By Tara Casagrande
The adventure began mid-August when we came home from Canada to prepare our eldest child for his first year of college in faraway Colorado. We shopped and packed, even as I taught a bunch of yoga classes and reconnected with many of you Ease Yogis. Simultaneously, Baker, our 18 year old son, said goodbye to his close knit group of high school friends, sorted out what to bring and what to leave behind in his shrine of a room (priorities included his white water kayak, skis and a framed photo of his high school buddies) and thoughtfully packed the car (a skill he inherited from his mother)! Pride Pride! My emotions over this past year have gone from excitement (knowing that Baker got into his first choice school), to dread (how can he be leaving us for distant Colorado) to GET OVER IT TARA (he is so ready and excited to go). Jerry, my husband, is the ultimate cross country road tripper. He loves an adventure. We have driven across the United States three times together over the years. There is so much to see and we always make it fun! This time was no exception. Kayak strapped to the top of our rented Sienna minivan that we would drop in Denver at trip’s end, Tae, our 11 year old son, along for the ride and Riley, our 15 year old daughter at sleep away camp, the four of us set off for the long ride to Colorado Springs.
Stops along the Way:
Louisville, Kentucky. Hosted by some wonderful friends, we experienced southern hospitality and visited the Muhammad Ali Museum. A beautiful tribute to a man of honor, discipline, and generosity.
St. Louis, Missouri. We went up The Arch to celebrate mathematicians, engineers, architects, construction workers, and great views!
Kansas City, Missouri. An overnighter in a city that still celebrates the 2015 World Series win royally.
Wamego, Kansas. Billboards along the highway lured us into this little town to experience the OZ Winery and OZ Museum. As a lover of The Wizard of OZ, The Wiz, and Wicked, I forced my family to stop in Wamego. The wine wasn’t spectacular but the museum’s collection of OZ memorabilia was fun. Most memorable for me was the inspiring story of Oz-author Frank Baum, a traveling gear lube salesman who decided to share his magical children’s story with the world. The themes in that famous story are so deep and so real.
Finally the views of Pikes Peak and the beautiful skies of Colorado came into sight. The next few days were full of:
- Room organizing, bed lifting, bed making
- Meeting Baker’s thoughtfully selected roommate and his family, feeling emotions equal to ours
- A trip to Target, Pier One, and Big Lots!
- Being abandoned by Baker as he met new friends and let us know that he could do all of this on his own, followed by an occasional “hug of love” which said, ‘I know this is hard for you and I love you, Mom, so I will let you do this for me.’
With the final hug, I welled up with tears. I love this boy, this man, so much. We will miss him, and a little part of me will be left in Colorado. Buddhist practice speaks often of non-attachment. Mothers and fathers are put to work by this principle. Lots of yoga and meditation will help. Even as I write this, the writing itself helps ease the pain.
I am thankful to have created Ease, and to have all of you in this beautiful healing and intentional community. It feels good to come hOMe, to breathe and to flow with all of you. I will eat South Block Warrior Bowls and do Warrior asana to strengthen me and to give me courage. I will attend Beth’s Cats on Mat’s to give me additional love and joy, and I will continue to study this ancient art of yoga during our upcoming teacher training with the amazing Ann Hunt, in order to grow my mind and to share with you the healing benefits of yoga.
As difficult as it is to launch a child, I hope that each of our three children return to Alexandria often, knowing that there truly is no place like hOMe.