Once-upon-a-timeAs I sit outside here on a beautiful summer evening in the Santa Ynez Valley, I am moved and overwhelmed with the sights and sounds of these incredible moments. I see the crescent moon and millions of bright stars shine overhead while listening to the harmonious chorus of crickets singing their night songs. There is a nice warm breeze that feels comforting as I write. What more can be said about the beauty of these magical summer evenings? Nothing really. They can only be felt in the soul.

Looking up at the sky and, in essence, looking into our very history and biology—that being the stars themselves—I ponder the meaning and purpose of life on this planet like I have ever since I was little. I feel like I have a better understanding of who we are as souls and why we are here living this life than I did as a little girl, yet in the same moment, it still all remains one unfathomable mystery… a profound one at that. Who are we? Really…? It’s a question that never truly goes away and it’s one that is never really answered.

The “big” news in the last couple of days in the world of Michael is the announcement of the potential sale of Neverland. I have to say, upon hearing the news, I felt a bit of a hole in my heart, saddened and wondering what that really means. Of course, I know technically what it means, but what does it mean in the bigger picture in regards to this place called Neverland—the most “representative” manifestation of Michael’s physical existence in this life and a living testimony of his magical and whimsical creation—his inner vision come true.

I must admit that being a part-time resident of the Valley for 25 years now, I periodically make the 5-mile drive outside of Los Olivos to the Neverland gate just to sit there, observe, and take in the energy. As I sit under the big oak tree there, I fondly remember those precious and incredibly rare days I got to visit Neverland back in the mid ‘90s when my mom worked as one of his housekeepers. I remember how absolutely alive it was and how grateful I was (and still am) that those moments are even a part of my past. I still wonder how that all came to be, especially coming from a small town in the Midwest; it doesn’t seem possible. However, in my gratitude, I also feel a sadness for what once was (“once upon a time…”), but also feel a peace knowing that I am here… sitting outside his beloved Neverland and that makes me feel closer to him in that moment—sharing a part of his heart—knowing what this place was for him.

Back in this present moment, I look up at the stars and ask once again, what does this all mean? And this case, in regards to Neverland being sold. How does that look? How does it feel? How will it change? Of course my hope has always been—as is the case for many people out there—that Neverland be restored to Michael’s original vision and glory, but maybe even more—as a school or some kind of place that would honor and nurture children, animals and the planet in a way Michael would be proud. And yet now, we are left to wonder… to ponder… to reconcile the big unknown that is yet to come.

The Michael Jackson story of my life has taught me to stay open, to be curious, to let go and surrender to a Divine Plan that is much bigger than any of us; I’ve had to do it many times in my life. I know we can’t see or understand the Greater Consciousness that is working behind the scenes here, but I am choosing to sit in the metaphorical movie theater like Michael did in the Thriller video, eating his popcorn with that big, bright, infectious smile… not scared of what was to come, rather beyond excited to see what this movie will bring on next. As he said in the video, “don’t be scared, it’s only a movie.” Yes, and ultimately, so life is…

We all hold on to what we have identified with and it’s easy to grip tightly to what Neverland has represented to all of us, but maybe Michael has something else in mind. Maybe he is asking us to trust… to let go… to be curious… to surrender… to be excited! All so that he can maybe show us something we couldn’t even imagine before. I don’t know as much as the next person, but what I do know is Michael was about magic and he taught us to believe in magic. Just like the awe-inspiring magic and magnificence of this night. ☺

I look up at the stars one last time before snuggling into my bed… and yes, all of it, a mystery.

SY Valley Sunset

Sweet dreams, my friends.

With love, curiosity & a sense of adventure,