The sky is soft this morning, the fog tender. I am tender. Perhaps it is that my mother would have been 92 today. I feel her here.
I look up meanings of the word tender since I feel a tiny boat chugging in my heart, softly content to create a gentle wake, a simple hum.
Tender can mean to offer something. It can be a little boat or a boat that attends to other boats. I suppose we’re all boats in our own way, floating along, separately or in a flotilla, alone, and not, connected in an ocean of air.
Again this morning I learn of a death. A good friend’s mother passed, and yet in preparation the family has been gathering sweetness and shared memories. I see a bouquet of hearts, a rainbow in the tears.
I’m with this softness in my heart, like a balloon, or parachute, or maybe an Angel’s Trumpet flower. Maybe it’s simply a pool open to offering what comes to me today, soft as petals falling, and trumpets calling.
I’m reminded now that at my friend’s house high on a hill overlooking San Francisco bay that various neighbors go out on their decks and blow trumpets at sunset. It’s like a call of birds, each one in a certain order.
There are so many ways to honor passage, so many ways to stir our insides with the nourishing taste of love and care. This morning for me, peace stirs the air I share.
Fog and sun balance on the ridge. I feel balanced this morning, grounded. I walked with a friend yesterday afternoon/evening embraced by the trunks of redwoods. We watched the sun set and the nearly full moon move like a ship in the sky.
I read about how we need quiet, silence, how quiet places are being developed where people can pay and be taught how to listen. We’re so bombarded with noise that we’ve forgotten how to listen. I listen now, the only sounds the clicking of my keys when I type, my stomach growling requesting nourishment, and birds. All is still except the slow movement of pink fog. I feel myself pulled on its exploration, its ease. Sometimes it rushes in but this Sunday morning all is quiet.
My brother was born on July 17, so would have been sixty-six in three days. My mother who passed in 2005 would have been 92 on July 16. What is it about birthdays even when the person is gone that strikes a match inside? I’m tender, tender today, tender with ease.
My sensory awareness group met today. As I settled into myself and felt the support of the floor and the chair, a tear came and rolled down my cheek. My throat felt tight and scratchy and I began to cough. Grief extended into my heart and down to my feet.
I shared that I was experiencing a visceral feeling of grief from my brother’s death on April 14th. I had hoped I’d moved on.
Later, a woman who’d just completed a workshop at Spirit Rock on death, dying and aging asked if I thought what I was feeling related “just” to my brother’s death. I knew that it was more than that. She suggested that my feelings related to impermanence.
I could feel how true that was.
Later we worked with flexibility using partly inflated balls. I felt my holding and inflexibility. I was trying to hold a stance of strength. I felt the work of holding back tears, what it does to my legs, neck, and spine.
What I learned today is that flexibility and impermanence relate and when I can honor the waves of both, float a little more openly on the natural movement I am, I can breathe, and tears may come, but in and through the tears there are waves, and released, I breathe, and am breathed.
Allowing immersion in impermanence, I hold both joy and sorrow, no dividing, and there I celebrate the wonder of being alive. Vitality is my wand and spring when I honor that impermanence is the ocean and land we share. There’s nothing to do and nowhere to go. I’m here.
The fog is in, softly, tenderly. I re-read the Declaration of Independence on this Fourth of July, considering our steps forward and backward. I look forward to a leap cultivating peace knowing that for every reaction, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
It’s a day to honor our Statue of Liberty and the power of connection she represents as enterprising, curious and risk-taking people make their way to our shores.
Here is Bella, in one of her many favorite places. She knows what she wants and needs.
Yesterday I was at Tennessee Valley Beach with Karen. As we sat on the sand, enjoying the waves, flotillas of pelicans flew overhead. I remembered when the work of Rachel Carson ensured their survival. We share a fragile time in history, and perhaps that’s always been true, but when I see the pelicans flap their wings overhead, I’m grateful for those who ensure clean water and air.