A Beautiful Day

It’s the beginning of Mother’s Day weekend.  Since my mother passed in 2005, I always feel a little sad as I sit and remember her. I wish she were here, and yet, I woke from a dream around 3 where Senna Dog who passed away recently was lying next to me.  All is here.

I’m reading an interesting book, Mount Analogue by Rene Daumal.  We know there’s more here than we see and perceive, and so I’m invited into the exploration of curves, and how straight lines don’t always reveal what we might explore.  

The New Yorker this week has a fascinating article on Sesame Street.  I hadn’t realized the name came from “Open Sesame”, giving “the idea of a street where neat stuff happens”.

The show peaked in 1983 when it dealt with death to explain to children that the actor Will Lee, who played Mr. Hooper, had passed away.    

The article goes on to say “The Reagan years marked the beginning of the fall. The federal government all but stopped funding educational television in 1981, and deregulation meant that the F.C.C. accepted “The Flintstones” as fulfilling a station’s “educational” requirement.”

“Kids’ TV in the nineteen-eighties involved mainly plastic toys: “My Little Pony’ n Friends”, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”.”

And so here we are in a world where “The Flintstones” was considered educational TV.  

We know what deregulation has done, and again, this is Mother’s Day weekend. We celebrate all mothers, and especially bow down to Mother Earth, and the mothering occurring within each of us as we live our lives with attention and nurturing care.

Peace!

Bella, a 14 year old mothering presence in our home

Enough

I sit in my own little spaceship as I open my computer to news, exploration, inspiration, and travel of the day.  Talking to a friend this morning, I realized what I’m feeling is contentment.  I work in the yard, pluck a blueberry from a bush and fully taste, taste and savor the touch of the blueberry as it receives nourishment from the plant and pours it into me.

I’ve been questioning why I don’t seem goal-oriented these days.  I’ve never been particularly goal-oriented, but now there doesn’t seem to be a smidgen of anything pulling me forward.  I eat when I’m hungry, well, also when bored or depressed, and I sleep when tired.  Maybe that’s enough.

Today I’m with enough.

I’m also with a practice of Frank Ostaseski, who wrote The Five Invitations: Discovering What Death Can Teach Us About Living Fully.

To help us with upheaval and change, Frank is sharing a practice he’s using all day long.  He pauses and places both hands on his chest. 

He feels the contact, feels breath, and says: “I choose love.” 

My friend also pointed out we seem to be hearing more birds singing.  Well, that’s true until this Monday when construction and chain-sawing returned, but yes.  She wonders if we’re hearing more singing because the birds can hear their singing in the silence, and are announcing more jubilantly their place in the world and sharing it with their friends.

Peace! Love! Choice!

Wind Chimes

Appreciation

I rose early and watched the full moon as she set.  Again, I was out early pulling weeds, pruning, and removing ivy from climbing up trees.

I feel refreshed from the touch of the trees, the sky, the living ground.

I’m reminded of the Ray Bradbury story, All Summer in a Day.  Set on Venus, the sun is only visible for an hour or two every seven years.  One little girl who remembers it from before writes a poem:

“I think the sun is a flower,

That blooms for just one hour.”

As strange as shelter-in-place has been, I wonder if when it’s truly lifted, we’ll walk outside with wonder and hug all those we see, flowers blooming like suns.

Balancing

Sheltered-in-place, we’re offered an opportunity to evaluate what comes in as life begins to open with possibility.

What did we like about this time, dislike?

I feel myself balanced on a teeter-totter.  I haven’t felt well the last few days so I go back and forth.  Am I doing too much or not enough?  Do I need more physical activity or am I craving a mental challenge? What is this moment asking of me? What am I asking?

I feel  I’m dropped between two walls, unsure which one to climb, so maybe I’ll just push them both over and stand arms outstretched, and announce: I’m here.

I see how my six month old grandson loves to hold both arms out as though to embrace the whole wide world.  He’s whole in himself, whole in the world.  He reaches with his whole being for what he wants, and then, when he gets it, he might give it a toss.  No attachment, just exploration and curiosity, so this day, today, how do I balance my young and mature selves, and where do I reach?

I was up early, pruning and weeding.  I’m always surprised at how it looks like a reasonably small job but each cut and pull introduces whole new landscapes and views.  Who knows what’s there, so a one hour plan becomes three.

Today I saw two photos representing manipulation and point of view.  Both were of the same scene but the side angle showed people honoring social distancing and patiently waiting in line six feet apart.  A photo of the same scene, shot from the front, made it appear people were clustered together and anxiously pushing ahead to enter.   

How then do we look at and interpret our own lives?  Do we zoom in or use a wide angle lens?  Where do we stand?  Do we look out from within and embrace the world with arms outstretched and an open heart?  Sometimes, and other times like anemone at low tide, we close and rest.

Today I balance both as I cleanse and fluff my nest.  

Outstretched

Quiet

This morning I’m with Jane Hirshfield’s words: There is only one way to travel and that is inward.  

I believe and follow that, but today I feel the more inward I travel, the more I feel the current pain and suffering in the world.

In one way the crisis is abstract for me.  I don’t currently personally know anyone who is sick or has died, though my sons do, but I feel the energy in the air even as the day comes to light and birds sing a welcome to this new day.

On Saturday I saw my six month old grandson for the first time since we sheltered-in-place.  We kept a 13 foot distance, but I felt how clearly eyes share photons when we look at each other, and how there’s a heart connection no matter where he is but when he’s right here, wow.

Years ago, I was in a class where we placed a metal tube at our hearts – two people – one tube – sending love – there was a melt and bend.

My task today is simple.  Send Love through the waves as I celebrate the simplicity of quiet, the strength.

In the stillness of the quiet, if we listen, we can hear the whisper of the heart giving strength to weakness, 

courage to fear, hope to despair.

— Howard Thurman

The Power, Strength, Beauty, and Care in Love

Shelter

My friend Mirka’s blog is on Art and Shelter, and offers a wonderful entry into how we might meet another month sheltering-in-place.  I especially love the human bird nest.

I look up and out on plants reaching to connect summer with spring.

Thich Nhat Hanh says, People say walking on water is a miracle, but to me walking peacefully on the earth is the real miracle.

That is my intention these days, to walk peacefully on the earth, the earth within, all those cells, and this beautiful ground, my abode for now.

May Day

As a child growing up in Des Moines, Iowa, the afternoon and evening before May Day, we’d make baskets with handles out of construction paper, and fill the baskets with candy and flowers.  Early the next day, we’d hang them on the door knobs of our neighbors.  May Day!  

Now, today, we’re sheltered-in-place.  It’s beautiful where I live, and the birds are singing and the sun is shining.  I’m struck with synchronicity.  

Yesterday I started reading a memoir, One Blade of Grass by Henry Shukman.  I paused when I came to how his life was changed by Transcendental Meditation.  I remembered back to when I came to it in 1974.  I was newly pregnant with Jeff, and was told pregnancy is a time to be a peaceful haven for what’s happening inside, so I could meditate as much as I wanted, and I did.  I wasn’t confined to 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes at night.  I took my mantra and meditation to heart and immersed.  

For a long time though I’ve used other forms of meditation, but yesterday my 25 year old niece invited me to join a Transcendental Meditation group offered on-line. I was delighted.  It would be something we could share though she’s in Boston and I’m north of SF, and we don’t know when visits can happen again.  I don’t see a return to life as it was, and that honors evolution and change.

I’m with these words of D.H. Lawrence: There is nothing of me that is alone and absolute except my mind, and we shall find that the mind has no existence by itself, it is only the glitter of the sun on the surface of the waters.  

What a beautiful image and way to enter this first day in May.

And for a mind tease: Every C in Pacifc Ocean is pronounced differently.

Happy May Day, and circling around Maypoles within and without.