Tangents

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“Trust the instinct to the end, though you can render no reason.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Lately, the currents have lead to unexpected tangents, where thinking less and instinctively flying more is necessary. Hence, I have found freedom in the busiest days. I am busier than I have been in years actually, making the quiet moments blissfully and guiltlessly enjoyed.

The house is still this morning. Both boys are gone, the son is in Catalina on a school trip and the husband is in Florida on a business trip. The girl and I have giggled in delight knowing we have a whole week with just each other. So far we have read together, colored together, watched movies, played on the swing, talked about birds, watched them make nests (Mrs. Twitters you will meet later), and plan on making paper flowers. She should be at school today but a cold has kept her home, and between you and me, I am more than okay with that ;-).
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I just finished reading Stephen King’s Dr. Sleep. If you are a Stephen King fan, you won’t be disappointed. His memoir On Writing is next but for now I am reading Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend by Matthew Dicks, a random book picked up a few months ago. The author is a former teacher, a 3 time Moth storySlam winner, and a manager of a McDonalds. I love this author already.
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Birds. You may or may not know I am captivated by them. I am slowly massaging my future as a full time birdwatcher, carefully listening to their calls, marking my bird book with the ones I have identified. I have a post in drafts all about the ones I’ve seen lately, and titled the post “Messengers”. I also, not every day but most days, draw from animal Medicine cards. These are my absolute favorite cards for daily inspiration and focus. Every single one I pull has something to teach me, and would you believe that most of the ones I pull are bird cards? It’s okay if you don’t. Sometimes I hardly believe it myself. Here is what I pulled this very morning:
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The Hawk card is the messenger card, a card about being aware of the signals in our life–“to notice and receive them”. Sometimes coincidence isn’t enough.
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A Robin couple has come back to nest at the house this Spring. Mr. Twitters (what we decided to call them) is who I met first. He has the face of an older, wiser Robin. He would sit on watch like a sentinel, his bright, orange chest puffed full and round, then circle the backyard onto the roof. He has beautiful markings don’t you think?
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I realize now that the nest we had to move last year when the house was repainted was theirs. No matter, Mrs.Twitters began working quickly a few days ago in the exact same spot the old one was.
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Remarkable, truly.

I hope you are able to follow some tangents today, just let them lead you to someplace unexpected. Sometimes, it almost feels like flying…

Much love to you on this Tuesday…

xoxox

Elizabeth

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“I would rather live in a world where my life is surrounded by mystery than live in a world so small that my mind could comprehend it.”

~Henry Emerson Fosdick

Eleven years ago, I met a woman named Elizabeth. She was an English woman who had coppery red hair and a narrow river of blond that began near her forehead, and she could see dead people. They would come to her and tell her things mostly by hand signals and showing familiar objects. She isn’t the only one, there are many that claim to see things that others can’t, and as always, belief only comes when something touches us in some way and turns our hearts and minds over like a deck of cards.

I sat in a chair at a small, square table in a very old Victorian house, my friend’s house. This house breathed an old stale and musty breath, with pink damask wallpaper peeling in the corners and heavy, green velvet curtains that hung as if a thousand buckets of tears could be wrung from it. My friend adored her house of 100 years, and I could not deny that it was a perfect setting to invite a wandering spirit, especially the dead ones. Elizabeth sat to my right, facing the windows that gave the only light into the small boxy room, save a small votive candle flickering on the table. I had zero expectations, though the possibility of everything she claimed capable of danced like fire around the edges of my skin.

She leaned in with her elbows on the table and asked me my name, then her eyes flitted over to behind my right shoulder. Once, at first, then again to the windows behind me, back and forth, back and forth, as if some irresistible secret began to reveal itself in that corner. I almost turned to look when she spoke suddenly.

“Your father passed recently.”

I nodded, “Four years ago.”

“He’s here.”

I was silent. My hands found each other.

“I feel a sickness in my chest, was it lung cancer?”

“Yes.” My left hand fingers began to fiddle with the rings on my right hand, and the chair, it was very uncomfortable.

“And he was quite the smoker and drinker wasn’t he?” she quarried.

“Yes, he was.”

The brain begins to work when challenged with something that seems impossible. Churning, it searches for answers to unexplained information, to keep the unexpected safe and predictable, to keep our world contained and manageable in a way that our minds are only fit to handle.

“He was in the military?”

“Yes.”

“I am seeing a picture of him”, as she spoke she moved her left forearm to where it sliced her chest, just beneath the collarbone “it’s from here up?”

I said nothing.

“He was quite handsome wasn’t he, your father…”

“Yes, I believed so.”

“Yes, well this picture, he was young and handsome, in his uniform with a hat, before he was ever sick, do you know which picture I am speaking of?”

I knew, yes I knew. I only had one, and it was the best picture of him I had. It was a time right around when I was born, when he was at the best moments of his military career.

“Well this is how he wants you to remember him. He wants you to frame that picture and put it somewhere so you can remember him this way.”

I couldn’t speak anymore. Hot tears began to swell and replaced any words that would have come. It didn’t matter anymore whether Elizabeth was really who she said she was. She found a tender stone that had lodged itself in my throat 4 years ago. She was trying to show it to me, expose it to the sunlight so that I would see that it wasn’t a stone at all, but the weightless ash that was released into the ocean years ago.

“He’s very happy where he is resting. He was buried someplace special wasn’t he–he’s smiling, impatient for me to translate.”

“Yes,” I managed, “in Arlington National Cemetary.”

“Yes, he was pleased and wants to thank you.”

It was too much really, too much for me to take. When the ones we love disappear from this earth, we still see them in places and times they would have been had they not died so young. A hole without boundaries remains in those unfulfilled visions, bottomless and thick, waiting for time to mercifully fill it with the gentle songs of acceptance and peace.

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There was more, about his grandchildren, that I would have one more child, a daughter, and that I would only have two, which became true on both counts. And then a rose, a white rose for my mother, asking for forgiveness and expressing that his one greatest love was for her.

I don’t believe these kinds of encounters are ones we should cling to. We step in and out of the unknown with as much uncertainty as what the next day will bring. And if we aren’t unclear or uncertain, we aren’t looking hard enough. Our vibrations in this world are meant to be fleeting and inconstant, impermanent and unsustainable. It is the only chance we have at discovering the magic hidden behind the walls that speak, the winds that howl, or the silence that calls. It is the only chance we have in accepting life, death, and all the inexplicable moments in between.

I don’t feel my father that much anymore. I miss him, sometimes I think I can smell him, and sometimes I tell stories to my children about what their Granddad was like. But I know he wouldn’t want me to dwell too much on sorrow or loss, not when there is so much that remains to be discovered and lived, not when there are yet so many mysteries to stumble upon and shift our hearts forever.

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Much love to you
xoxo

The Mother magazine

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I am happy to share that I have an article posted on the Mother Magazine blog. The Mother Magazine is an online and print publication that focuses entirely on natural and holistic parenting. I hope you go and take a look!

Welcome April..

xoxo