When my daughter was little, she had a classmate at her daycare that was from Nigeria. She was a beautiful girl with the most gloriously smooth blue-black skin and big brown soulful eyes. She asked me why her friend’s skin was a different color than hers. I paused for a moment knowing that whatever came out of my mouth would shape my child’s view of the world (no pressure!) and the people in it… gratefully, I had a divine moment of thought intervention and said, “You know how when you go into a garden and there are lots of flowers and they’re all different shapes, sizes, and colors but each of them is beautiful? Well, people are like that… all different and all beautiful.” She nodded in agreement and went off to play with her friend… I so wish I could impart that wisdom to the entire world right about now.
Fast forward 20+ years and my daughter is now an amazing young woman and married to a wonderful young man who is Filipino. A while back, she confided in me that she was scared at what was going on with the racism that was rearing its ugly head especially given that she was a white woman married to a brown man… and I told her, in a way, it was a silver lining… like a deeply infected wound, it needed to be broken open to let the light in to heal it… that wound cannot be hidden anymore… we truly see it and how infected it is and how much healing is needed… and the other silver lining is this is spurring people of all colors and genders to get involved, to run for office, to stand up.
With great change comes great chaos. I know it’s a scary time and we are all affected by what is going on in one way or another, some more than others, and it may feel overwhelming but I believe that we all have the ability to affect change in our world no matter what kind of flower we are. I encourage anyone who is reading this to do one small thing today – a donation, a letter, a conversation, a gesture, watch or read something to educate yourself – and follow that with another the next day and start a tradition of inspiring change in your life and share that with others and together we can make a difference and help heal that wound. Y’know that old saying “The Buck Stops Here”… well, my new saying is “The Change Starts Here.” It’s time.
Did your mom ever say that? Like when you were a teenager and cleaned up your room without being asked? Or you lost something and miraculously found it again? I was just thinking about the wonder in the world and what that looks like… sometimes it’s big like a grand vista but sometimes it’s something that may seem very small but isn’t. In the cottage I’m renting, I have what I call a Shelf of Wonders… it’s those little things that someone made for or gave me or a special photo or memory of an amazing trip. They probably wouldn’t mean much to anyone else but to me they are wonder-full treasures and always bring good memories to my mind of an event or person/s.
One of those items is something my daughter made for me. I’m not a big fan of the traditional idea of Valentine’s Day and I taught her that V-Day is for all kinds of love – friends, family, and anyone else who adds some sparkle to your life and I’d also told her that a gift didn’t have to cost a lot to be special (one year I gave her an empty refrigerator box for Christmas… it was her favorite gift!!). One Valentine’s Day morning, I came downstairs and found a “Love Boat” made out of construction paper… complete with smokestacks and cotton “smoke” coming out of them and a flower-petal wake behind it and little cards with fun sayings on them like “Bee Mine” with a hand drawn bee. I can’t tell you how much that made my day and that Love Boat will be with me until my dying day… and it wasn’t just the gift but also the thought and heart that went into making it that made it so special.
So, it was a “little” thing that packed so much bigness into it… wonder-full indeed! Maybe today, take some time to focus on some of the wonders in your life that you’ve overlooked lately or taken for granted… the things that make your heart smile or bring back a good memory when you see them… and be grate-full in that moment.
May 1, 2020 – Today is May Day, or Beltane in the Celtic tradition. This is the mid-point of Spring, half way from the equinox to the Summer Solstice. Ancient Celtic people celebrated the re-birth of flowers and trees, the long days, and the warmer weather.
And with that rebirth, come the gifts of small green leaves and fragrant blossoms pushing their way out of dormant branches toward the sun… the birds happily chirping their unique songs… a gentle breeze rustling the leaves on the trees making the windchimes softly ting… the bees are back in business and buzzing merrily… sunlight streaming through the trees. Up in the mountains where I live, the owls have reappeared in the evening, exchanging hoo-hoos back and forth and I wonder what they’re communicating to each other… the latest gossip in the owl world about who is nesting with who perhaps or maybe they’re wondering why all the humans are around so much!
And also, with the season comes everyone’s favorite – Spring Cleaning, come on down!! One benefit to sheltering in place is you don’t have to cram everything needed to be done into one day because of your busy schedule… I’ve been making a list of the things I’d like to get organized or cleaned out and just doing one thing a day or every other day… not necessarily huge projects but completing them still makes me feel a bit accomplished which helps my spirit.
I’m learning to sit with what is and quiet my buzzing mind… close my eyes and just listen to what’s around me that I miss because I get so caught up with trying to stay busy and not think about the world and all that’s going on… I really don’t have any control over that so I will focus on what I can… and right now, I can control this moment in time and make it something special… spring-ing my mind into action for my own well-being. I encourage you all to find a little time to just “Be”… look around your world and see all the gifts that are right there in front of you.
These are challenging times for so many reasons and I have found myself upon occasion in the throes of what I call “Future Tripping”… the worrying about “what if…” and “how will I…” I was pretty good at doing that when I was recuperating after my accident and found myself doing it again these past few weeks resulting in sleeplessness, anxiety, fear, and lots of weepy moments… I had to remind myself that Future Tripping does no good because there are no answers… all we really have is right Now.
One of the biggest challenges I am working on is living in the Now. Not asking “what if” or “how come” or “will I” because worrying about the past or future is a fairly moot point and you miss living your life… this moment right Now will pass you by and never come again.
I remember the first time my parents wheeled me out of the hospital and into the fresh air and I was hit with a swell of emotion at how absolutely and incredibly beautiful that moment was… the blue of the sky, the wispy white clouds, the smell of cut grass, a small child’s laughter… and I was so grateful to be able to still be alive to experience that. And that is a memory that I am focusing on… experiencing the moment at hand and the wonder that the world has to offer and remembering that the “little” things so often are anything but.
So, I will leave you with that thought and wish that each of you look deeper into your inner being and find the inner peace of Now and being able to pass that along to others as we all travel through this thing we call life.
All I have to do is cross the road and this is my view… I never tire of it… just gotta remember to stop and savor the gifts that are given to us! ❤
I’m five years old today… well, maybe not actually five but it’s the fifth anniversary of “that” day that would change my world and a lot of other people’s too… it’s been a helluva journey and as I look back, I am grateful for being given the gift of life and the ability to celebrate the “little” things every day and loving the many amazing spirits that have become entangled in my life whether it be from my beloved family to theatre friends, motorcycle travelers, co-workers, or medical teams… you all have inspired me to work it through and move forward when it seemed too hard to do… gave me strength and hope and love and for that, each one of you will forever be etched upon my heart and soul and be a part of me forever, on this plane and beyond.
Today is also the 5-year anniversary of the deaths of two icons – Michael Jackson and Farah Fawcett. My friends and family said that when all three of us showed up at the “transition center”, they said it was too much to handle and sent me back! And I’m so glad I got to come back for so many reasons… I got to see my beloved daughter graduate from high school and grow into a beautiful young woman and find her niche in the world when she became a certified neuromuscular therapist, work that she loves… I watched as my friends pulled closer together and increased their connection with each other as the rallied beside me… I got to travel to many places with beloved friends, both on and off the bike – the Southwest, Baja, Canada, SoCal, UK/France, and recently New York with my sister and niece/nephew… I am feeling very grateful today for life and every moment that I get to be here.
I hope today you all take a moment to feel the sun on your face or share a hug with someone you love or do something nice for yourself or someone else… to feel alive and appreciate how amazing life is… one moment at a time… right now.
When I was in the burn unit, my dear friend Val, organized a motorcycle ride that was deemed “Celebration of Life Ride” in my honor. It was an amazing day full of spirit and love and friendship… remembering those who left before us, embracing the ones that are still here, and supporting those who were fighting the good fight, including me. I wouldn’t be here without all of those people and my medical angels and my wonderful family.
We’ve continued the tradition and will be holding another “Celebration of Life” ride on June 15, 2014. A dear friend that I have yet to meet in person, David Eagle, decided he would organize a similar ride in his neck of the woods (Australia) to coincide with ours here in CA. I was deeply touched by this gesture of solidarity of spirit and have invited anyone and everyone around the globe to do something similar on that day – doesn’t have to be on a motorcycle. But on June 15, 2014, do something special to celebrate life and the gifts we have been given.
David posted a link to his blog where he has a page with my story. It includes something I wrote on my one-year anniversary of the accident. It reminded me once again how far I’ve come and how completely blessed I am to be surrounded by such loving spirits. I hope maybe the words will touch you today and give you strength for any challenges you may be facing. Anything is possible, my friends!