Present moment…

pastFor the last many months I’ve been surrounded by a bunch of peeps who delight in blathering on about the wonderful past, and I’m tired of it. I might end up throttling some unsuspecting stranger if I hear one more person wax rhapsodic about a kinder, gentler time.

These misguided folks view modern life through a skewed lens. Nothing new is worthwhile, rather it is garish, or complicated. Modern conveniences are intrusions, music nothing but discordant noise, and do not get them started on the Internet. That technology, according to them, is nothing but one humongous problem! It’s as if time should be frozen, playing on a constant loop, for whatever decade they deem a good one. I get the lure of such thinking, but am inclined to believe it’s not at all helpful. The past should be viewed from all sides and used as a reminder of what we were, and what we still are. But, today is yesterday already and if we don’t relish, cherish, get involved, and create at least the hope of something wonderful right here and right now, building a much loved memory in this very second, haven’t we essentially died? I want to live while I’ve still breath in me.

Early tomorrow, I head off to the airport. (Oh, and no, I’m not leaving ‘jolly ole’ till the 20th of next month. This trip is to pick up UK daughter.) It’s a four plus hour drive on which I’ll have the thrill of a sunrise. I’ll have lots of time to think, too. I do not need lots of time to think, though and intend to think only the good thoughts. Hehe. And many of them will be about the purely glorious, divine, and sacred elements that make life magical. We humans, despite many vehement protestations to the contrary, are still very much a mystery and filled to overflowing with untapped potential.

Many, including me, have been taken in by the 10% brain use myth. In reality, we use all of brains. And come on, of course we would. Having a blob of grey matter sitting up there doing nothing waiting for us to ignite it and become a George Malley, is just silly. George had the ability all along. We just haven’t evolved to that point yet. But have no fear, we are evolving and will do so more gracefully if we stop fantasizing about another time and place as being better than this one. This one is the only one we’ve got in truth so it might be a good idea to make it a good ‘un.

Now, I can almost hear some of you grumbling about the horrors of war, millions in poverty, and the endless avarice of the uber rich. Yes indeed, we’ve got messes. Super-duper gigantic ones. But I cannot fix them with a wave of my wand. I’m not that evolved yet. However, I can wave my wand over my own culpability, and not lash out at others who might aggravate me like the folks spouting on about the past, for example. I can be grateful for my abundance, and not hoard either my resources or my talents. I can take responsibility for my thoughts and any resulting actions. I can breathe in the desire to love and breathe out a desire for compassion. Tall order? Most certainly, but it is an action step and one that brings me back to realising that in this moment, as a cool breeze blows my pretty curtain, partially closed against the light of a gorgeous bright sun, life in the here and now is wondrous.

My wish is for more awareness. The past is not better than the present unless that is my story. And if that is my story why not write it about the present? Because we are here in this moment, we owe it to ourselves and those who will follow, to raise ourselves up. My longing to see beauty and goodness can become an action – I simply see beauty and goodness. Through that lens, one of awareness, my feet would not hesitate to walk for peace, feed the hungry, and share my wealth. See how that works?

Until tomorrow…

 

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Serendipity is a stolen bike…

Bikes.jpgHe said it just like that. No hesitating. No quivering voice. Marry me? His eyes were trying to hold mine still. They were blue.

It’s too late, but thanks, I said feeling pretty self-conscious.

He persisted. I was getting embarrassed. He called me his future wife. I knew it was a joke, but was it? When he asked, have you heard of serendipity? I wasn’t sure of anything.

Let me start from the beginning.

As the days get closer to my leave date, time with friends is increasingly poignant. This morning was no exception. I had coffee with my girlies and afterwards all I wanted to do was go home and crawl under the duvet, but I had to run an errand first so it was off into town for me.

My mood lightened a smidge when I found a free parking space. The gorgeous sunshine Ma Nature blessed us with today was also really nice so the fact that I parked a bit further than normal from my destination was good. I needed the walk. I needed the fresh air.

He wailed. His arms waved wildly and then he clawed at his face. His behaviour was shocking or well, it shocked me. I thought, maybe drugs. I wanted to but couldn’t avoid him. He was smack dab in front of the bank. Still, I managed to sort of sneak past him, and in the door. I didn’t get far before I turned around and looked at him. Blood formed half a dozen lines down his face from his forehead. He was crumbled in a heap now, sobbing. I couldn’t leave him there like that.

Hi. Take this. What’s wrong?

He started to wipe away the blood from those self-inflicted wounds with the tissues I’d handed him. He was still crying quite violently.

They took my bike!! I was only in the bank for a couple of minutes. So unfair. Why? They took my bike!

His clothes were clean apart from mud-caked boots. His jacket and backpack were new-ish, his matching camouflage trousers, well-worn. His fingernails were dirty, but that was all. He didn’t smell like he lived rough, no alcohol or unwashed skin stink.

I stayed on my knees beside him until others came with water and towels. The police were soon there to talk about the stolen bike. An officer called him B. When I got up, the bank manager thanked me for caring for him. I wanted to weep but smiled at her instead, before heading into the bank and over to the cash machine.

As the money was whirring out of the little slot, I glanced to my right. She looked back then away before recognizing me. Loud hellos were shared along with my tale of woe. NO. You cannot go! Where you go? (She speaks in heavily accented Thai.) I laughed a bit and told her.

Marry me. The voice came from behind me. I hadn’t noticed him.

Haha.

And that’s how it started. We chatted for more than an hour before hugging a goodbye with mutual you’re lovely’s. During that time he talked about his past and how much he risked for the woman he loved once upon a time. Despite the punishment waiting if caught, he went AWOL over and over again, driving hours and hours to spend only a few precious ones with ‘her’.

Their marriage didn’t last but the memory still titillates. It was passion, he said. And love. And, I would do it again.

As I think about his story, I realise I risked it all to be here and do not regret. We are similar in that. I also realise I’d love to have someone willing to risk it all for me. I know, that’s the fairy tale, but how marvellous it must be to experience that depth of feeling. Who knows, maybe I will experience it. Today was pretty special. But tonight, my wish is not for me or my future husband (wink, wink), but for B. I wish him a new bike complete with an easy to carry safety lock. Universe, do you think you can deliver that? Oh, and thank you to B, too. Had it not been for his plight, I would have been long gone and not met a man who believes in serendipity.

Until tomorrow…

 

 

 

 

Leaving again…

Ireland.jpgThere was once a little bunny whose family disappeared one day leaving the little bunny alone. She went in search of her mother and father, her sisters and brothers, but could find no one. Sadly, while searching, the little bunny got lost and was not able to find her way home.

After a time, the little bunny, who was not little anymore, knew only what “Home” felt like since she never did find her way back. She would seek out that feeling whenever she could, and when she found it, would twitch her nose, rise up on her hind legs, and hop around gleefully filling her belly with the warmth of “Home”. Even when the feeling was fleeting, it left her so happy that she knew if she kept believing and looking, she would find “Home” again.

And then, one day, the long searching little bunny, who was not at all little anymore, found it. Oh, she hopped about ecstatically, tiny rabbit tears flowing down her soft furry face. She. Was. HOME! Her family, her carrot patch, and her bunny hole were all there. Her heart opened. She felt safe at last. But there was a catch. She was being told she could not stay. What? She was heartbroken, devastated, and confused.

“I’m a good bunny and even though I was separated from my family all those years ago, and have made some silly choices on my journey, I’ve become a kind and loving rabbit! I have struggled most of my life, been an outcast, and have sometimes been angry and filled with hatred because I lost my “Home”, but now that I’ve found “Home” I feel like it was all worth it. There are other bunnies here like me, who love me, and I love them! I have a beautiful hole in which to sleep. Why can’t I stay?”

But she could not. She had to leave. There were other rabbits who felt she really did not belong and that she should go back to her home of so long ago.

“But I don’t know where that home is! I looked and looked and looked some more and finally found my home. This is my ‘Home’! I know it in my heart.”

But they would not listen to her pleas and sent her away.

 ****

My wish today is that no one ever feels the pain of separation. Wait though, that wish is somewhat unreasonable. So, I wish that when separation comes, as it does and as it will, that you reach out and keep travelling toward your “Home”, whatever that means and wherever that is for you, no matter what.

Until tomorrow…

P.S. For those of you who know my personal journey, you might have guessed the decision was not in my favour and so I am on the move again. While I feel quite vulnerable in this moment, now that I’ve experienced “Home”, I’m sure to find it again.

Tree medicine…

Woods.jpgI went walking yesterday. It was a ‘walking to clear my head’ walk only my head was pretty clear when I started so I was kind of excited to see what might happen. Of course, nothing happened. No awakenings or visions. I still felt clear when I’d finished my walk, though. It woulda been a bummer if I’d ended up muddled. Probably woulda thrown me off walking all together which wouldn’t be too difficult a thing to do in my lazy arse case. So, it was good.

The path I took was a new one for me. I found some woods. Now, I’m surrounded by woods but it seems the only ones who stroll about in them are the local wildlife. The humans tend to stick to the coast path. Lately, I’ve found the views along the sea too grand sending me into kind of a sensory overload. It turns out – unbeknownst to me – I’ve been missing the woods for their ability to cocoon and calm me. I felt embraced by the flora, fauna, and babbling brook within the forest. Tree medicine was just what I needed.

When I got back home, I washed off the mud and changed clothes. It had started to rain – go figure that, eh, rain in England – and I was just starting to get the now familiar chill so getting out of wet clothes into dry ones felt really good. I was also hungry.

As I ate, I marvelled at how learning I needed to walk in the woods came as a complete surprise. How could I not have known?

Now, I think myself pretty intuitive but I can’t help but doubt it after today. Oh, of course, not all of it. For the most part I follow along and usually know what direction I’m supposed to go in. But this revelation is cool, and has me asking some important questions about the clarity brought through discernment. Perhaps I’m way too focussed on what I want and am therefore missing what I need. Ah-ha.

So my wish is to get back into the present moment; to be aware of each breath; to be still and know that I am fine, and to know that in that sweet moment, there is nothing I can do about ‘this’ or ‘that’. And sure, I need plans and focus. But I also need to be aware that this moment holds everything necessary for me right this second. And so on.

Until tomorrow…

By the sea…

Seaweed.jpgI watched a little boy playing in the sand today. Waves toppled back and forth carelessly making the seaweed sway. I’ve come to prefer the tide as it moves away, taking the water with it. The world it makes visible is intoxicating. I think he thought so, too, as he bent to pick through the various bits of sand and stone and moss. His mother watched him, bundled up snug against the cold, her white skin radiant against the black of her hair, hat, and coat. When he spoke, she smiled, a bright white-tooth grin that made her eyes sparkle. I imagined those eyes were green, like the kelp clinging to her wellies. Joy emanated from her. She was happy, clearly. And, she loved this child. Clearly. My heart swelled.

The mother reminded me of my Western daughter. Their colouring, some mannerisms and height, similar. For a second I wondered if someday I might be watching her daughter, my granddaughter, searching for sea glass and fossils like this little boy was doing. It was a precious thought. I decided to hold it, keep it safe.

I’ve been in England thirteen months now. I am changed. Softer, wiser, less and more than when I arrived, I am happy I leapt off that cliff in 2015, but still ever so slightly apprehensive about where and how I will land. Immigration has not decided my case yet and although for all intents and purposes I am home, they might well decide otherwise. However, that bridge, as the saying goes, will be crossed if I come to it. I do not expect to, if truth be told. I hold to my dream.

As I watch the child and his beautiful mother, I wonder what their dreams will bring about for them. Before I leave them, I make a wish.

I wish that the sight of someone you love will always bring joy to your heart. To that end, let us find the courage to discard the foolish and petty differences that drive away joy and separate us. Let’s toss those differences into the sea and then gather shiny rocks, and colourful shells. They have a message for us. They bubble up from the sea to remind us about what really matters. They remind us that we are more the same than different. They share with us the dust of stars we cannot touch. And yet, we can touch them. Reach out and touch all those stars right there in front of you. Can you feel the joy?

Until tomorrow…

 

 

The book…

img_1736_li-2She was sitting in his living room trying to warm up. He’d been away so the furnace was playing catch-up. The weather was not cooperating. A blast of arctic air was proving too much for even this ultra modern home. The huge wall of windows couldn’t keep out the cold, it seemed. She loved the windows though, despite this small flaw. They let in magnificent views of that wild world outside. And this weather wasn’t a constant thing, after all. The temperature had dropped the last couple of days due to a blustery north wind. She simply had not dressed properly for her walk so was feeling the cold more than was normal.

From her perch on the sofa, she could see most of the house. She realised each room was open to the other affording little privacy. There was so much glass! Maybe this is what living in a fishbowl is like. There was a solid door into the bathroom, she noted. That was good. She decided she would need a curtain or two. And some more paintings. The few white walls were crying for colour. But, of course, she was only a guest.

Her feet were warming in his slippers. He brought tea and she drank it quickly. She was melting, at last. When he sat beside her she felt his heat but detected a shiver from him. She probably still had an icy air about her. It would be gone soon.

Sitting together on his sofa, they listened to music playing through his TV and watched the lights from ships on the water. They chatted easily about all kinds of things except, of course, those usual taboo subjects like former lovers and mistakes. Finally warm, she decided to keep his jacket wrapped around her but gave him his slippers back.

When the conversation waned and the shared yawns became too frequent, she stood up and reluctantly took off his coat. He asked if she was going and she said yes. He asked, “Will you come again?” “I’d like to,” she answered.

It took only seconds for her to feel the melancholy sting of lonesomeness she knew so well. She missed her kids terribly. She missed him. She warned herself to stop, to not “go there”.

Once is bed, she shook her head at how complex she had made her life, always wanting more is an unhealthy state of affairs. She had had so much but could not see or appreciate what was right in front of her even when it was great. Yet, when there is a longing that won’t be denied, what is one to do?

End of excerpt from On the Seventh Day

I wish you all the best in the 2017, but then I wish you all the best every day. I think I will continue to do that.

Until tomorrow…