Saturday, December 27, 2008
Returning home ...
I returned yesterday afternoon from a week vacationing in Marco Island, Florida. My partner and I spent the week in the exact same condo unit we were at last year - E205 at the Club Regency. The screened in lanai of the unit faced out towards the ocean. My morning meditation and writing time came with the sounds of ocean waves and sea gulls and pelicans -- it was as if a hypnotic spell was cast over me. The spell would be momentarily broken as I would sip my cup of tea - loose leaf black forest tea: a blend of black tea, green mate, coconut, rose petals and cornflower blossoms. I realized how important quiet time and solitude is for my soul; i realized how my spirit is energized by simply being in the midst of nature and how I learn more about my true self when I dare to sit in silence -- no distractions.
The holidays are always a little challenging for me. I am reminded of my father who died when I was four years old. December 20th, 2008 was his 40th death anniversary. That day, while walking on the beach, my partner commented to me on a family -- there were two girls and a boy with their mother (a young woman taking photos with her digital point and shoot) - their dark skin (south asian descent) and something about them made her think of me with my sister and brother. As I watched the young woman capture moments with her camera of the one girl, a huge grin on her face as she buried her sister in sand with only her head exposed, I could sense both love and sadness in her heart. Was she raising 3 young kids on her own like my mother had to when my father died at the young age of 39? As I took a deep breath I could smell someone smoking a pipe ... it was a sweet smell. I looked around to see where it was coming from but could see no one smoking a pipe. My partner also looked -- nothing. My father used to smoke a pipe on occasion. My father's spirit has always been with me. Maybe it's wishful thinking ... on the other hand, I believe our soul lives on after we die. I believe my father was with me on December 20th. I believe messages are always coming to us -- we are often too distracted or resistant to be open to the messages.
Every evening at around 5:30 I would watch the sun - the spectacular life-giving sun - slowly, confidently and peacefully disappear into the horizon.
One night, with my digital SLR, I captured an image of the sun setting and two seagulls that speaks so profoundly to me, especially as 2008 comes to a close and I find myself being even more so reflective. With every sun set, with every ending, with every loss ... it's an opportunity to explore, to be free and to spread our wings! As a kid I feared the dark. I was afraid to close my eyes -- fearful that something bad would happen. As a 44 year old I am learning that darkness and the night skies are not something to fear -- it's a time to soar, to let your imagination free ... it's a time to dream. I am learning that the night skies are filled with magnificent stars, like my sweet Ahnung whom I have since decided will continue to be my north star (my partner and I will be adopting her soon!). And when the sun rises it's time to make our dreams a reality.
I am happy to be home. My time both at Red Lake and Marco Island were both healing and energizing. I am happy to be back in my writing/meditation room in St. Paul -- and on this early Saturday morning it brings warmth to my heart as I look over to the extra large flannel-covered LL Bean dog bed and see three absolutely beautiful big black dogs: Mister, Missy and Ahnung. Yes, they are all rescued dogs. The truth though ... is that they have rescued me more than I have rescued them.
I am grateful for all that 2008 has given to me ... I am grateful for all my loving friends and partner, for my passion that continues to be fueled with the work I am fortunate enough to do on behalf of abandoned, abused and neglected animals, and for the lessons (even the difficult ones) that bring me closer to living life the only way I would like to live my life ... The Stray Dog Way.
I embrace 2009 with all it has to offer and trust that my journey will unfold exactly the way it is meant to unfold.