After Kelsey’s graduation and before Memorial Day, I squeezed in a trip to Arkansas to visit my good friend Timido. She had been trying for years to get me to come and visit her. In college, I had sold books door-to-door in Memphis, Tennessee and had spent quite a bit of that time in eastern Arkansas. I could remember no reason for me to be excited about visiting the state again.

However, I had never been to the northwestern part of the state, Fayetteville to be specific. What a surprise!

Thirty years ago, a friend of Timido’s had purchased 300 acres on the side of a mountain in the Ozarks. She had created a women’s community, putting the land in a trust. Timido was a member of the community, and envisioned her friends from the NW would join her someday. I was one of many targets.

I was smitten with the land. It is enchanting, peaceful, and beautiful. I awoke every morning and hiked for miles, exploring the rough roads and trails. I am one of those fortunate people who aren’t affected by bugs, and so despite walking in lush meadows and through forests, the chiggers and ticks stayed away. I was the envy of the other women.

As I prepared to leave to go back to Omaha on my way to South Dakota, I felt a deep longing to stay there in the beauty of the land. It was the first time I had felt that way about a place other than the NW in a very long time. Timido suggested that I consider becoming a member of the landholder’s group. She had arranged for me to meet as many women on the land as possible, but because several were gone, I would have to return if I were going to apply. One of the requirements of becoming a member is to have approval from all of the other members. I told her I would think about it.

On one of my many hikes around the land, I had seen an old shack sitting on a ledge above the road. Exploring what was left of the buildings, I looked out from the rickety deck. The trees had grown up in front of where I stood, but I could see that it was a stunning view. Rolling mountains, a beautiful valley below, and just beyond the road, I saw one of the ponds that had been built on the land. I felt at home and at peace.

On my drive back to Omaha, that piece of land kept calling me. I was so entranced, that I missed my exit and two hours later discovered I had been driving east, not north! That had never happened to me before on my many miles of driving. At first I was very mad at myself. It was already a ten hour drive, and I had just added four hours to it! However, something shifted in me that day. My spirit guides calmed me down, showing me the beauty of what was around me that I wouldn’t have seen if I had not gone the wrong way. They showed me that it was all in my perspective. I could be mad or I could enjoy what I was experiencing. Either way, I was already there and couldn’t change the circumstances. It was my choice to let the lower frequency energy overtake my joy. Or to be in a space of gratitude and self-forgiveness.

I looked around me as I drove through SW Missouri. There were rolling hills, with layers of green, under a beautiful sky with puffy clouds. It was really just about the most idyllic drive I had been on the entire trip. I was taking the back roads, so there was very little traffic. It was extraordinary.

I settled in to drive back to my road when my shamanic mentor, Jan Engels-Smith, called me to ask about some work she needed help with. I have never heard her be frustrated, but, as she said, she was having a hard time being in her joy at that moment. I chuckled, because I had just been in that same space only moments before. I told her what I had just done, and by the time we hung up, we were both laughing. One of Jan’s favorite sayings was “Choose joy in adversity.” Sometimes you just have to be reminded of what you already know.

By the time I reached Nebraska, I had a complete vision of what my house would look like on the land in Arkansas, where each room would be, and even what pictures would adorn the walls. For the next several weeks, I would fall asleep to the image and wake to the dream. I had never experienced anything like it. It felt like I had fallen in love.

I began to look at the possibility of returning to Arkansas to meet all of the women and really decide if that was where I was meant to be. Much of it would depend on how the Memorial Day Weekend shaped up, and if I was still going to be teaching a workshop in Colorado in June.