Hi, I’m Cat…
When I was seven, I loved to write books. I would write the story out on thin newsprint and illustrate it myself with crayons or colored pencils, then fold the pages and bind them with construction paper and staples. (I remember one book in particular that followed the tale of a young fox—his mother told him he needed to get out of the house, so he took a walk to the library. It was riveting.)
At the age of 11, I found myself on the hallowed ground of Montreat, North Carolina—a retreat center of the Presbyterian Church (USA). I would spend the next two decades getting to know this sacred place, but that summer I discovered the magic of the creek that ran behind the old house where I stayed with my church group. We would “rock hop” up and down the creek until our toes were numb from the cold water and more than one of us was soaked through, but at least once that week—and at some point nearly every year since—I stole away to sit on a large rock in the creek, alone. The sounds of the rushing water, the fresh smell of the trees and moss and the refreshing coolness that radiated from the water surrounded me. Centered me. Held me in the presence of a spirit I was just getting acquainted with.
At 24 I was newly married, working in a job that was no longer serving me and trying to find a new one. I was connected to a marvelous group of new friends and had adopted the sweetest hound mix, but something was missing. I would sit on our scratchy couch in our weird basement-esque living room (aren’t old houses wonderful?) and watch episodes of So You Think You Can Dance, tears streaming down my face the whole time. Something deep inside was reminding me to dance. I began dancing at four years old but hadn’t touched a pair of dance shoes in two years. I hadn’t realized how badly I was aching for it until the tears came.
When I was 29 and pregnant with our son, my husband and I received incredibly hard news. Our baby was very sick, and there was no knowing what the future might bring. The happy celebrations that typically surround pregnancy rang false, but as my time drew nearer, I longed for something to mark this important time in our lives. I needed a way to record the deep joy we were feeling amid the painful unknowing, and I needed to be surrounded and held once more. I found some ideas online about “baby blessing” ceremonies and shared them with my friends. We gathered to color pictures that I strung together into a prayer flag and to share books for the baby with notes of welcome and healing. (PS: Our baby was and is just fine. <3)
Today am still captivated by written words and the ways they are packaged—into books, movies, podcasts, songs—or even the private ramblings of my own journal. I still seek the grounding power of nature when I need to return to myself. Though I don’t dance as much as I once did, I still try to listen to what my body needs, especially when it needs to move. And I will forever treasure the way I was surrounded by meaning and love when I needed it most.
In the busyness of life—as a mom and a full-time professional, involved in my church and keeping up with my husband and friends—it’s easy to focus on what needs to be done to keep the balls in the air, often at the expense of my own presence. So I am learning to weave these parts of myself together—movement and stillness, creativity and connection—in order to discover the deep meaning that lies just below the surface of my active life. What I find is a message of enough, a way to slow down the frantic rush of time, and a new perspective on the magic of the ordinary.
I have a deep desire to share this magic with others like me—folks who have found success in the world but who may have lost touch with the rich world inside them. I bring to this work my natural curiosity and sense of adventure, a judgment-free ear, and a geek-level love of both spirituality and words.
I look forward to walking alongside you on this adventure toward what lies within.