This winter so many people I know and love have been dying or falling ill. And just this morning, news of yet another one, a family member much younger than me. A friend said, “Well, we are of that age when this will happen more frequently.” Honestly, not much comfort in that statement, but someone has to be the realist I suppose. In a recent doctor visit I was reminded that I myself am nearing my expiration date, as well. It may be ten or twenty years away, or maybe much less than that. I am scheduled for a few tests tomorrow and beyond. Pending insurance approval, of course. I am feeling pretty bemused by this experience. I suddenly lost hearing in one ear just a couple days after seeing my doctor for a routine exam. I was sent to the emergency room where they drew an enormous amount of blood. For me, a drop is a lot, so bear with me. While in that process there was more discussion about what my insurance would and wouldn’t pay for when I asked them to check my thyroid hormone level while they were at it. Turns out they could check it, with a doctor’s order, of course, but what I marvel at is here I am in the ER and feeling pretty shaken and vulnerable and they are making a point to let me know about the financial end of things. Very therapeutic. Thanks so much. All I want to know is if I can still do shoulder stands later on today.
So back to the dying part. When my ear went deaf suddenly and the world narrowed down into strange sound bytes like the refrigerator motor running and the crack and pop of the fire burning in the wood stove I asked myself ” If you are dying do you want to do that in the ER, or on the way there in this very real snow storm, or would you prefer your bed?” I went to bed. My dog came in to snuggle, but actually got on top of me, where upon I had to push her off me to breathe, and she left the room in a funk. She hasn’t slept with me since that night so I really think I hurt her feelings pretty badly. She was trying to keep me in my body maybe and I wrestled free. I have a habit of doing that, you know. Breaking free of restrictions, leaving boring and boxed in jobs or relationships, living situations that no longer suit. I tend to stick with something at least for a year, to claim that I committed to it. The one constant in my life besides my sobriety has been my massage practice. It’s my life’s work actually and something to which I have devoted 24 +years of constant study. I read volumes of related material and have a great deal to share in that vein. Or so I think, most days.
But back to the dying thing. Sometime ago I learned of a shamanic practice that helps prepare a person for their own death. I engage in this practice sporadically. I really want to transcend this life in an “exalted” way. In other words, I want to be of service to my descendants rather than feed off of them due to having to hang around as a shade. And this world is very cluttered with shades. Of the human kind. Too many have died without a proper psychopomp, but I won’t be going into detail about that here as it deserves a more thorough description. You will have to wait for the next installment. Insert smiley face here.
Today I will live with the fact that I will die. Today I will prepare for that death with all the grace I can muster. Today I will enjoy the sun on my face and the blanket of snow all around that will water all those seeds in the ground. Today death has no sting.
Autumn here in the northern hemisphere. Making a fire in the morning now, and then later after dark. My favorite time of year. Remembering my people long dead. Ancestors coming round for their due. I think they are pleased with me, mostly. Maybe somewhat impatient, like I am, about current national affairs. Here I am facing my inner demons every day. Taking them to lunch so they keep their mouths shut about my shortcomings, my lack of awareness, my blind places. They are not vegan. They still like a meat and potato sort of feasting. I can hear them noshing in my sleep.
Buried the old dog Mallory a week past. I performed ceremony, and danced the grief away under the light of the moon. I can sleep through the night now,though I still hear her giving me gruff, needing in or out, wanting her blanket and a tuck in at night. The other dogs miss her, too. Husband concurs. I know it’s left a hole in my daughter as Mallory was her dog and a sweet witness to the beginning of her adult life. I think back on all the animals that have come and gone in my life. It is a great crowd, a clan of beasts, my kin. Tonight they feel very near and close in to my heart. Rest easy, sweet friends. All are hallowed here. Sweet dreams in the darkening year.
My heart is taken by my grand daughter. She’s toddling now, and learning new words and sounds, making her own songs ,and exploring everything everywhere. You must keep an eye on her every minute. This demands time and attention and in the moment changes of plans. Grandmothering. I’m putting to use everything I’ve ever learned about relationships and childrearing, and ADDING the intentions of my work in the world. It’s all one, really. Being present to life each and every moment. Time speeds and slows. Cycles spin and return again. I’m a toddler revisited, on my knees looking under things, laughing, discovering my self over, all while seeing to the very real needs of this wee being in front of me. Bless us, Grandmother, with your presence your light your loving heart. Renew us again and again.
Yesterday, after a very busy morning, I heard a young red tail hawk calling in the stand of cottonwoods on the north side of our property. I thought,”May be a good time to see this youngster.” So, I walked back through the sage and damp ground from recent rains. The calls were regular and distinctive and I could hone in on the sound. As I entered under the long arms of the cottonwood I saw one of the parents, who saw me at the same time, and flew off closer to it’s offspring, which I couldn’t yet see, so I said a few rounds of Thank You’s, and meandered down closer to the tree trunks. I walked carefully, quietly, respectfully, and as I came around the bottom of one of the old trees, I felt something on my right, and as I turned, there on the ground, was the other parent hawk. She was less than four feet from my face, above me on the hillside. She must have heard me coming all that time, but sat there silently. I said, “Whoa!” in surprise, then she flew directly at me, with a calm undisturbed grace. I instinctively turned away and covered my head and face with my right arm, fully expecting her to flap me like a mad hen. Instead, she flew over my head, and I could feel the draft of her wings as she made her exit. Wow! My heart was beating and adrenaline poured through me, making me pant and gasp with relief and amazement. Wow. Just wow.
I guess it’s fair to say that Power stalked me, instead of the other way around. More like an ambush, really. She could have left easily before I got there, and I would have never even seen her. I’m still integrating this experience, and am humbled yet again by the magnificence of Mama Nature and all Her Children.
I have recently let go of working with a special population of people in favor of getting the writing done, now that the research is complete. I am also endeavoring to start seeing clients again for Energy Medicine and bodywork, shamanic journeys, home and land clearings, compassionate depossession, and the work that is calling loudest, which is the psychopomp work. This involves end of life preparation from the spiritual perspective, and you do’t have to have a terminal illness in order to begin this work. It is about tidying up all sorts of life concerns like forgiveness, recapitulation, and letting go of what no longer serves. This can mean changing life paths and even involve the mundane affairs of cleaning out the garage in order to release the physical collections one has held dearly. It is a process of healing, and releasing, as well as forward looking at destiny lines, rather than clinging to our fate. I hope you’ll join me. It would be pretty boring to do all alone. And we do want to be thorough, don’t we? Stay tuned as it unfolds.
The neighbor has come and gone this morning, bringing with her the holiday plate of Christmas candies and banana nut bread that she brings every year. She marveled over the baby and I did my best to keep the dogs from sniffing her fanny. I like her, and she has a clean house, which, I do not. A lot goes by the way when you have a new baby in the house, and three dogs, and a husband with a cold. I am making sure everyone eats and is warm, and trying not to stir up dust with the vacuum cleaner. Priorities.
Breakfast is ready, which consists of left overs warmed up, but will have to suffice until I whirl into a cleaning frenzy later on. Then there is the cookie baking and gift making that runs concurrently throughout the day. No shortage of stuff that needs doing around here. oh, and the laundry. Always laundry with newborns especially when using cotton diapers instead of the landfill filling kind. At least this breast milk baby poop will end up feeding bacteria in the yard through the gray water.
Yes. Life keeping. That’s what we are up to today.
This morning at 4:11 AM Mountain Standard Time our planet aligned with the galactic center. That’s important to many people and for various reasons. For me, I am now a Grandmother in the truest of senses. My only daughter Maggi has given birth to a new being in the world. We will call her Rosie, because her real name is long in order to heal and unite her ancestors. I am extremely glad to be living at this time with all the many changes, even the sad ones, for I am seeing how human beings are creating oneness and collaborations in far greater numbers than I have ever seen before. This is very exciting. In writing this I am endeavoring to conclude, or at least tidy up, my own healing of past issues in order to move ahead with what is calling my soul into the world.
As I watched the red candle burning all night on my altar, I felt the shifting within my self. I healed my own rain forests and rivers, and put away the bulldozers that have been shredding my own mountains and valleys. I purified my inner air and stilled the tempest that has been raging for so many years in my heart. With all that settled, I can proceed with the work “out there”. Wish me luck. Wish us all luck. It will take the lot of us to accomplish the “turn around” that is so necessary here on PLanet Earth. We will have each other, and that is a beautiful to behold.
May it be so.