A Perfect Day

“DAY. The irradiance of Life; light, the spiritual idea of Truth and Love.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

Clara Kitty jumped onto our woodstove (it’s been warm here and we’ve not been using it) and bent over and peered into the window at the front of it. I followed her gaze and saw a little face inside the woodstove looking out at me! There was a little chickadee in there waiting to be set free! I put Clara and Sam the Wonder Dog in the laundry room and shut the door. I opened one of the French doors to the deck and then opened the woodstove door and the little bird flew out, and went sailing towards the dining room. “No, here, Sweetie! Come out this way!” I encouraged her – and she looped back towards me and then winged out the door to the outside and disappeared. I’m so glad Clara saw her, and I’m so glad I was here so I could help her.

***

What a perfect day! Walked from Fairhaven to the Farmers Market – ran into an old photographer-friend and met a new one. On impulse, stopped in to see a dear friend who works downtown – I’d been missing her and it was so good to see her again! Bought some raspberry honey and cinnamon pecans – and listened to the Farmer Market’s musicians work their magic. Walked back to Fairhaven and then drove home. Took Sam the Wonder Dog for a walk. Mowed my Secret Garden and saw honeybees in the rosa rugosa! (I haven’t seen many honeybees, yet, and was getting a little concerned.) Planted some sunflower seedlings and watered things. And rescued a chickadee from our woodstove. I figured I walked about eight miles today. My muscles feel all stretched and happy, my yard smells like freshly-mowed grass, and there’s a little chickadee safely back with her family after a scary encounter with the inside of a woodstove. Life is good.

Pictures from today…

 

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Waving to the Amtrak

Scenes from Bellingham Bay

Okay, this tickles me: Whenever an Amtrak train goes zipping by I just gotta wave. I cannot help myself. So the other night Andrew takes the family out to dinner (it’s his Christmas gift to us) – and we’re all sitting there (Scott, Xander, Andrew, and Andrew’s girlfriend, Sierra) and Sierra and Andrew start talking about a trip they took on the Amtrak to Vancouver last weekend. And (this is the part that has me cracking up) apparently as their train went cruising by Bellingham Bay last weekend they saw me down on the boardwalk waving up at the cars. “Look!” Sierra said to Andrew as their train rumbled passed, “There’s your mom!” Hahhahahar!  Ain’t life fun?!

(I happened to take a photo of the train that day – little did I know my son and his girlfriend were on there.)

Amtrack train

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“The dam bursts…”

“You always had the power, my dear.” – Glinda the Good Witch

My friend, Randy, has given me permission to share his poem. It perfectly captures what I felt yesterday at the Bellingham Women’s March:

The hard and steady tread of feet
on the sidewalk, in the street,
always forward, no retreat,
The dam bursts,
its flood o’ertakes,
leaving miracles in its wake…
– Randy Kercher

I arrived at the Bellingham Women’s March a little earlier than most people. I’d gone by myself and wasn’t sure I’d be able to find anybody I knew there – but no sooner had I parked than a couple of retired teachers from my old school district walked past my car. We all grinned when we saw each other and gave each other hugs, and walked together to the city courthouse, where the march would start. I ended up running into a lot familiar faces there – former students; teaching colleagues; neighbors – some of my all-time favorite people…

I met some wonderful new friends there, too, and saw some great signs…

I stood near the front of the crowd when I first arrived. There weren’t a lot of people then. About a half hour later I started working my way towards the back to get a group photo – and I went back and back and back and still didn’t come to the end. By the time we started on the march they’d had to make the walk longer to accommodate all the people – we were looping ourselves – the people in front were finishing their march and there were still people in the back who hadn’t even started, yet. The estimates are 6,000 people – and that was just in Bellingham!

I so appreciated the police officers who were at the march. They were friendly and smiling and supportive. At the end of the march, I said to one of the officers, “We did good today, didn’t we?” And he smiled back and said, “Yes, you did!”

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It was awesome to be in the midst of thousands of people all working together for a better world. There was an amazing power in that. I left the march feeling grateful and hopeful for humanity.

Today’s lesson…

“Are we really grateful for the good already received? Then we shall avail ourselves of the blessings we have, and thus be fitted to receive more.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

So I’m out on my walk in Bellingham – there is much glorious autumnal color to be had – gold and ruby are dripping from the trees and forming arches over the paths. But there are people walking the paths, too – spaced in just such a way that as soon as one walker gets out of my camera’s view, another appears. I’m feeling frustrated by this. At this rate I’ll be waiting all day to get a people-less picture.

I smile at the walkers as they go by me, and they all smile back and wish me a good day. And finally! – the path is clear – I raise my camera to shoot a photo – and one more walker appears around the curve in the path. I lower my camera and wait. He’s moving at a steady pace. I smile at him as he approaches, and he smiles back. As explanation for why I’m still standing there – I point down the path to an arch of branches over the trail and tell him I want to take a photo of that. He smiles and agrees that it’s beautiful, and says that if you go further down the trail you’ll see more of those arches. I notice the cool earrings dangling from his ears and tell him how much I like them, and he says thank you. I ask him if I can take his picture and he tells me sure. I shake his hand and introduce myself, and he tells me his name is Todd. I have met a new friend.

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Todd

And as I’m walking back down the trail, it occurs to me that God had been presenting me with gifts all morning – wonderful people who were walking the path with me. It took me awhile to realize and recognize Love’s largesse – but I’m happy to say, I finally got it. 🙂

“Know thyself…”

Know thyself, and God will supply the wisdom and the occasion for a victory over evil. Clad in the panoply of Love, human hatred cannot reach you.
– Mary Baker Eddy

Have you ever been accused of something you didn’t do? Have you ever been accused of THINKING something you weren’t thinking, or of being motivated by something that wasn’t motivating you?

Yeah. Most of us have probably found ourselves in that position at one time or another. I know I have. In fact, I know this kind of thing happened 2000 years ago, too, because there are references made to it in The Bible. “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour…” is one of the ten commandments, after all. And the story of Job is pretty instructive in this regard: There was Job, afflicted with all kinds of crap – disease and pain and horrific loss. And there were his three “friends” – Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar – all having a great deal of fun plastering Job with labels, and telling him that God had brought these troubles to him because he deserved them somehow.  Zophar says: “But oh that God would speak, and open his lips against thee; And that he would shew thee the secrets of wisdom, that they are double to that which is! Know therefore that God exacteth of thee less than thine iniquity deserveth.”

Ooh baby!

But in the story, Job knew his innocence. He recognized his real identity.

And this all brings me to Chris, a young man I met in Bellingham a few weeks ago.  I saw Chris standing outside the restrooms at the top of the ramp leading to the boardwalk, and smiled and wished him a good morning. He wished me a good morning back and then told me he was homeless and asked me if I had any money I could give him to buy breakfast. I invited him to join me on my walk and told him I’d buy him breakfast down at the coffee shop in the park. The park is about a mile away, so Chris and I had a lot of time to chat. He told me he hadn’t finished high school – and I told him about a program I knew of that could help him get his diploma at the local community college. He told me about his favorite high school teachers – an art teacher, a special education teacher, and a math teacher –  and said that he enjoys making art and writing. And then he shared a piece of life-wisdom that I thought was worth preserving for posterity – and that he graciously allowed me to record on my camera. (Click on the words highlighted in blue to hear Chris’s life-quote.)

Chris explained his quote this way: “Be known in life for what you do do, and not for what people say you do.”

And that – right there! – is a man who recognizes his identity isn’t based on what other people think of him. He isn’t going to let other people define who he is.  And neither should we.

defining you

Sitar Magic

And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.
– Roald Dahl

It’s been a crazy month, and yesterday I hied me up to Bellingham – my spiritual home – for a much needed recharge.

As I was walking along the path to Boulevard Park – on the edge of Bellingham Bay – I ran into a man with a sitar. I asked him about his instrument and he talked to me a bit about how a sitar is put together and why it makes the unique sound it makes. He let me touch the strings and run my hand over the smooth kaddu ka tumba. He’d found this sitar in Texas and had learned how to play it from a master sitar teacher in San Francisco. The sitar had been in an Indian family for seven generations before it came into his hands.

He didn’t want his face photographed – and I respected that – but he let me record his hands bringing out music from the strings.

I told him he had no idea how much I needed his music just then, and he said, “Oh, I do.” And then he played for me. I closed my eyes and opened my hands to whatever came to me – opened my thoughts up to the beauty and magic of that moment, and felt myself enveloped in harmony and peace – surrounded by a universe of Love.

Ancient sound. Ancient music.

I took a deep breath and he played the last note as I opened my eyes. The music only lasted a minute maybe – but it was all I needed.

I brushed the tears from my eyes and thanked him. He said, “Bless your heart.”

I went a little further on my walk then. On the way back I looked for him, but he had disappeared. And somehow that felt right to me – it made the moment when he played his sitar for me more magic somehow.

Mental melodies and strains of sweetest music supersede conscious sound. Music is the rhythm of head and heart.
– Mary Baker Eddy

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Sitar in Bellingham