In my cave*, I find a snug, cozy atmosphere that I have personalized over the years. When I first carved it, it was bare rocks and pitch-black. But, during my short stays there, I carefully maintained and beautified it, transforming it into my secluded healing space. I’ve added soft lighting, an oriental area rug, an engulfing, cushiony, gray armchair, and a few precious stones.
In my cave, I find the safest spot on Earth. My cave is mine and mine alone. Others know not to enter, as they do not have access. I get access to its key in my time of need—when I am bleeding uncontrollably from the battles I am fighting. The key appears in front of me, and I am immediately transported there. I realize that people miss me during my absence, and many are kind of enough to try and pay me a visit. However, as is with all caves, it is limited to a one-person capacity...
My retreats occur once every few years and usually last between one to two months, and because my cave is located on a mountain that overlooks the sea, I occasionally step outside to go on brief walks. When I open the door, I stumble upon some mail that my friends have sent regularly to remind me that they are waiting for me. When I step outside, I find that other friends have set up camp in the vicinity to support me telepathically, so we spend a few hours together talking about their adventures across this terrain that is life. I find more friends waiting for me by the sea to playfully splash some water and soon turn it into a water fight. I also notice that other caves have appeared nearby where some friends and family are staying, and I somberly accept that we might not cross paths until we have recovered.
Stepping out of my cave is usually an energizing albeit short-lived segment of my retreat. My wounds quickly start to ache and bleed, and I know that it is time to withdraw once again. When I re-enter my cave, the area rug invites me in, the dim lighting hugs me, and the precious stones keep me company. The first stone, which is pistachio in colour and has a faint glow to it tells me, “Always listen to your body and all its cues. Good job on returning home when you felt the onset of the ache”. The second, which has a rose tint to it and is rough around the edges tells me to let things go and let everything be. “Release all expectations you have and live every moment for what it is. The future will unravel regardless of whether we obsess over it”. The third stone, which is a light yellow, egg-shaped one, is still trying to formulate sentences. It’s glow comes and goes as it builds up skill and strength to speak. I must stay until it is able to—until I hear what it has to say, and discuss things at length with it.
In my cave, I find my comfort zone; which could be a scary thought since social media encourages us to always step away from them. But, my cave is essential to my survival, so I do anyway, and I love it in here. I have diligently taken care of my cave my entire life, the same way it has taken care of me.
In my cave I currently reside and will continue to for another four to six weeks. I went out for a stroll yesterday and reconnected with some friends, though I was not able to catch up with everyone before I was obliged to withdraw to tend to my wounds again.
Do you have a cave? I believe we all do, but some of us ignore its calls. So, the question would be: Do you retire to your cave when it calls on you? I hope you do…
*As you may have guessed, my cave is not a physical space, rather, it is a state of mind.
Photo: My rose stone.