After a few tough years questioning heaven with a WHY ME, I am turning my awareness back to the earth to cultivate gratitude for the bounty I live within. Fresh air and water, abundance of love, with opportunity to grow and learn in multiple directions. Gifts. Sometimes it takes a bit of slowing down to notice what is right in front of our cloudy vision, but as we do the veil lifts just enough so the world appears wondrous. This is a lesson many garner with grace and ease, but I’ve come kicking toward these fine appreciations. I’m an immediate type of gal, as in I want what I want immediately. Like Spring. Or unions of sorts. Now. This day. And in that racy bustle I often ignore what has presented itself. Those presents appearing daily. Like sunlight making itself faintly felt despite the cloud cover. While I swim children’s laughter breaking through the routine. A fat crow on a bare branch facing the stiff wind outside my window. A friend letting me know a fabulous new plan, and yes, she wants me in on it. A upcoming luncheon date with an elderly Aunt who will sound, perhaps just for a few seconds, like my mother. Jasmine. Period. Everything about this sublime fragrance graciously filling your every breath is a magical gift. People who I hardly know who rise early and say, text me when you wake up and we can hike. Food. Fresh and local and organically grown in small farms. Glorious combinations of flavors exploding into savory delight. All of it. The glass is always more than half full. It’s overflowing. What will it take for you to see?
Lately, life has been in winter lock-down under a permanent cloud cover. And yes, this visual metaphor speaks loudly for all that has transpired this past week. How will we survive? Clueless actually, but still, my way is this: create some healthy routines. Those Sunday to Saturday, day to day rituals, that cause you to exhale and remember your center; whatever those activities are, you need to foster and maintain a few. Hold on to those when you feel tempest-tossed.
I have been thinking about the 12th night of Christmas, that moment when following the Star of Bethlehem the Three Kings arrived at the stable bearing gifts for the baby Jesus; and this Epiphany has left me pondering not only the event, but the word itself. I recall biblical stories as interesting tales whose metaphorical interpretations can lead to spiritual growth. The word epiphany originally referred to insight through the divine, which sounds truly vital to me right now, as I look forward to this 2017, and try, with all my might, not to imbue it with a mountain of fear and river of dread. Instead, I’m calling upon the divine, shifting attention to the upcoming Feast of the Epiphany and creating a list of my own guiding stars.
A course more promising
Than a wild dedication of yourselves
To unpathed waters, undreamed shores; most certain,
To miseries enough: no hope to help you;
But, as you shake off one, to take another:
Nothing so certain as your anchors; who
Do their best office, if they can but stay you
Where you’ll be loth to be: besides, you know,
Prosperity’s the very bond of love,
Whose fresh complexion and whose heart together
Affliction alters. (“Winter’s Tale” Shakespeare)
Not sure what crazy fun you’re planning for your holiday weekend or week or day but my list is growing into a steady passion of joyful dreamy moments cascading in my mind as I drive back and forth to work. My biggest hope? Time to recover from the hustle and bustle. Time to not do anything that I have to. Now that sounds like a Happy Holiday!
Her voice broke into my dream state like a prophetic warning. My eyes opened to an empty bed and a racing mind. Did I sleep through the alarm? Was there something worse awaiting me? As tempting as it was to languish in drowsiness, I pulled myself awake. She called my name again.
“Do you need me?” I managed.
“Can you come down stairs? Come down right now? The cellar is flooded.”
A goal. A destination. A purpose. Life is filled with markers for all of us, from birth to death we move along a continuum of time, looking for meaning. In the beginning, unconscious or conscious, we encounter a string of firsts. First word. First step. First big tumble. First day away from mommy and daddy. The list goes on and on, seeming to stretch far into the milky way with possibility. At least that is the idyllic version we all hope for in life, that doors keep opening while our drive pushes us higher and higher along our projected paths.