My 60th Birthday: Following My Courageous Heart – Part One

Phot by: Cara Hope Clark

Being born in May could be why I relish the spirit of springtime. Everything is re-awakening with vibrant potentiality. Yet this birthday in particular, I am saddened that Claude is not by my side to usher me across the threshold of the BIG 60! On my 40th he cleverly hosted a surprise party at our home in Pacifica CA. For my 50th we took a trip up to Washington state spending time with some dear friends in Seattle and exploring the Olympic Peninsula. We had always hoped to grow old together, however the Universe had another plan for us.

I have spent the past three years immersed in my healing process and enjoying my new home in Boulder, not wanting or feeling the need to go anywhere outside of CO. Honestly I just have not had the energy or the focus to travel. This year I am feeling stronger and I have decided to take a brave step. I have decided to do something that in my heart I have longed for yet in my gut have feared. I will be traveling back in time in a sense. I will be meeting a dear friend in Nashville and driving to Asheville, NC where I will have my birthday celebration among cherished friends.

I left a piece of my heart in Asheville when I sold the home that we once used as a vacation rental two years after Claude died. It didn’t make financial or practical sense to keep it with our move to CO. It was one of the many layers that I had to shed to move into my new life without my beloved Claude. My wise son Noah reminded me when we were contemplating putting the house on the market, “mom it’s old energy it’s time to to let it go”. He was right of course, yet I still feel a pit in my stomach at the thought of giving up that special property that was my sanctuary for six years. It was a dream come true to have a secluded home in the mountains with year round panoramic views and magnificent sunsets. We called it “Sunset Haven”. I actually thought we would one day make it our full time home and eventually pass it on to Noah. I am eternally grateful for our time spent there, but as in life all things come to pass. This, another reminder that it was indeed time to move on and embrace the mystery of this new world I was living in without Claude.

Asheville holds another tender piece of the puzzle for me. It was the place where I spent the last “normal” week with Claude before his decline and eventual death 8 months later. He took that week off from his business while Noah was at camp so it was just the two of us. This was our yearly designated “couple time” set asside for re-connecting, exploring the small towns in the mountains around Asheville, dreaming of the future and the possibilities it held for us. I remember distinctly when he left to go back home to Memphis a sad heavy feeling engulfed me. It felt like things would never be the same, never as sweet, never as special. It was impossible to know in that moment the magnitude of that pre-cognition.

So why, you may ask yourself would I want to go back there? Why would I want to open those old wounds? The thing is, that I don’t think those wounds have completely healed yet. I want to face my fear and I want to re-claim my “special place” in present time. I want to re-connect and spend time with people that I love, in a part of the country that I love. I want to create and live new memories. It’s time I listened to my heart; it’s been calling on me to heal and retrieve this piece of it for some time now.

I invite you to stay tuned for Part Two where will I report back on how things went and what I discovered on my pilgrimage to Asheville. I suspect it could be a potent transformative experience. One filled with love, devotion, beauty, great food and great company! Wish me luck my friends!

Until next time…what is your courageous heart guiding you to do?

 Spring Blessings to you,

Cara Hope


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7 thoughts on “My 60th Birthday: Following My Courageous Heart – Part One

  1. Have a wonderful, adventurous, joyful, bright, love-filled, Happy 60th Birthday!
    Happiest Birthday wishes to you and many more to follow!
    I love you Hope!

    “LOVE MORE, fear less!” ~ Xochitl Gil-Higuchi

  2. May this journey be unforgettably uplifting and full of more peaceful transformation for you dear one. So Happy for you and your big day ! xoxoxoxA

  3. Have a beautiful and heartful trip, my friend! What a wonderful place to be as you begin your next journey around the Sun! Big hugs during challenging times too💜

  4. Beautiful Brought tears to my eyes and they where happy ones. You have come a long way in your journey, I hope you found the closure that you where looking for and had a wonderful trip. WELCOME HOME

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