Despite All…

Despite all the madness in the world, it is our blessing to know the beauty that surrounds us, is part of us, with Nature, her plant life and waters, the ever-changing weather, all the animals, the people we encounter and know, the Oneness threading all together.

Here in these hills, the gardens sprouted and are growing.  The farmers cut their hay and brought in the bales for the on-going seasons.  The nanny goats birthed their babies.  We see them frolicking about in the fields as we drive by.  The mama does have their spotted young following nimbly as they make their way through the woods, glimpsed momentarily when they cross the road.  The young bears come around and keep the dogs on their toes, their incessant barking loud, no matter what the hour.  The birds are everywhere, reminding us of ever-present life with their calls.  All the daisies, peonies, roses, and every sort of wild flower bloom, tempting us to pick them and place them in vases in our homes.

A couple of weeks back, storms blew through, with torrential rain and wind that washed out our expensive graveled road and knocked over trees.  The garden did not require watering for several days afterwards, and the tomatoes, corn, beans, squash and flowers I planted are looking good.  The cool spring weather changed to hot days and warm nights.  When I water now, I do so in the evening.  The rain barrels that  supply me with water for the garden now verge on depletion.  This year we all hope there will be no drought, as in the past two years.  Thus far, with a good start, the garden may give us a good harvest.  The cherry trees, however, lost all their cherries to the birds.  As the pears grow larger, we hope the bears stop coming around.  I still think that spreading manure from the large cat zoo 75 miles away may deter them, if I can find a way to haul some over here.

This time last week I went to a benefit for the local alternative school.  I saw many friends I know these past twenty years.  The collective vibe was pure and simple: love.  Music wafted from the stage, the volunteer band mates giving their all, urging us to dance.  It may be that we are all a year older and less inclined to go in front of everyone and move uninhibitedly to the wonderful rhythms.  Still, the music was great, on par with the best of the best.  The food from the makeshift kitchen-under-tarps was from all organically raised vegetables, delicious, prepared with care.  I met a young woman from China, whom friends brought, as they “adopted” her for her time she spends here, as she attends our local university.  She marveled at all the “hippies” she was seeing and meeting, noting that apparently most hippies are “white.”  I asked her if she knew of Jimi Hendrix, who was not white, but one of the icons of hippies from the 1960’s.  “Hippies were not only whites,” I assured her.  She took many photos and posted them on Face Book the next day.  I wondered if she was aware of how unique a gathering this was, with its peaceful and universally loving frequency, given how most of the world exists in turmoil.

Yesterday I met a woman for the first time (this lifetime) with whom I immediately felt a connection.  She came with mutual friends from out of town to visit.  After sitting outside for a while, swatting the mosquitoes, we all went indoors.  She sat in my chair where I like to sit and read, noticed my favorite book, A New Way of Living,  picked it up and opened it.  I asked her to read aloud the paragraph she saw.  As she read, I could see that the words were relevant to her, to all of us sitting there listening.  She would have read more, but stopped and said, “How can I get a copy of this?  I would love to read it!”  I told her that these books are probably out of print, but given that they are meant for anyone open to them, I would loan her the copies I have, one at a time, via the mail.  She assured me she would send anything I loaned her, back.  By the time my new and old friends were leaving, she and I exchanged addresses.  As it turns out, our post office box numbers are the same, so we will not have too much to remember.  I wrote down my address for her, and put her address in my “old-school” address book.  We agreed that we are going to be good friends from here on out, no question!  Anyone that comes into my home and “gets” me the way she did, is someone I anticipated meeting for a long time.  It was one more affirmation of how very blessed I am to be here.

How quickly the time passes!  Each new day brings subtle little surprises, joys, and at times, moments of sadness.  My close friend, Rose, who also “gets” me, is dealing with the possibility of saying good-bye to her fifteen-year companion, Marley, the rag doll cat.  He was close to death a few months back, but Rose did not give up and tended to him with all her amazing energy.  Marley got better, but yesterday she learned that his blood sugar was way too high (he is diabetic and has to have two insulin shots per day) and the vet insists she bring Marley in for a visit on Monday.  Rose dreads this visit, for a part of her knows that the vet will say she should let him go.  It will be difficult.  I awoke this morning remembering all the pets I have let go, how one moment they are with me, and the next moment, gone.  My only consolation with “letting go” a beloved pet is that no longer will they suffer.  To witness any living being suffer is the hardest thing.  Better to release one who suffers, who is most likely beyond help.  We will never lose our love shared, as it is ingrained.  Considering how short life is, having what little time together is something we may always remember, and honor, be it time with a pet or a fellow human, in either case, a friend.  Shared love is beyond time.

Words do not convey the immensity of being here.  Despite all that happens around the world, with its turmoil and abundance of negativity, it continues to be a place of harmony, love, and joy; the potential always exists for more of the same.

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