What a broken mala and moving taught me about inner wisdom

I stood staring down at my hand, dripping, in the rain in the service area parking lot, as cars sped by spraying water along the New York State highway.

My cold wet fingers clutched my broken mala.

It had wrapped itself around the stick shift of the car when I had reached in to unearth my daughter from her car seat and the mountain of belongings that surrounded her. As I pulled her from the bits of our life that hadn’t fit into the moving truck, the necklace slipped apart, falling from my neck. A few of the 108 beads fell unceremoniously into the cup holder to join the dog hair, stuck together coins and cellphone charger cords.

“Shit. Shoot. My necklace!” I dropped Savannah into the passenger seat and stepped out into the rain, leaning against the open car door to get a better look.

“What happened Mama? Oh no, the necklace Owl gave you broke!” My daughter’s three year old gray-green eyes blinked back concern and watery, left over tears.

“Yes, but it’s ok,” I said defeated. My husband had given me the necklace two birthdays ago. Not long after, in a deep meditation, I was visited by an Owl, who’d dropped a stone into my palm as a tiny reminder to trust my own inner wisdom. It was a smooth, weighted token meant to remind me that everything I need exists in the deep well of the feminine knowing within me. I recognized it as the same stone in my mala necklace.

And now it was in pieces, clear glass beads blending with raindrops in my hands.

The threads might have worn out from wearing the necklace almost everyday, from holding the glowing Amazonite base stone, a stone that looked like a pale blue sky tasting of snow, and fingering the Rudraksha seeds on either side of it.

Before I boxed up our life in Idaho, the brass Ganesha above our door, the stained glass framed mirror, the Moosewood cookbook that had belonged to my grandmother, my internal guidance poured out onto the pages of my journal:

“moving is so divine feminine.”

In that moment, I had lifted the mala stone to my lips and whispered gratitude for the message and the clarity it had given me. I internalized the message. After so much resistance to it, I was finally ready to listen to the guidance that would set the course of moving my family and I across the country from our comfortable and lovely life in the wild western mountains to my childhood home in Vermont.

So, perhaps I’d not only crossed through the two time zones that had brought me closer to the east coast promise of home, but also cracked some unseen threshold.

A threshold that had taken me from wanting to trust where my life was leading me to actually, truly and fully trusting it.

I said goodbye to our empty house, the one with the garage I had turned into my art studio. I waved a burning palo santo smudge stick into it’s corners and watched the smoke drift into the sunlight. I said goodbye to our neighbors and friends who passed hugs and smiles and eggs from their chickens to us.

And then I left the west, breaking into the wet soil of the unknown, one mile at a time, trusting that this new found inner wisdom would continue to lead me forward and glow inside of me, stronger than ever, like a truth stone.