On The Day You Were Born

I was there for her first cry. First word. First step. First fall. First day of school. First heartbreak.

So many firsts to have had the privilege to celebrate with this amazing woman, my eldest daughter Alexis, who turns 35 today.

Alexis and Me

I remember hearing her first cry as they cut into my womb to lift her out. I remember feeling an emotion wash over me for which there were no words to describe. Love. Joy. Peace. Grace. It was all there and I was swimming in it and have been swimming in it ever since she came into this world, not kicking and screaming but with a delicate, soft cry that said, “I’m here. Now, give me time to adjust to this new environment please so that I can feel every sensation, sense every emotion and experience every molecule.”

Alexis was born with words written in her heart. Words that need and must flow. Words brimming with beauty that pour out and into the world awakening, touching, moving hearts and minds and souls to see and feel and know how beautiful, ethereal, mystical and real this life is.

She is a word warrioress. A poetry priestress and a heart diviner.

She’s also an exceptionally heartfelt, loving and kind woman. A mother now of my two favourite littles in the whole wide world, Alexis teaches me everyday about living from the heart, being fearless in vulnerability and finding light in the darkness.

Happy Birthday my beautiful, fierce, loving, creative daughter. You are the sun and the moon and the stars that make my world shine bright and fierce with love.

For Alexis

On the day you were born
I heard you cry inside my womb
and felt my body melt
beyond words 
beyond feeling 
beyond emotion
as I became consumed
by wild fierce love 
that poured 
like a waterfall cascading
into the deepest crevices of my soul
filling my body
with its sweet melody of love
as I fell
forever in Love with you. 

On the day you were born
the sun shone bright
and the trees whispered stories
of your arrival 
and the river flowed steady as a heartbeat
and the wind blew soft as a feather falling
and my heart beat
fierce
with the wonder
of the miracle
of holding you
cradled in my arms
forever in my heart
.

On the day you were born
I felt my heart burst
into a dizzying, daring beat
that has never stopped 
beating
its song of gratitude
for the gift of you
and your fierce heart 
    that sews words into pearls of beauty
Your wild nature 
    that spins magic out of moonbeams
Your poetic soul 
    that sings songs into rainbows of magic
Your beautiful heart 
    that loves like there’s nothing else to give
for in your heart, there is only Love
to have, to hold, to give, to share
forever and always.

On the day you were born
I awoke
to the beauty of life
within the wonder of you
forever and always.

Joy. Gratitude. Life.

After driving through the snow-covered Rockies under a perfectly clear blue sky I arrived home Tuesday night, happy, tired, my heart full of joy and memories of time spent with my daughter and her family.

Yesterday, the ‘perfect’ spring weather continued to flow all around me. Warm temps. Blue sky. Fresh gentle breeze. The last vestiges of ice melting into the river.

This morning, it’s snowing, which, given that this is spring in Calgary, is not uncommon nor unexpected. Just not all that welcome!

And then I smile. Changing the weather, or even being upset about it, is futile. Acceptance is necessary. As is a good sense of humour. It helps lessen the burn of snow on Earth Day and white flakes masquerading as cherry blossoms falling. There are few cherry trees in Calgary – they can’t withstand our winters and the crabapples haven’t begun to blossom… so…no matter how I’d like it to be something else more ‘springlike’ this is snow. Period.

When I travel, especially by car, I take a basket of art supplies with me for those moments when I am inspired, (or as in the case of being with my grandchildren – not too tired) to create.

I pulled out my basket once while with my daughter and her family when my grandson and I spent an afternoon painting rocks we’d collected on the beach.

Painting with a 3-year-old is pure delight. There’s no right or wrong. There’s no worrying about whether or not this colour goes here or what should I do next. There is only the joy of the experience… for as long as it lasts.

And then… it’s done and you move on to the next adventure.

When my grandson went off to play with his dump trucks, I opened my Learning to Fly art journal and began to create — I only had watercolour paints, matte medium and gesso to work with which made it even more exciting. Limiting my supplies is always good for my creative practice. It invites me, as does painting with my grandson, to focus on the experience without getting lost in the options or plans of what to do.

Yesterday with the patio door of my studio open to sounds of the river flowing and birds at the feeder and sun streaming in, I pulled out my unfinished pages and began to create.

One of the things I love about the creative process is how, even when I don’t think I know what’s happening, magic happens anyway.

For me, that magic came with the words that wrote themselves for this spread.

“Tend to your dreams like a precious garden, feed them flights of fancy and your wings will grow stronger.”.

Like the weather, when I accept what is, joy, gratitude, love grow stronger in my life. And, when I tend to my dreams with tender loving care, my life is full of possibility.

Learning to clap is soooo much fun!

So Blessed and Grateful

She reaches out, takes hold of my finger and pulls me towards her face. As our noses touch she leans in and kisses me on the lips. I feel my heart melt.

He calls me from his bedroom, “Come see this YiaYa!” And I go to his room and he shows me his excavator. Or perhaps his Dump Truck or maybe his Bulldozer. “Can you name my Bulldozer?” he asks and we go through a list of possible names until finally he gives a sweet little grin, nods his head up and down and says, “That’s it!” And again, I feel my heart melt. And when I inevitably forget its name, he always remembers.

A week with my grandchildren is like overdosing on chocolate. It’s sooooo good all reason disappears from my thoughts. Stopping is out of the question.

I watch my daughter and my son-in-love as they navigate two little ones during a time of high stress compounded by isolation and I am in awe. They are so patient. So kind. So very, very loving.

And it shows. My grandchildren are swimming in an ocean of love that has no end. Despite the restrictions of Covid, they are happy, chatty, funny, energetic, and oh so loving.

At 3, T is a lively, articulate and incredibly intelligent little boy. When I miss-name one of his legion of cars (which I continuously do) he corrects me with a laugh and a shake of his head. “No. YiaYa! It’s not a Ferrari. It’s a Lamborghini.” He loves to sing and read books and walk holding hands down the street. And he really, really likes my pancakes, especially if I include chocolate chips in them.

My granddaughter happily lets me hold her and dance with her and spin her about though I must admit, my favourite is when she is in her crib and wakes up crying and I go in and pick her up and she cuddles into my neck and is immediately soothed. Such bliss.

And though I have missed the last 8 months of seeing them, it is as if time did not separate us at all.

I am so blessed.

So grateful.

So very, very lucky.

Namaste.

Love Will Hold Us Together

In the stillness of morning light, I breathe slowly, waiting for the sun to break through wintery skies.

There is a weariness in my bones. I feel the weight of missing precious moments spent with family and friends. A longing for days that feel lost in misty memories of the times long ago when we opened our front door and invited others in.

In the softness of morning light, there is a heaviness to this winter morning.  A knowing that today will be the same. Connections made on screens filled with tiny boxes of familiar faces who light up my heart and who once graced us with their presence around our table. My heart is light with the thought of their smiles yet heavy with the missing, Of touch. Of gathering together. Of hugs and farewell kisses grazing cheeks and a touch on the shoulder to say, “I see you. I hear you. I feel you.”

Yes. It is the feel of people gathering together. Of coming together to celebrate birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, reunions, and even a loved one’s passing, that I yearn for.

It is the knowing that today I am not with my 3-year-old grandson celebrating at a party just for him. My arms ache to hold his body next to mine and whisper, “I love you” in his ear. And to feel his sweet, precious breath against my ear as he whispers back, “I wuv you too YiaYa.”

It is the knowing that five months have passed since last I held my granddaughter in my arms and smelt her babyfresh head and kissed her tiny nose and tickled her tummy as she giggled and gurgled in squirming delight at my touch. Five months feels like a lifetime of change in a seven-month old’s world spent watching her grow on a tiny screen. She reaches for it when we talk. I like to think she is reaching for my heart. That she knows this heart she cannot touch except through a tiny screen is full of love pounding a fierce beat to the tune of her laughter and squeals and toothless smiles and sparkling eyes full of joy.

In the stillness of this winter’s morning light, I gently close the door on memories I yearn to feel come alive again. I breathe softly into this moment right now where I sit at my desk watching the river flow and the light slowly break through the darkness.

Clouds cover the sky. A blanket of grey above. A blanket of snow below. Misty. Ethereal. Mysterious light full of memory and longing on a wintery morning.

The sun is hidden yet still it shines. Eternal. Hot. Fiery.

Like my love for those I’m missing. For those not here because they can’t be and those because they never will be again. My love burns eternal.

In the stillness of morning light, I light a candle for those who are gone forever, and those whose absence is just a temporary moment in time passing until we can gather again, hold one another again and kiss one another on the cheek and whisper softly, “I love you”.

It is fleeting, this heaviness in my heart. It will pass. For now, I let my body rest easy in its embrace and warm myself on the memories I cherish and the knowing that soon, I’ll see their faces in tiny boxes on my screen and know, no matter the distance nor the times that separate us, Love will always beat fierce and strong in our hearts. Love will always hold us together.

Blessed are we in this circle of love.

In my dream, someone, a young woman who used to work with me I think, asks, “How old are you anyway?”

I reply, not without some trepidation, “Sixty-seven.”

The young woman looks surprised. By the look on her face I think she’s going to say something like, “Wow. You don’t look it at all! I’d have put you 15 years younger.”

Instead, she says, “Wow. That’s old.”

Fortunately, I woke up before I did anything I might regret.

When my mother was 67 I remember thinking she was old. So I suppose it’s only fair that my dream reflect my judgements of my mother.

And then, of course, I want to justify why I thought she was old. How her tendency to cry, “Woe is me!” shadowed the light and kept her tethered to the darkness. How her ability to see accidents waiting to happen kept her from seeing the miracles falling all around.

I want to prove how, at sixty-seven, I am not like her. At all.

I don’t know if it is because it is just the melancholy that pervades this Christmas season or because my mother loved Christmas, but she has been on my mind and heart. A lot.

The other day, while on a Zoom call with a friend, I was telling them how my mother loved this season of joy. They asked, “Do you find you miss her more now that it’s Christmas?”

It was a powerful question.

Even when we lived an ocean apart, I never felt like I was ‘missing’ my mother. We never had that kind of relationship. She was not the person I called if I needed advice about life or love or career. Nor was she the first person I thought to call with good news.

I told my friend. “Even though I know regret serves no useful purpose and I know my dream of having that kind of relationship with her was just a dream, what I am feeling most is the regret that for much of her life with me, my mother felt my judgements harshly.

It wasn’t intentional. It was just the way we were together. I always felt she wanted me to live life by her rules, her way. And even though now, I can see her way was founded on love and her desire to protect me, I felt smothered by what I thought were her limitations and fears, not love. I wanted to fly free. By the very act of spreading my wings, I was saying to my mother, your way isn’t good enough for me.

It was a continual dance of life between us. My mother wanting to keep me safe on her terms. Me wanting to experience life on my terms.

And as I finish typing that sentence I glance up and see the beauty of the world outside my window.

The sky is streaked in rose and golden hues of morning. A flock of Canada Geese are floating past on the fast-moving river, their bodies turned backwards, drifting with the current. A squirrel is bounding up a tree trunk and a chickadee flits and frolics in the bush outside my window.

The world is alive with beauty.

And just like that, the sun breaks through and I remember what is true and real in this moment. The memories of my relationship with my mother are just that. Memories. They are only kept alive in my thoughts.

And I can change my thoughts.

Regret. Sadness. Sorrow. They are fleeting.

Love. Joy. Gratitude. They are enduring.

‘Tis the season. It is different this year. Quieter. Yet, no matter the times, what never changes, what endures always is Love.

This Christmas, I shall hold the Love close and let regret float away like the geese on the river. Sometimes, as it drifts off into that quiet place where memories that do not serve me well go to rest in peace, regret turns back to look at me as if to say, ‘Give me another chance.”

And I smile and wave and turn my back and return home to the one truth that cannot be changed. Can never be denied.

My mother is the miracle of life that gave birth to the miracle of me.

I am grateful for this miracle.

I am blessed by this act of love that endures and ripples out in waves of possibility and hope and joy and beauty through the lives of my daughters and my grandchildren.

Blessed are we in this circle of Love my mother created.

May Every Child Know Love

Rain. Sleet. Fog. Snow. Blue skies. Darkness falling.

Roger’s Pass

It was all present on my drive home from Vancouver to Calgary on Wednesday. I had planned to drive through on Tuesday but a snowstorm derailed my plans and I got to spend an extra day with my grandchildren, daughter and son-in-love.

I thought about staying until the weekend but the forecast was for more snow later in the week and into the weekend. Best to ‘carpe diem’ and slip through between the storm past and the storm forecast.

I left early – my goal, to reach home before darkness fell.

I just made it.

My heart is full. My heart arches with longing to once again hold these precious little one’s in my arms. To laugh with them. To read stories and make them up too! To sing silly songs and watch Blippi, my grandson’s favourite TV show, so that I can hear his laughter and watch him do his ‘excavator dance’.

And now I’m home. Separated by the miles and miles of land between us and the snow-capped mountains that edge the horizon, their serrated ridges a reminder of my grandson’s dinosaur inspired imitations when he gets out of the bath. Wrapped in his blue towel with the stuffed dinosaur head, he stomps around the house shaking his body from side-to-side and waving his arms as he roars. I pretend to be scared, cover my face and cry out, “Oh No! A dinosaur! I’m so scared!” And then, he laughs and giggles and we go through it all over again. And again. And again.

I remember the moment my daughters were born. I remember that feeling of pure all-encompassing love that descended upon me and enveloped me with its abiding presence. I remember feeling so overwhelmed with love that I felt like I’d never breathe deeply again. I remember holding them and never wanting to let go.

And then I did. Let go. I had no choice. To be their parent meant creating space for them to find their wings and learn how to fly.

And then, my grandson and now my granddaughter arrived and I feel those feelings of not wanting to let go and I know those feeling of being so deeply immersed in their presence the world outside fades and I feel enveloped in Love. Consumed. Captivated. Mesmerized. Entranced. Enchanted.

The difference is, this time I get to experience it all while witnessing my daughter transform into the kind of mother every child deserves. Loving. Kind. Patient. Imaginative. Creative. Caring. Funny. Playful. Permissive without being domineering. Disciplined without being controlling.

She is soft spoken even in the face of a tired child’s tantrum. She lovingly honours each child’s individual needs, creating space for their unique personalities to shine through. Even at three months old, she respects her daughter’s expressions, responding with loving-attention no matter the time of day or night. She creates a safe and courageous container of love for their children to shine and learn and grow and flourish.

The sadness of leaving is lightened by the memories of my time spent with them all and the knowing that, in Alexis and my son-in-love, these two precious beings have been gifted parents who will love fiercely and stand steadfast in their promise to love them forever and always.

What a beautiful gift of Love. For their children. Each other. The world.

May all children in this world know they are loved. They are safe. They are precious and unique.

Namaste.

The Way Of A Mother’s Love.

Her prayers fed hungry souls and created a world of goodness and light for all to see.

I have a memory of my parents. They are in their kitchen. My dad is making one of his famous stews, or perhaps bread. Dirty dishes cover the counter. There is lots of noise. My father was not a quiet man.

My mother is fluttering around him. She is trying to clean up his mess as he cooks.

“Leave it,” he mutters. “You’re getting in my way.”

She ignores him. He keeps muttering angrily. She stifles her tears at his angry words and keeps doing the dishes.

It was their way.

The kitchen was his domain. Keeping it clean was her contribution, except for those times when he would give way to her desire to prepare her ‘fancy’ dishes. He’d grumble and mutter about ‘fancy food’ being a waste. About how the aromas bothered his sinuses, especially garlic. You shouldn’t mask good, hearty food with that garbage, he’d continuously blurt out whenever mom prepared one of her beloved curries or special dishes redolent with the aromas of India and France spicing the air and dancing together on the palate.

Whenever my mother came to visit she would immediately gravitate to my kitchen and start to clear away dishes and wipe down counters.

Helping out was her way.

It was not my way so I’d shoo her away.

It was the story of our life.

My mother wanting to help out. Me rejecting her help.

I am still that way. I don’t like people in my kitchen. I don’t accept help easily.

Back then, I didn’t understand my mother’s love language. I didn’t understand that after a lifetime of being told by my father that she was ‘in the way’, she wanted to find a way to be of service in peace.

In her lifetime, I never found a way to let her help out in peace.

In my lifetime, I am making peace with the places where strife stirred our relationship into a mess. I am letting go of the hurts and cooking up a new way of being at peace.

This, “My Mother’s Prayers” altered book art journal, is my path.

Like a coat of white paint covering graffiti on a wall, I am painting the past with beautiful colours that weave a glorious tapestry of acceptance and forgiveness from the memories that litter my mind. Like crumbs leading me home to my heart, I am following their way into peace and harmony.

It is not our differences or all the moments we caused each other pain that matters in my life today. It is the beauty I create to honour their memory that transforms them into joy and peace and harmony.

My mother and I never had an easy relationship. In memory and in life, I am free to let go of the unease and fall with grace into the Love that was always there and always will be. Now and forever.

That is the way of a mother’s Love.

Namaste.

___________________________________________

I am off to Vancouver tomorrow to visit my daughter and her beautiful family. For the next ten days, I shall be immersed in the joy of being with my grandchildren and sharing special moments on the coast.

C.C. and I debated about my going. The ‘second wave’ of the Corona Virus is expected to hit soon. Can I do the drive safely?

He was to have driven out before me with a friend, stopping to golf at several different courses along the way. After much consideration, he cancelled his trip but, we’ve decided that as long as I take all precautions, the risks are low. I do the 11-hour drive in one day, stopping only once for gas and calls of nature (which I plan for very carefully).

These are the times in which we live. Given Covid 19s presence and my aversion to flying in its midst as well as winter’s imminent arrival and the dangers of driving high mountain passes in winter months, this is probably the last time I’ll be able to see them until next spring.

I am grateful my daughter welcomes me with such love and grace.

I won’t have much time to post while I’m gone. See you sometime after the 15th.

Namaste and Happy Thanksgiving!

The Threads That Bind Us

It is not time that binds us but the memory of the songs we sang, the stories we told and the love we shared. — My Mother’s Prayers Art Journal

It has been awhile since I posted, and since I sat in my studio creating.

A two week sojourn in Vancouver visiting my eldest daughter and family and then, the long drive home.

I love the 1,000 km drive up over the Coastal Rockies, across the lake country, up over Roger’s Pass, Kicking Horse Pass and the Rockies down the eastern slopes and onto the rolling plains. I love the solitude, the sense of being alone yet part of the ribbon of highway leading me eastward, leading me home.

As I drive, I love to listen to podcasts. One in particular, ‘On Being‘ with Krista Tippet.

The interview she did with Dario Roletto who has been called a sculptural artist, philosopher, and “materialist poet” continues to resonate. In it, Robletto talks about the power of memory to connect us.

It is that thought which inspired my latest two-page spread in the altered book journal, “My Mother’s Prayers,” that I have been creating for the past month or so.

Time is not the thread that binds. Memory is.

I don’t have a lot of memories of my grandmother. I only met her once. She came from India where she lived when we were living in Metz, France. She stayed with us for a month and while with us, I remember her always sneaking my brother and sisters and I money to go buy something ‘sweet’. At least, that’s what I think I remember her saying.

I don’t know if she had a sweet tooth or not. I don’t remember.

What I do remember is being fascinated by this woman who was my mother’s mother who lived in such a far away and exotic land. I remember how she dressed mostly in black. How she fluttered her hands when she spoke, just like my mother and how, when we went to Paris to visit her sons who lived there, she sat in regal grace amidst her vast extended family.

I remember the story of my Uncle Noel getting a plague from the police for his excellent driving and how everyone scoffed and laughed when it happened.

The day he got the award, the police were assessing drivers on the roads of Paris in an attempt to identify those who were obeying the rules of the road (a very uncommon practice in Paris) in an effort to encourage safe driving practices. My uncle had picked up Grandmother from the airport and was driving her back to Uncle Reggie’s apartment. An unmarked police car followed him, just that once, and he was awarded a safe driver citation. It was the only time in his driving career he did not speed, swear and gesture belligerently at other drivers and ignore all the road signs.

I also think that was the trip my brother stayed home alone for the first time. He ended up having a party that created quite a mess in our home. We brought Grandmother from Paris on that trip and when we entered the apartment and dad saw the mess, he was furious. Grandmother calmed him and thanks to her, George was not punished for his misdeeds.

It is perhaps that escapade that cemented the notion that ‘the sun rises and sets on the son’ in our household. Unfortunately, that notion would lead to a number of incidents and life travails that left him ill-equipped to handle the pressure.

But that’s another story.

This story is about my mother, my grandmother and me — Granddaughter. Daughter. Mother. Grandmother.

Just like my mother and grandmother. It is the thread of our being all of those roles that binds us. Unbreakable. Unchangeable. Inviolate.

As I journey through my mother’s prayer cards and my process of healing the ‘mother wound’ through remembering and honouring her life, her death and her memory through creative expression, I find myself softening. Ripening. Opening. Evolving.

It is a journey. An exploration. An awakening.

And I am grateful for it all.

___________________________________________

About this art piece.

“My Mother’s Prayers” incorporates the multitude of prayer cards that my mother collected throughout her life to guide her nightly prayers.

On every two page spread I include at least one card — some you can see, some I paint over entirely.

Throughout her life, my mother prayed. At times, I mocked her for her practice. Often, I challenged her offerings. It wasn’t until after I became a mother that my heart began to soften and understand her desire to keep me safe.

This page is about the trinity of being a daughter, mother, grandmother. Before affixing the heart behind the images of my grandmother, mother and me to the page, I tore it into three pieces and then reconnected it on the page.

Like life, our hearts can be hurt, feel heavy and broken. Yet, no matter how broken we feel, a mother’s heart is always open. Proving the adage true — a broken heart is an open heart and an open heart is a loving heart.

My mother loved deeply. Working on this journal is awakening me to her love on a very deep level.

Written on the upper right section of the heart are the words:

“Three pieces. One heart. Three lives. One song. Three stories. One prayer.”

My mother’s prayers whisper throughout time. They are the memory that binds us. The love that holds us. The gift that lives on.

Art and Baking With A Two-Year-Old

My grandson wakes up singing.

I hear his voice through the closed door of his bedroom and do not go in. My heart yearns to listen and feel the joy in his song.

When I do go in, he smiles his beatific smile, holds out his panda for me to admire and asks, “Can I have my silver porch car?”

I smile and ask back, “Is there a word missing?”

He gives that same heart-melting smile and says, “Puhleaaase.”

I’d do anything for that smile and so go and find his little silver porch car.

For the next 15 minutes, I sit in the chair beside his bed as he plays in his crib with his trusty panda in one hand and the other ‘zoomin’ the car across the mattress. There’s a carwash to visit. A tunnel to drive through and a cliff to dangle the wheels over.

Eventually, he sits up, holds out his arms and says, “It’s time to get out of my sleep sack.”

And the day begins.

Each day always includes a walk. Rain or shine.

It is, ‘our thing’.

And I am into ‘our thing’.

Last year at this time when I came to visit, I wrote a post called “Lessons from a Toddler”. The first lesson was:

  • There’s no need to focus on your destination. It’s not going anywhere.

“Take time to savour every step along the way. You’ll get to where you’re going, eventually. Sometimes you’ll end up where you thought, sometimes you won’t. It’s all okay. Doesn’t matter. Where ever you end up, you’ll have discovered new vistas, new things along the way.”

With an almost 2 and a half-year-old, the lesson remains as true today as it was then. There is always so much to discover when you savour every step you take.

Inspired by the teachings of Orly Aveniri’s “Come Outside” online workshop, TJ and I have been collecting leaves and flowers and petals that have fallen on the ground. They are gifts for his mommy.

Yesterday, we smooshed our hands in paint and smeared them all over the pages of his painting book and made marks with his paintbrush and glued our collected ephemera onto the page.

It was pure delight.

Earlier in the day, we made zucchini muffins. He mixed the flour and dry goods in one bowl, poured the liquid and vanilla into the other and then stirred them all together. The kitchen ended up with flour everywhere. It didn’t matter. Though, as I said to my daughter, “One thing I forgot. When cooking with a 2 year old, make sure you have all the ingredients on the counter before you begin!” Otherwise, you risk having flour flying out of the bowl and being reminded that a mixing spoon is not just a spoon. It’s a rocketship too!

As we neared the end, he climbed down from his special kitchen stool, raced into the bedroom where his mother and sister were lying on the bed with his dad and proclaimed proudly, “I made muffins!”

I could listen to his voice forever.

I have been here for just over a week now and my heart is full.

Time with my granddaughter, Ivy, is a blessing. I savour it all.

Time with TJ and his family is a gift. A treasure. It fills my heart and memory banks as sweetly as rain trickling down a string of copper bowls into a barrel.

I will dip into it when I’m not here and come out refreshed, nourished and soaked in the sweet, tender goodness of these days.

On Wednesday, C.C., my beloved, will be driving out with my youngest daughter who is coming for ten days to support her sister and family.

She was to have flown but concerns over exposure to Covid on airplanes nixed those plans. Concerned that she had never taken such a long drive alone, C.C. offered to drive her out. They’ll rent a car so the two of us can drive home together in my car.

His willingness to take that long drive just to help out is a testament to his natural generosity and kindness.

But then, that’s family.

Heeding the call of Love to be there for one another in good times and challenging times.

These are exceptionally good times. Times to savour. Remember. Cherish.

Times to fill the memory barrel letting the sweet nectar of these days fill my heart.

Namaste

This Is Where I Stand: My Credo

Yesterday, in the comments to my post, The Apology Process, Iwona, wrote out my example of the apology process as a credo for life.

I thought it was brilliant and so, using her suggestions as my foundation I created a Credo for myself in these times in which we live.

My personal credo is an important statement for me to make, to myself and to the world.

It speaks to what I stand for, and against. It provides me a guidepost against which I can measure every action, word and thought. And, it provides me with a safe and courageous container within which to grow and evolve so that I can give my all to creating better in this world.

Years ago, when I began my healing journey after being freed from an abusive relationship, I created a credo for how I wanted to live my life. It included statements like, “I shall turn up for me in all my wounded brokenness and love myself completely”.

It also included a statement on how I wanted to treat the past — as a bludgeon to beat myself up with or as the vehicle that brought me to this moment right now where I was free to heal and fall in love with myself and all my world and celebrate life for all I’m worth.

I chose to treat it as the vehicle that brought me to this moment right now. The past had served its purpose. It was time for me to let it go and find a more loving, caring and roadworthy vehicle within which to continue my journey.

We cannot change the past. We can learn from it and grow deeper in our understanding of its impact on our lives today. And, we can use it as corroboration of what we need to do today to ensure tomorrow is not a repeat of a past we do not want to live again and again.

There is so much good in this world. So much beauty, possibility, hope, joy… And there is grief and sorrow, pain and suffering, violence and abuse.

It is all present. And always, no matter what is present, Love is always there.

To live my credo, fearlessly letting all of my human condition be present, I must accept all is present. Light and dark. Fear and hope. Anger and sorrow. Suffering and joy. And I must love it all, fearlessly. Joyfully. Completely.

I am not powerful enough to change all the darkness in the world. I am powerful enough to determine how bright I want my light to shine. And I am powerful enough to shine as brightly as I can so that others can see in the dark and stand with me in the light.

Today, I am choosing to shine full on. Bright beams blasting.

I am stepping onto this road of life armed with My Credo. It is my map to creating a future where my grandchildren will know, the world into which they are born is not a place in which only they and others like them enjoy its’ privileges. It is a place where all the world enjoys the same privileges.