My heart continues to swell. I keep reading we are here for one purpose and that is to grow our hearts. Mine is swelling with love. Yesterday gave an extra boost, a giant swell. The gathering to honor Velvet’s life was touching and sweet as could be. She embodied Love, Life, and Joy, and transferred it to others.

One man who more than walked Velvet, who clearly loved her deeply, shared about life in Czechoslovakia before the Russians came and just like that took over ownership of the generational family farm. There were four horses, chickens, gardens, a life.

One daughter-in-law made blueberry cobbler that he said was just like his grandmother used to make. He wouldn’t describe the journey but said, at one point he’d had enough, and fled with his wife and two children to Austria where they were in a refugee camp for two years, and yet, there was happiness. I’ve heard that before from two women who were in a camp when Yugoslavia split apart. Sponsored, he came to this country where he seems puzzled by the layers and levels of discontent.

After such a day, I was shocked to return home and read about the shootings at the garlic festival in Gilroy.

People went through security this year just in case but the killer cut through a fence and used an assault-type rifle, and like that, everything changed.

I sit here now wanting to hold compassion for all, and my heart goes out to those who on a beautiful day suffered the greatest loss. There is no way to explain the way life coils and curves. May we all wind our ways to the center, the center of life and heart.

A labyrinth by the sea

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