Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Reclaiming Touch Thanks to an Owl and Words

The softness of flannel sheets this morning reminded me of the down of an owl I held at the side of  the road recently.  The soft fur, I was surprised to find close to its body, acts as insulation ensuring warmth. I didn't know it at the time but something about the owl's down awoke my sense of touch.   

Later that day when I reached to stroke Bogey my cat's fur I knew this in my fingertips and then again when I drove along gently pulling my hair.  My sensory self was awake as I had not been prior to the owl.

The feel of flannel this morning awoke that sense again. 

Of the millions of tiny nerve endings just below the skins surface, we've 2500 nerve receptors per square centimeter in the hand or @ 1,000 per square inch if I'm doing correct math.  The point is this is a LOT of nerve endings gifting us with touch, our tactile sense.

How is it the word tactile refers to touch yet it's kin in appearance with tactic and tactician words connected to the military, war and strategy?  How is it our instrument of touch, the hand, is also connected to killing and war?

Touch wipes tears away.
Touch pulls the trigger of the gun as well as the bomb dropped by a remote plane.
The touch of a held hand conveys "You're not alone. I'm here."
The touch of an angry hand conveys control, instills fear.

How is it a multitude of modern hands today may be more aware of the touch of metal and plastic on keyboards and touch screens than skin? What are the potential long term consequences of typing and texing unaware of touch?

Touch holds the capacity for such healing and harm.

Likewise the word 'down' has so many associations other than the soft feathers I felt. How often today do we hear the stock market's down or the economy's taken a down turn?  There's 'down' as in unhappy and down as in the opposite of heaven, the hell I grew up fearing as a child, and last but not least 'down there' code for penis and vagina.

And now as Fall concludes much of Nature goes down for awhile, entering the mystery of dark Earth, for rest, rejuvenation and eventual rebirth.

I am grateful for this Mystery coded in nature, words and the birds, especially the owl, waking me to the sense of touch in my fingertips and the power of words. It's down brings me home to who I am.

(And although I'm not a huge football fan the words: Touch Down will never be the same.)

Imagine the Shift of waking up to how you use your hands and the sense of touch, of living life aware of the power in and at your fingertips.
-Dawn! The Good News Muse, 29 November 2011


Monday, November 28, 2011

ilisten, iconnect, itouch

Thanksgiving morning I awoke thinking of Steve Jobs and all he did for the world.  This might have made sense or at least not been unusual if I were an 'i anything' kind of person. My cell phone's over four years old, my preferred pad's a pad of paper and I still have a land line.

Yet I awoke thinking of Steve Jobs and my neighbor Wendy. I had dropped in on Wendy two nights prior.   I had gone out at 6:30, now long after dark, to lay to rest my raised beds.  It just didn't seem right celebrating Thanksgiving and the fruits of the earth without first bringing closure to my tiny garden and honoring its presence in my life. That's when the seed was planted that I should turn the corner and walk up the street to wish Wendy a Happy Thanksgiving. 

We first met in the fall of 2005. I consulted with her about getting dental braces. My father's cancer worsened and I never followed up.  Fast forward six years. I decided to see her again but she had left the prior practice.

After tracking her down, I made a second appointment six years later and learned in the intervening years that Wendy had become my neighbor and we had multiple common connections including dear three legged cats.  

I debated spontaneously knocking on her door.  I don't typically drop in on people except for my 'adopted' family now a few streets over and Judy across the street.

My intuition overruled present societal protocol. I listened. I walked. I knocked and Wendy came to the door albeit apprehensive. Think about it. Today when someone knocks I suspect a solicitor or someone casing the house before a potential break in.  People simply don't visit anymore.

I didn't intend to go in. I was happy standing at the door just saying have a good holiday but Wendy insisted I come in.  We sat in the floor, enjoying wine and talked as her dear cat of whom I'd heard gave me the honor of loving him.

Thanksgiving morning I lay in bed realizing I am an i-something person.

i listen
i connect
i touch

My neighbor and I enjoyed a spontaneous fifteen minutes of face to face, voice to voice, heart to heart connection that still at least for me has a richness that texting, tweeting or even face booking can't quite match.

Whether i knock, i phone, i touch, or text, tweet or get linked, most importantly I realized whatever I do iopen and ilove.

What about you?

-Dawn! The Good News Muse, 28 November 2011

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Green Living Thanksgiving

Sometimes while writing, I toss paper scraps to the floor where I later pick them up to recycle.  Recently I picked up two sheets on which there was empty space.  Should these be cut into squares and reused for taking notes so I'm careful to not waste this paper and indirectly a tree?  I really just wanted to toss them into the nearby garbage can.  If I do will I feel guilt for not taking ten extra steps to recycling?  In the quiet, I realize I'm to choose the reuse or recycling options only if I can do these in love and not with the heaviness from doing so tired and begrudgingly. 

When I recycle out of have-to, I'm only contributing to the greater quantum level of have-to, force and control while making myself feel guilty and compulsive.

Beneath the suppose to, have to and need to I hear: Whatever you do, do it in love.  The tree from which this paper came doesn't grow because it has to. It does what it came here to do because that's what it loves in all its tree-ness to do.

This creates such a shift. I pick up the scrap of paper because that's what I love and love doing.

How often have I run myself ragged trying to get it all done, be a good steward of Earth, recycling, composting, not wasting, donating, saving seeds, signing petitions.  Anytime, at least for me, when these things are done with have-to, I'm fueled silently by fear.

In the quiet, I realize more important than being a good steward of the environment is being a good steward of my inner environment, my heart's energy and presence. If I'm an awake, aware steward of my insides, then my outer actions are born from a greater awareness.

Maybe this is really what's meant by "green living." Green's not only the color of tree leaves in Spring but the color of the heart chakra's energy.

This makes me smile inside.  Whatever I do, however I be, if I "be" in love I'm more likely to "do" in love too.

I Imagine the Shift of more and more people this holiday practicing green living from the inside out and the green change that brings.
-Dawn! The Good News Muse, 23 November 2011

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

This Morning's Vision

Early this morning I sat outside (very unusual for me). The trees overhead reminded me of the brain's neural networks, the web of the internet and the unseen energetic field through which we're all connected.

At 4:00 I had laid in bed trying to decide whether to get up, when I suddenly saw a similar scene with a much grayer sky.  In my vision, the face of a wolf appeared in the tree limbs and came toward me. Wolf symbolizes many beautiful things but in this instance I thought of it is a teacher. 

Then into my mind came a song line from church long ago.  I heard: "I love to tell the story of unseen things above."

Over the past few years the unseen above has been revealing itself to me showing me how the animals, trees and plants come here, how they are my teachers, waking me up to my life and informing me of these Times.

* Other than coffee, what wakes you?
* Who are your teachers?
* What's nearby even now with a lesson just for you?
-Dawn! The Good News Muse,  22 November 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011

I Imagine A World Like My Tomatoes

These five little orbs lined up on the counter top prior to becoming a salsa caught my eye and imagination this morning. They've lived on the window sill for some time, their varied shapes and sizes reminding me of people and how we are loved. We are so loved and cared for by earth.

I look at them and am inspired.

I imagine a world in which all colors and shapes of people are honored and appreciated.

I imagine a world in which we all grow entangled and entwined peacefully, like my tomatoes this summer wrapping their vine arms around one another ignoring the neatly arranged placement I created to keep them separated.

I imagine a world in which we're thankful not only for our food, but the wisdom offered by our food and by our fellow man even those appearing so different from us on the outside. For on the inside, just like my tomatoes, we're all alike.

Imagine the Shift of taking the time to really experience food this Thanksgiving.  Listen for the little, big lessons you are fed.    
-Dawn! The Good News Muse 20 November 2011

Sunday, November 20, 2011

"It's the End of the World as We Know It"

I love synchronicities like I experienced this week with a long distance friend. I told her of my waking recently in the middle of the night so very happy and suddenly realizing the Mayan calendar had ended. She referenced stories of fear she had heard in relation to 2012 and people talking of the world's end.

As I pulled into the grocery parking lot (yes, I had been talking on the phone) I said, "It's the end of the world as we know it but that's a good thing. It's a time of change in so many ways."

This is a friend I've known for going on twenty years. We talk maybe 4-5 times a year. We said our good-byes and I went into the grocery with "the end of the world as we know it" humming in my mind.

Thirty minutes at most later, I came out, loaded the car and turned on the radio. NPR was concluding their 'letters' segment with a listener's response related to an earlier R.E.M. interview I had missed. I knew R.E.M. was retiring but honestly didn't know for what they were musically known. I'm the person who knows the songs but not necessarily the singer and yes, sometimes not the correct words. As a child I thought "Angie" (the Rolling Stones) was "I lay in jail."

As I pulled onto Hillsboro Road, the interviewer said, "We'll leave you with this......"

"It's the end of the world as we know it.
It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine."

I love when synchronicities affirm messages or hunches. I don't have to have them confirmed but it sure makes me smile inside and out.

It is the end of the world as I've known it. Each and every moment I choose love and openness even when sad or apprehensive, fear subsides and I feel fine, actually more than fine.
-Dawn! The Good News Muse 20 November 2011

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Body Remembers - A Boot Camp Bit

This week I returned to boot camp at the Parthenon after a two week absence. I wondered what shape I'd be in as jumping jacks and squats outside in the sun and in the garage when it rained were no match for Bill Crutchfield's "Crutchcamp."

Except for forgetting that breakfast isn't recommended just prior to working out, the only time I didn't want to throw up was when we warmed up. Overall I was happy, no I was quite excited, with the shape I was in as Bill took us through his Baskin-Robbins routine, not 40 flavors but 40 different exercises in one minute samples to increase strength, balance and the heart.

When I began boot camp I had little to no strength or stamina. This week I found myself moving through windmills, planks, sprints and donkey kicks with ease compared to six weeks prior.

My body remembered. My muscle body held the memory of being strengthened.

Today in the cold we met inside a nearby local dance school where as part of warming up we jogged two laps around the room. The rhythmic, rubber sound of shoes on the floor immediately took me back to 7th grade and running laps around the gym floor in basketball. I smiled grateful my sensory self transports me to other times and places unexpectedly like this through sound, sight and smell.

I drove home thinking if the body remembers, the heart does too. After eons of control, competition, separation and conquering we're living in a time of the heart remembering itself, of remembering the strength found in vulnerability, relationship and speaking one's truth.

If my muscle and sense memory can hold strength and sound from weeks and decades prior, hearts hardened and seemingly dimmed hold the memory of love and loving tucked deep within. As I honor my heart and come home to me, on a quantum, larger level I help in their healing too.

I imagine the shift of our individual hearts joined, giving rise to the global heart helping it through me and through you remember its beat and the love it once knew.

-Dawn! The Good News Muse 18 November 2011

* Check out Bill's boot camp M/W/F mornings at 6:00, 8:30 and 9;30 on the west side of the Parthenon. Starting Nov.28 - $50 a week for three classes for the next 3 wks. until the holidays.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Increasing My Love Stock - Inspired by Carrots, Wall Street and Jesus

Something about the carrot and parsnip curls gently piling into the sink as I peeled them for lunch recently created a connection I sensed between me and cleaners, cookers and growers of vegetables through time. I often when vacuuming or writing a thank you note am reminded of my mother and others, tenders of home and hearth. This particular day though I felt connected to women and men on farms especially during hard times and thought of how they used everything or allowed it to be used rather than throwing it away. Weren't they the first composters and recyclers?

These ribbons of orange and tan would be left for our "livestock" as we affectionately call them, deer, raccoons, bunny and fox that pass through our country yard at times. The sight of them, like the vegetables I cleaned and cooked, stock our lives with love.

I wonder how the stock market might shift if it were stocked with love? Then I realize it may not be stocked with love but at least it has some love circulating within it. Some funds are socially and environmentally conscious and although I don't know its origin (will have to read up on that) I do suspect those who started the market wanted to care for their families and clients by growing money. Unfortunately the masses I suspect even back then and certainly for now have been slowly left out of the growth of their accounts.

Prior to peeling carrots and parsnips, I had washed a grapefruit. It's label read: Sunkist. I cringed. I wasn't responsible for buying a corporately grown grapefruit. How did this get into my kitchen? Did I really want to eat this?

Yes I did because I also heard it's "Son Kissed" and oddly thought of what Jesus might say about the stock market and Wall Street. I thought Jesus' love is like a kiss to corporations. Bear with me here, but I thought Jesus would say "Dawn, you don't have to agree with what many in corporate America do to send love to the CEO's who have grown greedy. Take stock of how you spend your heart's currency and send love to the agriBusiness guys that are connected to the chemical company/pesticide /restaurant guys (and girls) who make up some of Wall Street. You don't have to approve of what they do, but you do need to send them love just like you love your livestock. You're all connected and they too are the growers and cookers of food even if they do it differently from you."

Loving the fact that we're all here past and present now in this time, increases my love stock.

What stocks your life with love?
-Dawn, The Good News Muse, 14 November 14, 2011

Dippity Do - Inspired by Peppers, Wren and a Handful of Youth

Here on this warm just-before-the-rain November Monday, I savor the green pepper growing in my tiny, portable greenhouse and lavender blooming nearby. A robin drinks from the dish of water I keep filled as a wren sings "Dippity, dippity, dippity, do."

Wren's song takes me back to Havasu Canyon. In early 2009, my friend Karen in NY who was was really more of an aquaintance at the time issued an internet call inquiring if I might want to hike into Havasu Canyon with her, home to the Havasupai in the Grand Canyon's western end.

On our first night after ten long, hot July miles, I lay in my tent expecting canyon quiet while several twenty somethings "next door" began to play dippity-do, a game of some sort unrelated I was certain to the pink hair styling gel with which I had grown up.

Here I lay in this most sacred of places, home of the blue green waters of the Havasupai people expecting to feel a sense of sacredness, hoping to hear the wisdom of this place and instead I lay judging these young adults whose laughter was amplified in the narrow canyon. I lay there witnessing my disappointment and the expectations of silence that I didn't even know. Internally I debated, trying to discern what to do. Should I say something, nothing or.....should I join in? Just as I decided to get up, walk over and ask if I could play too they stopped. I had actually become curious as to dippity-do.

The next day all but a couple of them packed out but not before helping Karen and me move a table to further set up camp. They left me appreciating them, feeling kin to these young women and men, fellow trekkers on life's journey.

Today I realize in this growing, greenhouse that's Earth all is woven together as I listen with my eyes and insides whether I'm gardening, hiking, working, playing, waking or sleeping. In this trek together wren and these youth remind me of the importance of play and singing through dippity-do.

How do you listen? What do you hear when you really stop to listen? How do you experience play?
-Dawn, The Good News Muse, 14 November 2011

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Litely, Loudly - Spirit's Messages

Faint morning light shone on the tree above outside. Spirit is like this at times steadily, quietly in our lives illuminating what's right before us to be seen.

At other times Spirit whips through like the howling winds up from the valley below sending messages loud and clear. This morning I looked out the front door and saw sheets blown from the geraniums. Cold has finally come and I had put them to bed not to die but to be covered hoping to extend the lives of our many plants. I am to my plants the way some folks are to life seeking elixirs and fountains of youth not wanting to let go.

Litely, loudly through light and wind Spirit's messages are sent.
-Dawn! The Good News Muse, 12 November 2011

Moon Magic

The moon disappeared over the horizon this morning as I called out "Thank you." We have found one another over these past two nights and although it's no longer visible I carry it inside.

We think the sun's so necessary and it is. It coaxes life from the earth each Spring drawing everything out to resurrection.

Yet over these past two days and nights I've been experiencing the magic and necessity of the moon and how each night as we sleep it pulses its gentle energy to Earth below. Infusing plants, people, animals and trees, it sends magic to all.
Dawn, the Good News Muse, 12 November 2011

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Message from the Universe

One recent night I lay in bed not knowing the time but certain it was night. The black in my field of vision began to move like slowly shifting fog. In the moving darkness, I saw light like the shining of the sun over the horizon in dark space. Did morning near?

I kept my eye's closed curious as to what I was seeing though Bogeysattvah, pawing at the nearby lampshade had something else in mind. I opened my eyes to nudge him from the nightstand and saw the faint glow of morning around the curtain's edge. Maybe I had seen dawn's arrival in the dark.

I closed my eyes again but this time found myself in the Universe slowly moving among the stars. This first happened a few years ago but never had what followed happened prior. Some of the stars began to gently burst. I was in a shower reminiscent of white fireworks gently raining in the Universe. Veils of wispy energy were the only visible remains of those stars.

Slowly the veils came together to form a lotus-like shape with a black center that pulsed energy. I lay in bed realizing this center of seeming nothingness held the energy of everything, the energy of creation sent to us here on Earth, an unseen energy that is the energy behind all energy.

The vision continued as the remaining stars suddenly became a heart on an American flag. In place of the fifty states on the flag was a heart made of stars that glistened like diamonds.

As I became concerned as to how I would remember all of this I saw a grid. In a universe of blackness, dots of light appeared row upon row an equal space apart as if on a grid where patterns might be laid.

My eyes still closed, I lay in bed mentally noting the sequence of the scenes as Bogeysattvah pawed again at the lampshade conveying his need to be fed.

In these past two weeks other scenes have arrived at night. I've pondered what I'm being shown, what I'm being told and how to share these scenes of light at night. Although it didn't feel quite right, I first thought the story sequence was as I saw it. Then last week I awoke from a nap. The scenes in reverse were going through my mind starting with the grid and ending with the light, the light of New Times.

Then today on the eve of 11/11/11 as the sun set and the full moon rose suddenly this came.

The grid has been laid for the flag of love to fly as we've the opportunity and help from beyond to create the paradigm of Love. The stars give of themselves, find new form and come together to pulse creation's energy and usher in the light of a new time. It is morning on Earth and in the Universe. We are witness to and participants in the dawning of a new era.
-Dawn, The Good News Muse 10 November 2011

Earth Is Our Pillow - A Tribute to Soldiers, Earth and the Heart Inspired by the Pillow from My Childhood

Last night I smudged my pillow. I had awakened yesterday realizing I still sleep with the pillow from my growing up, the same pillow into which I cried so many nights, the same pillow under which I put my head to hide the sound not wanting to be found.

Using sage bought earlier this summer in Cherokee, I asked that any aloneness and sadness this precious object of the pillow and my heart still held be energetically lifted. I honored the sensitive girl who felt so deeply for others and herself. I honored my heart's loneliness then asked that I be able to hear and see more clearly my story and the beauty of all those tears. This was far from a sad thing. I actually felt joy for the girl and woman who has cried and cried.

Then this morning as I sat outside I realized Earth is a pillow. How many tears has Earth absorbed, tears of soldiers dying on her breast from war? How many tears has Earth absorbed as family members left at home have hidden their grief from those they don't want to worry or from those whose judgment they fear? How many tears has Earth absorbed in America alone as our ancestors killed our native kin, the 1st Americans? There's a reason the Cherokee called it the Trail of Tears.

Then I realize I literally mean Earth is like my pillow.

Around this time last year while walking in the woods, Jerry and I stopped at a stream. He sat on a rock while I leaned against a tree. Pressing my cheek on its rough bark I felt comfort within. Not wanting to neglect the other side of my face, I turned my cheek so it too could feel the tree. My breath was taken though for I heard a blood curdling scream. I realized I was hearing the cries of people during crusades and witch hunts, those burned at the stake centuries prior for the stakes were made of....... trees, trees that had absorbed these dear souls cries. (Later I spoke with someone about the many trees that absorbed tears into their roots, tears of the many who sought safety in the woods to grieve in hiding for fear of being found. I wondered is this why man so easily clear cuts the land, removing millions of trees while unconsciously trying to remove themselves from an ancestral legacy of guilt due to their connection with the patriarchy and control.)

Hearing the cry in the tree happened just before the Winter Solstice at which time I lay on the Earth and invited the trees in my backyard to give up their sorrow. I hadn't planned this. It's just what came to me as I sat outside on this the longest night of the year. Now that I think of it I offered myself as a human vessel to not only free the trees from holding human sorrow but to also change that sorrow to peace and joy. I lay in the grass in my little city yard and wept and laughed as the trees above me seemed to sway and do the same.

The trees have been our pillow.

And the rocks have been our pillow.

This summer the night before we were to drive to Cherokee, NC for a brief and first visit after having not been there in over twenty years, I lay exhausted thinking I could not make the trip, wondering if I harbored some illness unseen. Jerry persisted that we needed to take this little trip although I truly didn't know how I could make it.

For some reason as I walked through our yard in the country, I sat down on a rock. Then as I had never done before I lay back on this boulder jutting from Mother Earth's edge and felt all my exhaustion drain, go away. As sure as I am sitting here I felt the rock take my depleted state.

This is what I mean when I write Earth is a pillow. Just like the pillow in my growing up years took every thing that poured from me, Earth takes and takes and takes. She takes our tears, absorbs our exhaustion and waits.

Earth waits for us to claim who we really are and who She is.

Just as the energy shifted for me and my pillow last night and between the rock, the trees and me this year, Earth our energetic, giving, receiving pillow only needs us to occupy our hearts and minds and thank her for her sensitivity and her huge heart, to claim who she is and claim who we are.

This is the internal climate change that will shift Earth's climate change.

Wake up to that Shift !
-Dawn! The Good News Muse, 10 November 2011

Saved by Love Occupying the Heart & Natures Messengers Occupying Earth

Upon hearing of Friday night's possible 20-something degrees, I was struck by a sense of grief. My thoughts turned not to my homeless, human kin but to my flower children, zinnias grown for the first time this year. They've shared their beauty with me for three months. With each bouquet clipped more have arrived in my not-that-sunny front yard where they've grown some to 6' tall seeking sun.

This summer the zinnias have been my messengers, their vibrant, busy, star-sprinkled centers have drawn me in to wonderings and knowings related to the universe and energy.

Intellectually I know about the cycles of light and death, impermanence and letting go. Yesterday's Musing contained that very thing. Yet last night my sadness was palpable as I knew the end of the zinnias neared.

In this morning's cold, I came to the yard swing again. I sat and heard the sounds of a familiar yet forgotten bird. It took awhile to realize the trees in my small city yard were home to returning robins who congregate here certain times of year.

The robins are back!! How perfect that I would be surrounded by robins who symbolically represent "new growth." My 2nd thought was of the zinnias. Robins reminder of new growth was all I needed to peacefully and joyfully let my flower children go. (Actually I think I heard the zinnias say, "Yes, let us go so we can move on" reminding me of the times we hold on to those dying when they want to let go.)

I've read spiritual and self-help books galore about letting go, non-attachment and the temporariness of this world, yet none of these teachings really fit or feel right for me. This morning I realize I'm someone who engages through occupying my heart. Doing so last night and allowing my grief, followed by this mornings bird messengers I joyfully let go and invite what's next in this beautiful cycling of life on Earth. From this place, beauty is what resonates with me.

My thoughts now turn to my homeless kin as well as the 1% and all of us in between. If we fully occupied our hearts and minds, might we realize the profound beauty of living life on Earth in relationship with Nature and one another? If we realized the beautiful gift we're given through life on Earth, I suspect systems would shift from exploiting and competing to something more kin to honoring, respecting and thoughtfully cooperating. If conference calls and board meetings included going outside and listening to the messages all around us and this gift of life on Earth, we would take only what is needed. There would be more than enough for all on Earth. Homelessness, poverty, environmental degradation and greed would certainly lessen if not cease.

This morning I am saved by the zinnias at death's door, robins 'occupying' my yard and the beauty of living on Earth, engaged with Earth. Occupying my heart and mind, I'm joyfully attached to my heart's call, grief, joy and all.

This morning and all the mornings to come, we are saved, saved by the beauty of allowing love to occupy the heart and Nature's messengers occupying Earth.
-Dawn! The Good News Muse, 10 November 2011

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Celestial Cyling - We Are Partnered

Last night rather than dread the dark, I invited the nearly full moon into my awareness. I'm usually moon mindful but darkness arriving around 5:00 challenges my attitude. I stopped work and made time to sit outside and watch the moon.

It's glowing body had just cleared a neighbor's roof as crickets sang in surround sound. Back up singers held a constant note while others varied their tone keeping a one, two beat joined at times by the low hum of passing cars and their people bound for home.

A cardinal called from a neighboring yard. Did it realize the feeder's been restocked? Another responded from nearby.

Hot jasmine tea in my cup
Fuchsia azaleas to my left blooming in this their first fall
A red Japanese maple to my right
Partners in this new time of dark
and light
under the umbrella of a moonlit sky.

Hours later

This morning instead of sitting inside I returned again to the same spot as last night.
The birds sing like it's Spring.
A mason bee breakfasts in the azalea, each blossom a bowl of nectar.
The sun rises where hours prior climbed the moon.

I"m reminded of a scale, the Libra kind,
our solar systems balancing act.
Maybe it's more like a wheel, a great turning wheel of day and night, light and dark.
A Celestial cycling, dancing round Earth.

Meanwhile back on Earth in this city space I call yard
the dynamics of the dance surround me.
Leaves once green now fall.
Trees once full are barren.
Birds migrate as plants return to earth to rest and recharge.

In the quiet within I hear: Pay attention, take note.
The subtle shifts all around mirror the shifts within.
Let go, listen.
The celestial cycling is here.

We are partnered.
We are partners in this new time of dark and night, day and light.
-Dawn, The Good News Muse 9 November 2011

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Way - An Unexpected Pilgramage

Last night I went to see "The Way" a film written and directed by Emilio Estevez in which Martin Sheen plays an American who travels to France to gather the remains of his son killed in a storm while walking the Camino de Santiago.

I wasn't as interested in the story as much as I was in seeing the terrain of the Way of St. James. For a thousand years people have walked this many miled path in France and Spain across the Pyrenees.

I awoke on my 50th birthday in LePuy-En-Velay a French starting point for the pilgrimage and attended the early morning service blessing those beginning the trek.

Two days prior I had been in St. Maries de la Mar, the town by the sea where the three Mary's (Mary Magdalene, Salome and Jacobe) and others including Sarah, revered now by the Romano gypsies as St. Sarah came to land after Jesus crucifixion. I was in St. Maries on the day honoring St. Sarah. I stood through not one but two services in an ancient feeling church packed with worshipers from all over Europe and yes, a few tourists. After the second service, the statue of Sarah was brought from the crypt and taken through the streets then out into the sea where she was ceremonially brought in from the water symbolic of her initial arrival in Southern France.

That May day in St. Maries as well as during last night's the movie I wondered how do we as a whole take pilgrimage? Where do we show the devotion, reverence and energy I saw and heard in Southern France in that church filled with people, gypsy people who are looked down upon in much of Europe? What events prompt Americans to stand and congregate for hours at a time?

Thus far the only events I've been able to come up with are sporting events like the Super Bowl or the upcoming Black Friday shopping day and maybe a handful of concerts or an event like Bonaroo. I'm not anti sports or shopping and I'm certainly not anti Bonaroo, but what does it say about us that the events in which we show devotion are primarily related to sports and shopping? What does it mean that we devote more time to watching tv or being on line talking or texting sound bites to others rather than spending face time with those under our roof?

I imagine one day walking The Way but for now I wonder how I might live daily more in a way that honors spirit, creation and the heart?

Pt. 2 - Then morning came.....

Rather than post the above late last night after the movie, I decided to sleep on what I had written and leave editing for fresher morning brain. Morning came and the last thing I wanted to do first thing was sit at the computer.

Instead I went outside hoping to find the book end for a piece begun at day's end yesterday prior to the movie. Thirty minutes into the experience of hearing the birds sing like it's spring and watching a lone bee dine at the azalea's fall blossoms, a cat crept under our arbor and made a left turn headed toward Natchez Trace. I know all the usual feline suspects hanging around the bird feeders. I love cats but always ensure they're scared away. I love birds and know most cats do too.

This wasn't just any cat. This was the cat, the lost cat, I read of yesterday on the neighborhood list serve. How many furry white cats with a black tail and black spot atop its head could there be in my neighborhood or zip code for that matter. I sprang from the swing and called out "Max". The cat looked yet stayed left which meant it was headed for the busy morning traffic on Natchez Trace. I grabbed our house phone, a can of food and searched for my cell. Every neighbor I called with quick internet access to the owner's number was either out of town or at work.

Without a thought I headed barefoot and house coated down our drive and up Natchez Trace. First though there was Kent the Culligan man who had pulled into our drive to do a repair. I think I apologized for my appearance as I ran through a neighboring yard and shouted, "Go on in." Kent looked as if finding customers in situations such as this wasn't all that unusual as I thought this is another Lucy moment in my life.

Morning me raced up busy Natchez Trace mindful the last time someone in our household did this in a robe and barefoot was in the mid-90's when I hurriedly left home to prepare for a friend's wedding reception and left the back door open. I returned a couple of hours later to get ready for the wedding to learn tenderfoot Jerry had chased Templeton my indoor, three pawed cat several houses down the street while nearly blind having forgotten his glasses. Jerry at least couldn't see the passers-by possibly looking at him yet the last thing I actually cared about was people seeing morning me.

I rushed up the sidewalk only caring that this cat somehow come to me. Fortunately someone walking their dog had delayed Max's crossing Natchez Trace. He sat tucked in the brush by the neighbor's shed still unwilling to come to me although the sound of the pop top on the cat food can caused him to look twice before turning back toward my yard. For the first time a cat was headed into our tiny bird sanctuaried yard and I was glad. I walked through accumulated sticks and leaves behind the shed and placed a bit of food on the ground then rushed in to ensure Kent had found our basement.

Max found the food but wouldn't come to me. Even if he did where would I put him? Neither of my cats would be happy with company even for a short time. I ran out and put more food down but this time nearer the house. Max ate while I got Mystery and Bogey's traveling carrier out of the car.

The third time was a charm. Max ate more food then rubbed his furry white body around my feet talking a lot and loudly. I scooped him up, placed him in the carrier and immediately got on line to find his people. For one brief second the thought did cross my mind, 'What if this isn't their cat?'

Max who I realized upon rereading the email was Flurry had gone missing Sunday evening from a house streets away. I don't know who was happier upon finding him, the owners or myself. I say this because I see the "Lost Cat/Dog" signs posted on my neighborhood street corners just about every day. I see the wandering cats and dogs around the country town I frequent and wonder with whom they live or lived. I feel not only for the owners (because I've been a lost cat owner) but also for the animals.

Awaiting his owners arrival, Flurry howled in the cage that smelled of others. I opened the door and he crawled to my lap and sat purring, his head tucked under my arm at times and at others looking into my eyes as I stroked his chin and nose.

It was during our communion that I realized being in nature and finding this dear cat revealed my pilgrimage. Devotion to Nature, the animal world and those who love animals and nature is what my pilgrimage on Earth is all about.

Loving is my pilgrimage. (Does this include loving people who eat huge steaks? Yes, if they truly savor and enjoy their experience and aren't just mindlessly stuffing themselves by doing as advertisers suggest. Does that include hunters who stalk deer near my country home? Yes, if they're honoring the animal and savoring the experience of the hunt and not just setting traps sold at stores luring deer to a corn feeding station where they're shot on site. That's not hunting in my book. That's falling prey to the easy, lazy way marketed in magazines and sporting/big box stores all around. That too is another story.)

After this flurry of unexpected activity, Flurry and his owners are now reunited and I realize the walking of the way isn't as important as much as the way I am inside, my inner attitude. Will I stay awake and open in love or fall asleep and become closed in fear?

This morning's flurry taught me the Way is both in and out, doing and being and that openness is key. My external path this morning took an unexpected turn but The Way was still my heart's Way through my deep love for animals and their people.

As I leave this computer to continue my day, I leave you with these thoughts: How do you experience the sacred in your daily walk? To what do you show devotion? What do you revere? What would you stand all day to get to experience and honor? What might pilgrimage look like to you? Imagine that.
-Dawn, The Good News Muse 8 November 2011

P.S. As for Kent from Culligan, after catching the cat I ran to the basement to see if he needed anything. The lights were out. His van was gone. The repair I suspect had been made. I'll call shortly to learn more and express my gratitude. Insurance companies and banks, once rooted in service, now it seems desire more to grow their bank CEO's bank accounts than grow personal relationships. Small business owners like Kent inspire me with acts like this morning as they honor the relationship we have one with another. Folks like Jim my neighbor in the country who last week within thirty minutes of hearing of my door issue had it repaired...that too is another story to be continued I suspect as I try each day to walk the way of love in this pilgrimage of life on Earth.

Fire & Light

The maple
has begun
to rain down
its fire and light.

Earth's soil
my soul
are fed.

What feeds you?

-Dawn! The Good News Muse, 7 November 2011

Flower Power

With Summer's drought and heat a distant memory now replaced by one of the most beautiful Falls I recall, flowers have reawakened around our home. The fuchsia and African daisy (I think it's called) have returned to life just when I thought them dead. Their resilience reminds me of the heart's beauty. In the drought of seemingly unkind times and the heat of grief one can wonder will love prevail, is there any love left?

Growing up in the church of my childhood revivals were held each fall. A guest speaker would arrive to preach for the week injecting believers with reminders of new life before 'the ends' hard times.

Earth's flowers are now my revival reminding me of light, light held in soil and soul as winter's days grow dark and temperatures cold for a time. Earth's flowers and trees remind me the heart quietly stays alive and returns to life no matter how hard the times.

What revives your heart and reminds you of its steadfast presence?
-Dawn! The Good News Muse 7 November 2011