Hawk

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Red-Shouldered Hawk, Florida; photo from Wikipedia.

Well, my morning last Sunday was way more exciting than expected: I went out to the barn around 9:30 to get Galahad out. He wasn’t enthusiastic about it, but he let me put his halter on. He was a little balky when I asked him to come out the center pasture gate. That’s unusual for him—he generally loves to come out of the pasture.

This particular morning, though, he told me that there was something scary in the water tank there—not so scary that he wouldn’t go to the tank, but too scary to get a drink. He kept looking and snorting softly, so I went to look, and sure enough, there was something: A red-shouldered hawk, by some misadventure, had gotten stuck in there and nearly drowned.

I took off Galahad’s halter and went to get a small rag to cover the hawk’s head and several towels to wrap him up and soak up some of the water—he was waterlogged, hypothermic, and not moving much at all. I was afraid he was too far gone to save, but I had to try. I told him each step in the process, hoping he could feel my good intentions.

Even sopping wet, the bird weighed almost nothing—amazing. I carried the soggy little bundle over to the barn to find a dear friend of mine who could be counted on not to squeal, go crazy, or insist on unwrapping the hawk. I wasn’t sure quite what to do next.

And the oddest thing: I asked my friend what she thought I should do…and she “just happened” to have the World Bird Sanctuary’s Raptor Center phone number programmed into her phone—she and her husband had needed to call them about a bird just a few days ago. The Center is located about five miles from the barn. So she called and left a message. “Coincidence,” huh?

I kept changing the outer towels without taking the covering off the hawk’s head, and held him on my lap until I could feel his warmth coming through. He never offered to move, except that after half an hour or so he’d flex his feet when I touched them. The huge claws on those powerful yellow feet are amazing. That’s all of the bird that I could see, and I didn’t want to risk upsetting him by looking at him.

I had to get home to teach my Sunday afternoon dreamwork class, and finally, when the Sanctuary didn’t call back right away, I decided to just take him there. So I let him sit (covered with his towel, in Galahad’s feed pan) on the floor of the car until I could get him to the Raptor Center. So fortunate that we have experts so close by! On the drive I played recorded nature sounds to him, and he attempted a faint whistle, but didn’t move.

The volunteers who met me at the Center determined that the bird was apparently uninjured, just chilled and in shock; they put him in a cage with a heat lamp, took my information, and gave me a number where I could call and get updates on his condition. I didn’t take any photos—no time while I was getting him out of the tank, and once at the Raptor Center, it seemed somehow intrusive. Dunno….

What an amazing adventure. Thank you, Galahad for letting me know! I think the credit for this “save” really belongs more to my horse than to me.

I called the Sanctuary this morning for an update for “my” bird: He’s doing well, eating on his own, but may in fact have a fractured coracoid (a bone in his shoulder). That’s something they can’t see from outside, so they’ll feed him up in an indoor cage for a week, then put him in an outdoor flight cage where they can check him out further. Once he’s healed, he can be released.

This part of the story alone would be amazing enough—how often are we given the opportunity to save a magnificent wild creature like this?

But there’s more: I’ve been seeing this particular species of hawk regularly (and not just randomly) for about a year now. There was one sitting in a tree out at the Rescue Ranch one day, for instance, just eyeing me; one flew at windshield level across the highway right in front of my car a couple of months back, close enough for me to see his eye. Up close and personal; they had something to tell me, it seemed.

I shared the story in the class on Sunday, where we were talking about the relational, collaborative nature of the universe. One of my students pointed out that there must be a message for me, and an important one, if this bird was willing to nearly die so that I could really hear him. So I checked in with him in reverie during the class:

From the porch of my imaginal cabin, I can see Hawk on the ground near the steps. I invite him onto my arm, but then he takes off into the sky with me, magically, on his back. Thrilling, that flight! We land on a lichen-covered branch somewhere in the woods…and suddenly I am Hawk, flying blazingly fast through the air.

Such a feeling of power—I can feel the strength in my pectoral muscles, powering my wings. I feel the physical pride and power of my being, the enormous vision that I possess, the certainty of my ability to find and capture the prey that I need to survive. “Ruthless” is one word that springs into my mind. Ruthless. Discerning. Far-seeing. Ruthless in achieving goals, in taking my prey, my sustenance. Power. Speed and precision.

“Take what you need! Have no doubts!”

Collaboration indeed! If I hadn’t cultivated the willingness and the ability to hear Galahad (and not just see a stubborn horse who didn’t want to leave the pasture), and if Galahad hadn’t understood that I would listen to him, that hawk would be dead now. There is no doubt. I couldn’t see him in the tank; he was tucked under the rim, where I had to go over and actually look into the water to see him.

And if I hadn’t cultivated the ability to interact with the unconscious, non-rational world and receive its messages, this experience would just be an interesting coincidence, a fun story to share with friends, but without higher meaning for me.

Wow……

Unforgettable.

 

(Cross-posted from The Alchemical Horse.)

A message from Dad

DadOn the way to see my wonderful chiropractor/energy worker yesterday—this woman is the only one in the last 15 years to give me hope of working through the pain in my jaw—I met another angel. This one came in the form of a homeless woman who stood, huddled against the fierce wind and stinging snow, near the stoplight at the bottom of the freeway off-ramp.

I couldn’t read her sign, but it was obvious that she needed help and was likely asking for money. My initial reaction was two-fold: 1) I wanted to give her the $5 that was all the cash I had in my wallet, and 2) I was afraid the light would change before I managed to fish my wallet out of my back pocket. God forbid that anyone behind me should be inconvenienced by my “charity,” right?

Kindness won out over worry, and I got the wallet out, signaled to the woman, and lowered my window. “Oh, thank you!” she said as I gave her the money. “I’m hoping to get my room tonight!”

“God bless you,” I said. “I’ll keep you in my prayers.”

We locked eyes, and she smiled at me, tentatively. Then the light (which had stayed red for what seemed like a VERY long time) turned green. And for the next few minutes I did pray, fervently, that she be warm and safe that night, and that she be granted whatever she most needs on her journey.

The session with my practitioner went well (if you don’t mind the acupuncture needles she stuck into my neck, arms, and shoulders), as always. Lots of releasing of energy, some lovely/painful massage of sore and stuck points, and even some direct work on the painful jaw area.

Then she said, “I think your father is coming through.”

From our earlier discussions, I knew that she sees or senses my “entourage” of imaginal friends, relatives, and Guides, so it didn’t surprise me too much. We had been talking about some of my earliest memories, trying to find the pre-verbal, psychological roots of the pain in my jaw.

She asked me a little about him, in the way mediums often do: Did he wear a lot of red and yellow? (Yes.) Did he like plaid? (Oh yes.) Then she said this:

“He would like to thank you for stopping for the woman. He’s proud of you and your kindness.”

Oh, wow. I hadn’t mentioned the woman to her, or to anyone—the encounter had just happened, and no one but me and the woman even knew about it. Other than my dad, apparently, and whoever else had been hanging around in imaginal space.

I actually laughed (and cried a bit)—it was like something from one of John Edward’s sessions. It’s what John calls “validation”: where the medium reports something that he or she couldn’t have known about and that would be VERY unlikely to be the result of guesswork.

I don’t absolutely NEED this kind of validation in order to know that these things are the real deal, but it’s sure nice! Thanks, Dad, for coming through!

My practitioner friend went on to talk about other things Dad now appreciates about me that he was never able to verbalize while he was alive. Dad acknowledged how protective I was of him, and how loving…and how he felt that, in life, he might not always have deserved my dedication and kindness.

I’ve written here about my troubled relationship with my dad: Like so many women, I struggled all my life to “earn” Dad’s approval, but never felt like I had it. Two hours before he died, as he sat in his recliner so weak he could scarcely move, he was checking my arithmetic on a list of some purchases I had made for him at Walgreens, lest I be asking for more than I had actually spent. I mean, everyone knows I can’t add, but I do know how to operate a calculator, Dad. Really.

Oh—and one more thing: Last night, doing some video editing in the living room, I turned on the TV “just for company.” I almost never watch anything but PBS, but for some reason I had on the Disney channel and “Mulan,” which I had never seen.

Have you seen it? If so, you’ll know that it’s about a young woman who doesn’t fit society’s expectations for femininity, and who struggles to win her father’s approval and bring “honor” to her family. She goes off to war in her aging father’s place and saves the kingdom…or something like that. I admit I wasn’t paying very close attention. But at the end, she comes home triumphant, and her father tells her how proud he is of her…. I heard that part. And then, in my head, I also heard, “…and you don’t need to work so hard at it.”

Awww…. Thanks, Dad! What a lovely encounter this was. There IS something about hearing things from an “external” source (in this case, in my practitioner/friend’s voice) that you THINK you hear internally. It helps me be sure that I’m not just imagining it. I’ve said before that when you work with imaginal figures (including Guides and friends who’ve passed on), you have to be exceptionally careful that you’re not perceiving something just because you desperately wish it to be so—i.e., that you’re not letting your imagination rule. Not easy…and so it is very comforting to be getting the message in the way I did yesterday.

Comforting, and healing….

Another Encounter with God

Cirrus_clouds2 by Fir0002 Wikimedia commonsI had an amazing experience the other day, driving to meet a friend in Eureka—another “encounter with God.” It’s so hard to describe those experiences—there really aren’t words that capture the feeling…but no matter.

The sky was beautiful as I was driving down the freeway. Had I not been late for my meeting, I would have stopped for a photo. There were little, puffy clouds in the sky, not many—but they looked like they were “melting,” dripping down and being blown away. I’ve never seen anything like it before in my life. (The photo, from Wikipedia, is only vaguely similar.)

I always say that any time I want to feel closer to God, to the Divine, all I have to do is look up at the clouds. That was never more true than on that drive that day. I’m sure there’s a logical and scientific explanation for those cloud formations, but never mind that—it was such a beautiful and amazing thing to see that it was hard to keep my mind on my driving.

Wonderful! Wonder-full!

So I’m driving down I-44 with my mouth hanging open, saying (actually out loud), “God! This is amazing! How did You do this? How did You make clouds?!”

There is a strong part of me, especially when I’m dealing with the natural world, that’s still child-like, even after 64+ years. At times like this, I’m just filled to overflowing with wonder and delight, and I can’t keep still about it. So I’m driving along just full of joy and wonder and the love of life and gratitude for being alive to experience all this beauty—laughing with gratitude and wonder—and suddenly I “hear” a deep, rumbling, joyful chuckle that burbles up in my mind’s ear. “Why, thank you!” says this huge, indescribable Voice. “I’m glad you like them!”

I really do think it was God.

Can God be delighted when we so appreciate His creations? I guess so…. Jung and the Sufis, at least, believed so.

The Being who responded to me was the Judaeo-Christian sky god, the bearded white guy in the sky, I’m pretty sure. This is the God whom I was raised to believe in. He (and it was a “He” who spoke) is the way that I relate to and perceive God in these moments. I think it’s because at these times I perceive Him as a Being with a somewhat-human form, someOne with whom I can have conversations and a personal relationship—a relationship that comes out in funny ways like this.

It seems a very child-like way to experience God—so simple and uncomplicated. It’s an experience of someOne big and powerful, a real Father-figure, and the entire thing is unquestioned….

It was such a great experience! It’s like God and I shared a chuckle. What a blessing—another moment of God’s grace.

I love that the Divine takes so many forms, and I love that one of those infinite forms will take thought of me, one tiny person out of billions of humans here on this earth, and share a moment of wonder with me.

Wow.

Blissful acceptance

20150506_195945Last night I had an odd but wonderful experience in the middle of the night: I woke up, concerned about the pain in my jaw. It was feeling “hot” and beginning to be spiky, though still not what I would call painful (I expect most people would, though). I lay still, hoping to be able to keep it quiet enough that it wouldn’t go full-blown. As I lay there drifting around, half-awake but aware of what was going on, this showed up:

I feel I’m in a big, finished basement—“my house,” in the dream. There’s a room that’s big enough to dance in, and I’m enjoying a waltz with a casual friend of mine who’s a very good lead. I love to waltz! In this dream, or whatever it was, I realize the joy is in the dance itself, and doesn’t depend so much the person whom I’m dancing with.

Then the odd part starts:

I find myself in a strange, peaceful state of being where I just watch things going on. I watch my emotions, watch or review the events in my life, and am filled with wonder at the way they happened. There are things that in waking life I might wish had happened differently, but in this state of being, there’s no regret associated with any of it. It’s mostly a state of observation, but I’m not “neutral.” This not the Witness—I feel plenty of emotion! But it’s wonderful! I love this life of mine—every bit of it!

For many years, I’ve consciously cultivated the Witness—that state of consciousness where one can observe, without judgement and without emotion, what’s going on. Being able to observe oneself and others without emotion or judgement is enormously helpful in getting through tough times. Though difficult to constellate at first, it gets easier with practice.

This state of awareness was definitely NOT the Witness. It seems related, in the sense that there was no judgement present. But there was strong emotion: an enormous sense of love and compassion and acceptance that’s like nothing I have experienced in my everyday life.

Strange as it felt, I was not asleep, though I was deeply relaxed and had my eyes closed. It was a real, waking state of consciousness, not a dream.

It felt very odd, but very good indeed! I can’t remember exactly what I thought about (though I do remember some things that in my waking life have been HUGE disappointments), but it was all observed with that same sense of loving acceptance. It was not “dispassionate” or emotionally removed in any way. I was there, awake and aware, and it was my life … but I was loving and accepting everything that had happened just as it was.

At one point, a more dreaming moment, I looked out the window and saw snow falling, and said, “Look, it’s snowing!” The joy and pleasure I felt in seeing that cool, wonderful image was immense.

After a while, I drifted off to sleep, with no thought or experience of pain the rest of the night. And when I woke, that blissful feeling was just a memory. There is no way I can conjure up that state of being! Maybe someday I’ll experience it again. I hope so—because it was wonderful!

Galahad and the White Dog

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Note: This post is NOT linear, and it’s long…but bear with me. It’s worth the time to walk through it with me.

Part One: My Horse

Let’s start with a video made a couple of weeks ago for an online class. The task involved getting my horse to come to me, instead of going immediately to a pile of goodies placed in the center of the arena. When he comes to me, I take him to the goodies and he gets to eat. Galahad knows this game from past classes, and he likes it. He’s so good at it that he doesn’t even LOOK at the pile of treats—he just comes right over to me.

This time, for some reason, I interpreted the exercise differently, and decided it was about keeping the horse away from the pile. I wanted him to stop and wait and still not try to get to the treats. Why did I change the rules? I’m honestly not sure. It seemed clear to me at the time….

So poor Galahad circled me, round and round, very slowly, stopping occasionally to ask if he could come over to me so that I’d take him in for a treat. Every time he’d stop and ask, I’d send him off again. I just stood there, not even looking at him, policing the pile of goodies, keeping him away and refusing to let him come to me when he asked.

After 15 minutes, Galahad did stop. He stood there, looking pretty sullen, and did not attempt to go to the pile. Then, in utter frustration, he threw a very quiet hissy fit. I’ve NEVER seen him behave this way. At the time, I was almost happy that I’d gotten that reaction. Why? Dunno….

Eventually, I decided he’d been good long enough, and I called him over to me and took him to get the treats. He came, but he wasn’t happy with me; he wasn’t enjoying this game at all.

But I was so pleased with the video! I had kept my horse away from the treats and gotten him to stop and stand still! Yay!

On the conference call, my friend the instructor pointed out another way of viewing the situation—from Galahad’s perspective. Oh. Well. That looks quite a bit different. I was pretty shocked at this new viewpoint.

Had I been aware in the moment of the “game,” I would have seen the significance of Galahad’s “hissy fit”: He was NOT having fun doing what was supposed to be a fun exercise. But as usual, I wasn’t in the moment with my horse. Nope. I was in “trainer’s mind,” working to MAKE him stop and stand still. Furthermore, he had to stop without my influence—so I wasn’t even allowing him to get my attention when he asked for it. No wonder he had a fit! He must have been SO confused and frustrated—I had suddenly completely changed the rules of a game he knew well and really enjoyed.

OUCH.

Part Two: The Pain, Again

The last seven weeks have been a nightmare much of the time. The pain in my jaw and tongue returned on the third of March. Why? This time, I know the answer.

In February I started paying attention to the “Law of Attraction,” which in its simplest form just means that “like attracts like.” For years, I’ve known that people, things, and events show up in my life because of what I’ve always called “resonance.” People in our lives are there because there’s something in our experience or in our energy that is similar. We attract those whose life stories reflect our own in some way, or have similar themes. The Law of Attraction.

No problem with this—it’s just the way the world works. But enter Abraham-Hicks (Esther Hicks and the entity who call themselves Abraham), who specialize in large-scale events at which they share their patented inspirational messages on how to create our own reality.

Abraham-Hicks and their version of message has a pretty militant sound to it. Abraham, channeled by Esther Hicks, is a brilliant and inspirational speaker with a kind of take-no-prisoners approach. Control your thoughts; choose the best and highest thought in order to get “into the vortex” and manifest! Feel joy! That’s why you’re here—to experience joy! It’s up to you! The tone sounds just like my dad.

So I started controlling my thoughts, all right. I felt great! I felt joy! I monitored my thoughts at every moment and made sure I was feeling JOY! If anyone could get into the Vortex, I could—because I could monitor my thoughts!

Can you imagine someone hearing, “Be joyful!” and interpreting it as a command, with dire consequences for failure? No? Well, that’s exactly what I did. I drove myself nuts, policing my joy. But really, it’s not so surprising. That’s how I was raised. That’s how Arthur, my father, taught me. My dad was always DOING something, and it had to be perfect. No sitting around for him! Sitting around (and, presumably, experiencing joy) was a sign of sloth. And so we kids learned that we had to be busy. And oh, did I mention perfect, too? Yup. One “B” marring a report card full of “A’s” rated a scolding. I’m sure many of you know exactly what I mean.

So a few days into my “you will feel joy!” episode, I woke up in excruciating pain…again. It has gone on for nearly seven weeks now, and it’s just beginning to let up. A few days into it, I no longer cared about feeling joy. In fact, I couldn’t even imagine joy any more. All I could manage was to survive from one day to another. Once again, I found myself unable to eat, sleep, or talk. Anything creative was completely out of the question.

Part Three: Putting It All Together

Journal entry, April 15th:

Wow. The conference call last night was tough. I was so wrong about that video—I can really see that, now. But it fits a pattern, doesn’t it? It’s Kay-as-Arthur again, the Arthur who’s now living inside my head, the Arthur who taught me what the world was like and how to behave there. Arthur the Perfectionist, Arthur the Drill Sergeant, Arthur the Enforcer.

I still can’t get rid of the image of the White Dog. I’m certain that the dog has something to do with all this….

OMG: just now, a really scary understanding—that innocent, playful pup crushed beneath the wheels of my car; my own playful innocence also crushed. But what does the car represent?

And besides the white dog…. The pain this time began just as I was working—WORKING!— with the Abraham-Hicks stuff. Constantly policing myself, policing my joy, for Pete’s sake!

“Policing my joy”…. That image is the same one that was captured in the video of me and Galahad doing that exercise the other day. It could not be clearer.

There in the video is my poor Galahad responding as I probably did when I was a kid, when nothing I ever did was good enough for Dad…. And I just realized that Dad, if he ever thought about it (and he might not have ever done so until after he crossed over), would have been so sad to realize that the relationship between us wasn’t working the way he wanted; but he had no idea how to do it differently, or even that any different way existed….

The White Dog, crushed under the wheels of my car. My car—my way of moving through life. The dog, that happy innocence, crushed under the wheels of my way of being-in-the-world, which I inherited from Arthur, and he from his mother Anna, and she from (I suspect) a parent or grandparent. The saying in my family is, “There’s one in every generation.”

And me, little Kay, crushed under the weight of my father’s expectations. Wow.

That way of life, the way I was taught by my father, is relentless. “Relentless” is an excellent word for it. It never, EVER relents. There’s no relaxation, no peace, certainly no “let it be, let it unfold.”

After the accident with the dog, my Guides kept saying, “Some things cannot be prevented.” That’s true—on many levels. On this very personal level, it’s clear that with my current mindset, neither I nor Galahad (nor the unfortunate White Dog, for that matter) has any hope of anything changing. But now I can SEE what’s happening, and maybe, just maybe, I can make a change.

So anyway. Joy. Innocence. Trust. Three things that seem to have been lost to me as a child. Three things I want to retain and develop in my horses, and regain for myself. But that can’t be done by coercion, by policing, or by suddenly changing the rules.

I am so grateful for all the events that have helped me see and understand the full significance of the way I’ve always lived my life. If you don’t see something, you can’t change it.

So I’m going to change it…but calmly, quietly, by letting things flow.

Wow. What a funny place this life is, eh?

[Cross-posted on The Alchemical Horse.]

The White Dog

pitbull-terrier-americano-posters-20150130065127-54cb29efc389cJournal entry from Sunday night, 30 June 2013:

Well. Such a day. I hit a dog on the way home from the Rescue Ranch; that is about all that’s sticking in my mind at the moment. I have NO idea why they [my Guides] needed to hit me over the head with a two-by-four; what am I missing? I’ll have to wait a day or two to write about this, I think…too upsetting right now, and I can’t “hear” when I’m this upset. ….

What happened, as nearly as I can remember it:

I left the Rescue Ranch around three that afternoon, after a good day with horses and friends. It had started to rain slightly as I drove off, but I ran out from under the rain shortly after leaving.

A mile or two further, I saw a white dog—some bully breed mix, running down a long driveway toward the road. It looked to me like it was planning on chasing my car, so I slowed down from about 45 to around 40 mph, in order to give it lots of time to swerve and avoid me. But it got closer and closer without swerving, though it was looking right at me. I finally realized it was not going to stop, so I braked hard. There was virtually no shoulder—maybe a car-width—between the road and the ditch, so I couldn’t swerve to avoid the dog.

The damn thing, running full tilt and with its tongue lolling happily and LOOKING AT ME, ran right under my car. I heard and felt the breaking of its bones, the heavy thud of its body.

I was stunned. That innocent creature was alive one instant, dead the next, and I was responsible. Shock and disbelief rocketed through my brain. How could that have happened?! I killed a dog.

For an instant, I considered just driving away to avoid confronting a devastated owner. But I couldn’t do that, so I pulled off the road and stopped. I ran back to the dog, though it was obvious that it was quite, quite dead.

When I got there (avoiding getting hit myself!), I picked the creature up and half carried, half dragged it off the road and into the grass at the edge of the driveway. It was heavy—maybe 40 pounds or so, too heavy for me to carry up the long hill to the house and buildings at the top of the drive. The only visible marks on its body were a long smudge of road dirt and a trickle of blood from its mouth, but it was lifeless in my arms, its neck obviously broken and untold damage done to its body.

I left it there and ran up to the house.

A man was standing on the porch watching me. I was crying, saying, “I’m so sorry!” over and over.

“There was nothing you could have done,” he said. “My wife and I saw it happen. The dog doesn’t belong around here.”

“I’m so sorry! It ran right under my car!”

“There was nothing you could have done. Now go on back to your car. You’ve been upset enough.” He was matter-of-fact, not unkind at all, but without any emotion I could sense. That didn’t seem odd at the time, though it does, a little bit, looking back on it.

I walked back down the hill, drenched in tears, and stopped for a minute to kneel beside the dog’s body. It was a young female—not a puppy, but a young dog, well fed and fit. The pink plaid collar she was wearing indicated that she was someone’s pet. I thanked her for her short life, and promised to try to understand the lesson…whatever the lesson was. I certainly had no idea what this encounter could possibly signify.

Driving slowly away, I tried to understand. It wasn’t the dog’s death in itself that bothered me. The dog had died instantly, I have no doubt, thank God! My sense of it is that the dog was dead even before its brain had time to register anything but surprise. I feel like it bounced once in this world, bounced again on the Other Side, and got up still running happily. My Guides are precise. It wasn’t guilt they were trying to instill, but some other meaning. Or so I imagine, though I still do not fully understand—and it’s my lack of understanding that haunts me.

What bothered me then, and still bothers me now, is why was such a violent, shocking event necessary? What am I missing? What have I missed so consistently that this was necessary?

Some might ask why I assume it “meant” anything at all. Every driver hits something or other during her or his driving lifetime. Birds, squirrels, turtles, deer, snakes, whatever—we’ve ALL perpetrated that kind of carnage. But I live my life in the knowledge that we are all intimately connected, and that every event in our lives is resonant and interconnected. In my worldview, there is meaning in everything that happens. So it’s not that I’m suggesting this event was orchestrated for my benefit. Rather, in my worldview, there is/was a resonance that “attracted” the beings who were involved: the dog, the man on the porch, me, the dog’s owners…. There is meaning for all of us, though that meaning will be different for each one.

I wept and puzzled all the way home. “There was nothing you could have done.” The owners of that white dog failed in their responsibility to her by letting her get loose; I was also responsible, to some extent, for failing to anticipate that the dog might not stop in time. But the message to me at that point—I kept hearing it in my head—seemed to be that some things cannot be prevented. Choices are made by all of us, and the result of that constellation of choices becomes reality. There was nothing anyone could have done.

I stopped at a convenience store on the way home to recover a little and get something to drink. I walked into the store and was trying to decide if I needed something to eat—if I could keep anything down…. Behind me, someone said, loudly and clearly, “I have your dog.” I nearly jumped out of my skin. No, wait: HOT dog. I turned around to see that the woman was talking to her husband. “I’ve got your HOT dog.”

Then when I got back to my car, an SUV had parked next to me, on the driver’s side. And there, eyeball-to-eyeball, was…you guessed it, a dog, happily panting and watching for its owner to return. Thank goodness it was a retriever of some sort. If it had been a pit bull, I might have passed out. As I said, my Guides are precise.

So the rest of the drive home, I pondered and cried and pondered some more. “Why was such a violent, shocking event necessary? What am I missing? What have I missed so consistently that this was necessary?”

Over the past decade or so, I’ve gotten pretty darn good about finding the meaning in events, or if not “the” meaning, then at least meaning enough to help me along my path. More recently, I’ve really taken to heart the fact that I can’t “fix” a lot of things that I’d really like to be able to. I thought about a lot of examples as I drove.

Before going home, I stopped at the barn to feed my horses. Their energy helped me calm down, but got me no closer to an understanding. That night I didn’t sleep much, but nothing emerged from my frantic questioning or from my dreams once I finally drifted off.

The question still reverberates in my head: “Why was such a violent, shocking event necessary? What am I missing? What have I missed so consistently that this was necessary for me to experience?”

Two years later, after much soul-searching, I’m finally beginning to understand at least part of the message; I’ll explain that in another post.

No Loving Touch Is Ever Without Benefit

2013-03-24_18-35-48_653I was looking for a journal entry yesterday, and came across this event from a couple of days before Christmas, 2013. Another one of those “angel sightings”; this one not on the MetroLink but in a nearly empty Christmas tree lot.

It was late afternoon. We had been running errands, and on the way home we stopped by the Christmas tree lot where we always get our tree. We had waited until quite late in the season, and they had nearly sold out; only a few scraggly trees and wreaths remained.

The folks who run the lot were nowhere in sight—we suspected they’d all gone to dinner—but there was a hand-lettered sign that said “All Trees Half Price…Honor System” and a cash box for people to leave their money.

As usual when we go looking for our tree, it was FREEZING cold and windy. Only two other people were there: a young woman with her little boy—6 or 7 years old—looking for the perfect tree but a little confused that there weren’t any sales people present.

We chatted with her and noticed her accent—she said she was from Russia. The little boy sounded American, and was very protective of his mom.

Anyway, the tree they chose wouldn’t fit into their car (a Saturn Vue almost as old as ours), so we ended up helping her tie it on the roof. She chatted away, sharing her concern about a plumbing problem between their house (somewhere in South City) and the hookup to the sewer line that neither the city nor their insurance company wanted to cover—expensive, inconvenient, worrisome. She didn’t know what to do. Neither did we.

We finally got the tree tied onto her luggage rack and as we all got ready to leave I had an irresistible urge to give her a hug—and she didn’t refuse it. It was a long, loving hug—I don’t know where it came from, but it was wonderful. It felt to me like a gift, and I suspect it felt that way to her, too.

Then we all drove away.

That night I had a dream:

I’m in a public building, on my way somewhere. I pass a man I know vaguely—sixty-ish, overweight, someone I remember as being depressed and very negative when I interacted with him some time before (even in the dream I couldn’t remember much about it). But now, in this hallway, he stops me and smiles as he tells me how his life has changed. He’s now moving forward, happy, and feels like his life is getting much better…and he wants to thank me, somehow, for that. In the dream I understand that what I said to him when we interacted MADE A DIFFERENCE and is somehow partly responsible for the positive changes in his life. I’m happy to hear about it and to see him smiling. Then we move on to our appointments.

Wow!

I remembered, then, something a friend had shared with me about Christmas: the idea of giving yourself some small gift that reminds you of what you’re here to share, in order to uplift humanity….

Well then. Yes, it seems, I am making a difference in this world. I’m grateful for the message—I sometimes wonder, but I’ll wonder no more. As the Being I call Grandmother told me many years ago, “No loving touch is ever without benefit.”