Sunsets and Birdsong Dawns…

Clackamas River Sunset

Life has thrown another curve… It does that.

I’m not entirely sure what I’ll find after I turn the corner, but for now I’m walking slowly along the path in no real hurry to get around the bend. I have spent this last week or so in my childhood home while working on my Finals for this term — this curve in life forced me to fall way behind in my classwork and I needed some help with the boys so I could get everything caught up and finished before the term ended. Somehow I’ve managed to catch up with everything despite all my current life drama…

While here my “baby” sister and I have had the opportunity to go for evening walks together — the boys have grandparents to help if someone takes a fall — I can be away for an extended period of time without worrying. This means that there has been a period of unexpected Rest in the midst of this chaos. Being with family – it’s easier to get up in the morning, easier to remember to eat, easier to sleep… I’m not spending my nights right now dreading the waking of another day…

Out walking with my sister in the evenings gives me the chance to just breathe, and hiking along the river in all its familiarity, it’s easy to remember who I am. The beauty that shaped me is still here — sunset skies above the river and birdsong filling the dawn. The air here at my childhood home by the river I know so well – it still smells like the late summers of my girlhood — like sun-warmed berries and dry grass, heavy with the weight of the heat and the scent of the river… Summer’s end hangs in the air as the days shorten and we all feel the coming autumn looming despite the present heatwave. I miss the sea – the sound of her breathing tides and her scent in the air – but I am so grateful to be here right now…

Life is hard — I hope you all can find Beauty when you’re travelling your own rocky path… Remember we’re all on this journey together – stay soft with each other…

  • #rememberingme
  • #childhoodforests
  • #viewfromthewaterfall
  • #clackamasriver
  • #sunsetsandbirdsongdawns

To Be

Twin Rocks and Sunset at St. Mary’s-by-the-Sea

There was a beautiful sunset last night when I went to St. Mary’s for choir practice. I stepped out of the car and just had to stop to breathe it in for a few moments…

Such a soft light … the scent of sea … its roaring rhythm echoing in my chest…

I have to admit – I am not very good at this embodied existence. I have been living with and in this body for about half a lifetime now, and I still forget it. I forget to treat myself well and take it so much for granted — even after spending a decade with it weak and frail after the stroke… You would think I would have learned a deep appreciation for how far it has carried me. But I still move awkwardly with it through this world — I can’t seem to get ahold of this “being human” thing …

But when these eyes of mine see such light, and my chest moves with the rhythm of the sea — my cheeks bit by its wind — for one fleeting moment I feel my own true presence here…

To be.

So when I see my reflection in a mirror – or look down at the strangeness of this flesh and bone that becomes so weary — that seems at once ugly and beautiful — and have no recognition of the shapes I see… When I feel so separate from this corporal existence as I normally do — so much more a thought than a self — at least I am able to catch that self in brief moments… as when the sun sets into the sea and it dances with the wind in the sand.

When this spinning world seems to pause in Time — it’s only then I am able to catch a glimpse of myself. Perhaps that is what the mystics know all the time… their true selves present in the True Light. To be human is to be the fullness of spirit, soul, and body — complete and balanced in one being. I hope I figure it out before I’m done…

Be kind — we’re all just trying to be human.


#beautyandbreath
#sunsetandsea
#beinghuman
#tobe
#softlightscentofsea
#trueselfTrueLight
#pausetime

Love Poured Out…

IMG_20180214_194918_785.jpg
Sunset tonight from St. Mary’s by the Sea

Today was my hubby’s 43rd birthday. It also happened to be Valentine’s Day as well as Ash Wednesday (which really doesn’t happen very often), and we ended up taking a nice, quiet day amidst the chaos of unpacking that’s been our life this week. (Happy Birthday my Love!)  Our home is beginning to take shape, though I’m looking forward to getting all our books on their shelves again — once that happens it will really start to feel like we belong here. I’m not sure how long it will take for me to get used to the sound of the sea every time I step outside (or if I stop to listen inside) — it seems so surreal. Dreaming about living at the coast “someday” is something from my childhood — one of those things you want to do when you grow up but know can never happen. There was never a time in my life where I considered it a real possibility, it was just a wish… One that wasn’t to be taken seriously — not even by me…

The fact that I’m here now — it just seems like I somehow stepped into another dimension — one where impossible dreams are simply reality. I can’t even call this an answer to prayer (other than a desperate plea for help to find permanent housing out of the cold), since I never even considered asking to live at the coast. This was purely a Gift — something unsought, unasked for, and deeply, deeply appreciated…

I am in awe of such Love poured out.

******

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Lenten season — a time to prepare for the coming glory of Easter — a time to refocus. Fasting, giving alms, praying — these are things that are meant to remind us anew of our souls… no matter how busy life has been, or how distracted we may be, seasons like this draw us back to solid ground. This is a time for soul-growth, rededication to our true purpose, and “beginning again” in the coming light of the Resurrection. This is the joy that is before us… A joy that cannot be forgotten amid the present darknesses we face…

This Lenten season I will once again be “giving up” my time… Offering up more than I think I have for prayer, for serving others in whatever is before me, and I will be stopping to remember this awe of Love I’ve known so intimately in these first days in our new home. I hope to hold on to this gratitude and let it shape me — to let this Love be free to mold me into who I am becoming. I hope to reach the Glory-Light at the end of Lent different in some small way… more trusting, more patient, more myself as I am to be and less who I’ve been. Perhaps the changes of this holy season before the Resurrection-Dawn will be barely noticeable, perhaps they will seem to be a natural progression in the course of my life — but every change requires a catalyst — even a small one. In order to grow souls need sustenance, and now is a time for solid soul food — strengthening, stretching and preparing us for service. This is another Gift — one for everyone…

 It is Love poured out.

We have been given so much. Amid the chaos and stress of this journey of Life, with all the darkness that surrounds, threatening to freeze our souls from the inside out, and the way that hope just seems to die as we see all that happens in this world, we must take the time to look up. Love is being poured out — even when we can’t see it. We have not been forgotten…

“…I will not forget you! See I have engraved you on the palms of my hands…” (Psalm 49:15b-16a)

Love keeps no record of your wrongs (1 Cor. 13:5), but He will not forget you. We are not alone…

God does not play dice with our lives.

We are loved.

…and I am grateful…

  1. Glorious sunsets…
  2. Ash Wednesday reminders…
  3. Hubby’s birthday!!!
  4. FaceTime (so thankful to be able to visit with family every day still)!
  5. A Valentine from Little Boy…
  6. Rice Dream for my coffee…
  7. Face to the sun, listening to the sea with The Philosopher…
  8. The Professor having a less confused day…
  9. So much laundry done!
  10. Empty bookshelves just waiting to be filled…

It’s all Grace…

 

Awe and Time…

IMG_20180106_141719672.jpg

It’s been a busy couple of months since I wrote last.

The Professor had his 20th birthday. I can’t even… I just can’t… too many feels as my younger siblings say.

Christmas came and its 12 days have passed. I keep planning on putting away all our decorations but I just haven’t had the time yet. There has been quite a few pieces to write for work (one reason my blog is so far behind since all my writing time has been used for work lately), plus trying to keep up on all the rest of the things that need to be done — I’ll admit that removing the holiday decor just hasn’t been high on my to-do list.  The twinkle lights make me happy — I’m about to enter the last year of my thirties… happiness is high on my priority list, and I know a lot more about what brings happiness than I did a decade ago. I’m in no rush to put away the twinkle lights — there’s a good chance some of them will be up when next year’s Christmas Tree arrives. ;)

****

My younger sister is about to turn 30 in a few weeks. She was my first baby really — my first real experience with tiny rosebud lips and baby-toes… We shared a bed — I watched her sleep — she heard my first lullabies… My brother was only three years younger than me — perfect for a younger playmate… He rode on the back fender of my bike almost as soon as he could run around outside with me. He was my adventure buddy — the outdoors was our playground and I loved having him to share my imaginary world. We played Mr. Magic Island, Pinecone Wars when we grew a bit older, and spent most of our waking hours living an adventure of some kind… But my first younger sister came along just a few weeks before my ninth birthday. She was my very own living baby doll and I was totally in love. I’ve always had a really strong maternal streak — mothering, nurturing, is one of the things that makes me happiest — makes me who I am. So, I loved being a big sister with such a tiny baby sister to pamper… And she was so spunky!!! (She’s still spunky — her ability to be herself no matter what still amazes me… she is an amazing woman with a deep strength…)

I can’t believe that tiny, beautiful baby girl is closing in on her 30th birthday. 

Maybe it has to do with where I am in my own life, but I’m spending a lot of time in awe of Time lately. Despite how crazy the days are and how insane the world can be — this globe just keeps spinning… morning continues to dawn, day after day after day…

    “…all the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be…” (Psalm 139:16)

Aside from wishing the days would just pause so that I could catch my breath — so that I could get used to Time passing and all the changes it inevitably brings — I’m just in awe of how this whole journey of Life seems to happen. One moment you’re a little girl watching the world from your daddy’s shoulders, and the next your little boy is sitting on your lap learning to read… then you blink…

****

I am watching another hospice patient wind down his journey through Time… It’s not a surprise, this is where this work gets real — but it’s not easy. It just seems that Time should recognize the permanence of mortality — it doesn’t feel right that the galaxies keep spinning after someone dies — that the next morning comes without even blinking its eye. I think anyone who’s life is touched by a death knows what I mean. Each person is so unique – their distinct blend of DNA and life experiences traveling through Time here happens only once… I wish I could force Time and Space to stop and take notice.

Life is such a sacred mystery… every end should be remembered.

****

We are all born for this journey and I am blessed to be traveling it with so many people who love me — my family, my hospice patients, those who walk with me in close tandem and those who pass through my path like shooting stars… flaring brightly as they go by and leaving me in awe of their soul-beauty. This universe is an amazing place to be… As I look forward to the coming months when it appears that life is going to have more twists and turns for me than I expected for this new year, I am learning to trust in the God of Time, and to take comfort in the consistency of the next sunrise despite its unpredictability. The poem says that two roads diverge in a wood and the poet takes the one less traveled by, but the truth is — everyone’s road is unique… we’re all on the road “less traveled” and that is what makes all the difference. Somehow we journey together – each on our own less traveled path – yet still side by side.  Together we keep each other company and learn the language of the far country we’re traveling to — the only language that matters in the long run. Day by day we are learning Love together…

I am grateful…

  1. beach houses…
  2. stormy waves…
  3. hot tea…
  4. new slippers…
  5. family Christmases…
  6. mama hugs…
  7. sister love…
  8. Little One’s first birthday…
  9. sorting boxes…
  10. lullaby memories…

It’s all Grace…