New Beginnings…

“And suddenly you know: It’s time to start something
new and trust the magic of beginnings.”
~*~ Meister Eckhart ~*~

I am emerging from the chrysalis. I can feel it. I hurt here. It is too tight, too constricting. I haven’t wanted to leave because after a fashion this tiny place where I barely leave one chair in one room with the pugs curled in around me felt safe, not ideal, but safe. Since the night of the fire, watching flames shooting in every direction, hearing windows explode out of their casings, knowing that my beloved parrots were dying and I couldn’t get to them, seeing the life I had built go up in smoke just on the eve of my 60th birthday, I was so devastated I lost the will to live. I feel like Rip Van Winkle waking up after a long sleep of 100 years and he doesn’t know where he is and nothing looks familiar anymore. I have been sleeping a lot lately, and this morning I woke up and I honest to God could not remember what day it was. I thought maybe Wednesday, I struggled to remember, it took several minutes and then I thought, Oh my God, it’s Sunday. I am waking up from a long sleep and I don’t know where I am.

Sunday morning, the beginning of the last full week I will live in this rental. The living room is piled with boxes of things that have come for the new house. There is a very small window between them finishing up there and me leaving here and they will help get the furniture moved but nothing in this place is mine except this one chair I bought, a big, over-sized recliner for the pugs and I. Everything else is rental furniture, but I have accumulated a lot of stuff here since March 3 when I moved in after a month in a hotel. They get everything ready at the house, they come here and pack up my things, and then the pugs and Miss Scarlet and I follow them over to the house, things get put away, and they’re gone. That’s the shorthand version. They do things for 3 days there before moving me. But the window is so small and I can’t have anything delivered to the house before that week , it just has to, WHOOSH, all go in in a day so I had to order or find everything I possibly could and have it here, ready to go.

There will be empty rooms in the house because I don’t have enough money to get everything I need so I am getting the basics to start. The couch and the refrigerator will be delivered that week. Here I have dishes and pots and pans and glasses, pillows and bedding. I have been shopping online at outlets and places prices are up to 70% off so I have gotten incredible deals which means the mattresses won’t be there for a week or more after I move in. To get the deal I have to wait on the mattresses so the pugs and I will sleep on the reclining couch. I got a cute little table and chairs for the kitchen, a few other things, and it’s amazing how they must pack one little item in a million layers of something because the number of boxes here is staggering and it I didn’t buy THAT much.

So now I am in limbo, not quite here and not quite there. And as I spend the last week here the Magic Ship will be torn down and the grounds and gardens cleaned up by the dear man that has helped me before. They are all being so kind. They want it to be nice for me, a real homecoming.

And I’m grateful, I really am. The house is beautiful. Everything is new. They had to do demolition inside and there was nothing left so it’s new everything and I got to pick all the colors and there are changes there, now only a half wall between the living room and the kitchen. Changes were made in my studio. I gave up things to get things because I had to stay in their budget, but the house will be beautiful if half empty. They are supposed to give you a “Contents” budget, money to replace things lost inside, and it was shockingly little. More will come later because my fire was so bad it takes a very long time to figure it out but it’s been 8 months and I really thought there would be more by now, and while I will get a little more it won’t be what I’d thought I would get, but maybe that’s okay, I can get in with the basics and live my way into the space, grow a life slowly. That’s what I will do.

I feel numb. How does the butterfly feel inside her cocoon just before she starts to break free, and when she is out what then? What is this strange new place and what is she supposed to do here now? The difference between the butterfly and I is that in the animal kingdom and the rest of natural world they have retained the knowledge that propels them through their days and their lives without thinking. Their natural wild nature, their survival instincts, their knowledge of when to fly south or take the long journey to safety like the penguins do every year is intact. We humans seem to have lost so much. We no long have babies in the rice paddies, sling them up on our backs and go back to work. Birth, now, is a medical procedure. How did we get from there to here? And without my medication would I be like the mad woman in the attic in Jane Eyre?

Sometimes I wonder about these things. And the medication that keeps me out of the attic also makes me very tired, and I move slowly, and sometimes I become very afraid, and often I shut down. But then… but then there are the glory days, and so much joy, and somewhere deep inside of me I do trust the magic of new beginnings, and I smile, and get a little excited, Even not having enough money to get all that I need makes it an adventure. My house and life will reflect the new life that I build, the choices that I make for this new stage of my life. It will be good.

After I wrote the last post about the death of the Magic Ship, and I still feel very sad and kind of lost just thinking about it, something occurred to me. Having lost so much, the newly rebuilt house being so new, it would still be hard for me to create a whole new life when the whole reason I bought that has was because I fell in love with that ship. She has been the reigning queen of the gardens and my life there. Majestic, magical, people would come upon her and gasp. So big, and like something out of a child’s dream. But that was the old life and it is hard to start a new one when still clinging to elements of the past. In a way, through the sadness and tears, I do see the gift. In her passing I will be set free, in a way, to really see my way into a new life there. The sheds and gated gardens are still painted a rainbow of colors but my deck is being repainted, not the flamingo pink that has been my trademark but a lovely color called “tansy green.” They did paint the new front door my lovely sky blue, I had to have that, but I got an enchanting dragonfly door knocker, and the house numbers are painted ceramic with flowers on them. In less than 2 weeks I will knock on the door and I will go inside for the first time as a woman entering her home to live, not just peeking in at paint colors and new flooring with workmen all around. And I want to go over the night before and sage the place. New beginnings must be properly prepared for. And I am one dedicated to ritual to marry the holy with the mundane. The one thing I can’t do is light candles. I have been passionately in love with candles my whole life, and would buy cases of beeswax candles, the only kind I burned. Now the thought of even a flicker of flame sends a shudder down my spine.

There is magic, incredible magic, in new beginnings, but it isn’t revealed easily or suddenly. I think it is like that quote I keep hearing from the movie, “The Fault In Our Stars,” that I love so much. It absolutely swept me away the first time I heard it. “… I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once.” I think that’s how I will fall in love with my newly rebuilt house and the life I will build there, slowly, and then all at once.

The time is very near now and I’m not yet sure how I will make it from here to there but I know I will. Slowly, and then all at once, I will make it.


Make this the year your resolutions come true!

Make this the year your resolutions come true!


  1. What a perfect description of this cocoon stage before you break out of the chrysalis of loss and what-was and fly into the open space of the new life you are creating. We are so lucky to have the honour to follow you through all the hard months since the fire and into this new chapter.

  2. I’m in between, too, M. There hasn’t been a physical fire, but my life is afire, and I’m running from it to the new place on Ann Street. I am moving this week/weekend, and plan to go back during the last week to clean. At first, there will be much to do, but I am purging many things and I hope to create a simpler life for my grand girl and myself. Somehow, I get to learn how to explain toxic people to a 10 year old. Somehow, I get to show her how to take care of herself as she sees me taking care of myself. Somehow, as a single grandmother, I get to find a community who will help me take care of her after school and such. It’s not easy, it’s like transition. That last little centimeter, then the last millimeter and I will push my way into a new life, where the peace and calm will fill me with elation and relaxation. Like Elsa in Frozen, I’ll be “too relieved to grieve”. I am so looking forward to the change, even with the challenges, sort of like becoming a mom, I couldn’t wait to see my little baby Kime (31 years ago on Tuesday), even though I knew my life would never be the same. It’s all good. It’s all good. It’s all good. We’ll be OK. We’ll do this slowly and then, all at once… Love you. N

  3. I am so touched by this post. Amid your pain you seem to have reached a place of hope. I can feel your trust that your new life will be made perfect for you slowly at first and then overwhelming with joy. You are birthing and mourning at the same time. Much is uncertain and then again there seems to be a certainty that all will be well. Starting over is scary and exciting at the same time. Your new cottage sounds so beautiful – in a different way than the old one. But the good parts of the old one are there. Hang in there as I know you will. It is good that you have gotten lots of rest. You are also healing.

  4. The butterfly thinks the world is as she sees it, and then suddenly, when she fights her way out of the cocoon, the world is much more beautiful, much more colorful than she ever thought.
    Maybe that’s why butterflies need the time to sit still and let their wings unfold and dry.
    Thàt’s what butterflies do.


  5. You are going to find more joys my dear than you ever imagined! How do I know? Because you are open to it. You’re looking forward instead of behind. I wish you greater joys than you ever imagined. 🙂

  6. Olive Appleby says:

    Dearest Maitri…. you are a strong woman. Look at what you have achieved in these short, if traumatic, months. You have to look back and see how much you have conquered, learned and know you can do anything. You now have a beautiful new home that you have helped make to fill with love and joy and much happiness. And lots of LAUGHTER. You are a survivor. Take heart dear Maitri and know that we are here for you and send you much love. Just breathe, hug your dogs and look to the new adventure that is starting. Sending you hugs. Olive xxxxx

  7. Saging sounds like a very good idea. Yes, there must be preparation and a ritual between the old and the new. So much to deal with right now, and I know that if I was in boxes again, I would be very stressed, so I can just imagine how you feel. But I am glad (and amazed) you can look at the adventure as well as deal with the pain. And I am thrilled to hear about your tansy green deck and your blue front door with the dragonfly knocker. 🙂

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