Sunday, December 30, 2012

life, death and all that's in between...

recently, i've been thinking about life, death and new beginnings as my birthday has just passed and  have had several dear friends pass on recently.  just today, when reflecting with another friend about this sadness & loss, i remembered a quote i'd read years back...and gratefully, found it again this evening~

by David Eagleman:  "There are three deaths.  The first is when the body ceases to function.  The second is when the body is consigned to a grave.  The third is that moment, sometime in the future, when your name is spoken for the last time."

recently, a dear friend of many years old, and one i've been privileged to know for but relatively few of those, passed after  decreasing life's ease and viability...her passing has touched me in a very deep way even though i don't wish her back--for her, the breath of life was increasingly hard to come by...who could ask for someone to continue to struggle to breath--ask for them to return to more of that?  however, her passing was a reminder of being connected to all that meaningful and important that much her connection to me meant as well as mine to her~  i am touched as even after she passed, i received a card from her, signed with her infamous initials, in a shaky hand.  at first, not only was i touched by her thoughtfulness, but as i received it posthumously, i felt something more than the usual love from her.  thank you, dear RE.  i am richer for having known you.  

another passing has come more suddenly after an older friend was ill for a fairly brief time.  while his health and again, breath, came with increased difficulty, his recent illness was seemingly from something else so when i heard he'd requested only comfort care, i was deeply saddened.  over the past few weeks, he'd also requested to have only family with him...i feel very fortunate in being able to see him once in early December  though in the hospital and ICU, i had opportunity to hug, love & thank him for his impact and care in my life.  again, i am honored to have had this incredible person loving me in this life.  sadness &, yet, gratitude fills me with the richness of knowing another enough to miss them, love them & mourn them--and yes, remember them~

just having celebrated a lovely holiday time with family & friends, here's my new year's wish...
          may i seek less stuff and more gratitude in my life & world...
               may i share a peacefulness where there's strife, 
                    take time to express gratitude even in the midst of challenge & unrest...
                         offer love &  hope to another--known or unknown--and in that,
                                    make one's burden or challenge a little bit lighter~

                                               being grateful for this fresh gift of a new year.
                                                                   love & best to you.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

reflections from the journey...

here i am spending time at the ocean...what a lovely respite after a busy, amazing summer & fall filled with times of emotion, change, joy & mixed tears...but this ocean place is something that often calls me and sometimes, i can answer, 'yes'.  so, happily, here i am--in the midst of the rain, change of season that October brings-- the fallen leaves, the ocean's storminess, the rain falling on the skylights of my little house...all part of the times.  today, i had the rich opportunity of seeing several deer out my upstairs window...walking on the golf course which my backyard touches...they were so gentle, quiet and relaxed even the midst of their surroundings where sometimes people hit balls all over, walk with golf bags on their shoulders and even take their game very were these lovely creatures, folding their legs into their resting pose to wait and watch--the rain, the day or to nap.

i find that as i'm here in the midst of a rainier time, i read more, relax more, feel less of the expectation to get out to "do something"...which, is, after all, the whole point of this time...and yet, it takes the weather being less welcoming for me to 'stay in'...and that's okay.  perhaps, from this time, even when here later with different weather, i'll remember, reflect and even then reach for the restfulness of this time.  i hope so.

Saturday, September 8, 2012


lots of amazing, wonderful, sometimes-challenging, changes are happening for me...that feeling of  "wow! what do i do now?" has come over me numerous times in the few weeks.  our youngest son headed off to college, and frankly, i know it's been a bit more challenging for all of us--more than we'd anticipated; however, the good news is that for the most part, he's happy and doing well which means his mama is too!  weird how that works!  as individuals, the parental units are doing well; however, the unfolding of newness continues as his dad & i are really alone for the first time ever as i came into this relationship with two other small, amazing boys...we're finding our way, some days with more success than others, but we are--which is good.

another wonderful, amazing happening is a wedding for our oldest son next weekend. such a joyous time for all of us!  his fiancee is a beautiful person--inside & out--and well-matched to this terrific young man. we are all very happy for them~  it's fun planning, anticipating, getting ready, choosing this & that, clothing & shoes, decor for every event--the process has been very enjoyable even on crazy days of too much to do!  all of this will take place a couple of hours away in the mountains with incredible beauty surrounding so very little extra is needed.  setting: ranch, grasses, mountains, blue sky--a lovely red barn and mess hall compliment the tall pines and wild flowers--just perfect!  yes. it will be a very special day with all those nearest & dearest to the two whose love & commitment we all celebrate.

life has a funny way of taking us along -- we can choose to embrace each of the events in our lives, participate in and be a part of the happenings, or we can passively muddle our way along without paying attention--still, life moves on. i choose & am grateful to be an intentional participant in life.   Yes!

Friday, July 13, 2012

opportunities of gratitude

i sit in the loft of my studio, lovely music playing & cool breezes from the fan creating a wonderful, peace-filled time...i am quiet.  listening to the beauty of the various instruments playing, the music touches deep within me...reading there, words of incredible reminder of the life i choose to live, the lives others seek and find to live...the opportunities & privilege we have to live our best lives.  do we take that opportunity and live that responsibility well?  i'm not thinking of 'the list' of what we're 'to do' to live a successful life...rather, i'm referring to the best life I am called to out my path, honorably, truly, gratefully and with joy.  whatever my path calls me to, do i do it within that framework knowing that's the journey of a life well-lived?

my youngest son heads off to college in less than 6 weeks...i will miss him at a depth i've not oft felt before...he is my bright, youngest, favorite, of 3 favorite sons.  as i sit in the loft, i am thinking of him moving on to college...the beauty and adventure that lie ahead for him and i am so happy for him!  what a great opportunity is his to head off, taking his loving spirit, his bright mind, his inquisitive and creative nature off to seek new and different opportunities and ideas many of which haven't even crossed his mind before.  yes, i'm very excited for him to have this life.   i am also very grateful for his being the ongoing presence in my life through the past 18 years. one of the things i'm most grateful for is his encouraging me, reminding me and,  sometimes,calling me out to be the person i think & say i am...thank you, youngest son. i will miss you, yes.  but more, i'm happy for you~

reflections on a day in May...

while this is, at this point in the summer, a reflection on a previous time, i want to share it as it holds something to be grateful for, think about, be with... peace~

having the privilege of taking a nap on a warm spring afternoon is a gift...yesterday, not only did i get to do such an outrageously, luxuriant thing, but i was joined by my sweet little cat, Sammie~  she is quite the gal! what a serendipitous gift she's been joining our lives almost 3 years ago as a wee mite.

a hammock was our setting...the warm spring breezes were blowing--not too hot, not too cold--just right.  Sammie chose to be restful with her 'mama' in the hammock, and we both fell asleep--what a delightful time of being.  i learn alot from her...some lessons i may not want to look at but nevertheless, there they are.  so i seek to learn & be the best i am and, within that context, realize my best changes all the time...and that's an amazing and beautiful realization for me~

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

being present...

in the past few months, it seems there have been more than the usual amount of health-issue stories touching people i know...people who discover they have advanced cancer, someone's parent has early-stage Alzheimer' who has struggled for many years with addiction and sadness let's go and goes onto what's next...people in their fifties having complications from medical procedures or low-quality medical care and pass...sadness can overtake one's psychological make-up if one dwells on the trauma...drama...challenge.

in the midst of all this, where does one find some solace, peace, respite of one's spirit?  when even people who lean into skepticism reflect about end of the world activities, i pause and reflect and weigh in...i want to live a life of presence no matter what's happening...and yes, i have been deeply touched by most, if not all, of the examples listed above.  will, however, any of those tragedies be less difficult if i allow my life to become unhinged?  if i quit trying to live my life to my best abilities--will that make the hurt less? doesn't living fully mean feeling the sadness, embracing the loss while living in the midst?

in some communities, such as in Sendai, where a huge and devastating tsunami occurred just over a year ago, friends living there reflected with me and told me that one of the best ways, as a culture, they honor those lost in tragic events like this is to pick up, keep living, build again, continue on...for them, this honors, in the best way with respect & dignity, the loss & the life.  how do we, as people in this country, honor the tragedies but not live for the drama?  how have we contributed, as a society, to a less positive and more challenge-driven people?  do we, in any way,  see life as so black and white that either we become mired in the tragedy and cannot move forward or we seek the drama and challenge and 'live for the next one'?  what does that say about us?   what does that say about of us--as ultimately, it is each of us individually who have to choose how we live and respond to life?

if i choose to live in the present, in the midst of difficulty & trouble and yet find calm in my heart, what does that say about me?  can i be the best, compassionate person i know to be and yet do that?  being present in the midst is what i am called to do...with integrity, intention and peace, i am called to be the best person i can be...embrace the moments of joy, challenge, life and be present in the midst of each moment~