Journeys bring power and love
Back into you. If you can’t go somewhere,
Move in the passageways of the self.
They are like shafts of light,
Always changing, and you change
When you explore them.
What do I want to take home from my summer vacation? Time. The wonderful luxury of being at rest. The days when you shut down the mental machinery that keeps life on track and let life simply wander. The days when you stop planning, analyzing, thinking and just are. Summer is my period of grace.
~ Ellen Goodman
(I will be cross posting this at Life in the Bogs today as it seems to fit both blogs. It should also be noted that this bird may well be the same playful bird pictured in an earlier post but he showed up at a different spot on a different day.)
Playfully you hid from me.
All day I looked.
Then I discovered
I was you,
and the celebration
of That began.
~ Lalla (India)
About a month or two ago I was flipping through Yoga Journal magazine. I think it was the June issue but don’t hold me to that as I no longer have the copy to check. I came across the poem quoted above as part of a review of the book Mala of the Heart: 108 Sacred Poems. I had an almost immediate and interesting inner reaction to it. It was as if someone opened a window in my soul, letting in a strong breeze and a bright light.
It is a difficult thing to describe. It was a lot like looking at a breathtaking sunrise or sunset and suddenly, briefly, feeling a connectedness to everything.
From time to time I would think about it as I meditated. It came to mind again when we were at the Lake Irene trail head in Rocky Mountain National Park and I saw a bird flitting around playfully in a pine tree, almost inviting me to follow as it hopped from branch to branch, peering out every now and then in a game of hide-and-seek.
I bought a copy of the book just before we set out on our trip to Colorado. I haven’t had a chance to do much more than flip through it to look for the exact wording of Lalla’s poem. I’m looking forward to reading more, and the journeys and adventures that might bring.
I say that the strongest principle of growth lies in human choice.
~ George Eliot
I did a lot of indulging during our holiday in Colorado, eating foods and drinking drinks I don’t normally eat or drink much while at home. (Visit Life in the Bogs if you are interested in my adventures in Colorado.) One of the projects I’ve been working on this year is getting myself down to a healthy weight. I’ve done well but still need to keep making healthy choices to get the numbers down more. Indulging while in Colorado was not a bad thing. We did enough hiking and walking to work it off. I came home weighing less than when I left.
Somtimes I think healthy (or is it healthful?) choices are a little like the bucket of sunflowers I photographed at the farmers market in the Cherry Creek area of . There are so many beautiful things (foods, drinks) to choose from that it can be difficult to make a decision about one or two and resist the temptation to grab them all. Even healthful choices can be bad choices if you overindulge. For me those choices, whether healthful or not, are a matter of quality of life choices. I want to be able to walk, climb, hike, play with my grandchildren. In other words, keep blooming if I can. I know there will be a time to fade but I also know that our choices in life play a big role in our quality of life.
Those of you who have followed me here at Bountiful Healing for a while know that this was the place I came to in order to heal body, mind, and spirit. Not doing well physically led to not doing well mentally and spiritually. I think it was just before my mother was diagnosed with small-cell lung cancer that I decided I didn’t need Bountiful Healing anymore and tried to shut it down. I was feeling good. Mission accomplished. Or so I thought. I reopened BH at the request of those who wanted to visit and revisit old posts.
Then, as you may or may not know, my mother was diagnosed with cancer which eventually led to her death on September 9, 2009. What an odd date. 09-09-09. I thought that at the time but haven’t thought about it again until just now, seeing it in type. Digressions aside for the moment, I felt the need to come back here on a semi-regular basis. As this first year since Mom’s death has passed, I’ve come here less and less even though there were times when I needed it more and more.
Lately I’ve realized that healing is something we do on an almost daily basis and it doesn’t always involve the serious stuff. It might involve something as simple as letting go of or getting over an unkind word from a stranger. What seems like eons ago, I watched an interview with writer and poet Maya Angelou and one of the things I remember her talking about is how the little things, the little hurts, are like being pecked to death by ducks. There are times when life brings you a duck or two trying to take a little piece of you. Even the little hurts and slights need healing.
BH is also the place I express my creativity, more so than at Life in the Bogs. The Bogs blog (as I frequently refer to it) was, at first, a place to record our adventures when M took a sabbatical and we moved to West Chester, Pennsylvania for almost a year. It then became the place to record daily adventures and vacations and NaBloPoMo themes and whatever else came to mind. But it has never been a terribly personal or creative blog to me even though I attempted to merge BH with the Bogs blog and have it all come together in one place. The Bogs blog is a record of my outer life. Bountiful Healing is a record of my inner and creative life.
So. Here I am again. Back at the beginning after quite a few endings. I think it’s interesting as well as pretty awesome that life circles and spirals, back and forth, inside and outside and even upside down (to badly paraphrase Dr. Suess and his “inside, outside, upside down”). It moves back and forth and can get a little bit crazy at times. Having a place to balance and center, to anchor, helps. This is one of those places for me. I am fortunate and grateful that I have other shelters and balancing places, within and without. I hope you have at least one such place too, because it is much easier to fly after a period of grounding, centering, and resting in one’s personal oasis of safety and peace.