Tag Archives: memories

Happy Father’s Day

IMG_20100912_130151dadDear Dad,

I have been thinking about you all day. Then this evening while I was on the computer checking my messages, I saw that so many friends had written notes or posted photos of their fathers. It was sweet and thoughtful and fun, and I too wanted to send my message of love and remembrance. So I reviewed the photos that I took of you right before you died. It has been almost four years. There you are wearing a salon cape as the hair dresser cut your hair at your condo. You were too sick to leave your condo but you were expecting a visitor. You looked shaggy, and I knew that you had always looked put together in the past. You were proud of your looks and always looked good. You would want to be presentable to your guests. So I called the hair dresser to do a home visit. I was sad that you hadn’t had enough personal care, but glad that I could do this one small gesture of care for you. You were wearing the cape and I said “Let’s take a picture” and to my surprise you didn’t refuse. Instead you gave me a big cheesy grin. A grin that I felt was from your five year old self. How fun, how intimate. I saw a part of you that you had hidden from me. I cherish those moments before your death, even if we were not having long conversations. It was more just the being of togetherness.

Mimi came to me in one of my meditations. She told me that she had been a hands off mother with you. She was shy and reserved and didn’t know how to be close to you. She always thought that because you had a twin, that you would manage okay. And you did, but she was sorry that she was a bit cold in her mothering approach. And then in turn, you were a bit reserved and cold in your fathering approach to me. Was that the pass-down legacy effect? Did I have to work hard to get closer to my children so that I wasn’t reserved and cold with them too?  But now I feel you acknowledge my work and your love for me. I feel that we are closer now and have more mutual respect for each other.  There has been a healing between us that came on the spirit level but is nonetheless true and powerful. I love you. Happy Father’s Day.

Re-membering our Youth in Chewelah

Chewelah yurtWe were young and in love and had our sights set on buying some cheap land and building a house on that land. Or at least my husband’s intention was focused on that result. I was the tag along and I was newly pregnant. The first piece of raw land that we looked at backed up to the Wallowa Mountain range, and it looked way too steep, way too remote, for me in my present state. I wanted to know, where was the hospital? And how big was that tiny town of Joseph anyhow? So the realtor there suggested we travel to the Colville Valley, which he pronounced Coal-ville. And if he were younger and not so tied down that’s where he’d go. So we packed up our two dogs, jumped into our green Dodge pickup, covered by a Conestoga wagon top over the pickup bed (hand crafted by Chris). And then we travelled up route 395, in the month of May. We crested the hill that looks down into the valley, that held the town of Chewelah, and it was green and lush and beautiful. And I knew that that would be a good place to stay.

And we did. Chris found us a piece of raw land, not quite as cheap as in Joseph, but still only $333 an acre and the town was a bit bigger and had a hospital! We built our yurt that summer so that we had a home for our daughter. We met our neighbors and were introduced to the community of twenty year olds who also wanted to build their own homes, on a piece of land, have babies, swim in the lake, and start a community. We each came for different reasons, from different parts of the country, running from families, or moving forward to learn new lessons. Some of us stayed many years, some of us left wanting to explore other locations or bigger cities. But we gathered together for a sharing that still keeps us connected even today, even if we don’t see each other, or call, or write, or hang out. We are still heart connected. And I loved our land there, our sixty acres, and I grieved when we left, but I also knew that my husband and I needed to explore other parts of ourselves, to stretch out of our comfort zones.

A good friend compared our experience in Chewelah to that of being in the womb. It was a time of nurturing and developing, re-growing our youth. Maybe we were all there to re-learn how to be family together, how to connect with each other and with ourselves. We didn’t want the standard rules, so we came to a small community where we could make up our own new rules. We healed, we loved. And we all came from someplace else, so we were the outsiders to the townies. But I believe that we have known each other in different lifetimes and we all gathered to say hello again and share the raising of our families together. We had fun; lots of belly laughs, by the lake, sledding in the snow, watching the children grow and learn, sharing holidays together.

When we remember an event from the past and color it with our descriptions, the feelings of those times come back to the surface of our consciousness. When we are able to put ourselves back into our past, pat it into shape with our memories, we color our present with those memories of love and fun and light and laughter. We are re-membering our pasts by bringing together old pieces of ourselves. It is one way to renew and review our youth. It is a way to bring our youth into the present, and time travel.

Am I My Mother?

Am I my MotherI look in the mirror. My hair has turned almost white. I remember my mother with her white hair blowing in the wind, framing her face. She looks like she is seeing into another world. She’s looking pensive, with a half smile on her face. I have a friend who would always tease me about coloring my hair and asked me why I did it. And I replied, so that I would not look like my mother. And now I do.

My mother wore her gray hair proudly and used to brag to us children that she’d have people come up to her at parties and ask what hairdresser had given her the gray streak. She’d had a gray streak since her early thirties.

I look at photographs of my mother at her wedding and I do not know that person. I know the person who was my mother, the woman who was in her thirties and forties and early fifties. If I look like my mother does that mean that I am my mother? Of course, I know intellectually that I am part Mom, part Dad and part me, which all goes to make up the unique me. But still, what parts of each of them have I inherited, the good parts or the bad parts? When I was in my twenties I was terrified that I had inherited all the bad parts of Mom. And then in my thirties, I thought maybe I’d inherited only the good parts. And then I just quit thinking about it.

I am my mother’s daughter. I have followed her patterns. I have changed her patterns. I have her patterns inside me. I want to clear my energy field of her patterns, the old patterns of self hate and self loathing. I want to release and let go of what does not serve me for my highest and best good. I want to clear my fields of energy. Let the darkness go, let the dark water flow out of me, the dark misty fog and have compassion and love for myself. Light in my being. Fill up my being with light. Spinning twirling shadow, light, shadow, light, we are made up of shadow and light, but if we spin fast enough, at a higher vibration, then we are filled with light, and spin and spit out rays of light. We are a spinning top of light and love. The rays come out of the top of our head and throughout our body. I didn’t know that I still held my mother’s pain. I thought I was clear. If I replicate an old pattern of pain, then have I acted out of a perverse sense of following the leader, the one who went before me, my mother? But I do not want to follow that old pattern, that old pain. I want light and love and compassion to fill my being.

And now I look in the mirror and I am passing into the age that I remember my mom being and I remember her and wonder.


The Perfect Moment

the Perfect Moment 001My husband and I haven’t travelled much lately or taken many vacations, but we were given the opportunity to spend some time with friends in a foreign land. We were able to experience other sights and sounds and vistas that are not part of our daily norm. We took lots of pictures, thinking that we were capturing all that we were seeing. And on our return home I reviewed in my mind’s eye some of the highlights for me. And I shared with my husband that I really had loved the way the wind had blown the gauzing curtains in our fanciest hotel room. It was a corner room and I could look out over green fields, and trees, and see stone medieval buildings with red tile roofs below us. The wind moved the curtains and the green fields were revealed behind the billowing white gauze. It was beautiful. I felt peaceful, happy, content and my husband agreed that he too felt the perfect moment-ness. But back home when I looked at all of our photos, I noticed that I had not taken a picture of that view. How was I going to remember its perfectness if I didn’t have a photo of it? Now that moment is a memory stored, to be spoken of and thought of in our mind only.

My mother-in-law told me that one of her most precious memories with her first husband, my husband’s father, was when they were traveling and looked into a valley, held hands, and said to each other it doesn’t get any better than this, to see the vista, to be together. And she had no pictures of that moment. It was only her telling me about it that I even knew it existed.

How does one know when one is having a perfect moment? Life gives us a kaleidoscope of moments. How do we recognize the times, the moment, when we know that we are happy to be alive and experiencing life, earth, togetherness, aloneness, love? And what of all those perfect moments that come upon us, and we don’t recognize their perfectness?

I strive for the awareness to be able to recognize those perfect moments.