Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Don't Fight Remembrance of Days Gone By

A Date Seared into the Psyche
Certain dates sear themselves into your psyche, as if they are branded in your skin never to be forgotten. One look, and there they are: etched forever lest a moment goes by and you receive the blessed peace of being unaware.
Some might say to embrace that peace of being unaware and to ignore the tell-tale words and numbers—chase them away, replace them with a different memory, or focus on something, anything, else.
I believe, however, that we do our life lessons a disservice by chasing away the remembrance of what’s come before today—painful though it may be.
Instead, I say: Give a closer look at those days and use them to mark the path of how far you’ve traveled in spite of what transpired at that time. Use that path to chart your future days, to guide you and others toward a life that resonates with every good thing you can perceive and experience as you continue to step past difficult days. Only then can any of us thrive in this life that will have the branded days, yet nonetheless continues to offer us so much more than a brand on our souls.

On this day, July 11, it has been thirty-three years since I began the journey of losing my darling Alexa, who was diagnosed with brain cancer in the summer of 1985. Her journey on Earth ended November 2, 1986—another date seared on my psyche.
On each of those days, I began a journey of my own—one that continues as I attempt a life that, despite and also because of those days, resonates with many good things.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Thirst and Prayer

Thirst and Prayer
Bent forward as if at the hips,
The eucalyptus leaves press toward each other.
They huddle, tips touching in an awkward embrace.
They lean in,
To hide themselves from the heat
To hide themselves from the Sun.

Long hours have passed since those leaves drank the meager drops of morning dew that did little to satisfy their thirst.
The leaves conserve what little moisture they hold,
Turn in, and turn away from the day.

Raindrops too few to count have teased the Earth with only drips from the sky,
Withholding their treasure from my parched landscape.
Impatient with the grim prospect of no rain forecast for the day, I feel pangs of distress from the forlorn sight of the eucalyptus leaves.

I drag the heavy hose to the backyard and stand for long minutes,
Drenching the ground around and near the eucalyptus, soaking it to the drip line, sending moisture to the chapped lips of the feeder roots.

A skirt of a puddle forms around the tree when I cease watering.

Toward dusk, the tree’s leaves open and move away from the huddle,
Their arms are spread wide and reach toward the sky.
The leaves lift in a prayer of gratitude,
As if to say, “Thank you, thank you.
Thank you for the life-giving drink.”

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

You Might Prefer Not to, but Show Up Anyway

Show Up
Even If You’d Rather Not
Show up? Sometimes I’d rather not. I’d rather not show up in times of trouble, times of strife, times of heartache. My heart goes out to those suffering, but a part of me knows with deepest certainty that I’m afraid to show up. I’m afraid to see suffering. I’m afraid to help carry the burdens and wipe the tears of someone in pain. I’m afraid of that pain becoming mine.
One time, I did not show up. My fear and pain were too great. Not showing up is one of my most profound regrets. I carry the guilt and shame—and pain—for not showing up. I cannot ever go back and change what I neglected to do. However, what I can do now to ease that guilt, shame, and regret is show up. Because of my lesson learned, I now and in the future will push aside fear and push aside pain. I show up. I will continue to show up.
Show up.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Hawks, Buzzards, and a Happy New Year

Hawks, Buzzards, And
A New Year’s Day Fly-In
Earlier today, I wrote a New Year’s Day meditation. As I sat down to type it, I looked out the window as a hawk swooped into my side yard. I went outside and startled a buzzard creeping through the brush in the lot next door. A squirrel ran screaming up the pine tree. A few minutes later, four hawks circled the house. A bit later, five buzzards sat in the front yard. Ugh! I started the day noting it’s not shiny or bright because it’s cold and cloudy. Now I don’t know what to think.
Thirty minutes later, the buzzards are gone and the hawks have flown. Maybe that’s what each new year is all about. There will be clouds, there will be cold days. And, yes, the buzzards and hawks might have a fly-in just when I sit down to write my flowery prose about how to greet the day with a higher consciousness and a full and open heart. Seeing those birds of prey and carrion eaters didn’t remove the flowers from my yard or the hope from my psyche. They simply reminded me that this year, like every other one, will have its unexpected, unwelcome moments and that when those moments are over, they have flown away and I can still have a full and open heart.
* * * * *
The following is what I initially wrote before the buzzard and hawk fly-in:
New. It’s not shiny or even bright. Dots of blue peek beneath the mounds of gray clouds. This Central Florida day belies the state’s reputation for both warmth and sunshine because neither are present. However, rather than a northern landscape devoid of color, I see green, pink, orange, purple—hues from the garden beckon my senses and waken me.
It’s a new year, but today is a new day, as is every one of them; every moment is new from this one forth. Being awake, I see more than flowers, sky and growth around me. I see and have a deep awareness of possibility. Wrapped in that possibility is hope—hope that when I open this gift of a new year and each new day, I will embrace all that is new. Also wrapped in that possibility is the hope that I will bring even more newness, awareness, and gratitude for this year, this day, and all the gifts I continue to receive and desire to share.