How 1,001 Dragonflies & Tangerine Sunsets Serenaded My Soul.

She’s an alchemist. She bleeds through the trees, quivering on a lone branch and watches the sienna leaves against the white birch bark. The heavens are painted indigo. Abstract billowing clouds straddle her mind’s eye.

By late afternoon she stitches a cocoon, with the fine threads of a hummingbird’s fallen feathers. She is as peaceful as can be expected, while in an embryotic stage of metamorphosing.

Lately, I have slipped a few notches below sea level and I’m relieved.

Rare as it was, I didn’t feel tremendous guilt as I gradually let myself shut down. It was (and still is) necessary to unplug from the vices pulling at every strand of my existence.

It was a short retreat because I can’t completely vanish. I need to cooperate with the infrastructure of daily life. Still, the brevity of this oasis-like moment, recalibrated me. It led me to this realization: I need to listen to myself.

I have to sidestep the distractions and channel the whispers of intuition.

And in this period of recalibration, I closed my eyes and followed a passageway to a place where the swirl of the wind encapsulated the heavens. I became a wave in a tepid sea and sailed along clouds at the same time.

Swiftly, I navigated the tallest peaks and traveled to mystical lands where layers of sunlight tasted of tangerine and hot springs liquefied the intensity of my responsibilities.

Every pore took a reprieve. I hung each of my worries along mystical branches and 1,001 dragonflies serenaded the epicenter of my spirit.

Gradually, I stood more confident in my nakedness as royal nymphs enrobed my tender, knotted aches with an ethereal hand-laced silken cape. I bowed before a council of kindred spirits, and with a singular voice of an aged oak tree, they silently asked, “What does your soul need?”

A rapturous vibration enveloped my world with the intensity of a tsunami. It is here, I spent time and listened with my heart and heard wisdom.

I am solitude.

“The psyches and souls of women also have their own cycles and seasons of doing and solitude, running and staying, being involved and being removed, questing and resting, creating and incubating, being of the world and returning to the soul-place.” ~ Clarissa Pinkola Estés

On certain days, my soul needs less chaos and I tuck aside the magnitude of to-dos, schedules and demands. I need space to breathe and daydream. I jump off the treadmill of ridiculous expectations and walk through my imagination where wildflower meadows become musical notes in my mind.

And only when I’m ready, can I lift the rock from my hidden haven better able to step back into present time.

I am nature.

“A woman in harmony with her spirit is like a river flowing. She goes where she will without pretense and arrives at her destination prepared to be herself and only herself.” ~ Maya Angelou

I walk with nature and let my thoughts dance with the trees. I am the sand and will sink into the briny depths of my psyche. I will soften my gaze into a sunset and blend with a sunrise. I hold the moon in the center of my in-between-meditativeness.

I coax a fire before me and let the flames enchant me.

Deep in this hypnotic allure, stories emerge and I will translate them into words because my soul needs to write.

I desire authenticity.

“The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread.” ~ Mother Teresa

My soul sparks a fire with the connection of a smile; the litmus test of real is seen in the eyes.

My soul craves meaningful and cherishes the simplicity of genuine and kind. I step aside from hatred and drama. I unfold negativity and replace it with the origami of a dove.

I seek answers to my questions and drench my space with comforts of love.

I will lend a hand to the discouraged and help them to see their transcending light. It glows but sometimes our weary needs new eyes to see our inner beauty.

I am emotion.

“Tears are a river that takes you somewhere…Tears lift your boat off the rocks, off dry ground, carrying it downriver to someplace better.” ~ Clarissa Pinkola Estés

My soul needs to release tears from an intense vibrational influx of just being. It is not wrong. I accept and embrace that I am tender, emotional and sometimes downright raw.

I am what I am, my soul needs me to be me. I am the tendril of an heirloom rose and I will reach for the sky as I continue to see.

I crave cozy.

“The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.” ~ Maya Angelou

I find balance in contemplative cozy nooks. My soul needs to feel safely wrapped in a warm embrace like interlaced fingers around a mug. It’s conducive to my unique symmetry.

I savor being surrounded with journals, pens and pencils. Each is like fresh flowers. Add music, and the space is complete.

I drink words.

“I believe that stories are incredibly important, possibly in ways we don’t understand, in allowing us to make sense of our lives, in allowing us to escape our lives, in giving us empathy and in creating the world that we live in.” ~ Neil Gaiman

As much as my soul is quenched by learning and exploring, it equally treasures a silent abyss where I can read for the joy of reading. I devour the smell and feel the delicate moth-like pages turn. I become the words and images. I am the book.

I walk with the characters and we often become friends. I laugh and cry. We clasp each other’s hands even after the pages are sealed. I carry their images in the blueness of my veins.

Throughout this last plummet into dark spaces, I found light in nature and solitude, warmth and authentic within the shadows of my emotional chemistry.

These are attributes and nothing to be ashamed of, but to be highlighted as I traverse this pilgrimage of life.


Carolyn Riker
Carolyn Riker, M.A., LMHC, is a counselor, teacher, writer and poet. She currently writes for several online journals such as Women’s Spiritual Poetry blog and formerly Elephant Journal. A collection of her work is on her blog, Magic of Stardust and Words. Her poetry and prose have been featured in three books. Between sips of coffee and navigating life via the stars and moon, Carolyn leads journal-writing workshops and has a private counseling practice. Additionally, she’s in the process of completing her first collection of poetry and prose, available in the fall of 2016. Followed with a bit of magic, there's a children’s book too.
Carolyn Riker
Carolyn Riker

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