Friday, October 23, 2009

The Fall

The fall can be hard and seemingly endless

and the fear shall try to win you and take you

it's voice so loud it is all you can hear

but the soul is constantly whispering softly

and heaven is always ever so near

breathe with the wind and smile at the moon

flow like the sea and rise like the sun

for the natural world shall support you and comfort you

through every illusion and trial that you fear

breathe in the essence of the natural world

breathe in the flowers the birds and the trees

breathe in the memory of all that you are

divine and beautiful powerful and knowing

you are more than your body

you are more than your fear

you are shining and strong

you are your own force of nature

working in harmony with heaven and earth

living and breathing your true divine nature

emanating truth, power and freedom

radiating love, wisdom and compassion

fall out of fear and into your heart

breathing in all the love that surrounds you

fall into love, fall into truth

breathe yourself up beyond all illusion

breathe yourself back into remembrance

that all is divine and love conquers all

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Today I Am Pondering The Fragility of Life

Today I am pondering the fragility of life.

It feels to me as if more and more people are passing, one right after another. Just in the past week a friend’s mother was struck by a drunk driver while taking her morning walk. Little did she know that she would put on her sneakers that morning, walk out the door and never return home.

The cook that has worked in the kitchen where my mother lives for over ten years fell with a massive heart attack. He had no idea there was a thing wrong with him. These kinds of sudden unexpected deaths are so shocking and traumatic. It makes you stop and realize that at any moment your life could be over, no warning, just suddenly over and for a time you put things into the perspective that they always truly belong in.

What is it that matters? What kinds of things do you spend your time worrying about? Will any of it matter at all in the end? It is so perfectly clear at times like this. Nothing much really matters and yet everything matters. Nothing much, like the bills you agonize over. Nothing much, like who said what to hurt your feelings. Nothing much, like you feel overworked and under appreciated. Nothing much, like what you wish you had or didn’t have.

Nothing much really matters.

And yet everything matters.

Everything you do matters, everything you say matters, everything you think matters. How much you allow yourself to love matters. How much you allow yourself to be loved matters. Who you let in and who you keep out matters. Gratitude matters. Kindness and gentleness and tolerance matters. Generosity, forgiveness and open mindedness matters. Hope and courage and truth and integrity matters. Prayerfulness and mindfulness and the oneness of all matters and on and on and on...

Today I am pondering what doesn’t matter and today I am pondering what matters.

Today I am sending prayers for all those passing and all who remain.

Today I am pondering the fragility of life.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Teeth

The elevator doors open onto the second floor and I see the usual, the women, my mother who is now 88, and her friends, sitting in their usual spots in the seating area right off the elevator. Something immediately strikes me as odd. Odd however, is just another word for normal on the second floor. My mother greets me with her usual excited outburst of pure joy, throwing her arms out towards me and shouting my name over and over “Gailie! Gailie!"

Oh my, as I greet my mother I am just beginning to allow the shock to enter my system. I have grown accustomed to arriving on the second floor for The Assisted Living and finding all kinds of what I used to feel were unexpected surprises. Now the variety and style of surprises have just become routine and not much throws me anymore, except for tonight.

My mother continues to grin at me broadly. I am taken completely back by the peculiar look of her smile. What is happening here? I can’t seem to grasp exactly what is wrong with this picture even though at some level I am becoming quite sure. Time seems to have come to a complete stop in my world as I stare at my mother in complete disbelief.

Oh yes, as I force myself to get a grip of this bizarre smile on my mother’s face, I have to come to grips with the undeniable fact that she is wearing someone else’s teeth! In retrospect now it all seems rather hilarious but at the time it felt more horrifying than funny. A million thoughts were racing through my mind. Where did she get these teeth? Whose teeth are they? Where are her teeth?

Of course my mother was in blissful unawareness that she looked like a completely different person and that these teeth did not by any stretch of the imagination fit into her mouth. There would be no answers coming from my mother as she has lost the ability to remember what took place just a moment ago. I did manage to get her back into her room and find her own teeth right where they always are. To this day the mystery of the strange set of teeth has not been solved.

After washing her face and tucking her into bed we talk for a bit. She asks me if she was a good mother. I tell her she is the best. I ask her if she remembers Daddy, my father. She looks off into space with a blank look that has become so familiar, and says she is sorry, she cannot remember. I kiss her and tell her it is ok. I look at her and my eyes fill with tears. There are no words, no memories, no tangible thing to explain what goes on here between mother and daughter. It is as vast as the universe, as deep as the sea and it is the most precious thing I have ever known.

I kiss her again and I say “Happy dreams Mommy” and I shut her door and start down the hall. Floyd, who is in his nineties is walking a bit ahead of me all dressed and looking rather spiffy. I can’t help but notice his eyebrows which he has drawn on with a blue ballpoint pen. He turns to me and says “Good Morning.” It is 10pm and he is on his way to breakfast.

Friday, July 3, 2009

The Trees

I have been thinking a lot about the trees lately. I have always been in love with the trees. When I was a child I had the great fortune of living in a neighborhood with an empty lot across the street that took up the entire block. It was the only one around and it remained untouched until way after I left home at the age of nineteen. There were two particular trees that were just made for climbing and as I was very adventurous I would climb them both regularly. One had wooden planks nailed into the sides by the older boys and a wooden seat when you made it to the top. It was an easy climb for me and I loved it up there sitting among the branches.

The other tree was way up at the other end of the street and had no steps or wooden seat but it always seemed to call out to me "climb me"! It was a rather scary climb and a real challenge. I had been known to get stuck up there several times and thank goodness a neighbor noticed me and helped me down while warning me never to try that again, but of course I did. I can still remember so vividly the feeling of those trees and the many others that made up my magical woods. I knew every inch of those woods and spent hours and hours imagining and daydreaming among those beautiful trees.

When I was raising my children the urge to move to the mountains and the woods was so strong that we did just that. We were surrounded by the tallest most magnificent trees and the pines with their sweeping majestic branches were so incredibly beautiful. Our house was on the side of a mountain and the woods were all around us. We felt this is where we belonged, and we did for ten wonderful years until the call to move once again came and we began yet another new adventure.

Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to wind up in a place that was such a far cry from everything I ever knew, the mountains, the trees, the cold. A tropical climate? Not me, I don't like flat land, broiling heat, bugs and may I say again, broiling heat! However this was to be and when we found our Florida home over ten years ago one of the most wonderful things about it was the gigantic magnificent old oak in the yard. We fell madly in love with her. Little did I know she would turn out to be our guardian, our teacher and above all, our family.

It was just the other day that I truly understood all she had come to teach us. From the beginning we were told that she was very old and should come down. We wouldn't hear of it. How many days and nights we spent looking at her and sitting beneath her and yes, talking to her. She was as much a part of us as any member of our family. We loved her so. The first time a huge part of her came down in a storm we were devastated. Oh she would not look the same! But we cleaned up her branches and prayed that she would remain strong and stay with us. As this was happening with our Beloved One there were parts of our lives that were falling away as well. The storms continued and sometimes all would be well but sometimes she was not strong enough and again we would witness more of the falling away.

We felt for many reasons we would move from our home and we felt that this was surely a sign from her that we too were done in this place. We were sure of it. The day finally came when so much of her fell that the rest of her had to be taken down for everyone's safety. It felt like a death and I cried and cried. The yard was a devastation. All that was left of her was her huge trunk. Her glorious branches gone! That was this past winter and everything looked so barren and harsh and brutal and our lives seemed to be that way too. I didn't go out in the yard much, we didn't know where to even begin to start to pull it all back together and it was heartbreaking to look upon the place she once stood, proud and strong and mighty.

Then spring came and we did what we always do, plant a little garden and fill our pots with flowers. And then the rains came back and something magical happened. Plants and ivy grew over her big beautiful trunk and plants and trees grew up everywhere because now they were getting more sun. Suddenly everything was beautiful. My husband turned to me the other day and said "I don't think the yard has ever looked so beautiful." I looked out the window and sighed and I realized in that moment the metaphor, the falling away, the trying so hard to hold on to what is done and the fear of how things will be. How will you go on without something you counted on, something you thought would be so hard to be without? How will you weather the storm and the change?

Well we are still here and we still feel in many ways that our branches continue to fall and I can not say that at times I do not feel frightened. But I am awake and I have been loved by an old and wise Standing One and she has taught me so much. For she has shown that the falling away is sometimes what has to be, to make way for the sun that births new life so that all will be made anew. And no it will never ever be the same but there is beauty found even in this. And every day I feel so thankful and so grateful that one such as she came into my life and held the space for all the trees I have ever loved and missed. She opened my heart and nurtured me and taught me and stood for everything that is loving and right and true. Now when I look upon her mighty trunk I do not feel sadness and sorrow. I just feel her heart beating in resonance with mine, I feel love and wisdom and truth… I look up at the sky where her branches once were and I see her and feel her there...and I bow before her with love and gratitude and I whisper to her softly...thank you.

(picture is of me communing with another Beloved Standing One and a divine being above me)