"My socks may not match, but my feet are always warm."
~ Maureen McCullough ~
Blessings in life often show up in unusual and unexpected ways. We got stuck with a broken down truck in Clovis, New Mexico and I found the most delightful wild flowers on a walk behind the garage. Eighteen months ago, my husband had a total spinal reconstruction that was terrifying to anticipate, and challenging to recover from, and it ended up giving him a whole new lease on life. My father died suddenly and our long relationship of mis-communication and negative judgment is now filled with peace and love and forgiveness.
All this and more is evidence that we can trust the process, however disconcerting it may seem or discombobulated it may look in the moment. In my experience at least, there are always blessings, always valuable lessons, and always angels who appear.
I pay attention to raining blessings, even when I least expect them.
"How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard."
~Carol Sobieski ~
And so, the time has come to leave Santa Fe and head back East, where our blood is, where our spirits are supported by the pastoral green countryside, and where we came from only a short year ago. And yet, we leave something behind at the same time, something powerful, and heartfelt, and real- good friends, hard-won lessons, and the Big Tesuke Trail; the desert colors, the ravens and coyotes, and the wide clear sky.
Endings are also beginnings and beginnings also endings. I am forever changed by my time in the land of adobe and color, and carry it with me as I travel forth.
I carry my experiences with me as I move on down the road.
Unexpected twists and turns are built into life. We meet someone and expect one thing out of our meeting and end up with another. We head off to the west and end up solidly grounded in the East.
It's curvy roads and blind passing and wind and fog and sun and rain. the only thing that's certain are the lessons- there for the taking no matter the route or the weather.
"Passion, though a bad regulator, is a powerful spring."
~ RW Emerson ~
Our dog, Boss, is a relentless ball catcher. As many times as we are willing to throw it, he is willing to engage with enthusiasm and appreciation and heart. And for us, inevitably, the process becomes tiresome. We wear out at throwing. But it's impossible not to notice, and admire on some level, the fact that Boss never does.
I appreciate, and emulate where I can, the tenacity of true passion.
Having belongings in boxes is an experience all its own. There's a freedom and temporary-ness to it that cannot be duplicated. The present moment demands its due and its view and encourages us to simply be where we are, because wherever we're going, we're not there yet.
Straining to be anywhere other than where I am gives me a sore neck.
"Be an opener of doors for such as come after thee."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson ~
By just showing up in the world the way we are we make a difference. Like a stone thrown in a pond, we create ripples. Our energy makes a reverberating impact.
The question is, on any given day, what kind of impact are are we making?
"Birds sing after a storm; why shouldn't people feel as free to delight in whatever sunlight remains to them?"
~Rose Kennedy ~
I was in a windstorm today- a mini-tornado whirlwind really that turned the air around my friend and I completely brown, whipped sand at our bodies like stinging knives, and tore the roof off a building a mere 50 feet or so away from us. It was terrifying and almost thrilling on some level in a dark way. All we could do was brace ourselves against it. Time slowed down, and it seemed as if the world as we knew it was about to end, that we were going to be swept up into a funnel of furious air and whipping sand. I heard her say my name, but couldn't see her.
And then it cleared enough for us to run to safety, and as we peeled leaves and sand out of our ears and eyes, we talked about it, over and over, and eventually laughed. Going through something like that opens something up in us- the fragility of life, the power of nature, how tentative our certainties really are- and going through it with a friend makes it almost fun.
I am grateful to share life experiences of all kinds with people that I care about.
"Come, whoever you are! Wanderer, worshipper, lover of leaving. This is not a caravan of despair. It doesn't matter if you've broken your vow a thousand times, still and yet again come!"
~ Rumi ~
Life is full of goodbyes and little deaths. Each day and each experience that passes is an ending, a completion, a closure, and a clearing for the next thing. We can do the same thing over and over trying to recapture a feeling, and the feeling escapes us, no matter how many times we try to re-create it. Each time is its own, each interaction distinct from all others.
And there is comfort in this, and a bit of sadness as well, and the reminder that we best enjoy what happens exactly as it happens and when it happens because if we spend our time trying to go back it's a futile effort, and one that leaves us seeking and searching instead of loving what is.
I recognize the impermanence of all things and appreciate each moment as it rises and falls.
"I will bring the health of simplicity to my burdened soul and days."
~ Muriel Strode ~
We are moving again and I have packed much of our stuff into boxes, leaving the space unusually sparse, and the walls bare. Everything that remains looks different than it did, and I find myself appreciating the small spots of color that remain. Instead of my broad hanging board with endless pairs of earrings, I have a few pairs laid out on a bookshelf. The second bathroom is empty but for a small vase of flowers, and I am touched by their beauty every time I see them.
We live such crowded lives that we sometimes forget the elegance and simple appeal of empty space and less is more. I'm grateful for the reminder, and pass it along to you-
"I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free."
~ Michelangelo ~
We are responsible for our course through life. Much as we might feel flung about by circumstances and financial necessities, the truth is that we are the ones who set the sails, we are the ones who handle the tiller, and we are the ones who commit to the direction. We spend much of our time allowing others to dictate to us, to tell us what we should be doing and how we should be doing it, but we are creative souls and we are meant to use our creativity to establish our path.
There may be less responsibility in allowing other people and circumstances to decide for us, but there's less satisfaction as well. Without engaging our personal style of creativity in life, we suffer the fallout of being disengaged. We lack vitality and spirit. We lack heart.
Let's not. Let's step up to our life and create it the way we want it to be. We have the power to do that, no matter how often or how vigorously we may tell ourselves that we don't.
I allow my life to be the full authentic expression of exactly who I am.
"There is a morning inside you waiting to burst open into light."
~ Rumi ~
We are so good at hoodwinking ourselves. We convince ourselves that what we think is factual, that what we perceive is the truth, that who we are is problematic, and that what we can accomplish is limited by our past. We play small and pretend that is all we're capable of, and we're cruel and justify our cruelty.
Let's express ourselves in the world as the divine beings that we are, capable of greatness beyond imaging, vision beyond what we can see, and love beyond measure.
"When there is hell to pay, it is usually cheaper to pay it than to finance an endless purgatory."
~ Robert Brault ~
Staying on top of things helps with peace of mind. When we allow our emails to pile up, phone calls to go unanswered, laundry to accumulate, it adds weight to the daily load. What takes just a few minutes each day to manage becomes daunting when it's left undone.
I take responsibility for small bits each day to save myself from overwhelm.
"I have found the paradox that if I love until it hurts, then there is no hurt, but only more love."
~Mother Teresa ~
Adopting a posture of service in our approach to life takes the ego out of the game and makes for a more enjoyable ride. Thinking about what we're going to get out of everything and what it all means to us is a much smaller and shallower world than wondering how we might be useful and what we can do to help.
I stop striving for personal achievement, and concentrate on making a difference instead.
"Rejoice with your family in the beautiful land of life."
~ Albert Einstein ~
In this modern era, it's easy to be flip about our families and to take them for granted. And yet, there is something powerful and primal about our blood relations, something that can't be duplicated, and something in our genetic connection that deserves our reverence and respect.
We cop resentments and hold grudges. Some of us go for years without speaking to our parents, or our siblings, or our cousins. But we miss something that we need if we do this, and a way of belonging in the world.
If our families are feuding, let's be the ones who bring peace to them. Let's be the ones who bring acceptance, and endless, unconditional love.
I appreciate my family and encourage connection any and every chance I get.
"I held a moment in my hand, brilliant as a star, fragile as a flower, a tiny sliver of one hour. I dripped it carelessly. Ah! I didn't know, I held opportunity."
~ Hazel Lee ~
We have opportunities available to us that we aren't even aware of. Regularly, we miss them, distracted as we are by our internal chatter and our smart phones. We don't see what's in front of us, only what we're looking for, and opportunity arrives unexpectedly when it comes so we have to be paying attention.
Let's be aware of what's happening around us, and, wherever possible, take advantage of what shows up.
Life is a broad field of potential with endless chances at new experience.
"The resurrection gives my life meaning and direction and the opportunity to start over no matter what my circumstances."
~ Robert Flatt ~
Each day we have an opportunity to renew ourselves, to start fresh, and begin again. The night washes away the day before.
We are blessed this way, every 24 hours- a gift of refreshment and new light. We get chance after chance at graciousness and glory..