Joshua Tree National Park, CA
“All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.”
– J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
Gold is the perfect metaphor for Midlife. Gold is buried treasure that’s difficult to come by and hard-won when it’s found. It’s forged in the deepest fires and its impurities have been burned away. Within every single Midlife & Beyond woman lies an inner world filled with treasure, much of it lying unseen until she crosses the threshold and makes the powerful passage through Midlife. It’s when the Phoenix rises from the ashes that the gold within is revealed. It’s impossible to hold that Phoenix back when she’s ready to rise. If she hasn’t risen by Midlife .. .look out … as she’s most likely on the way and she’s about to demand attention!
I also believe the longer she’s held back, the more time the gifts have been suppressed, the higher she rises and the greater the quality of the gifts revealed. That gold or buried treasure can be absolutely anything. It’s different for every one of us. It may be qualities you didn’t know existed. It may be gifts you didn’t know you possessed. It may be talents you didn’t know you owned. It may be a new space for inspiration. Oftentimes, it’s a new life and a new beginning. If life hasn’t shown you your path or your purpose in life, Midlife may just take care of that for you with incredible clarity. Midlife is a blessing…one our culture has yet to fully understand or embrace.
And what better place to find Midlife Gold than Joshua Tree National Park. As you may have read in one of my earlier posts, Joshua Tree was home to a gold mine during the Gold Rush in the 1800’s. It was also a place filled with bandits and horse thieves as well as 10,000 ounces of gold mined from the earth. I was so intrigued by the story of the Lost Horse Mine that I spent 4 hours hiking under the hot desert sun to get a taste of history on one of my earlier treks to Joshua Tree. This time I thought I would celebrate my visit to the desert by bringing some gold along with me in the way of fashion!
I find the desert fascinating…intriguing…mysterious and immensely peaceful. It’s hard to pull this Cancerian away from her beloved water but the desert will always tug at my heartstrings. It’s a special place for my photog and me to escape to as it continues to tap into hidden spaces of my being, unleashing creativity, peace, and joy in spades.
I sense I may be part gypsy as my heart is continually brimming with wanderlust. The desert remains one of my favorite places to return as the experience and landscape is ever changing and vastly different on every visit. On this particular shoot, we arrived while the desert was just beginning to awaken. It feels a bit like I imagine landing on the moon must be. At sunrise, dawn breaks over the surrounding mountains, illuminating Joshua Tree in a golden bath of light. It’s the perfect time to capture the pure beauty of the desert at its most gorgeous, yet it’s also the time when the sun hasn’t begun to warm things up. In other words, be prepared to freeze your tush off as I did but it’s well worth the discomfort!
One of my gifts revealed in my second act is my passion for fashion and creating editorial shoots that bring me great joy. My love for style began early although the confidence I needed to rock those looks publicly took decades to discover. Clothing is one thing. Style is another. Style is bringing your personality, your gifts, and unique qualities into the mix. Fashion comes alive when we do. The best accessory in the world is a healthy sense of self-confidence. Slip that on and you can wear anything.
When this shimmery golden gown by AMUR at Nordstrom caught my eye, I instantly thought of Joshua Tree as the ideal backdrop as a fun composition popped into my mind. There’s an added bonus with a skirt filled with endless pleats – the capability for the perfect twirl! My mother always called me “the girl with the curl.” Now, I’m the girl with the twirl! I fell in love with the silky fabric and the buttery golden hue. The strapless bustier is flattering as it adds a bit of dimension. The tea length allows for a lot of flexibility in how to style the dress. I didn’t hesitate a moment in pairing my favorite pair of Magnolia Booties from Jaclyn Jones USA. Creamy colored leather booties with fabulous golden studs, they were the perfect accent foil for the dress. And guess what? Jaclyn Jones is having an enormous clearance sale on many styles including the blue version of these that I wore in this post. The leather jacket is a traditional cut that never goes out of style. I bought this one by All Saints about 5 years ago. The fact that the exact style can still be found at Bloomingdales speaks for itself. It’s always best to invest in great, classic pieces, especially leather, that outlast any trend and easily finish off a look. The shades you’ve seen time and again are by Le Specs from Intermix. This style sold out last year but I’ve tagged some of my favorite sunnies by the brand. The only accessory I needed other than shades were the stacked golden bracelets by BuDhaGirl. They are a treasured gift by my friend and Fierce sister, Cathy Williamson, the ageless creative behind The Middle Page Blog.
I do believe there’s “gold in them hills” and there’s gold inside of every Midlife woman. What I know for sure at the age of 57 is that age is an incredible gift. Why not embrace the beautiful parts of getting older while disrupting the aging part of the equation? It’s a gift filled with wisdom and lessons. It’s a new perspective on life we can see from the vantage point of being older. Hindsight is 20/20. The longer you live, the greater the “hindsight” or insight…the more “Aha” moments to savor…and the more to learn that life is meant to be lived full out. Life looks vastly different when we see it from a new lens, a clear lens, the lens of Midlife. It also looks far more beautiful when we clear that inner world so we can see all that glitters from within is gold. It’s been there right there for us to savor all along. Cheers Beauties. What’s the greatest lesson you’ve learned at Midlife?