Photographs by Meadow Linn

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Opening to Love

A while ago, I read in a magazine that a woman’s fertility drops dramatically at age 35, which sent a river of panic coursing throughout my body.

I turned 35 two weeks ago.

To celebrate my birthday, we planned a family trip to Monterey. We booked a room in a beautiful hotel overlooking the sea, made reservations at a nice restaurant, and planned a refreshing and rejuvenating day at the hotel’s spa.

During the worst of the abdominal pains
Just days before my birthday, I was overtaken by crippling abdominal pains, and we had to cancel our trip. Instead of walking on the beach, eating fresh fish tacos on the seawall, and kayaking in the bay, I spent my 35th birthday in bed, fasting.

This may have been an unfortunate coincidence; however, the timing is suspect…

For the past 12 months I’ve been in a dead-heat run, barely slowing enough to notice the changing seasons. As a result of the intensity of my schedule and a need for a fresh start, I decided about a year ago that I would take a hiatus from dating, giving myself time for my work and time to explore other facets of my life. Throughout this busy year, I’ve felt as though I’ve been standing on the precipice of my future. Not too far in the distance, I can see my life beginning to unfold.

In the summer, as the sun blazed and I forged full steam ahead in my professional life, I told myself that in the autumn when my catering season came to a close, I would open my heart to finding love. In the past, I’ve looked for love, but I don’t know that I’ve actually been ready to find it. Opening myself to the possibility of love is both exhilarating and terrifying. It’s easy to become comfortable with the way things are. Even when we dream of life being different, the thought of actually allowing for our dreams can be pretty scary.

My summer sunflowers now dried and golden
So…just as my life was slowing enough for me to notice the longer shadows and cooler nights, my life got put on hold and I pretty much slept through my 35th birthday.

Although I believe that viruses, bacteria, and other environmental factors cause illness, I also believe things happen for a reason. We can’t necessarily separate our physical selves from our emotional selves. I’ve always loved my birthday, and I’ve never had a thing about age or getting old. However, the idea that my fertility could drop as much as 10% each month after my 35th birthday has been a source of anxiety. Even though I know many women who’ve had children in their 40s, and I know deep down I can have the life of my dreams, I can’t say that my 35th birthday wasn’t mixed with both excitement and trepidation.

Opening myself to love can be scary. It’s easy to dream. It’s harder to let go and allow for whatever could happen. My life is really good right now. Sure, I want to get married and have children, but stepping out of the comfort of what is already familiar and good takes courage and a willingness for things to get shaken up for a while. Although I yearn for more, I’m used to my life (and it’s a good life). I have my own systems, routines, and ways of doing things. Welcoming a man and eventually children means being open, not only to falling in love, but also to the current trajectory of my life taking a turn. When I open my heart, I also open my life to the possibility of change.

By acknowledging my fear, I’m taking one step closer to finding love. It might not be easy, but I’m ready to try.

On the precipice of my future...
An English teacher at my high school said in a graduation address: “Our lives run and fly somewhere between a few certainties and the mysterious and improbable. One day you turn left instead of right and everything changes; your life makes great gravitational shifts at weird, improbable moments, and to be alive is wonderful...To be alive is to be torn and bruised, broken and bored, as well as gratified and delighted.”

Allowing myself to be vulnerable might scare me to pieces and I might end up torn and bruised, but also I might find gratification, delight, and ecstatic happiness.

What’s holding you back from realizing your dreams? In what ways can you open yourself up to the possibility of magic?


                        Marriage Proposal Chicken

In college while the other students were subsisting on pasta and Lucky Charms, I cooked elaborate meals. On one occasion, I invited some friends over for roast chicken and garlic-mashed potatoes. At the end of the meal, an attractive male friend leaned over and told me that if I ever wanted a man to propose, I should prepare him this chicken.

Roast chicken is one of the easiest dishes to make; yet, it can be quite elegant.
Who knows…maybe it will one day lead to a marriage proposal.

Serves 4-6

1 organic free-range chicken
1 lemon, cut in half (or an apple, quartered)
a few sprigs of rosemary
2 Tbsp. olive oil
Himalayan salt and fresh cracked pepper

Preheat oven to 350º F.

Put the chicken—breast side up—into a roasting pan lined with parchment paper. Gently squeeze the lemon over the chicken and then put the squeezed lemon halves inside the chicken. Fill the remaining space with the rosemary sprigs. The lemon and rosemary will infuse the meat.

Drizzle the olive oil over the chicken and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Bake on the middle rack of the oven for approximately 1½ – 2 hours, until either the juices run clear when pierced with a knife or when the internal temperature reaches 165ºF on an instant read thermometer.

Let the meat rest at least 10 minutes before cutting. Enjoy!


  1. I have my dream to find the love and the right partner never gave up. And until the age of 39 I met my husband. Today we are happily married. I got a daughter already at age 21. Today I am Grandma in age 46 :-)

    And the second: I never gave up my dream of a dream job, so since one year I am coach for soul and health food.

    I wish you good luck in finding your love. And if you believe in your deep dreams that come from the heart, will be fulfilled.

    Greetings from Europe, Germany. From a city between Dusseldorf and Cologne

    Helga Stein

  2. Meadow ... you are so brave and so beautiful in you clarity about where you are!! I am looking for new love too. And I am 53. There are lines on my face, sags in my body and I'm short!! When I was with the man who just left, I felt strong and beautiful and sexy ... so full of Life and Light. Going thru an ending with him feels like it has aged me in a way that makes me angry, and makes me feel that love will not come again because the initial "vision bite" (the first seconds a person's eyes fall on you) doesn't really scream "I'm too sexy for my shirt" you know what I mean?! But, then I remember what the only man in your Mom's class in San Diego said to me when we were sitting on a hammock together late at night. He said "Yeah, you're older but do you know what I see? I see a woman who's got some life experience under her belt. I see a woman who knows who she is and is comfortable with herself. I see a woman who is real and alive!!" I looked over my shoulder to see who he was looking at!! I remember his words when I look in the mirror and feel like there will never be someone behind me looking at me in the mirror with his arms around me and love in his eyes. Scott's observation was spot on! I AM all of the things he saw. And someday soon, the man who has been making his way to me will, at last, find me. The path is clear for him to come now. Just as the path to your heart is now open to whatever wonderfulness is on your horizon. Like you, I am at the precipice of my new Life and like you, I want it to be new and wonderful and different. My Light is beautiful! I feel good in it and feel AMAZING sending it out. The Light YOU send out, Meadow, is perfect and so uniquely you!! We both know the key is to be open with no expectation and to do what makes us happy while we wait. The men we are looking for will find us when we are at our best, because that is real and authentic and they recognize that vibration and are drawn to it, knowing that they will only be able to stay if they match our vibration of authenticity! There lies the LOVE we are looking for. So let's stand at the precipice together, happy and full of our own Light!! The best is yet to come!!

  3. What a strange day. Today I've read you say, "One day you turn left instead of right and everything changes" and on FB one of my oldest friends wrote, "Do you ever wonder what would happen if you went left instead of right?"

    Something to ponder and perhaps something that we need to do. I say "we" because I think the universe is pushing us to do and be different than we were the day before and the day before that.

    It is so easy to keep going, going, going and not realize that while we are moving, we may not be moving in the way or in the direction we need to be so we're thrown stumbling blocks to help us to remember. I think it was wonderful and wise that you took time off of dating and focused on you. Many years ago, I did that and discovered who I was and what I wanted, what I would or could put up with in a partner and within myself and I got to be friends with myself. The next thing I knew, this young, funny, smart man asked me out and while my head was gearing to say no, my mouth said yes. Over 15 years later and the hiatus I took was the best thing ever because it created a space within me and my life for my husband. We work well together because we know who we are and who the other person is as well.

    He's on his way, Meadow, but he may be on his own journey of coming into his own so that he can be the complement and compliment he needs to be to you and to himself.

  4. My daughter remarried in her mid 30s, & with two lovely daughters, they decided to have another child - a delightful, adorable little boy, now 18 months old, (& she was 40!) ....
    'in the meantime,' we realized we have the genes for gluten intolerance, & so had been happily GF for several years before his conception! A real blessing, as so many dreams are dashed by the havoc gluten can cause when it interferes with fertility!

    As you say, it's both exhilarating & scary to contemplate sharing your life in such a deep way with a beloved, & with children!

    I wish you blessings as you continue to follow your dreams & passions - & wish for you the advent of a WONDERFUL, compatible life partner!