Slowly she is resurfacing, the Muse that feeds my imagination and nudges the words out of my mind and onto the page. I know the change in weather has something to do with it. For about a week now the days have been warm and full of sunshine, just the right environment to entice me out into my beloved garden to work the soil, scatter seeds, and plant some flowers.
Nature has also responded with much burgeoning growth. Trees are budding out at the speed of light and the St. Augustine grass has gone from hay-colored to fresh spring green in the flash of an eye. Tiny green shoots are poking through the earth, a promise of beauty and color yet to come.
Another deciding factor has been the time change. We sprang forward last weekend and the evenings are lighter longer which always brightens my soul. And even though this afternoon the sunshine slowly disappeared and the sky became leaden grey, I was able to feel very grateful and even lighthearted when the rains came to soak the parched ground.
We have had a very mild winter and we really need some rain. I am especially grateful that it has rained today because this means that I do not have to expend time and energy to water the garden tomorrow. We do not have an automatic system and it is quite time and energy consuming to move the sprinklers all around the garden to their allotted spots to make sure everything gets a good soaking.
So here I sit, in my wonderful lanai, outside yet sheltered from the rain, allowing the thoughts to flow and the fingers to run across the keyboard. The sky is still mostly grey and I think we will probably get some more rain this evening. Everything is a fresh lush green and, even though it is already 7.15pm, it is still quite light. I love moving through spring into longer days. For whatever reason it makes me feel more alive.
I think the change in weather and the change in time have happened just perfectly for me right now because both of these events have helped me to move outside and beyond the prevailing sadness that surrounded me and weighed down my heart. This was due to five deaths that have happened among my friends and family since the end of October last year. Dealing with death, even as I accept it as part of life’s cycle, takes its toll in a physical and emotional way. I am just so grateful that I have strong support systems and the right tools to help me deal with it.
Just as nature cycles through her seasons, so too do we humans. And to appreciate and enjoy the new life we also need to accept and appreciate the dying to the old life. I am grateful to have a faith, a belief in God and in a life hereafter. So once I move past the sorrow of loss I can rejoice and celebrate at the soul’s onward journey. Who knows what joys and what adventures await us in the Big Beyond!!
This past weekend I was involved in putting on a workshop about prayer and meditation. I’ll talk about the workshop itself in a separate posting. As well as the presentations on the topic we also provided food. We work on the premise that “if there’s food, they will come”. I knew there were plenty of veggies, chips, dips and desserts being prepared as well as a couple of platters of wraps. But only one meat dish was on the sign up list, so I decided to grab a few rotisserie chickens, pull the meat off and serve it up in small portions.
This left me with four chicken carcasses. I love homemade chicken soup, so before leaving for the workshop I dumped the bones into a large pot, filled it with water, and put it on to boil. When I came home I fired it up again, let it simmer for a bit, then turned it off to cool over night. Now I’m not sure about you all out there, but when I make chicken soup I don’t want just the broth. I want every single tiny morsel of meat that was left on the bones in my soup.
So, what better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than to scrub my hands clean then plunge them into a pot-full of cold chicken broth? I mean it’s the ultimate Sunday afternoon activity, right!! My husband thinks it’s a little crazy but he sure enjoys the soups that come out of this. However, this Sunday was a little different because as I manually sifted through the chicken bones I had a real spiritual experience. She’s flipped, you’re thinking. Totally lost it, you’re saying.
Don’t be too quick to judge and let me explain what happened. Now I’ve been through this chicken soup process many times before and never thought about God. Perhaps it was a result of the workshop the previous day that had me floating on a higher plane, on a deeper spiritual level; who knows. But as I picked up the different skeletal parts of the chicken to strip them of their tasty morsels, I became very aware of how amazingly a chicken is put together. Hundreds (at least it seemed like that many) of tiny bones all put together and connected in a specific design to create the animal that we know as a chicken.
Then I began to think about how many different animals, birds, insects, reptiles, and sea creatures inhabit our planet earth. Having watched many different animal documentaries and always being so totally surprised by the number of different animals there are, I surmise there must be millions of different species all over the globe. As I thought about that, I began to let my mind wander in this zoo that I had conjured up in my mind and saw all the different shapes and sizes of the various creatures therein, and I imagined all the different skeletal designs that each one had.
It occurred to me in that moment how marvelous and how rich was the diversity of life on this planet. It also became very clear to me in that moment that even if I didn’t have a religious experience in my life, no way could I believe that all this richness, all this diversity, just created itself out of nothing or came from some “big bang”. Some incredibly awesome, powerfully intellectual-beyond-belief Creator had to have masterminded all these different creatures.
My mind was totally boggled for quite a while as I continued to sift and separate bones from meat, from fat, from grizzle, from tendons. It’s in moments like this that I get quite “right sized”. I realize in the same moment how insignificant I am in the bigger scheme of things and yet how important I am. I must be important if this Creator, in the middle of creating this planet with all its life forms as well as the universe with its billions of stars and planets and who knows what else, had the time to think me, to love me into existence with my own unique skeletal design.
In the same instant it is both a wildly happy thought and a wildly terrifying thought because it is really quite unfathomable to the human mind. So I think, and this is just my take on this, that all those grand intellectuals who claim the non-existence of a God, a Supreme Creator, are probably too terrified by the thought of such an all-powerful being to admit He/She/It may be there. I would not like to be on their deathbeds.