Saturday, February 22, 2014

Winter reflection

It has been a harsh winter in Minnesota ... sub-zero temperatures, wind chills dropping down to -40s, and a couple days ago more heavy snowfall with blizzard conditions. I am fortunate I am able to afford a service to come plough my driveway and all I have to do is shovel my patio. Yet even my patio, and the heavy snow was tiring and hard on my back. It has become harder to find a place to even place the snow, or enough strength to lift a shovel full of wet, heavy snow above a pile of growing snow.

I admit I was wishing for spring. I am tired of the bitter cold, of not being able to take my little Ishka who is full of boundless, puppy energy for long walks. And then this morning I am reminded by Ishka and Legacy of how to live in the moment, of how to cherish and see the beauty. They find joy in the piles of snow, they tear around the yard and leap in the air without a care in the world .. and then they curl up to rest. And then there is Legacy, who plops himself down in the deep snow, content. Simply content.

I took time this morning to trudge around in the deep snow in my back yard. To watch Ishka and Legacy explore. I can only imagine the many scents they experience .... and somehow, my heart drifts to Ahnung. This is my first winter without my spirit dog and guide by my side, in physical form. But she picked Legacy and she guided me to Ishkode, so as I trudged around the snow in my boots, with Legacy close by and Ishka doing her best to trip me in the snow as she played games with my snow boot laces, I could feel Ahnung with me.

And this morning as I take time to enjoy the snow, the beauty around me, and to feel Ahnung's spirit in me, in Legacy and Ishka, in the snow, the trees, and all around me, I find myself reflecting on another one of my favorite Mary Oliver poems ... When Death Comes ...

It will be 6 months on February 25th .... I remember that Sunday, August 25, 2013 like it was yesterday. I remember holding my sweet Ahnung and feeling the weight of her head and body lean into me and let go as she took her last breath and her spirit was set free. I remember that moment and the pain of feeling a part of my being ripped from me. But I also remember, her spirit fill my heart, my soul, and being ... and in that moment I promised to continue listening, and to learn to walk with my Ahnung in a new way. And yes, she continues to guide me from the stars and from the spirit world ....

When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse

to buy me, and snaps his purse shut;
when death comes
like the measle-pox;

when death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,

I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering;
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?

And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,

and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,

and each name a comfortable music in the mouth
tending as all music does, toward silence,

and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.

When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was a bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened
or full of argument.

I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.

~ Mary Oliver ~