It began when the six-seater rental car my daughter had hired entered North Conway New Hampshire. It was lunchtime. I was seated in the back so maybe someone was making up for that and asked me where i would like to go for lunch. One of the options was a cafe saying local, organic and fresh so i picked that one: The Local Grocer/Cafe.

At his request, we had spread Dad’s ashes in the morning at White Horse Ledge, where he proposed to Mom. What a beautiful place where the soaring rock rises almost vertically out of a mature hardwood forest. A hard place to photograph as my daughter is demonstrating.

Upon arrival at our lunch spot I noticed a book for sale and got pinged that I should buy it, even though buying paper books is against my own rules regarding weight in my Scamp. As I was buying it I was informed that the author was working there today and five minutes later I met her.  The book is “Crazy Free” by Melissa Wyld and surprisingly, someone took our picture at the counter (below).  As of this moment, I have read the entire book, a record for me in reading speed. Its not a small book but it is hard to put down.  Crazy Fee has come at this exact moment in my post-retirement journey where I can now go free of dates and times when I have promised to meet others, and the reality of not having to return to the office is settling deeply into my cells.

Somehow in the midst of reading Melissa’s book, I have adopted the word “wilding” as an appropriate name for this post-retirement mode of being Alice. Wilding has a bad name in the Urban Dictionary, involving violence against women. This is a different kind of wilding, more like the botanical definition – a plant growing uncultivated in the wild either as a native or an escape, for example a wild apple tree bearing fruit in a meadow untouched by human hands.  But I feel it fits also for the wild dolphins I saw yesterday off the Schoodic Peninsula in Maine where I was bike riding. I could see they were riding the waves for the pure joy of movement, and seeing them let me feel it too.


The freedom in being a wilding is that of staying open to where the flow of divine life wants to go next. The freedom from being so very over-domesticated, subject to the rules others set for me, and from being such a conformist to the norms of society and even Dad’s advice.

There is something new hatching here. Something wild and free and alive. Something very different from the Alice the manager, Alice the child, Alice the capable creative adult, Alice the mom and so on.

Meanwhile, when my family went to Pinkham Notch, a mountain pass where my parents met, we forgot to bring a canister of Dad’s ashes, and were only able to spread Mom’s.  So the flow is moving me toward North Conway NH tomorrow. My job is to go back there with Dad’s ashes, a pleasure because it is a fabulously beautiful area.  And in order to go there I will inevitably go back to that restaurant/store where I met Melissa last week, and if the flow provides, visit with her again.  She is also a yoga instructor there so maybe I can take a few yoga classes in the bargain. I also found that an old garden-group friend from my Findhorn years lives right near there and runs an organic family farm.  I just checked and there is an Alpaca farm I can stay with tomorrow night which is almost exactly halfway to North Conway.  As I write this, I am sitting outside, in the sun with a cool breeze, and am overlooking the most beautiful bay in Harrington, Maine, the tide is high and in half an hour a nice man is bringing me a cooked lobster.  Could life be any better? I can’t imagine, but maybe. I feel that I’m in a current with the way everything is fitting together and each thing leads to the next. Assuming there will be challenges and hard times ahead too is easier to be with because I am learning to trust the current, and whatever comes is a part of that – a part of what is.


Maine blueberry field with fall color beginning to show