Monday, January 1, 2024

Morning Musing to My Senior Dog

My sweet boy Legacy turned 12 this year. I walked with him on Saturday morning (12/30/2023) and when I got home I reflected on our morning walk together ...  my morning walks are my sacred and cherished times with each of my pups. Every day I rotate who I walk with ... on Saturday, it was Legacy's turn.

Legacy - Dec. 2023

Morning Musing to My Senior Dog

A time will come when my sunrise walks with you will be a memory, a series of magical moments in my heart
Till then, I memorize the way you look at me
The way you gently tug on the leash
The way you mark every tree, pole, special patch of grass saying “I was here”
The way you look at me with those soulful eyes

I memorize the way your beautiful bushy tail wags in excitement, the unique markings of your shades of brown on your beige body and the heart shaped brown spot on your back leg

I touch your chest. I feel your heart. I sense the vibration of every heart beat. Your heart sweet boy is my heart.

My heart hurts thinking of the day when this moment, this sunrise walk with you will be a memory. And I remind myself to return to this moment. I memorize and inhale every feeling, sensation, of our connection into every cell of my body.

This morning, my friend Anticipatory Grief paid me a visit. And with her came my other friend Presence.

Baby Legacy in 2011

Thursday, November 23, 2023

Lessons from my Achilles Tendon

A little over 3 months ago I had surgery to repair my ruptured achilles tendon. Somewhere along my life’s journey I learned to not depend on others. That giving was much easier for me than receiving. That putting others ahead of me came without even thinking. That to ask for help was a sign of weakness? Was it because I grew in the beautiful country of Thailand, in a country and culture where community and “We” came before “I”? Was it because I was let down and disappointed when I built up the courage to ask for help? Was it because as a little girl I remember feeling so alone, huddled in the corner of my room crying and praying someone would hear me and come to comfort me - and no one came? Whatever the reason, I have to come to learn that asking for help and support makes my body contract and I have also learned it is okay to ask for support. That yes, some will let me down but not everyone will. That harm caused by one or a few does not mean harm will be caused by all. 

With my achilles rupture and after surgery I would not be able to walk or put any weight on my injured leg for 2 weeks and the recovery would be months … with 3 pups and living alone there was no way I would be able to manage on my own. I got uncomfortable and asked for support. A dear friend of mine watched and cared for one of my pups - the young active one :). My sister flew into town and stayed with me for a couple weeks to help care for me and my other two pups. I would not have been able to manage without the support of family and friends. Friends came by to bring food to just hang out with me. My neighbor picked up my mail and wheeled my trash, recycling and compost bins to the end of my driveway. Every day I had to practice leaning in and resting into the warmth and beauty of being held and supported … to not push it away. The achilles tendon is the thickest and strongest tendon in the body. Amazing how I took my achilles tendon for granted until the day she ruptured on the tennis court. My love and appreciation for the strength and role of my achilles tendon has shifted drastically … I have also had to practice deep patience in the healing journey. 13 weeks post surgery I am still unable to do a single leg calf raise. What I AM able to do which brings me great joy is return to my morning walks to the water … I rotate taking my beautiful pups (Legacy, Ishkode and Migizi). Quality time with each of them by the water and now walks to welcome the day and the sun as she wakes up and emerges over the horizon. 

I have come to love and appreciate my achilles. I am learning to listen and pay attention to all the teachings and lessons from this injury, from allowing others into my circle to support me; to receiving; to persist and know that healing is not linear; to appreciate all parts of my body especially parts I have taken for granted; to honor and remember to live in balance and in harmony … the achilles is the tendon that allows me to balance on my feet and I am learning to notice every ligament and muscle around my achilles .. the weak spots that require more attention from me to strengthen her … my daily exercises focus on strength and balance and being patient with that which is weak within me and to love all within me, both strong and weak.

Some day I will be able to do a single leg calf raise and when that day arrives I will celebrate and express deep gratitude for the beautiful tendon that is teaching me Balance, Persistence, Grace, and Connection.

My achilles has given me the gift of awakening me to how this magnificent tendon is a reflection of my life in mind, body, heart and spirit.




Sunday, October 1, 2023

Celebrating 35 years of Sobriety

Today I celebrate 35 years of sobriety. On October 1, 1988 I walked into an AA 12-step meeting after checking out of Barnes Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri. The same hospital my Papa had died on December 20, 1968 when I was 4 years old. 35 years ago I had reached a low in life that was unbearable ... on the outside everything was perfect. Yup, a functioning alcoholic and one who found other addictions like striving for perfection through work or sports to numb the pain that was buried deep in my heart and in the cells of my body. A survivor of sexual abuse when I was 9 years old and a secret I kept till I was almost 20 years old. I survived by numbing, by disassociating ... at the young age of 22 I felt like I could no longer breathe, I no longer wanted to live. I was in an emotionally

and physically abusive relationship and I did not know how to get out. The only way out I could see was to take my own life. Maybe then I would be with my Papa, I thought. In 2008 I wrote a piece called, The Rope. I share it here on my 35 year anniversary of choosing life. I share in hopes that if my story provides hope for one person that yes, we can move through the darkest moments, we can heal, and we can emerge even stronger .. then sharing my story has served her purpose. I share because keeping secrets nearly killed me. I share for the many who have suffered from sexual abuse, partner violence, mental health and thoughts and attempts of suicide ... At 22, I fell straight into the arms of my father who told me, it's not my time. It has been a long road of healing and recovery .... and my life today is brighter than it has ever been and surrounded by the most beautiful people. For over 30+ years I begin my day with meditation, quiet ... and until I tore my achilles I I would walk to the water and watch the sunrise with one of my pups (soon, though, I will be returning to my morning walks!). I began adding qigong about 7 years ago. I journal. I intersperse moments throughout the day to notice my body, the sensations in my body, where my breathing is coming from and noticing and appreciating the awe and miracles of life all around me ... from my pups to the cardinals that visit me every day .. to the squirrels, the trees, the water. 

The Rope (written in 2008)


I remember the darkness and stillness of the room.  I was sitting on the edge of the queen size bed, alone, in a Hampton Inn motel in Hazelwood, Missouri, a small suburb north of St. Louis, right off of highway 270, the outer belt of St. Louis.  At 22, I had reached the end of the rope.   The slow descent began at 4 with the death of my father, and the emotional evaporation of my mother, as her physical body remained on earth while her soul took flight the day my father died.  The gradual descent dropped into a downward spiral the year we left Bangkok.  It was 1979.  I was 15. My father’s death at age 4 was the first ingredient poured into an old-fashioned pressure cooker, where emotions of grief and pain were sealed tight by my mother who had lost the love of her life, and her heart frozen in time. The years passed, and more ingredients were added to the pressure cooker:  sexual abuse by a trusted family friend and Catholic deacon, alcohol, peer pressure, struggles with sexual identity, not fitting in – desperately wanting to fit in and to deny everything about my roots, my past, my culture; my language; sudden loss of my “second mother” to a drunk driver.  Without a safety valve, an explosion was imminent. 

I clasped a bottle of sleeping pills in one hand.  In the other hand, a Bud light.  I hear the water filling up the bathtub.  I have reached the end of the rope.  The palms of my hands, once blistered from hanging on, had callused.  My exit plan – pop the sleeping pills, fall asleep, drown in the bath tub and never wake up.  Let go of the rope.  Finally, let go.

Images of my father flash before me.  Images of him catching me.  The four year old in me smiles, remembering moments in his arms.  How fun it was to play with his glasses.  How safe it felt in his arms.  The 22 year old is tired.  There’s no more fight left.  The threads holding the rope are coming apart.

And so, that night, I execute on my plan – pop the pills, and fall asleep; my body submerged in the bathtub.  Alone, in a hotel room with stale air.  The lights go out.  I am, finally, letting go.


My eyes open.  I awaken to the same hotel room.  It’s the middle of the night now.  My eyes fixate on the ceiling for a moment – a dirty white with specks of grey.  Surreal, stale air inhabits the hotel room like cigarette smoke hovering around lost souls in a bar, in search of that “something”.  There’s a heaviness in my heart.  I remember falling asleep in the bathtub filled with warm water, inhaling toxic fumes of bleach combined with other chemical agents.   Over the years, I have been asked, by the brave few wanting to make sense of how anyone could attempt to take their own life, “how could you?”, “what was going through your head?”

“Nothing.” I respond to them, as sadness fills my heart remembering the young adult whose palms, scorched from blisters and tired from the fight, decided that letting go was the only exit.  “Nothing,” I say, as I remember the protective layer that encased by battered heart.  I just wanted the pain to end.  I just wanted to rest.  I just wanted to emerge from the darkness.

Somehow, someway my submerged body was air lifted out of the bathtub onto the queen size bed.   Remnants of all I had ingested the past 24 hours had created a drunken pathway, from the bathtub to the bed.   A deathly stench consumed the room.  Somehow, someway, I took those steps – I don’t remember.   I have imagined angels lifting me out of the water.  I have imagined my father, gently carrying me to the bed, whispering to me “not yet baby [that’s what he used to call me], not yet.” As I realize I am alive and my plan has failed, the stale air is replaced with a stench of defiance.

I’m many years older now.  What happened that night remains a mystery to me. The unfolding of the “why” has been my life’s journey. Mistakes and questions are regular guests in my home. Not knowing and uncertainty have burrowed in the foundations of my home. I am learning. I am unlearning. I am breaking down. I am breaking open. I am discovering. I am re-discovering. My life, who I am, my place in community, this planet, this universe. The more I learn about me, the more I learn there is no me, just we.

I am learning there are millions of threads, that make up strands, which in turn make a rope.  I am learning that every thread connects me to something, someone, or some purpose; as we find common threads and re-build strands from worn out threads, we strengthen the rope of life.  At 22, my tired, callused hands let go of the one remaining tattered strand, as I danced at the doorsteps of death, only to fall straight into a hammock, handcrafted from a mesh of rope.   At 22, I fell straight into the arms of my father, and into the hammock of life.  

Today, I celebrate 35 years from the day I chose life. Granted, I needed a little nudge from Papa and from my first dog Splat, a puppy who came into my life at a time I needed the most. And then Papa continued to send me many angels in the bodies of 4 legged furry beings to help me heal. In 2008, he led me to Red Lake nation up in northern Minnesota and to by now spirit dog, Ahnung. And Papa and Ahnung continue to be my north stars in anything and everything I do in this lifetime ... they will call me to join then when it is my time. Until then, my hope is to sprinkle love and healing in this beautiful world .....

Monday, January 30, 2023

Listening to the wisdom of beings in all forms


Temps were below zero and wind chills approaching minus 30 so I opted not to take any of the pups with me for a walk this morning. I decided to go to Normandale Lake this morning ... for some reason ... I don't walk here too often but something called me there. As I turned right onto the road between the lake and the parking lot, on my left I saw what my first thought was a wolf. As I reflect back on the moment it wasn't even me seeing this beautiful being ... I FELT wolf energy. And I saw this large beautiful gray being walk across the frozen lake with head up high, confident and a stroll and a slow even pace that I can still feel in my body. I have often seen coyotes in the area .. they have a different energy and feel. Then that part of me kicked in that wanted to capture a photo or a video ... all the while this inner voice in me kept whispering to me to simply feel his presence. Feel his presence and soak in the magnificence of this amazing being walking across a frozen lake with a backdrop of the sun rising. I listened to that inner voice ... with no cars behind me I slowed down and just watched as he crossed the lake. And when I got back to my car after my walk, a red-tail hawk flew above me. I chose not to pull my phone out to capture a photo. I chose to simply BE in the presence and the energy.

This morning in my meditation practice my dream from last night came forward into my consciousness. I had a lucid dream of leaving a gathering and following someone into the open water. I jumped in with snorkels. The entry was in this large house that had beautiful beige steps that led to the water. In some ways it felt like a swimming pool. It also felt like open water. I jumped in to follow this human being (I don't know who he was ... just someone I trusted). It was night time. Once in the water I realized I was in the open water .. in the ocean ... off to my right we saw this massive whale and we began following her. I could keep up with her. I wasn't afraid. Then dolphins and sharks appeared and I was swimming with them. I found myself sinking and i had to paddle to stay not too far from the surface. At one point I remember thinking I better go up for air and yet and the same time I felt like I could hold my breath indefinitely. The paradox of holding both. There wasn't the either/or dichotomy ... it was holding both. I can still feel the water against my skin ... I can see these magnificent beings all around me ... I can feel the awe, the peace and also how small I was and how that didn't matter. And later in that dream I was in this school bus with one of my dogs. I don't know exactly which dog but she was younger black dog and this dog had the energy of Ahnung, Ishkode and Migizi all at the same time. And then in my dream we leave the school bus and there are 7-10 puppies we are supposed to lead somewhere ... this black dog .... 'my' dog leads them. They follow her. We cross streets. We cross and step into puddles of water. When she stops they all stop. We pass this one woman who has her own dog and she gets nervous as she holds her dog tight ... fearful that the puppies will antagonize her dog. The puppies ignore her and her dog and she looks at us with surprise. Ahnung/Ishkode/Migizi ... leading a pack of puppies. I wonder where am I being guided. Am I one with these combined being of Ahnung/Ishkode/Migizi? Am I to guide? to lead?

And yesterday on my drive to Woody's Pet Food Deli, along Normandale Blvd, something again had me look to the left. I have come to trust and listen to that voice inside me of that simply nudges me to turn my attention in a certain direction. Perched on a tree was a huge eagle. I have seen eagles fairly often perched way up high on trees along Normandale blvd ... but never so low and so close that I can feel their magnificent size and presence in my body. Honestly, if the speed limit wasn't 45 mph and I could easily have stopped I would have but the eagle energy had infused my being .. my cells. So much so that on my way home from Woody's I hoped to see the eagle again. I would be on the same side of the road this time. Unfortunately I did not see the eagle and yet I felt his energy so I turned around to head north again on Normandale. And yes, I saw him but he had moved and was perched much higher and at the top of a massive evergreen. There is a message there as well. I listened to the nudge and the whisper and I saw the eagle close up. When I returned and I could not see the eagle with my eyes, my gut told me otherwise. I listened. I turned around and there he was ... but much further up. There are many ways of knowing and of seeing. I must continue to trust this Way of knowing and being.

After seeing what appeared to be a wolf (although rationally I know it is unlikely ... others would probably say it was a large coyote ... maybe it was ... the energy was very much wolf energy. Maybe he was half coyote and half wolf) .... driving home from my morning walk my gut was saying animal spirit was trying to get my attention. What was Papa trying to tell me? What was Ahnung trying to tell me. I asked them if they would be willing to send the cardinals today ... and that way I would know for sure they were speaking to me. And shortly after I arrived home, a female cardinal showed up at the bird feeder (she hasn't been around for a while). I didn't have my phone to capture her ... shortly after the male cardinal appeared and he hung around a little longer for me to grab my phone and catch him on video. 

And last weekend as I was reflecting on how to hold and create space for a circle I am offering out into the universe I came upon two deer crossing the Minnesota River, not far from the bdote (where the Mississippi River and Minnesota River meet) ... I carried the worry of the lake not being frozen as there were pockets of open water not far from them .. would they cross safely? I worried and yet they did not seem worried. And yes, they crossed safely. Deer medicine. The lessons and miracles of water in all its various forms.

Every morning after meditation and qigong, I say out loud in six directions, "I am a commitment to listening to the wisdom of beings in all forms, for the sake of creating space for wholeness, healing and equity."

I am listening.

Eagle. Wolf. Coyote. Red-tailed hawk. Whale. Dolphin. Shark. Cardinal. Deer. Dog. Ahnung. Ishkode. Migizi.

The themes of water in all its various forms and states; being in a vehicle (in my conscious state and my dream state);  the line between conscious and unconscious is like a thin veil ...  I am grateful for all my teachers that guide me and show me a different Way (four-legged, feathered, marine, 2-legged and nature in all her magnificence).

I am listening. I am trusting. I am grateful.

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

When Grief comes to visit again


I have been noticing over the past couple weeks how this feeling I can't describe comes over me .... it is different and yet familiar all at once. I walk every morning to the water; i meditate and practice qigong every morning; i offer gratitude at the water and during morning practices, for the gift of another day, another sunrise, another sunset and for all the beautiful beings in my life - 4-legged, 2-legged, feathered .....

I find myself being in the moment as I notice Migizi, Ishkode and Legacy ... how they are walking; how they are breathing; how their chest rises and falls with every breath, how their legs, lips or body twitches when they are dreaming; i notice their unique markings - Legacy's bushy tail and how he burrows his nose under his tail while snuggled on the couch; this one special patch on Migizi's body ... on her neck where her coat is a slightly lightly color compared to her velvet black color ... and how her fur moves in the opposite direction; the unique lightning patterned white patch on Ishkode's back by her shoulders. I want to memorize their every move and the feeling of their body against mine; of how they walk in the mornings; the way they run in the snow in the backyard; how the sun lands on their body when we are out walking in the woods. I want to memorize everything about them. I am in the present moment in fullness with them and then in the next fleeting second I have this feeling come over ... a cloud carrying the words "some day I will no longer have them with me in physical form. They will be a memory, like Ahnung, Mister, Missy, Splat, Shen, Shadow."

And Grief makes her presence known. A return visitor.

Grief: I am here.

Why are you here?

Grief: I am never far. I am always watching over you.

I ask her but why now. Why knock on my door again? None of the pups are sick.

I invite her into my home. I offer her a seat by the fire. And together we share a cup of loose leaf jasmine tea. I remember her previous visits. I remember the pain in my cells ... how I felt the air in my lungs had been sucked out; how I couldn't breathe; how my heart felt a heaviness so deep; how the earth under my feet trembled and shook and I felt I would be swallowed; how I wanted to run from this pain.

Grief: Breathe.

I don't know why Grief is here to visit. I know I must invite her in. Part of me wants to slam the door in her face. I pause and resist that temptation. She doesn't stay long. She pops in, and then she leaves. 

I realize when she visits she comes with the gift of Ahnung ... and of all those who have moved on to the spirit world. I hear Ahnung telling me not to fear Grief. She is a friend. She is a friend as much as Love and Joy and Happiness. She is not the price of loving deeply. She is Love in the purest form. She is unbounded Love. She is Love in all her fullness. Make friends with Grief when the earth isn't trembling below your feet. Keep loving deeply. Keep loving fully. She comes with the gift of those who have moved to a form and a way of being where they are always with you.

And so I listen to my beloved Ahnung, my north star ... I welcome Grief and I trust her visiting me now is a Gift, and as she pops in and out of our home we will get to know each other and we will deepen our relationship.

I practice letting go ... when holding on is in my bones.

I practice loving ... when the little girl in me screams, protect your heart!

I practice staying ... when running is what I did in order to survive.

With Ahnung in every cell of my body, I practice living in love, in fullness, and in uncertainty.

with Ahnung

with Missy

with Mister

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Lessons from a cardinal family

For the second time this year I have been blessed to have a cardinal mama choose to nest once again in the nest she built last summer … in a tree right outside my kitchen window. For whatever reason I have watched this miracle from a distance … appreciating and admiring but somehow not getting so pulled in. This second go around this year, it was very different. A week ago today on Father’s Day I saw the baby mouths wide open as mama cardinal fed them. She had been sitting on the eggs for almost 2 weeks … diligently watching over her eggs and keeping them warm. A week ago today, I also had a lot of emotions emerge in me as I opened up Papa’s briefcase that had been sitting in the corner of one of my closets for I don’t even know how many years. I am not sure what made me decide to go through his brief case this year. Needless to say, a lot emerged especially around my mother, Mama. I got a deeper glimpse into what mattered to her; how much I mattered to her and also despite all the challenges we had and the conflict (both of us struggling silently in our own pain and grief) that she loved me so deeply.

And so I have been watching Mama cardinal caring for her babies so fiercely and through her actions I found I felt the energy and presence of both Mama and Papa and my younger self in the journey of this cardinal family … gifted with the opportunity to witness close up the unfolding of the first 7 days of the 2 baby cardinals. And then last Tuesday we experienced extreme heat in Minnesota and there was a period where I was not sure if the baby cardinals were going to make it, and I experienced a tender and conflicted cross road in my mind and my heart … to intervene or to not intervene. Mama and Papa were still periodically returning so I chose to trust they knew best and did what I could to support Mama and Papa with supplying fresh water nearby, and strategically placing hand towels in the tree to block the sun that was pounding down on the baby cardinals. For the past week I have been so emotionally invested in this beautiful family and watching closeup their actions … and the feathers of these babies beginning to fill up …. 

Yesterday was day 7. When I woke up yesterday morning one of the fledglings had already left the nest. Only one was left. I witnessed up close as he was nudged and encouraged by Papa and Mama to begin flying … flapping his tiny wings and moving up branches in the tree. When he got tired and stopped Papa flew up to him as to encourage him, and then he flew off as if to show, this is how you do it ….. 

The nest is now empty and yesterday afternoon and evening I felt an emptiness … sadness and grief as I have had their presence for a week and have been so emotionally invested in them. I also felt joy that they survived and they are now venturing off into the world, being taught by their Papa and Mama to fly, and soon will be able to forage and feed themselves. 

The witnessing of this cardinal family has reached me in a deep way for some reason …. There are ties to emotions around my Papa and Mama … grief … survival …. And what cardinals have symbolized for me as a male cardinal appeared to me after Ahnung’s passing on August 25, 2013. Cardinals have continued to visit after Ahnung’s passing … I see them when I am journaling in my writing room that looks out to the backyard. Most of the times I have either a male cardinal visiting or a female cardinal .. sometimes they appear as a pair. There has been a male cardinal that visits very often and often perches on the wooden fence outside the window of my writing room. He just sits there and we look at each other. I feel Ahnung and my Papa’s energy so strongly in those moments. 

This morning I saw Papa and Mama flying in and out of a mulberry tree at the far end of my yard. I am grateful to know they have found refuge in the tree not too far from my home … I can’t see them up close anymore but simply knowing they are there .. that the fledglings are learning to fly in a tree that is also nourishing them from the fruit their parents bring to them … that they will soon to be taking longer flights and foraging for themselves. Today, I am grateful to feel their energy, their curiosity, their playfulness ….

Sunday, June 19, 2022

Papa has been teaching me every since he left this world

 As a 4 year old witnessing the death of her Papa ... December 20, 1968 at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis as the rush of doctors and machines came flying into Papa's room ... Mama's hysterical screams ... Little Drummer Boy playing over the hospital intercom ... a kind nurse grabbing my hand and guiding me out of the room.

The 4 year old didn't understand what was going on. That day when he left he created a hole so deep in my mother that also reached deep into my being. Decades later and not long before Mama was reunited with the love of her life, she said to me, "I am ready to go be with your Papa". Pain has ways of manifesting in us in many ways. And in an effort to survive we find ways to cope by numbing the pain. One way for me was with competitive sports (and that was deemed socially acceptable) ... and then when my life was uprooted and I no longer had the crutch of competitive sports to distract and numb the pain that was below the surface I reached for alcohol ... meanwhile, all this while now, I know Papa was with me, trying to reach me. The little girl looked for love anywhere she could find it. And she found it in a trusted family friend. It has been a lifelong journey for me of healing and learning to forgive that little girl, and even my abuser ... of learning secrets will destroy me; not everyone will hurt me; that yes, it is okay to trust, and to love again.

Today, on Father's Day I took my morning walk with Legacy. My morning reflections centered around Papa. I realize Papa has been with me since the day he left this world. Do I wish I could have had him with me in this life time, guiding me, teaching me, protecting me, holding me, carrying me ... absolutely ... yet I now know and appreciate he has taught me the art of listening in such a deep way, first to myself, and to realize the veil between this world and other worlds is very thin and that we do not exist in just one form ... his energy and his spirit is with me and he has sent me guides and angels .... almost 34 years ago, I attempted to take my own life - it was a planned attempt that doctors told me I am "lucky" to have survived. I can't explain and I can't remember in my conscious mind, how I got out of the water. Who lifted me out of the water? Some say it was my sub-conscious will to live. I know in my heart, it was Papa. I have this vivid memory and image of one of the darkest moments in my life where I didn't see any other way to escape the pain other than to take my own life, so do I understand what a pain so deep feels like when I hear of teenagers attempting and committing suicide? Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, I do.

I listened to the On Being episode where Krista Tippett replays a conversation with writer and poet, Ocean Vuong and at the end of the episode she shares an essay Ocean wrote, "the weight of our living: our hope, fire escapes and visible desperation" - a piece he wrote shortly after his uncle, just 3 years older than himself, committed suicide ... a piece that came about as he walking New York City and noticing the fire escapes .... "all that richness and drama sealed away in a fortress whose walls echoed with communication of elemental and exquisite language ... and yet only the fire escape, a clinging extremity, inanimate and often rusting, spoke - in its hardened exiled silence with the most visible human honesty: we are capable of disaster. And we are scared" And Ocean goes on talk about how many aren't able to communicate we are hurt. I think about the time I was hurting so deeply. I tried to communicate ... but not in direct and explicit words as I didn't have the words ... and so I ask, what if we all learned to listen more deeply to the many ways others communicate a desperate pain, and what if we were then able to extend our hand, knowing that the apartment is in flames on the inside and invite the person to simply step outside into the fire escape and to offer them refuge until the raging fires passes?

This morning, I find myself reflecting on the gift Papa gave me ... a deep connection to spirit and learning to listen to beings in all forms and from all dimensions ... he has picked me up and carried me to safety; he has brought my first dog Splat to me which is what I needed to get myself sober; he led me to Red Lake nation and to Ahnung to continue the work of healing around the sexual abuse and to release myself from a secret I had kept for decades ... and to all the work I have been doing with animals and people in indigenous communities ...

And these past few days he sends clear messages to me of his presence through a magical encounter Ishka and I had with a doe who followed us along our morning hike ... gazing very intently into our eyes and as much as I would say to the doe, go back into the woods, she followed us and came all the way up to us and even brushed up against Ishka in playful, 'come on. chase me'! And this morning the 2nd cardinals nest I have been watching outside my kitchen window .... the baby cardinals hatched this morning and papa cardinal has been around a lot feeding the hatchlings. Shortly after Ahnung transitioned a male cardinal appeared outside my writing room and stayed for quite some time. I could feel Ahnung. Cardinals have since been my connection to Ahnung .... and Ahnung is my connection to Papa. So today, full circle .... clear messages Papa is with me and so are all the beings he has sent my way to watch over me. I am writing in my room that looks out to the back yard I hadn't changed the months for my Ricardo Levin Morales calendar since March ... not sure why ... this morning decided to change the month to June and the art on the calendar for June is a piece title 'Our Calling -A joyous, fabulous figure resembling a tree with deep roots throws their arms into the sky.  Leaves fly all around in the form of doves and glittery stars.' Seeing the art, I once again felt Ahnung and Papa's energy.

Papa ... thank you for teaching me to speak your language; for giving me the gift of learning to listen to the wisdom of beings in all forms, and from all dimensions and times; for sending me the most amazing and beautiful guides and teachers and beings ... for showing me the beauty of shadows and light and how to embrace both fully