Once again, I'm moving. It's been a hot minute -- I've lived in this past home the longest I've lived anywhere since moving out of my parents' home to go to college: three and a half years. And oh boy, have I grown.
It's a wildly different way of moving this time. If you know about my past, you might already know that I have launched myself a few times across the country with barely any resources, and oftentimes the littlest clues of where I was going. It's sweet to think about the progression...
Age 22: Setting off for Maine on my bike with maybe $100 my dad handed me at the last minute, so I'd have some kind of cash. I didn't know anyone there, but knew I needed to go.
Age 23: About a year later, heading back to California with an old Jeep I bought and a gaggle of friends. I was pregnant and wanting to be closer to my family. I was aiming for the Bay Area to live with my dad, but, the plans changed...upon arriving at my dad's, I realized I wanted to live with this friend gaggle, and I ended up giving birth to my daughter in a farmhouse where we all lived doing work-trade on a giant permaculture project in the mountains north of Redding.
Age 24: The following year, I went back to Maine, on a plane, with my baby, her dad, with a summer farm job to catch us. Some of my friend gaggle had already come back to the east coast, and the rest met us there and joined us at the farm.
Age 25: At the end of the farm season, I flew back to California, with my daughter and her papa, hoping to find our community and long-term home. Nothing was clicking, and I realized I'd left the community I was looking for in Maine. I flew back with my daughter, her dad shortly joining us, to live in the home my friends had just started to rent for the winter. I got my first job as a college graduate that wasn't a work-trade position, cleaning houses and offices. We also started to hold our very first Play Church.
Still 25: Then, this big friend group that had gone with me to California (and then all ended up back in Maine together) -- we all decided to move to North Carolina. We packed into a mega caravan of a bus, two cars, a trailer, and a moped, and the 13 of us hit the road, vaguely heading to the Asheville region of North Carolina.
Enter the butterflies.
Prior to setting out for North Carolina, I activated some magic. I was struck with the beauty and poetry of how monarch butterflies follow the paths of their ancestors, and seem to have their migratory routes coded into their bodies. I've daydreamed about the patterns in their wings being maps. So, I decided to invoke the magic of the monarch butterflies, claiming them as the Patron Saint of our voyage Home. I knew that simply setting this intention would activate the Law of Attraction, I would end up seeing them everywhere, and I would choose to read that as a sign of bolstering my confidence that we were headed on the right path. Whenever we saw a butterfly, especially a monarch butterfly, it was as if we were simply butterflies on the migration route arriving at the tree where all the other migrating butterflies had gathered. Confirmation. Celebration. On the right path.
We found our way home. My dear friend in our group even had hundreds of butterflies land on and around her at the river where we chose to stay. We spread our wings a bit. I decided to try living on my own, with my daughter, for the first time. I grew deep and twisting roots. And then, I met someone on a trip to California who I soon fell in love with, and so...
Age 28: Driving across the country once again, a monarch butterfly painting on my cherry-red Mercedes from the 80s. This time I drove with one friend who wanted to also cross the country, and I had maybe around $700. Go me! I was going to move in with my new love, and we were going to find a new home, together.
Fast forward four years later, and once again, I am moving...again to North Carolina, from this long luscious season of growth and love in Northern California. And this time, on this move, I wasn't even trying to find butterflies. I didn't even think to set that kind of intention, since I don't need any kind of reassurance about being on the right path. I know exactly where I'm going this time. There's a lease and an address and it's all good to go. We aren't camping out on the side of the road (oh sweet past bike-tripping Hannah) or caravan-camping in a Walmart parking lot or moving across the country on a plane with almost no possessions. We are tucked into an Air BnB for the night, while I sit cozily typing to you, my new-to-me SUV packed to the brim with my favoritest treasures.
And yet, even without that excited-but-also-kinda-desperate-for-a-sign intention of naming monarch butterflies as the Patron Saint of the voyage, I'm seeing them. Like the last time I moved to North Carolina, I keep seeing representations of butterflies. Today is only Day 1 of driving, and I saw a monarch butterfly night light at a souvenir shop as I was picking up a trinket for my new home and a Bigfoot sticker for my car-top carrier. A couple hours later, and I noticed the cashier of the spot where I picked up lunch had a tattoo of a monarch butterfly on her arm. And this evening, the holy queen of butterfly representations shocked me as I walked from the Air BnB spot along the river through downtown Reno, Nevada, and saw this glorious sculpture being gently spun by the breeze.
I hope you know that you, too, can randomly choose any object or creature to represent any idea or feeling you want to activate, and you'll start to see more and more of the thing (thanks Law of Attraction, so reliable), which will then activate the idea / feeling in such a fun, winks-from-the-benevolent-universe kind of way. I think it's helpful if there's some kind of poetic, pulls-on-your-heart-strings connection between the object/creature and the idea/feeling, although there might be some other flavor that's more your style. Maybe it's more of a joke, or a directly logical correlation. Whatever you come up with, I hope that as a meaning maker, you are intentionally playing with making some meaning for yourself that truly delights you. I'll be counting butterflies as I migrate back home.