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After reading “From Ego to Essence” by Barbara Marx Hubbard, we were inspired to resume our morning journal ritual again. This time, however, we decided to follow her recommended format, engaging in conversation with the “Higher Self”, or as she says, the “Essential Self.”

That journaling caused us to consider the “Essence” that is always nearby, appearing within silent moments. It seem to pop up wherever and however we pay attention.

As children, we had an innate sense about how we feel at home in a quiet place, to think about the day. The Backyard Tent is a symbol for one of those childhood places that still exists in our adult life through meditation and prayer.

Check out our related story at Uncommon Promise


Do you remember
When you were younger
You found a quiet place

That only you knew
Where you could be all alone
To figure out the day

Was it under a tree
Or beside a rushing stream
Maybe even inside a
Tattered backyard tent

I still remember
When I was worried
Or had something on my mind

I’d steal away
To my secret hideout
Where weighty doubts would disappear

My private refuge
Was always waiting
Where all uncertainty
Seemed to fade

Was it really that way
Just as simple as it seemed
Cares resolved inside my
Tattered backyard tent

Can you imagine
Now that you’re older
Your secret, quiet place

That only you know
Where you can be all alone
To figure out the day

Time and time again
To figure out the day


from Toward the Light, track released January 1, 2008
Cheryl Martlage - Lyrics and vocals
Emerson Martlage - Music, guitar and vocals
Mr Toad's San Francisco - Mastering


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Cheryl and Emerson Martlage San Diego, California

At the age of 48, and after 25 years of marriage, we headed to a secluded town for 6 weeks, to create a new relationship and begin again.

When we arrived as if by magic, we co-wrote our first song ever— "Never Sleep," evoking the mystery and magic of the new adventure. Twenty years later, we're still making music. Join us on our musical storytelling as the adventure continues to unfold
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