IF I COULD TURN BACK TIME
BY: TAMI HARPER WINN
As the hammock sways to and fro the waters of the river sing their sweet lullaby to me. I am lost in thought. On the banks of the Boise river is where I find myself most evenings lately, wrapped up like a caterpillar in the cocoon of my bright blue hammock patiently waiting to spring forth the beautiful butterfly I was always meant to be. It is here that I seek refuge from the daily grind and contemplate all things big and small. It is here where I find myself asking a question I’ve asked before, “If I could turn back time, would I?”
My time in the hammock is one I’ve come to appreciate and need. I learned in Mexico what worked for me, and part of my daily practice in Baja was to get in my friend’s hammock and leave the world outside of it. It worked for me there and it works for me here too. I got caught up in life, as we all do, which in turn distracted me from my true essence in Mexico – love. So, I bought my own hammock and climbed into it. If I can’t be in Mexico, I can bring Mexico to me. So that’s just what I did.
A dear friend shared his hammock with me and we would spend hours sitting in it in Mexico talking, laughing, and reflecting on life. He shared that gift with me there and my life has never been the same since. So, in the true spirit it was intended for me there, I decided to give the same gift to another and bought a second hammock to share with my friends here at home. Although I enjoy my “me” time in the hammock, it is so much nicer sometimes to sit and share deep conversations with my loved ones in those hammocks. The memories created there in that safe space are ones I relive in moments that become challenging.
Lately, those moments have seemed to be more common than I would’ve liked. Many of you know that I received news lately that threw me into a spin causing me to come to a complete halt. I was diagnosed with a brain tumor. I have spent a great amount of time lately dealing with doctors and contemplating my very existence and what it means to me. News like this can really make you stop in your tracks and re-evaluate everything about your life.
I have been sporadic in my writings lately due to this. I do not apologize, but I give myself permission to just “be” and know that all will be right in the world no matter what. I have enough faith to know that when I do write, my higher power will direct me to write what needs written and those that are in need of it will find it. They always have. It is a divine testament of the power of recovery and the higher power I found as a result.
In my hours in my hammock now I search for the truths within myself that my higher power needs revealed to me. I jot them down, pray on them, meditate about them and then give them back to God for safe keeping. I understand today that my mission is being redesigned and my purpose rerouted. I am completely fine with that. In fact, I embrace it. It was obviously time.
I thank my friend Earl for his wonderful gift of friendship and his hammock for helping me to understand that sometimes we just need to be still. We just need to be in the moment. That’s all. He helped me begin the process of healing myself from within. I got sober over seven years ago and although my life has been a rollercoaster to say the least since then, I wouldn’t trade any of my experiences for the world. I just now need to tap into the exact reason my higher power got me sober.
Knowing what I know now, having experienced all that I have so far in this short time here on earth, would I really do it any differently? If I could turn back time, would I? To that question I can emphatically respond with a “NO!” I definitely would not. There is something deeper than I can understand going on here and my weak human mind cannot grasp the smallest piece of what is at work here. I do not try. I surrender.
In my surrender, in my hammock, and my newfound appreciation of life and recovery, I am content knowing that everything is as it should be in the universe. I am a part of that universe. My message is part of that universal calling. My truth is part of the whole truth.
I am metamorphosing into the beautifully perfect creation my creator had me designed to be, brain tumor and all. For me it is no longer about not drinking, it is about living. It is about living my recovery and my life to the fullest. It is about sharing with others what was so freely shared with me. Its about walking this journey with others, helping to make their way through life a little easier no matter how small my effort is. My effort is needed and huge in the grand scheme of life and looking back now, I wouldn’t change who I am, what I’ve went through, or what lies ahead for any different outcome. It is my life – a perfect outline of divinity.
~ Tami Harper Winn ~
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