Wednesday, July 30, 2008


July 30th. Less than 8 weeks into its life as resident barn cat on a cow farm, it was dead. Down-soft grey fur crushed on black pavement. I stopped, picked it up, and laid it gently in front of the barn door. I wanted some one to know it had passed. I hoped some one cared enough to shed a tear on its behalf. I asked for its safe passage back to where it began.
This kitten, who I only met after it was dead, left me with a message. The message was this: Appreciate what I have in my life right now. Appreciate who I have in my life right now. This kitten told me to appreciate and notice the gifts that have been with me and the ones that stroll in unexpectedly. Because this life and my circumstances are fleeting. Everything changes. Everything shifts. And before I know it, the scenery will be different, people will have moved on and my allotted time with beautiful energies will be done.
So drink it in, said the spirit of the kitten. Be glad for what I am given, long-term and short term. Embrace and absorb the glory that shines on my life. The 4 minute sighting of the backyard rabbit, the support of friends at work, the laughter of my Oma on her 89th birthday, the rainbows, the butterflies, the international phone calls. Or the not-quite 8 weeks of feline joy, if that were ever to be the case.
If I realize and appreciate the moments of my life right now, the people of my life right now, when they change and shift my mourning will be less and my acceptance will be more. Thoughts of "if only I had..." will not enter my brain. I can be glad for the time and experience I was given without begging and wishing for more. Appreciation for what is, makes what is enough.
{Kitten n a bag is a stock photo image}

Monday, July 28, 2008

Aspects Of God

Nothing heals an aspect of God faster and more thoroughly than the energy of love. You are an aspect of God. Worms are an aspect of God. Sparrows are an aspect of God. Turtles, tulips, trout and trees. All aspects, all extensions, all creations of a Mind we cannot fathom. We, collectively, have trampled, maimed and disrespected more aspects of God than we have shown care for. We have abused and ignored more glory and more free beauty than is sane. Now, we have some apologizing to do. We have amends to make. We have lots of healing to get to. So let's get to it.
First and foremost, every gesture of love towards an aspect of nature puts a big red check mark in the healing column. Simple acts are best, as they are the easiest to repeat over and over and over. What do I mean by simple, you ask? Send a loving thought to the first bird you see tomorrow on your way out the door. What?! You heard me. Tell the bird silently or out loud to have a good day, or that it is beautiful, or that you ask for its safety and blessing. If the salutation is sincere and infused with the under-used energy of your heart, the bird will feel it on some level. Because all aspects of God recognize the energy of love. After all, God is a synonym for love.
Now, don't feel foolish. Remember, I suggested you can send your good wishes silently. No one has to know you're healing the earth just yet. If you look around your little corner of the world, you'll find a gazillion opportunities to shower the natural world with the goodness in your heart. Rub your hands over the grass, caressing the skin of the Mother who holds you up every day. Kiss a flower in your garden, when no one is looking, of course, and honor its beauty. Apologize to the weed before you pull it up. Thank the spirit of the deer or turkey or squirrel before you pull the trigger or release the arrow and take its life to feed yourself. Hug a tree, exchange heartbeats with it, and acknowledge the fact that without trees you would have no air to breathe.
Simple, regular awareness of the natural world, coupled with an energy exchange of love, would reverse a tremendous amount of insult we have heaped on Mother Nature. We are not dominators. We are stewards. The more we practice loving stewardship, the more we act as if our very lives depend on the preservation and respect of nature~ and, Darling, they do~ the quicker the healing takes place. And because you are an aspect of God, just as the turtles and trees are, the love you give out, the love you send forth in blessings and kisses and prayers of thanks, comes back to you multiplied, rarefied and blue-skyed.
{My friend, the Goddess of Love, seen exchanging energy with her favorite weeping beech tree.}

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Life in Black and White

Life is full of surprises. Life is not predictable. Life is never black and white, even when it is. There are forces at work behind the scenes of our lives coordinating, canceling, shifting and shuffling us into place for our optimum benefit. These same forces laugh hysterically at our supposed plans and attempts to control our lives. Their lips get a little bit pinched when we are in the throes of trying to control the lives of others. But for the most part, we are sources of endless amusement in their perpetual game of human chess.
I likely amused dozens of unseen chess players with my thought of adopting an orange cat someday. Or maybe not adopting one at all even though my old, pure white girl, Romance, needed the company. My "I'll just window shop for a cat to get warmed up" idea of this past Tuesday brought side-splitting laughter. Because one 6 month old black boy at the Angola, NY ASPCA had other ideas. He was in-cahoots with those behind-the-scene forces. Before I knew what was happening, he was in my arms, nuzzling under my neck, and me with the out-of- nowhere tears in my eyes. He decided to adopt me on the spot and I had no choice but to shift my ideas, shuffle him into a carrier and fill out the paperwork.
One clever cat and one stunned woman drove home to a new life together. Cackles of glee could be heard from the empty backseat. During the ride, the clever cat told me his name was Remmington. But I could call him Remmi for short.
And so began my quick-study in unpredictability and rolling with surprises, my embrace of spontaneity and giving up control. Mr. Remmington is a lover boy, although the Queen of the Castle, Miss Romance, finds him annoying so far. Maybe because he is always in motion. We both sigh with relief when he naps.
Now, my cats are black and white, yet the grey areas, the unknowns, the ain't-no-way-to-have-predicted-this scenarios of my life grow larger. I'm letting go, allowing surprises and finding grey is good. Grey is happy. Grey is where the laughter lies.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Secret To Love

Love is everywhere. Love is available at all times. Love is what everything and everyone seeks, needs and lives for. But there is a secret to love. A secret to bathing in its effervescent glow. A secret that answers all yearnings and whinings and pinings for love. What is this secret, you say? What is this secret that grants full access to the bath? Get out your pen. The one with indelible ink. Write these words in the palm of your hand:
In order to receive love, you must first give it.
Simple. True. Non-negotiable. And now, here's the second part of the secret. You must give it without expectation of it being returned. You must willingly, and with your whole heart give it. No conditions. No clutching. No wimpy vibes. You must pour it forth from the four-chambered house inside your being, the house where God dwells.
Oh, and there's a third part to this secret. Keep your pen handy.
Be open, so very open you think you might die of exposure, to that energy of love coming back to you from unexpected sources. Unexpected people, representatives of Mother Nature and especially the invisible realms.
Love requires bravery. Courage. Fearlessness. Love requires a strict adherence to your own instincts, particularly in the face of nay-Sayers, doubters and those who wear cranky pants on an all-too-regular basis.
The secret, again, to love? Just give it. Give it. Give it. Give it. I promise it will come back to you in ways and means and wonder you could not have begun to imagine when you first and simply opened your heart.
{"Lovers", by Judy Wise. Up for sale at Isn't it beautiful?!}

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Honor Your Instincts

Yesterday, while wandering with my camera, I came to a lush, roadside garden. Upon emerging from my car, I noticed a medium-sized snapping turtle slowly inching its way up the garden owner's driveway. It was heading towards the road. It's slow pace afforded me plenty of time to investigate the garden, snap some photos of hollyhocks and still meet it before it reached the road.
Across the road was a field of honey-colored straw, bordered by a shallow ditch of wildflowers. The turtle was intent on reaching the field. I stood by the road side at a comfortable distance from the turtle. This allowed it to feel I was not a threat and to keep its steady pace. I had no idea why the turtle needed to get to the field, but I was going to honor its instinct and guard its passage across the road, waving at oncoming traffic.
When the snapper reached the yellow mid-line in the road, a van pulled up, stopped, and out hopped a woman. "Oh, a snapping turtle!", she exclaimed. Yes, I said, it's crossing over to the field. "Well, there's no water in that field!", she said. "There's water back where it came from. It shouldn't go to the field". And with that, she went right up to the turtle, nudged it with her shoes and forced it to turn around. She duck-walked behind it at a quick pace and ushered it back to where it had begun. She forced it onto the grass and said, "There now, that's better." She gave her hands a satisfied swipe, hopped back into her van and off she went.
There now, that's not better. This woman was not the saviour she felt she was. She intruded on an intent and decision that was not hers to alter. She unknowingly dishonored natural instincts. The instincts implanted in all of God's creations. The instincts turtles, flowers, spiders and humans possess. I have no doubt the snapper would makes its way back across the road to whatever in the field had called it to come. I said a little prayer for its safe passage and went on my way.
If we are deaf to our own instincts, if we regularly dismiss the inner nudges and knowings, we are more likely to interfere in the instinctual lives others are leading. We will impose our snap judgements and advice too quickly. We will unwittingly alter right passage and rights of passage for those we are imposing our will on. We will screw things up for others and cause them to doubt their inner voice. We will cause damage.
Let's assess situations more carefully. Let's stop giving knee-jerk advice that stems from our own bag of fears. Let's honor the nudges and voices within. Let's find out where they lead us. Sometimes we must leave the water and head for the dry fields. Bounty and glory and newness await us. When we honor our own instincts, everyone benefits, everyone is honored.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

These Are Fabulous Days

Plans change, hopes get dashed, vacations turn into "staycations" and adjustments must be made. Here I am facing 10 days off from the salt mines and what now to do with my days? Make them fabulous, I say. Renew, explore, contemplate, share. Be glorious and spontaneous. Wander near and wide. Exhaust that simple, little camera from visual, creative explosion. Get back in touch with my Soul.
Breathe. Live. Embrace. Hold every minute as sacred. Continue to follow my heart. Be thankful for how it is.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Black Raspberries

It was the bittersweet taste of black raspberries on a barn wood bench out back;
It was the waning sun and the cerulean sky and the up-turned tail of the confident wren;
It was Nature: the sight, the smell, the sound, the touch and the taste that knit together the wayward threads that threatened to unravel my dreams.
It was Nature and the tiniest, delicate fruit that restored peace and anchored my heart.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Tibetan Prayer Flags

Recently, I hung a string of 25 Tibetan prayer flags in my stairwell. The red, blue, yellow, white and green paper flags welcome me back into the fold of my nest and remind me that life is sacred. They remind me that my thoughts are prayers and that "Lungta" the Windhorse, stamped in gold on each of the squares, is there to carry my prayers to the Universe. Let my prayers be positive. Let my prayers uplift. Let the foundation of my prayers be gratitude.
You who read these words, may you allow your most fervent prayer to manifest in your life.
May you be the hands that grant another their most fervent prayer.
May you be witness to one miracle everyday.
May you allow grace to super cede karma.
May you honor your body as the house of your soul.
May you forgive in order to live more freely.
May you find the strength to say what needs to be said.
May you find peace in uncertainty.
May you be grateful for where you are right now.
May you allow yourself to be loved.
May you fly.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Thursday Night In Mayberry

Here in Mayberry, USA, Thursday night is a big deal. Ball caps, popcorn, blue jeans, fast cars, fuzzy dice and John Mellencamp at full volume. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Cruise Night. Vintage cars, vintage tractors and a slanted row of Harley Davidsons in front of the saloon.
Now, aint' that America.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Girl Power

Time and again, it is my girlfriends who save me from myself. It is my girlfriends who know just what to say or not to say, who encourage me, who hold my hand during the scary parts, who pump my brain full of laughter endorphins. Always and again, I am blessed by and indebted to the women in my life who call me their friend.
From the Sisterhood Of The Flowing Skirts who got Wicked with me two days ago, ate Buffalo's original chicken wings at the Anchor Bar, and meditated on my beach glass-strewn living room floor, to the college roommate from 1982 who talked long distance with me yesterday for 2 hours, to the almost daily "how was your day?" of my 15- year-strong spiritual sister, the self esteem meter is thankfully kept in visible range.
With the world as it is, the feminine energy of love and nurturing and compassion, mixed well with a dash of sass, is the antidote we women need to keep our precious souls inflated. Never underestimate girl power. Never underestimate the alchemy of female friendship. Never underestimate the ability of women to help us defy gravity.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

The Week of Moths and Rainbows

Let it be known, the Universe speaks to us, comforts us and bolsters us constantly. At times the signs and whispers are subtle, at times loud, at times glorious and consistent until we understand the message. The message is perpetual: we are loved no matter what.
For the past week, the Universe has been speaking to me. It's voice has been cloaked in colors and frantically fluttering wings. Each day, I have been witness to no less than one rainbow and the saviour to one moth.
The rainbows have been mere splotches in the sky, stitched in and out of clouds, or hand-on-hips full arching watercolor wonders. They have been faint, flaming, violet-edged or full spectrum roy.g.biv. Each one found me at the end of the day and reminded me of a promise. The promise that beauty exists in the storm. That joy comes. That God is ever-present. That grace is given.
The moths were another tale, another message, another reminder. Each night little brown wings haves been trapped in my stairwell. As I would light the lamp outside my door the moth-of-the-moment would earnestly fly out of hiding and dance between me and the light. After much concentration and effort, the moth would find itself in my cupped hands, descending stairs and finally released into the dusk. It's request for freedom granted.
And the message over and over again? I am not trapped. There is a way out. Ask for what I need. Do not be afraid. Freedom is at hand. Love will carry me to the door and set me free..when oh when oh when I calm down, ask and trust the loving heart of God.
Beauty. Joy. Freedom. Grace. Love. Moths and Rainbows. Light. If you need any of it, just ask. The Universe will answer until the message is clear.
{The moth is a stock photo, the rainbow is mine.}