Hold Friends as a Gift

This morning I awaken with thoughts of an old friend who is no longer in contact. I knew her since earliest adulthood, at 18. She knew my birth family and was part of my chosen family.

She walked with me in the shadows and laughed with me in the sun. She knew my deepest canyons and my highest peaks.

Opening the laptop, the morning photo was an aerial view of an apple tree in bloom, with a spectacular feathery shadow spreading out over green fields.

I could not find that photo, just as I cannot find that friend. Sometimes we are meant to diverge here in this life.

So I remember the lessons of being a friend to myself, honoring myself both in the strong tree growing and blooming that I am, and the shadow of fear, not enough, doubt that I also am.

It is a time to not just embrace the power of the tree, growing gracefully year after year, despite all, but also the majesty of the shadow which arises in the brightest sun.

I am grateful for changes, for accidents (although there are none), for dear friends, for all the gifts of grace now and forever.

Memories, Hope

For some reason I awaken thinking of the song “White Cliffs of Dover,” without knowing why.  I didn’t even remember the words, of course, just the melody and “white cliffs of Dover.”

Did Nat Turner, American who wrote the lyrics, know there are no bluebirds in England, or did he mean the blue-undercoating of the British fighter planes? Who was he and why is there no information about him?

I must have heard that song many times in my childhood, perhaps Glenn Miller’s version, the Vera Lynn version. Reminded me that Dad watched all the Victory at Sea episodes. – were they shown Sunday afternoons? I look it up — yes, began Sunday afternoons October 26, 1952 with “timeless film, soaring music.”

During this pandemic when we think it is so difficult, it reminds me of my parents as young people living through an unspeakable Depression, then WWII where they lost brothers, husbands, women mostly at home (but not all!) going to work, living back with family, food deprivation, gas rations, not knowing if or when it would ever end,

As children in the 50’s we could not imagine the horrors our parents had lived through. We could listen to big band music and Rodgers & Hammerstein musicals, enjoy the new invention of television, be part of all the other young families trying to begin new lives after the war.

Today I give thanks,
For all the music I heard,
For love and new hope.

Dad was a great one,
Humble but still looking up,
Even in his grief.

How grateful am I,
For the parents I loved so,
For all they gave us.

Welcome It All

The new story, which is also the old story, is that I have received immense blessings. Even if I feel confused or stymied or unhappy in a moment, the blessings of a lifetime endure.

Janice is fond of saying “Go smaller to go bigger.” That resonates particularly when thinking of a next step. My fantasies race beyond me to huge galaxies of thought and ideas, enormous schemes and plans.

But then I am exhausted and feel tiny, not enough. So I can focus on the small, right where I am. I can focus within, giving thanks, listening, welcoming the stooped, humpbacked widow in gray winter coat.

When I allow the rest to fall away, there is no pressure, there is no need to know the future. Just welcome whatever comes. I suddenly had an image of that stooped, humpbacked widow throwing off her gray, winter coat, discarding her wig and fake humpback, turning into a good witch who flies away cackling but sprinkling fairy dust all over me. Mixed metaphors, but you can’t regulate visions.

Life is full of surprise, delight and miracles. You never know what will happen when you stay alive, alert, awake, enthusiastic.

What Works?

What is working now?
Breathing deeply, giving thanks,
Knowing who I am.

Who is that? I say,
“I” who knows I’m one with God,
Always with me now.

That is always true,
As a baby, growing up,
Now the crone knows it.

Took me long enough!
Better late than never, yes,
Still a young elder.

What works now is truth,
Knowing lenses will distort,
Peering more within.

Inside Spirit lives,
Outside too, but not so close,
My truth lies within.

Poetry and song,
Music to a beating heart,
Feeding me with hope.

Doubt creeps back in me,
But I shun it, claim the light,
Cycles of the day.

Fed by sky and sea,
Nature in the mountains high,
Valleys in the sun.

Though I walk alone,
Spirit always shines in me,
Lighting up the way.

Love the doubt today,
Give it space, do not resist,
It will fade away.

What resists persists,
As I’ve heard so often now,
Feel it, then let go.

I let go the fear,
Not enough, not smart enough,
I have value too.

Fear can go, thank you,
Bless you, dear, now do be gone,
I have truth to see