Of Caterpillars and Hope…

Tiny Teddy-bear Caterpillar

Our first “teddy-bear caterpillar” sighting of the year. He was crossing our gravel road when my sister and I stopped to pet him, and he curled up into himself — protecting his softness from the harsh unknowns of the world. He was gently carried to a place of green far off the road, and we continued our evening walk.

Today, I found myself envying this tiny one’s ability to freeze and bring himself a sense of safety — in his little world everything stopped — there was time to just be still. I, too, feel like curling up for a period of rest — I find myself unable to think, unable to function well, unable to ponder this journey. I am tired…

It’s a night to yearn for peace rather than marvel at it… My eyes burn with the build up of fatigue and emotion from this past summer. A couple days ago we had to evacuate since the state park I grew up hiking to from home became the site of a wildfire… Thankfully the winds pushed it the opposite direction from my childhood home, and we had firefighters from districts all over the state as well as civilian volunteers from the area, come to conquer the flames. They won. We survived our evacuation adventure – five of us at my other sister’s place, with five cats (and two fish!) – no one really slept. It was so wonderful to return home safely — and we’re all so grateful! Not everyone was able to return to their home safe and sound…

Tonight I am weighing the balance of my losses this summer alongside all the ways Light shines in my world — all the Goodness that simply is… Life is hard… but it is good. There is Hope. Tonight I will sleep — and tomorrow I will hope again.

Veni, Vidi, Amavi.

It’s all Grace.


Equilibrium

“.

John O’Donahue… “Equilibrium”

It has been a long, exhausting week. The next two days are supposed to be days of rest — but I have a lot to do. I’m trying to keep things in balance…  but I think I need an extra day in the week, or maybe another four or five hours each day? The tears came again today while driving home from an overwhelming trip to the store — simple things are harder than they should be…

Tonight my mind was too spent to work on my Shakespeare class, so in-between putting in the new thermostat, playing piano for evening mass, and my life coach appt in the afternoon – tomorrow will be all about Shakespeare.  I really hope the thermostat doesn’t take too long…

Life seems to have me constantly on the go right now — where is the pause button?
I opened to O’Donahue’s “Equilibrium” tonight and stole a few moments to savor his shared-thoughts — his words never cease to echo like a tuning fork — ringing a pure tone for my internal life.
I love how this particular poem opens and closes with a laughter blessing…
‘Like the joy of the sea coming home to shore,
May the relief of laughter rinse through your soul.

May your prayer of listening deepen enough
To hear in the depths the laughter of God.’

May we all hear the echo of laughter in life’s depths… Joy is not bound by the shores of our circumstances.
May we find Peace and Rest — Equilibrium…

Be kind out there fellow Earth-riders — we’re all just trying to keep our balance as we spin around the sun.

#earthriding
#equilibrium
#JohnODonahue
#blessings

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

Midday Musings

I walked to the beach and back during my lunch break with my hubby today. It smelled like the hikes I took daily as a teenager – water and earth, sunshine, damp bracken and gravel, and then… a different scent – The Sea. She is the only difference from my youth spent much further inland in the woods east of the Willamette Valley, and she is a constant presence now — scent and sound even when out of sight. Sometimes there’s just the low constant hum of the waves rumbling below the surface of conscious notice, and sometimes she roars with wind and intensity — a ferocity bound by the shore even when she seems to be bent on reaching further… The Pacific has an ironic name – she is not a tame companion, even if a constant one.

Today she gave the impression of playfulness amid the sea foam and sunshine. I wanted to stay and play – we were the only ones there in the middle of the day — stealing unseen kisses and pretending the world is as it should be… But of course, it was a lunch break — time was limited and I am not free to ignore reality, or create my own… Today has been another difficult day for so many — Covid is not as tame as people would like to believe… Perhaps Omicron is not as fierce as Delta, but neither is Alpha, and without a vaccine every variant is dangerous and unpredictable as the sea…

This weekend I will have three days off — there is sunshine in the forecast and I hope to spend some time in it. There will be schoolwork and housework… There are books to read, and I have a new sweater to begin knitting (yay!) — the time will fly — but it will be enough to remind me that life is good. The tides are constant and faithful, even if not safe, and Time’s rhythm of life is the same… Change is constant.

Let nothing disturb you;
Let nothing frighten you.
All things are passing.
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things.
Nothing is wanting to him who possesses God.
God alone suffices.” St. Teresa of Avila (found on her bookmark)

Of Little Boys and Life Balance…

IMG_20171106_210102235.jpg

Today was one of those days where one moment flows into the next and all of a sudden you find yourself looking up to discover that it’s already 9:00 in the evening…

In between the pieces I needed to get written today, the boys and I watched my little nephews for a couple hours. I spent most of the time with Little One while the boys played with Little Boy, and The Professor actually managed to get some good video of all the fun we had. It was a wonderful way to spend the late afternoon, even if we were all a little tired afterwards — it’s hard work being entertaining for that long, but it was a lot of fun too. Thankfully, we didn’t run out of things to do and the house was ringing with laughter most of the time. Little Boy thinks his big cousins are hilarious, and I had Little One laughing his head off playing the “no, no, no” game and shaking our heads. :) I’m glad my sister and her hubby were able to get away for a little while, and now that we know Little One is okay with staying at our house for a bit I’m hoping we can do it again sometime. :)

After they had gone home (where Little One promptly fell asleep — he had played hard!), my hubby and I went out for a salad and bookstore date. Barnes and Noble isn’t very far away, and it’s a great place to go and feed the need to be surrounded by books — especially when you are looking for something specific. I brought home a lovely new anti-inflammatory cookbook absolutely bursting with delicious sounding recipes and beautifully put together. (The title caught my eye since it contains my name!) :) The pictures themselves were worth its price, and I absolutely can’t wait to try out some of the recipes. I also brought home a little book on reducing stress — just ten minutes at a time… I figure I can squeeze out ten minutes of self-care at least once a day — right?

I know that I keep talking about letting go and learning to trust… but that’s hard to do if you can’t even remember to stop and breathe throughout the day.  I’m just so unbelievably busy — and that isn’t going to change any time soon. I need to learn to live my inner life while still living the busyness of life as well. There has to be a way to balance it all…

In the mornings, I open my eyes and immediately begin dealing with the day’s pain. It’s hard to get my body moving at first, but once I have some coffee in my system, my eyes opening properly, and my body upright — then I spend some quiet time reading and trying to center myself. Prayer keeps my mornings sane. It’s how I move myself from the realm of the night to the world of the day… but once the day gets moving it’s hard to keep my balance. It doesn’t take much to make me lose my focus, and my soul is sensitive… just imagine what major tragedies or obstacles can do! I’m hoping that I can learn to take purposeful pauses throughout my day to help me regain my footing no matter what is happening around me.

Tonight, as I lay in bed with this cozy heating pad, listening to my fingers typing on the keys and my boys laughing together in the living room… I can’t help but smile. They remind me that life is beautiful… Despite all the darkness in this fallen world, laughter still sings the song of joy to brighten our hearts, pain does not have the final say, and I am reminded…

…Love wins.

“Many waters cannot quench love, Neither can floods drown it…” (Song of Solomon 8:7)

I am grateful…

  1. little boy laughter ringing through the house…
  2. surprise phone calls…
  3. opportunities…
  4. new recipes to try…
  5. kitty love…
  6. vacuum cleaners…
  7. hand warmers…
  8. walking hand in hand with my hubby…
  9. phone calls to make…
  10. my boys laughing their heads off together… :)

It’s all Grace…