say something difficult, knowing it must be said but overcome by the weight of it all. I have come to far to silence myself in the interest of other peoples comfort.

All this being said, other peoples feelings matter to me greatly and my intentions is never to hurt another. It has taken much practice to say the things needing to be said in a gentle way. I fall short over and over again, but get right back up to try again. We are all imperfect. The beauty of another lies in these very imperfections. An outburst may not be about me at all, rather an unexpected release of emotion necessary for healing. Saying a small prayer, I let it go even when my brain attempts to over analyze the interaction and try to fix it. There is no “fixing it” for another. They must do the work themselves by lowering their walls when they are ready.

 I leave you with a quote by Maya Angelou.

She said, “I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision. I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one. I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back. I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn. I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Standing in the Doorway of Forever

Standing in the Doorway of Forever


Spirals go on for an infinity as

The rhythm of steps lull my heart

Into a long forgotten slumber of calm 

As my lungs fill with an air of peaceful solitude

-Lavinia Busch


Sitting on my couch and watching high tide rage against the shore, I am struck by the unease of my spirit given the past two weeks. After what was an unexpected ride on the proverbial bus out of town…way out of town, I find myself revisiting the calm found in the throes of a very close brush with death.


Having no fears about this transition, I am left with an insatiable curiosity for the spectacular aura of the next and continue to mull the events over and over in my mind. The single most important truth being the air of peace and remarkable stillness of this in between. I saw the concern on my loved ones faces, felt the hustle of the staff in and out of my room and heard the tone of the doctor trying to explain how dire the situation was. All caught as if screenshots forged into my memory.


Those hours felt like a few seconds and there is much I do not remember. Of what I do recall, two moments stand out. The first being the look on my fiancés face after being told of a medical need and how dangerously close my organs were to shutting down. A master of calmness in crisis, his face caught my attention even in the midst of my haze and will forever be etched in my mind.


The next being my ride down the hall to an imaging room. All the noise around me sounded like a muffled background and my heartbeat was the clearest sound I could discern. My eyes were closed, yet I saw what I suspect was the florescent lights in the hallway, creating a bright tunnel experience. The peace I felt in that moment was so comforting and I remember thinking this must be what people feel as they are about to slip away.


By the time I arrived in the ICU I was a bit more aware of my surroundings as my blood pressure had begun to stabilize. The room lights were a shock to my system and the loud noise of the staff on the floor felt like a worldly assault. After a few more days in the hospital and a better understanding of how close I had come to the brink, my emotions came pouring out as if a faucet turned back on.


Thinking back, I had two dreams a few weeks ago that startled me awake. One being of a disheveled man standing outside the RV. His stare permeated the walls of the RV and soaked into my skin leaving me chilled to the bone. At the time it felt as if he carried a dark message of some sort, but I shook off the feeling and let it go. The second dream felt the same but instead of a man, it was a shadow. Reflecting on this, it is clear my intuition was on high alert and these dreams where a harbinger of the next.


What a strange and wild ride this has been. This reminder of the fragility of human life is a welcome guest at my table as is a melancholy for the peacefulness of the between. Living this human experience is fraught with more feelings than one can imagine. As they cascade over me, it is the calm I return to time and time again as if a long-lost friend.


Maybe it is because I experience the world as a jarring reality filled with so many walking wounded. Always feeling joy but also the undercurrents of sadness within every soul I meet is overwhelming at times. In this in between, It was as if I was lying in my favorite meadow with the sun on my face and flowers by my side. Not a sign of unease or discomfort.


Now I am left with the necessary acclimation back into the hustle of life. My mind, body and spirit feel jostled to the point of confusion and the whole experience has become very disorientating. Recovered enough to walk in my beloved hills today, I tried to shake the cobwebs of my soul back into attention. Why this melancholy? Why this unsteadiness?


Focusing on the light that had saturated my eyes in the hospital and the feeling of unparalleled stillness, my heart expanded and filled with the healing elixir of love. No matter what happens on this plane of existence, we are all loved. Of this I am absolutely certain. None of us are sure when our time here will end making each challenge, heartbreak and joy a gift. It is the messiness of our experience in which we earn our wings and take flight.


So back I go, into the wild of the world, knowing the persistent melancholy will remain. This constant reminder of the terminal nature of life prompts us to be present, living fully and freely. My choices are mine alone and will be on display in this between for review. Will I cringe at my foolishness or smile in remembrance of a life well lived? I suspect a bit of both




Order Stardust and Mystic Cookie

Order Stardust and Mystic Cookie



It is with sincere gratitude that I present Stardust, the result of much contemplation, inspiration and creative exploration.

This book represents the continued discovery of mysticism, specifically the uncomfortable intersection of both science and spirituality. With poetry and photography as a medium, I delve into the depths of the psyche, always searching for profound truths.

Each poem draws closer to an authentic and peaceful point of solitude in which I aim for the reader to reside, even if only for a short while.

Stardust is now available for pre-order at a 30% discount off retail price with delivery expected before the holiday. This Deluxe (signed) Edition is now available for only $24.95!




If just beginning your journey, please consider my first offering, Mystic Cookie available exclusively on Amazon HERE.


“A lifelong lover of the written word, poetry has given voice to my rather introspective inner world. Written exploration of this inner world has allowed for a freedom of ideas not possible when in conversation. It is my hope that by putting pen to paper, someone flirting with their shadow will embrace this journey with a knowing that all will be well. It is only by embracing the darkest corners of self that one fully blooms…



Broken Glass

Broken Glass

Art-Dhira Lawrence


Shards and pieces fill the floor,

Emotions trampled as before.

Watch your step, this glass cuts

Its best to keep things tightly shut.


Tempers flare and shouts persist

The allure of anger hard to resist

Careful now, handle with care

Sharp as a knife, better beware


Be gentle now, glass does break

All it takes is one strong shake

Softer words and kinder touch

Broken glass hurts far too much

-Lavinia Busch, 2018


Broken glass is an eclectic collection of what was once a whole, yet each piece is still able to shine separate from this whole. Think of a stained-glass window. These inspiring works of art are comprised of broken pieces of glass, each able to stand alone in specific brilliance. In totality, the stained-glass window shines like a sunbeam, sending colorful light in all directions. The beauty of this whole does not negate how special each individual piece of glass is. Removing even one piece would change the stained-glass window completely.


How easy it is to forget what makes each of us as individuals shine. We define ourselves by family, friends, job and relationships. It is so easy to forget who we are and what we contribute to the whole. Losing self in another is a slippery slope and the treacherous fall that may occur is not one to be taken lightly.


For empathetic people, this is especially difficult to navigate. We pride ourselves in being helpful, selfless and putting the needs of all others before our own. While this may seem to be a service-oriented way to move about the world, the exclusion of self in all matters is neither healthy are wise. Without goals, creative energy and spirit it becomes impossible to have a voice in any partnership. Each person should intend to uplift the other while gently encouraging their partner to stretch and grow. Without this space one will inevitably become stagnant, a shard of glass crushed by the weight of insecurity.



“Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.”

― Anton Chekhov


No one should dim their light for the benefit of another. Each one of us has the opportunity to shine in our own way. The color of the glass we use is up to us as is the manner in which we create our window. As the artist, we have a choice and a voice. It is incumbent on us to not lose sight of our precious light.


Continue to love those in your life. Lend an ear when necessary. Offer a helping hand and gentle encouragement but never compromise who you are and what is important. Shine as brightly as you are meant, dimming no amount of self for the benefit of others discomfort. You will find as you gain confidence, that your stained-glass window is more representative of your shining spirit and gentle heart.




Life is Messy

Life is Messy


“Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.”

― Franz Kafka


Life is messy. We spend the lion’s share of our days trying to clean it up, wrapping it all in a pretty bow to present as unstressed as possible. The worst scenario is in showing the ugliness of it all, the dirt and grime that makes us human. There is never any way to avoid the mess, it is only in the mud when truths are told, and destinies revealed.


I tire of being constantly upbeat, writing as if all is meant to be and nothing happens without divine predestination. How false a perception and a blatant misdirection to believe such ideas. It is only in the murky and muddy depths that spirit is challenged. The darkness doing nothing to blind us from reality and all of its unbearable eccentricities.


Even standing in the company of great natural beauty, I am moved by the anguish and violence that created these enormous natural wonders. The depths of their dark waters run deep. In some cases, towns were washed away, entire peoples relocated, and life forms extinguished. We like to forget the messy parts, it makes it easier that way.


The role of a writer is not to say what we can all say, but what we are unable to say.”

― Anais Nin


Why are we so uncomfortable with the mess? Why is it so difficult to find the words for someone who is grieving? When did it become taboo to say how awful it is to loss a loved one. No, it will not all be okay, no it was not for the best and no it will not get better with time. Scars fade but never really go completely away. Scars remain as a tattoo of the mess written on our hearts forever.


The same can be said for misfortune. Life can be ruthless at times. Financial ruin is not “karma” or required reading for life school. In reality financial difficulties are awful. Those who experience this misfortune are not unworthy of success. They did nothing wrong as some might point a judgmental finger. The way this world values the almighty dollar is a big part of the mess, and we all roll in this dirt over and over as if pigs to a trough.


In my utopian ideal emotions and feelings are valued and stoicism is not. Tell me if you are hurting, in pain or suffering. I may not like what I hear but say it anyway. I must be equipped with enough tools to take in another’s sorrow without condition. Only in this way am I swimming in my own murky waters and attempting to rise toward the air above. Tell someone your mess today and be unabashedly truthful. You may be surprised by the response.



Let The Trees Speak

Let The Trees Speak


Quiet a voice and silence a mind

Listen for what those know, remind

Ancient, regal, centurion and true

Reaching, never quite touching blue


Long knowing what is hidden below

Secrets, stories buried deep in the snow

Mystical, magical, wondrous and true

Let the trees speak as if hearing you


Listen for words etched with the pen of time

Just with caressed skin, releasing what binds

Wells of energy deep within all that begins

Streams of light shimmer, radiating from within

-Lavinia Busch, 2018

Some Scars Are Beautiful

Some Scars Are Beautiful

Lamoille Canyon, Ruby Mountains ©Dylan Mattina, 2018.


Scars hold many secrets. Hard earned but never displayed in any sort of distinctive manner, they are often tucked away behind locked doors without keys. Scars can be hard fought, forged in territory marked by pain and hardship. A desolate landscape rarely traveled and purposely avoided. Yesterday, while driving in rural Idaho and following a very trying week, I was reminded that scars can be marks of the beautiful as well.


Just about everything that could go wrong this week did. The RV had some power issues, eventually working themselves out only after causing much undue stress. Dylan and I both got very sick from the smoke coming from the California wildfires. Not just a nuisance head cold, but full on respiratory distress. Visits to the doctor and heavy medication where required to even feel a semblance of oxygen circulating our lungs. Steroids are not a good road trip companion and to say that nerves were frayed and emotions high is a grand understatement.


Couple all of this with the looming uncertainty about exactly where and when I will find my little slice of paradise in which to ruminate, write and relax; I found myself in the most perfect of storms.


Lamoille Canyon, Ruby Mountains ©Lavinia Busch, 2018


After leaving Elko and the arresting beauty of Lamoille Canyon, we came across the Hansen Bridge towering over the Snake River gorge. Nestled in the middle of vast farmlands filled with nothing but corn, hay and cattle; the bridge appeared out of nowhere with a startling presentation. Trying to find words for this natural wonder is simply impossible.


The scar, marking one of the largest floods in geologic history was nothing short of stunning. So beautiful in fact, one would be hard pressed to visualize the horrific power of the flood carving out such an enormous section of land.  What remains, amid the tortuous twisting of the gorge, is a striking beauty. Set this wonder beside the spectacular strength of Lamoille Canyon, itself forged by a glacier scar, the wonder of nature in all things was exposed in the most intimate of ways.


Snake River Gorge, Hansen Bridge ©Lavinia Busch, 2018.


Thinking of these places, I was struck by the metaphor within. We all have deep and painful scars, some visible with others lurking within our shadow self. My guess would be the deepest of scars, those hidden from others, are strew with rugged edges and steep plunging cliffs. It is these scars that shape use just as the gorge and canyon were shaped many millions of year ago. So very significant are the wounds responsible, that fantastic wells of strength must have been required by the natural world to overcome.


What is clear to me is that scars are absolutely necessary for growth. Without such wounds one would miss out on valuable opportunities for self-evaluation. It is only in the deepest depths of despair that walls must come down, vulnerability be exposed, and true character formed.  As in the natural world, I must confess to my fair share of deeply seeded scars continually grappled with. Looking down at the Snake River gorge and walking in Lamoille Canyon, it is evident this grappling will continue indefinitely, and I have to be okay with this process.


Quietly, I thanked all that had come before, both the darkness and the light, allowing me to forge my own gorges and canyons. Without wounds, I would not fully understand pain, happiness, grief or wonder. Blessing each and every one of my scars, both seen and unseen, I silently said a prayer of acceptance for everything I am and everything I am not. This week has provided much fodder for growth, revealing the most sensitive edges of my innermost fears, yet I remain steadfast in my commitment to live as completely as possible, scars and all.