From Womb to Tomb

Looking up from mopping the floor, I see my first-born at the door.  Innocent child hands pressed close to the heart.  Compassion tears pool at the brim of her lashes.  I wonder what could be wrong.

Brows wrinkle, eyes squint; I look hard at the little brown fluff laying between hands and heart … and gasp.  To my complete and utter horror, the little brown fluff is nothing more than a dead field mouse.

“Oh My God!  Put that thing down—it’s dirty!” I shriek. 

My solemn little girl says not a word (she knows me well by now), but only turns on her heels and out she goes with a bang of the wooden screen door.

I lean hard into the mop.  The spotless floor shines casting dark shadows across my mind.  When out of the shadows Wisdom speaks:

It seems to me of great importance to teach children respect for life.

And wouldn’t respect for life include both honoring its sacred beginning as well as its sacred end?    

I drop the mop and run to the light—to the kitchen window of my soul.  And through the pane, on bended knee with garden hose in hand, she carefully washes the “dirt” away from the little brown fluff she found. 

In the moment, I am led by a child into greater heights of compassion and understanding.

Life — from the very moment it begins to its very last breath — is the pinnacle of God’s creative imagination and power. The sanctity of life, from womb to tomb, transcends all political rhetoric of our day.

Love & Peace,

“… And a little child shall lead them.”  Isaiah 11:6

Sawubona: I See You

In the blink of an eye, I see it.  I mean, I see her.  Lying there in the nursing home bed, a slip of a woman, a mere shadow of what once was … sadly alone.  And I take notice.  Is this why I’ve come here today? 

A wellspring within me stirs and the words of my mouth are deep waters as I hear myself say, “Friend, you are not alone, you are not forgotten, you are not invisible … I see you.

And she weeps.

Sawubona.  An ancient greeting that means “I see you” in the Zulu community in South Africa.

Sawubona.  All my attention is on you.  I see you, you are important to me and I value you.  I see your hopes, your dreams, your failures and your fears.  You are right in front of my face.  Face-to-Face. 

I am present.

The ancient Prophet and Deliverer of Israel understood sawubona.  “The Lord would speak with Moses face-to-face, as one speaks to a friend”, the Torah reveals. There is no Hebrew word for presence (as in the Presence of G-d), but only the word face.  Yahweh, the great I AM, and Moses spoke to one another face-to-face.

I AM present.

Who do I know that doesn’t desire sawubona?  To be seen; to be heard without judgment; fully known–the good, the bad and the ugly–and accepted. Yet, is sawubona even possible in today’s digital world where face-to-face is replaced by FaceBook and FaceTime?

I believe there is a God whose thoughts towards me—and you—are good.  The music of His thoughts plays throughout the earth … in the gentle breeze, the bubbling brook, the chirping birds, the twinkling stars … “You are not alone, you are not forgotten, you are not invisible. I see you.

You are right in front of my face, friend.

And with that, I enter into the sacred space of spiritual sawubona:  Face-to-Face with the One who knows me best—and loves me anyway—free to join the conversation, as one speaks to a friend.

Love & Peace,

No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, …”. John 15:15 KJV

Photo by Ksenia Chernaya on Pexels.com

Open air therapy

Photo by Dzenina Lukac on Pexels.com

Lost in the woods.  Not lost as in, “Where am I?”  Rather, lost in self.  Blessed to lose myself for half an hour spending mindful time in the woods.  Refreshed, renewed and reawakened in body, soul and spirit.  The Japanese have known of it for years:  Shinrin-Yoku; literally, forest bathing (being in the presence of trees).  I like that. 

Studies show that those who spend just two hours a week outdoors report substantially better health and psychological well-being.  I believe it.  In times of despair, the still small voice within me often whispers, “Daughter, go outside”; and I go. 

Open-air therapy—it costs nothing and has no ill side effects. 

Gazing over the countryside, I day-dream of the little writer’s studio, perfectly situated along the little creek bordering our property.  It’s a dream I’ve had for quite some time—one yet to manifest.  When suddenly ,,, shhh, quiet; it’s the whisper once again.  “Daughter, look around you.  This is your writer’s studio, perfectly designed with you in mind”.    Blessed speechless.

I believe in the woods, and in the beaches, and in the fields and mountains.  God’s sanctuary of healing, rest and peace.  A place of absolute freedom, where creativity flows.  A place perfectly designed with mankind in mind.

So, whether practicing social distancing, or in a Covid-19 self-quarantine, I’m spending time outside, wrapped securely in the loving arms of my Creator God.  Surrounded by the Heavenly Cure. 

Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.  Henry David Thoreau.

Hope Springs Eternal

Bluebells speak to me in my heart language–a prophetic sign of better days ahead. My husband has given me a bouquet of first blooms every Spring since we were teenagers. We came across these little beauties on our walk yesterday. Hope springs eternal.

Love & Peace,

And, who would have known that …

In the United KingdomH. non-scripta is a protected species under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. Landowners are prohibited from removing common bluebells on their land for sale and it is a criminal offence to remove the bulbs of wild common bluebells.[26] This legislation was strengthened in 1998 under Schedule 8 of the Act making any trade in wild common bluebell bulbs or seeds an offence, punishable by fines of up to £5,000 per bulb.[10][27]  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyacinthoides_non-scripta

Mizrach: The Place of the Rising Sun

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“Where sky and water meet, Where the waves grow sweet, Doubt not, Reepicheep, To find all you seek, There is the utter East.” ― C.S. Lewis

Mizrach – a Hebrew word for east.  It literally means the place of the rising sun.  I have no doubt that my eternal heart compass orients to the east—the place of the rising sun.  How about yours?

Up before dawn, we dress in silence and head for the Explorer.  We make our way up the winding Summit Road, to the top of Cadillac Mountain—the first place to view sunrise in the United States.

A rock invites me to have a seat (yes, rocks do speak, … well, sort of).  So I do, and I wait, with eyes wide-open to sky’s still-dark border at the waters of Frenchman Bay.

Earlier in the week, a friend gives me a gift—a Hebrew tallit, named P’nai by the artisans who designed it.  (I am told that the Hebrew word P’nai translates to “the blue points of light” in English.)  I lay the tallit across my lap—heart engaged in prayerful meditation, in unison with the heavens above.  I am lost in translation—drifting among the morning stars singing in chorus.

In a twinkling, I’m back, just in time to catch sight of the most magnificent fiery-red orb emerging.  The tallit upon my lap literally absorbs the chaste white rays and mysteriously glows with the radiance of the sun.

And then, something extraordinary … with sky perfectly clear, and no clouds in sight, a rainbow appears behind me.

Reflected light before me; refracted light behind.  I am surrounded in a prism of light:  wrapped in Creation’s very own tallit … in Mizrach, the place of the rising sun.

One more mountaintop experience to add to my life journal.  An experience not meant to teach but to transform.

Love & Peace,

” …The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.”  Psalm 19:21

*The photo was taken by my husband, as I was otherwise engaged drifting among the stars and gazing into mysterious glows.  He also caught the rainbow behind me, otherwise I would have missed it completely.  Thank you, dear husband.  You know me so well.