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Copyright 2012 Mary Montanye All Rights Reserved.

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Monday, April 23, 2012

It Begins

I began this year determined to make it one of self-discovery and exploration.  I was going to focus on ME and what I wanted and needed.  It sounds a bit self-absorbed, I know, but I'd been living in a fog probably since my 60th birthday, two years before -- feeling like I was merely going through the motions of day to day living and had lost my joy, my sense of purpose and curiosity.  I needed something to shake up my world, but was afraid to hope for this something.  I was frightened that if I asked for more than I already had, I'd be given experiences too overwhelming or painful.

Still, nothing felt exciting.  Unusual for me, nothing piqued my interest.  I imagine this is what depression feels like and if so, I have even more empathy for those who suffer from it.  I couldn't seem to get myself excited or hopeful about anything.

I signed up for online programs like Cat Caracelo's Vision Quest and Tara Mohr's Playing Big.  I took Jen Louden's Shero's Journey and Teach Now.  I wanted something, anything to awaken me, to make me feel hopeful and positive again.  And I trust these wise women.  They've shaken me up before, awakened me through their teachings.  I knew if anyone could set me on fire with renewed passion and commitment, it would be them.

I also signed up for photography courses led online by Kat Sloma and Susannah Conway, yoga with Marianne Elliott and Anna Guest-Jelley.  I committed to A Year with Myself and did personal coaching with Melissa McCreery.  All helped, I think.  Every one of these courses and teachers helped me to understand that it isn't self-absorption to search for authentic dreams, discover them, go after them, and take good care of yourself on the way to achieving them.  I learned to look to myself for the answers for me, rather than to ask others for the answers.  I learned that friends and colleagues, mentors and teachers, can guide but never dictate what it is that I should be doing.

Oh, it is SO difficult for me to admit this.  I'm thinking now that YOU will all be thinking --it's taken her THIS long to figure it out?  But the truth of it is that it has taken me this long.  And perhaps my willingness to listen to the wisdom of others and to take the time and space needed to explore my creativity and inner longings is why what happened next, happened.

What happened is that in February -- only a month into my year of my very big challenge -- I fell in love.  My falling in love has set me on a new adventure.  It is why my life has turned upside down virtually overnight and everything feels chaotic and topsy-turvy and out of control.  Love can do that.  Love can make you want to change everything, give up long-held beliefs, toss out the tried and true for the unknown and the new.

What happened to me in February is that I fell deeply, drastically, abruptly in love with a place.  Many of us think of falling in love much too narrowly.  We think of it only as something we can do with another human being, a person usually of the opposite sex, or perhaps a pet or our newborn baby.  But love is so much richer and deeper than that.  It can be for non-human beings other than our pets, for plants, flowers, trees, and places. Places like the wild Oregon coast and a tiny coastal town with a funny name -- Yachats(Ya-Hots).  I fell in love the coast and with Yachats and because I did, my life, and my husband's life, changed virtually overnight.

I've fallen in love and everything has changed.  We bought a house in a week and returned home to Colorado to begin the process of closing down one phase of our lives and opening another.

And now it seems important to begin a new blog dedicated to this new love.  I want this blog to be a space to post photos and to write about the changes as they occur.  I want to share with you what I delightfully discover about this place as I get to know her better.  I want you to love her, too.  But more than that, I want to encourage you through my story to find your own magical place -- or animal or flower or tree or river or sea -- to love.  I want you to learn, too, that no matter what happens in your life with your human loves, you can choose to be in love anyway and always.  Perhaps we can have a conversation about it, and you can tell me of your loves with places of the earth -- places with trees you love to embrace, waters whose depths you want to explore, or mountains you long to scale.  Or you can talk to me of species different than our own that you deeply, passionately love and want to protect or even save.  In other words, I'll tell you about my love and you can tell me about yours.


  1. I love you even more Mary. I am so happy for you and I think I know how you feel. Thank you, always, for sharing your journey.

  2. I am happy for you Mary and look forward to reading more.

    1. Thanks so much for reading/commenting, Clairan. I think I've finally found my niche.

  3. It takes as long as it takes, and what a wonderful blossoming has resulted from the road that brought you here! I want to see Yachats through your loving eyes, and am so looking forward to following your story!

  4. To quote Hal David: 'What the world needs now is love sweet love,
    its the only thing that there's just too little of." Thanks for bringing more sweet love into the world.

  5. Thank you for sharing your happiness. Your writing is so beautiful. I look forward to reading more!

  6. I SO appreciate your comments. Thank you!

  7. We are hoping to move TO Colorado someday because my husband fell in love with it about 15 years ago. So glad you found the love of your life!

  8. We hope to move TO Colorado in the not-too-distant future because my husband fell in love with it several years ago. So glad you found the love of your life!

  9. We've got a couple of houses to sell in CO, Claire! :-)

  10. In one week, I am heading to Waldport, Oregon to stay for a month. I live in Colorado, need the sunshine, but half my heart lives in Oregon, specifically "where the forest meets the sea," the place I was born and grew up, so I get this.