It is as if we all did not just make our way to a different part of the country, but to a different existence altogether...as if we were actually underwater, separated from the world, safe, hidden, cozy in our own sparkling Atlantis.
And we were there because of her....this gorgeous, powerful mermaid, this force of nature who created a vision in her mind and then set forth to make it a reality for anyone who chose to respond to her call for action.
We came together with our own unique dreams, goals, ideas and longings. We came together with fears, trepidations, anxieties and vulnerabilities. We came with our basket of stars, with tiaras made of seashells and starfish, we came in riding seahorses that twinkled in the sunlight. We responded to her call, and when we arrived we emptied out our souls into her open arms. We trusted her. We believed in her. We looked into her eyes and we glowed.
She carried all of these little bits and pieces, all of our tiny seeds that contained mysteries within us we weren't entirely sure existed - weren't entirely sure what they would even look like when they blossomed - and she gently, lovingly planted them. She protected them. She nurtured them. She gave them a safe haven within which they could burst forth as brightly as possible.
The word gratitude has been my siren call this week, the word I keep coming back to again and again as I think about last week. When I distill this feeling down to its barest essence, when I peel away the layers that contain all the reasons why I feel grateful, it comes down to this: I am grateful for this woman's passion, for her willingness to take on this role for so many creative spirits, her decision to plunge forth into all the work it took to create our magical Atlantis. I am in awe, I am proud to know her, I am humbled, I am full, I am peaceful.
My favorite book is Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. In this book, a group of individuals makes the decision to walk entirely away from a society they believe is soul-crushing. They create their own hidden society, one that is centered around everyone being able to pursue their passions, ideas and visions to the fullest extent. They call this place Atlantis, and it is where they all thrived.
We don't need to abandon our lives permanently in order to continue to blossom and grow, but how wonderful for us that this beautiful creature named Elizabeth created her own special Atlantis, a sacred space she opened up to the world. She invited us in, and we gathered. And in that gathering we were given a glimpse of something we could all use a little bit - or maybe a lot - more of: our own beauty, our own power, our own light.
Thank you, thank you, to our Guardian of Dreams, our Mermaid Queen, our Beacon.