I woke from a dream of sitting on the sand, then, walking into the ocean, and standing there until the tide came in and floated away my shoes.  With no shoes, I walked on rocks, exhilarated and soothed by natural stimulation, reflexology, a balance of shifting pleasure and pain.

I remembered being in a park in Hong Kong set up for barefoot walking on different surfaces and textures.  Walking there is meditation and a treat for the feet. I have a rug made up of river rocks and I love to stand on it and lift my feet up and down, moments of awakening, captured and set loose in a pause.

The baby shower yesterday was touching and sweet.  We spoke of how simple childbirth is in one way in that billions of us humans are here, and yet each one seems like a miracle, each of us a miracle.

I’m reminded of the words of Pablo Casals.

“The CHILD must know that he is a MIRACLE, that since the beginning of the world there hasn’t been, and until the end of the world will not be, another child like him.” 

And each of us is that child.

I was awake early this morning, still dark, and with my two kitties we watched the world come to light.  Wind blew through in the night, and pine needles are scattered like pick-up sticks all over the decks.

The light is soft with Autumn threading through.

Yesterday I was with people some of whom didn’t know of my brother’s death.  Speaking of it, sharing it, showed me that the wound is still fresh, and maybe it’s also a gathering of family and friends that touches the awareness of impermanence, the fragility and preciousness of life here.

I returned home to these words of Thich Nhat Hanh from his book “No Death, No Fear.” Reading his response to the death of his mother, I was turned on a lathe of understanding, moved to refresh my clay.

The day my mother died I wrote in my journal, “A serious misfortune of my life has arrived.” I suffered for more than one year after the passing away of my mother. But one night, in the highlands of Vietnam, I was sleeping in the hut in my hermitage. I dreamed of my mother. I saw myself sitting with her, and we were having a wonderful talk. She looked young and beautiful, her hair flowing down. It was so pleasant to sit there and talk to her as if she had never died. When I woke up it was about two in the morning, and I felt very strongly that I had never lost my mother. The impression that my mother was still with me was very clear. I understood then that the idea of having lost my mother was just an idea. It was obvious in that moment that my mother is always alive in me.

I opened the door and went outside. The entire hillside was bathed in moonlight. It was a hill covered with tea plants, and my hut was set behind the temple halfway up. Walking slowly in the moonlight through the rows of tea plants, I noticed my mother was still with me. She was the moonlight caressing me as she had done so often, very tender, very sweet… wonderful! Each time my feet touched the earth I knew my mother was there with me. I knew this body was not mine but a living continuation of my mother and my father and my grandparents and great-grandparents. Of all my ancestors. Those feet that I saw as “my” feet were actually “our” feet. Together, my mother and I were leaving footprints in the damp soil.

From that moment on, the idea that I had lost my mother no longer existed. All I had to do was look at the palm of my hand, feel the breeze on my face or the earth under my feet to remember that my mother is always with me, available at any time.

Surrendering, I remember my family members who’ve passed are always with me, available at any time, like hands and feet.

Holding hands with rock and sand

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