I’ve been with the swaying of the kelp forest at Monterey Bay Aquarium and the fish moving through.  The sea gulls are raucous this time of year as their youngsters grow into their own ways to move through, and on, water, land, and sky. All of this flows through and reverberates in me.

This morning I read about a man who sits on a bench each morning to watch the sunrise and talk to those who walk by.  He listens and has become a therapist for those who come to be with him. I read about a 99 year old woman who because of the pandemic becomes best friends with the two year old next door.

There are ribbons of connection flowing through us like ribbons of kelp.

Fred Rogers said: If only you could sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet, how important you can be to people you may never even dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person.

Tide Pools

Day 69: Reception

Family gathers today on the 69th day after my brother’s passing.  I look out on the redwood tree in my yard. A sparrow flits by. Crows caw.  Sun begins to part the fog.

I search for words of wisdom but the heart speaks without words.  A fine mist, it sprays.

I woke from a dream this morning where I was on retreat and we each had a notebook by our single bed in which to write the kind actions of our day.

What a reminder and what a way to wake.

The Dalai Lama says, “My Religion is Kindness”.  In these troubled times, that may be all we need as we stretch intention on the longest day of the year.   

Flowers near the beach where we’ll scatter ashes today

Day 10: Sweetness

My college roommate Robyn Anzelon was a bridesmaid at my wedding. She comments on the photo of my brother and me coming down the aisle with “so glad the sweetness is wrapping around you,” and yes, that is the word, the feeling: sweetness.  

Sweetness wraps around me, stepping stones in grief.  My brother’s eyes, and he always had better than 20/20 vision while I, not so much, are now expanded out.  He draws me to stars and sky even as I more clearly feel the ground beneath my feet. Aliveness. I feel him augmenting sky and soil inside.  I’m tenderized with sweetness, wrapped in love.

I’m reminded of my mother’s sweet smile as she said over and over again, “All is love.”  My parents, our parents, lived as though rolled in tenderness, bathed in it from birth, many births. They saw a wider view. They were Holy Beings, as are we all, and yet sometimes we need to be touched again and again with the sweetness we share in living here.  We need to touch each cell inside with the recognition and acknowledgment of the sweet power and joy-filled frequency of love. There, is support.

In fourth grade, I was the fairy who gave kindness in the play Sleeping Beauty.  I stepped forward and touched my wand to the baby and said four powerful words, “I give you kindness.”  I often say the words to myself. “I give you kindness, Cathy.” I do that today, give myself the sweet fruit of kindness, as it ripens in sun and rain, fulfilling its purpose with the growth, care, and protection of seeds, generations of seeds. We are here for more than ourselves. We seed with sweetness our future as we honor our shared needs.

The heart of St. Francis fills baskets then and now with Love