This Path

“This is my wish for you:
Comfort on difficult days, smiles when sadness intrudes,
rainbows to follow the clouds, laughter to kiss your lips,
sunsets to warm your heart, hugs when spirits sag,
beauty for your eyes to see, friendships to brighten your being,
faith so that you can believe, confidence for when you doubt,
courage to know yourself, patience to accept the truth,
Love to complete your life.”

*Ralph Waldo Emerson

As I have wandered down this path of recovery I have done so hand in hand with family and friends. Holding me tight so I wouldn’t trip and fall at the uneven parts, each companion offered physical support, but more importantly spiritual and emotional encouragement. My unsteadiness, which caught me off guard, was anticipated and brought to balance again and again by the mindfulness of my companions. While the pace slowed and turned cautious at times, I did find the courage to know myself and to have  the confidence to trust and reach out and a faith that glued everything together.
My wish for all of us mirrors the poem. That each of us have a source of comfort when we face challenges, smiles that can soften sadness, a glimpse of the beauty that is ahead, laughter to lighten the weight, arms to circle us, open eyes and heightened senses, others to shine a light to show the way for us, belief in a higher plan, the knowledge that we are stronger than we may think, to sense what is true and to know and share a love that binds everything together.

Being in a place of uncertainty and dependency I have learned that there is grace in vulnerability. This vulnerability teaches me  to let go of the uncertainty and fear of the unknown, and to spend less time working to control that unknown. As I remind myself to slow down a bit in body and mind, to savor the flavors of this moment rather that looking too far ahead especially with expectations and longing. Right now is what is and when I slow a bit I find great comfort and even security in the moment. I can feel myself wrapped in a blanket of love: the love of the moment, the past, and yes even the future. A love that allows this moment to be full and enough.

Before the aneurysm I had had several experiences that I knew had come from a place of grace and love. Things that at first were difficult to explain, yet held recognizable truths for me. The “message” or “lesson” was clearly for me at that particular time.

In the course of difficult days there is a comfort that comes when I am open to receiving. There are tender smiles for me when sadness intrudes.
When I look up and outward there are rainbows that do follow the clouds. There are smiles and  laughter lingering on my lips.
The sunsets do warm my heart. A hug is always available when my spirits sag.

jan 2013a
Beauty is all around me. Friendships brighten my life.
In my heart there is a faith that sustains me. Tucked inside there is a confidence to lean on when I have doubts.
As I grow I find I do have courage to know and honor my true self. It comes with a patience that is able to accept the truth of what is.
I have been blessed with many great loves that are all a part of the greater circle of love that surrounds me.

Today. at lunch, my husband, daughter and I talked about my recent time in the hospital and rehab after the aneurysm. So many thoughts and feelings surfaced for each of us. Memories and emotions that we each are still processing. Contained in all of these were tears, smiles, and soft laughter. The balance of awe and awareness that could only be witnessed at this moment. We each had a palpable memory of the uncertainty, fear and helplessness that comes at such times. As we looked at each other, the power of the moment, THAT one moment, there was a whisper of understanding, grace, love and gratitude. We were lifted up. I felt so full.  Here, around a table looking out over the lake, a love that is so enduring bound some of the worry and fear and placed it to the side. This moment was for being in the loving presence of each other and breathing in the gratitude that nourished us body and soul.

I am on some kind of a journey. One I had not planned nor was I prepared for. The ride has been bumpy and I have strayed a bit from the path, but have been guided back on course.
Each day I struggle to see the same progress those around me see that I have made. I think I am beginning to allow myself to see the same healing and change as the fear and worry fade a bit to the back ground. I know I am so much more aware of the blessings in my life and am able to give them their rightful place of guiding lights on this amended path.

Writing this I might even go so far to say that I see and understand this aneurysm , as terrifying and scary as it has been, has brought me to this day, on this path, with a new perspective on many things. Now, I ask to be given the strength and courage to find my way on this path. I believe it will lead me to opportunities to explore the rawness of a powerful love, the parting of the fog that covers what is right in front of us, and a inner strength that goes forward with a brighter light showing the way.

 

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Watching The Earth Move

It felt like driving towards a stage set dappled
with light filtered through colored gels.
The sun was setting and a blanket of subtly nuanced aubergine,
softening from shy purple to bold black,
covered the sky and land in false warmth.
“As I walk, as I walk the universe is walking with me.”

 

Like a tiny beacon from somewhere far away
a speck called Venus
and fleck called Mercury danced together with Earth.
It was a choreographed and timeless communion with the Universe.
Ever so slowly Venus and Mercury slipped lower
into the horizon.
“The universe is walking with me.”

 

This day faded and a new one began.
The sliver of the waning crescent moon
rose briefly before the sun was truly awake.
The locust tree, bare and with only a few rattling pods
dangling uncaringly,
stood silhouetted against the sherbet colors
of the waking day.
The journey of the earth,
unfelt,
was measured by the crescent moon
as it nestled in the crook of the locust branch.
As if resting in a nest.
And then, in the space of few breaths,
the thin sliver floated up into the sky.
Earth and moon moved on.
“In beauty it walks before me.”

 

Clouds appeared like pulled cotton
to soak up the colors of the dawning day.
Raspberry and orange strands melted away
as a deep periwinkle backdrop took over.
Three birds, small little moving black dots,
flew in front of the moon
as if to say “Follow us! This way!”
One fell behind for a moment then turned
and banked to return
to her small assemblage of cohorts.
“In beauty it walks behind me.”

 

The soft hills that cradled Springwater
slept under a puffy quilt
of snow-white and eider-down gray.
As the periwinkle sky changed yet again,
farms, fields, trees, houses, roads and cars came into focus.
Trees stood at attention, dark against the ancient light.
The moon was gone.
“In beauty it walks below me.”

 

All that remained to measure the movement of the earth
was the path of the sun.
Unfaltering, she seemed to rise from the depths
of someplace else,
and then
in silent meditation she traveled along a private path
across the sky.
“In beauty it walks above me.”


Once again, the sun reached the horizon and began to sink
back to that place we can never go.
Like a performer in Cirque de Soleil,
she left, swirling whimsical
bubble gum pink and baby blue
ribbons throughout the sky.
“Goodbye!” she waved. “See you again soon!!”

Her dance took away the breath of a young man
who was uncontrollably stopped in his tracks
and forced, by sheer wonder,
to give witness this beauty.
His face could not hide
the overwhelming emotion
of awe and reverence.
He sat.
All he could do was to behold,
in this one fleeting moment,
the exquisiteness
in this infinitesimal fragment of the universe.
“Beauty is on every side. As I walk, I walk in Beauty.”

 

Observations from the Jan. 16-19, 2015 retreat at Springwater Center for Meditative Inquiry, Springwater NY. Sentences in quotes are from a section of one of the many interpretations/translations of the 9 Day Navajo Night Chant. The young man is named Jonathan.