It’s a day of complexity and fragility as we honor Mother and Mother Earth as represented in our own mother,
My mother passed gently and sweetly in 2005, passed as she lived, gently and sweetly, and so today, a sweet, gentle sadness comes in as part of me.
A crow is energetically cawing around our house today. I remember when I had a tiny basket of three tiny brightly wrapped chocolate eggs resting on our wall system. One day the three eggs were replaced with three tiny rocks. I believe it was our local jay that gave the exchange.
We don’t know how closely we’re watched by our surroundings, by birds and trees, plants and people, and so on this day it is to celebrate our own mother, our own tendencies to mother, and this beautiful earth we share birthed moment by moment, and year by year.
In the living room, I have a wall of books, all of which were removed so the shelves could be painted. Mindfully, I’m putting them back, pausing, arranging, giving away and though I’m not physically out walking this weekend, I feel the joy of traveling through books I touch, peruse, and love.
I make a chord.
Walking, ideally is a state in which the mind, the body, and the world are aligned, as though there were three characters finally in conversation together, three notes suddenly making a chord.
The rain pours down, and the wind chimes play their notes. I sit in the pause, reflect and come back to myself. What rings inside?
I’m with these words of Ruth Denison:
Breath is the food on which sensations live – on which aliveness lives. When the sensations are fed they come out of their dullness. It’s not simply the air, it is the force of movement. Breath is the switch that turns on the lights of the sensations. When they come to life, they flicker and shine, just like the stars at night …
We spent yesterday with our three year old grandson. What a treat and what a great deal of stimulation for us all.
What I see is how set in tracks we older folks can sometimes be. When he announced a little car he was steering around needed people in the seats, I was going to go downstairs to bring up some people from another set, but he simply reached around and placed two bristle blocks, one red, one yellow in the 12 inch red Ferrari. People placed.
A Beatrix Potter stuffed rabbit, twice the size of the car, was also able to drive the car around. No problem.
Today I sit stretching my mind like a clothesline, hanging thoughts to air.
Again, today I recognized how blessed I am to have the offices of my medical people by the water. I arrived early this morning for my appointment and walking along stopped and first looked out and then looked up to see a Black Crowned Night Heron above my head. Gifts abound.
My grandson and I share a love of the book Little Bear by Else Holmelund Minarik and Maurice Sendak. My sons and I loved and love that book too but grandson has taken it a step further.
In the book, Little Bear puts on a hat of his own creation and goes to the moon. Since Grandson’s visit to the U.S.S. Hornet, he has decided he is an astronaut. His tent has become a rocket ship with a control panel created with the help of his parents.
Inspired by his vision and trust in what’s possible, I’ve decided to add a little more spark to my view of the world we share.
I’m reading The Grieving Brain, The Surprising Science of How We Learn From Love and Loss by Mary-Francis O’Connor.
I’m struck by these words. She’s talking about penguins and how a penguin couple bonds. She then writes, “In humans as well, it is because your loved one existed that certain neurons fire together and certain proteins are folded in your brain in particular ways. It is because you loved one lived, and because you loved each other, that means when the person is no longer in the outer world, they still physically exist – in the wiring of the neurons of your brain.“
I love that.
I woke this morning aware of the complexity of flowers, and the beauty we share as they unfold, exult, and then, the petals fall away. Perhaps, each noticing of the change, this reception of cohering, inviting, filling, and letting go, also molds our brains to better hold even as we’re letting go.
My grandchild has a special place outside, a large, sturdy box painted by him and his cousins, attached to a smaller one. He can crawl and sit inside.
We then created another special place with a slightly falling apart cardboard palace, some benches, two chairs, and yoga mats for the top. Two special places, private and not, into which he can crawl in and out.
I was sitting outside in a chair and he was inside one set of boxes, when I meant to say we were each in our special place, but what came out was sacred. I said, “We are each in our sacred place”, and it felt so right and true.
Though we were each reflecting privately, he in what he calls “his office” and I in my office of nature watching a bird’s chest swell in and out with song, we both were in sacred places shared.
As David Whyte wrote and says:
The ultimate touchstone of friendship is not improvement, neither of the other nor of the self; the ultimate touchstone is witness, the privilege of having been seen by someone and the equal privilege of being granted the sight of the essence of another…
And there we were, shared essence, witnessed, complete.
I seem caught in the roots of Joshua trees, the arms of Cholla cactus, as I hold and process sun and moonlight in new ways. This journey rings through me.
It was complex as my daughter-in-law’s mother passed away recently, so we carried grief with us as well as love and gratitude.
We were wrapped in the words of Pema Chodron: You are the sky. Everything else is just the weather.
And there is Bell Hooks:
Imagine how much easier it would be for us to learn how to love if we began with a shared definition. The word “love” is most often defined as a noun,
yet all the more astute theorists of love acknowledge that we would all love better if we used it as a verb.
And now I come to Galway Kinnell’s poem “There Are Things I Tell to No One”
Those close to me might think
I was sad, and try to comfort me, or become sad
At such times I go off along, in silence, as if listening
And then the poem goes on to explain what he means by “God”. This poem speaks to what I felt at Joshua Tree, what I feel now – flow – the ever-moving, balancing and giving flow – the Oneness we are with Gratitude as Blood.