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

Hoping For Rest…

IMG_20171104_161147957.jpg
Dante hogging my heating pad… I only got up for a moment!

It’s been a full day.

Tonight I did something I’ve been meaning to do for quite awhile. I joined the team that brings Communion to people in one of the local assisted living homes not far from where I live. It’s actually not surprising that I wanted to get involved in this particular ministry since I’m so active in hospice volunteering and the No One Dies Alone program in my area — I love visiting with the elderly and I’ve been working up the courage to join this ministry team for about a year now. Then a few weeks ago, while I was visiting with one of my hospice patients, he was brought Communion from another local parish and I realized that I really needed to be doing it. So, I made the scary phone call (I hate talking on the phone!) and joined. Then tonight I went around for the first time shadowing a sweet soul to learn where to go and what to do, and by the end of the night I was leading the little services. Next time it’s my turn I’ll bring my boys along… The people were so grateful, and wanting to visit — it was as much of a blessing as I knew it would be… :)

Tomorrow promises to be just as busy, but we get to spend time with the whole family, and I’m really looking forward to it. I have a couple pieces to write — so I’ll be writing while enjoying the company of my little nephews and the rest of the family, :) and we’ll be celebrating my brother-in-law’s birthday. It’s going to be a good day.

But before tomorrow can get here, I need to get through the night. Lately that hasn’t been easy — not just because the boys don’t sleep well, but because I’m having some newer pain issues and I’m simply not sleeping much or well. My back and my bed don’t seem to be getting along, though I don’t think it’s my bed’s fault — pretty sure it’s just my back having some new issues. It has been the opposite of fun though, and the nights have been long… yet not long enough because sleep has been short. This has left me even more tired than I normally am and so life has been harder — my emotions are closer to the surface, my brain moves slower, pain levels go up… everything is just more complicated without sleep. It’s another part of being human… we need rest…

Rest is vital to our wellbeing — physically and spiritually. Without rest we can’t give of ourselves because we have nothing to give. Without rest, I find myself squeezing words from my brain as if it’s a dried up orange being juiced, and they tend to come one… at… a… time… or in short clumps. Without rest, my entire body just wants to be still — to sit down… to just cease everything for awhile… I am reminded again…

“Be still and know that I am God…” (Psalm 46:10)

So I will close this computer, and hopefully close my eyes soon… I will choose to be still –and hope for rest. Tomorrow is another day…

I am grateful…

  1. gentle old souls so happy to see me…
  2. a sweet new soul to learn from…
  3. multiple times today when life’s timing was “just right”…
  4. morning muffins already made…
  5. boys who are such good brothers…
  6. anticipation…
  7. plenty of pieces to write…
  8. late night laughter…
  9. Fall Back (we gain an hour!)…
  10. long morning talks with my mom…

It’s all Grace…

January…

 

img_20170111_111927_289

It has been a busy month so far, and tonight I’m taking a few moments to catch my breath. This is the first evening since my new nephew was born that I haven’t been holding him — giving my sister a few hours of a break so she can get some sleep. Over the past week, I knew that she wouldn’t be needing me in the evenings much longer — Little One had begun figuring out the difference between night and day, which meant he was sleeping a lot better.  So, this evening, almost three weeks to the day that he was born,  I stayed home and read my book here –rather than rocking him in her chair down the street. (I’m so thankful to be living so close by!)  Her postpartum period this time has been rather healing for me so far, simply because I get to be here — rather than far away in another state like I was after Little Boy was born. It is a blessing to be with my family — one I will never take for granted.

 

While my evenings have been spent rocking Little One and reading, my days have been almost overwhelming. Both the Professor and the Philosopher are in therapy right now, and it’s been a challenge to keep everyone’s schedules straight. The Philosopher has his physical therapy for recovery after his spinal cord de-tethering — his entire recovery is a bit of a roller coaster ride, but then they warned us that it would be — he sees a specialist again on the 30th and we’ll have more of an idea of how well he is progressing. From our viewpoint it feels like he’s doing very well most of the time. The Professor is struggling with his brain injury from his concussion last summer… he is now in occupational therapy as well as speech therapy — physical therapy won’t begin until his brain has healed more. I can feel him trying not to be discouraged, and I’m so proud of him for doing the best he can despite it all. It has been about six months — and all the therapists are very careful not to give a time “prognosis” for when he might be “better”. We really have no idea… I’ve written multiple follow up sentences to this one simple thought, and none of them have “worked” — there just aren’t any words right now… Thankfully, he was actually able to attend his piano recital without too much pain and nausea – which made him a very happy guy. Right now the piano is keeping him from feeling like a total invalid, even though he can only play a few minutes at a time before the pain and nausea force him to lay down.

 

Aside from all this, we’re still surrounded by boxes from our most recent (and hopefully last for a long time) move. I am so thankful to be in this particular house — there is plenty of running water, plenty of heat, and I’m just a couple doors down from my sister and her family. (In all the crazy snow and ice we’ve had I was able to just walk over for Little One’s labor and birth since he was born at home, and I didn’t have to worry about not being able to be there.) We are now only 10 minutes from the Professor’s therapists and a half hour from the Philosopher’s, which makes my life much easier. I just wish that I was closer to having all the boxes unpacked — cardboard boxes make me anxious and all I want is to have them all out of my house with everything “put away”. I can only do so much though. Even if I wasn’t busy doing the basics of running a house (hello never ending dishes and laundry), balancing the boys’ therapies, and helping my sister — unpacking is actually really hard on my (post-strokebody — and I can only do so much before I’m dealing with symptoms I’d rather avoid. Afterall, rocking a baby isn’t as physically demanding as unpacking books — which are basically all I have left in these boxes I’m surrounded by.

 

In my free-time right now I’m doing a lot of reading (I just picked up 11 books from the library today – such a happy thing!) and I’m hoping to get back to my knitting and rosary making soon. My dear hospice patient that I had been visiting for the last year passed away, and I’ve taken about a month or so to let myself grieve before I take another patient. It isn’t often that you get a year with someone in this work, and I want to make sure that I appreciate our time together — to make sure that I’m really ready to share moments with someone else. I can tell that it won’t be much longer though before I’m ready. I am so grateful for the privilege of sharing someone’s end of life journey. It is as much a privilege as sharing their labor and birth journey’s — totally different, and yet, so similar.

 

At this moment tonight, though, what I’m yearning for is simply Rest. I am struggling with the fact that my nights are too short (as they have been since the boys were born!), and the next day keeps coming even though I just want the world to stop for a bit and give me a break. What was it my patient said? I wrote about it earlier and I’m going to have to go back and read it — something about how you just keep going. So, tonight I’m thinking of her and pausing for a deep breath…

 

By Grace… I will just keep going…