All material in this blog (written/audio/visual) is copyrighted. Do not duplicate without explicit consent from the author.

31 January 2009

Waking up

Mornings have never been my fortay. I am rudely awakened way too early by my alarm clock. I reach over blindly and smash my hand on the snooze button. I try to go back to sleep but thoughts flood my previously peaceful, resting mind - Who on earth would get up at this ungodly hour, Just 15 more minutes. Sometimes I would cry. Once I dragged myself out of bed and had a cup of coffee, I'd be alright. But it's the getting out bed that I'm seriously not good at.

Somethings changed in the last year though. Now, my peaceful sleep is interrupted by a sharp jab in my back as my yellow lab, Huckleberry, stretches out to get more comfortable in between us. I open my eyes, carefully, so as not to let on that I am awake yet. But my change in breathing gives it away. Suddenly, our other two labs have somehow managed to go from a complete sleep to leaping up in the air and landing on me, smothering me in wet kisses. As I fight for air and protect my ribs, I try to play dead. Maybe I can trick them and they'll go back to sleep. It almost works. Just as they settle down and prepare to go back to sleep, that rude alarm clock goes off and all hell breaks loose. The boys start wrestling and rolling around on the bed. We burrow our heads under the pillows looking for that last few minutes of sleep. We finally realize that it's not going to happen so we give in to the fight.

We turn over on our backs and accept the kisses and the jabs as the dogs welcome us to a brand new day. It's a new day, yay, we woke up again! They are so happy. After the initial excitement, they settle down and spoon up next to us, tails thumping and tongues licking our faces. The only dog that doesn't move is Huckleberry. She's still getting her beauty sleep, protected from the chaos, burrowed in between us. I used to wake up with my arm around my husband. Now I wake up with my arm around a dog.

We laugh at them, pet them and cuddle with them. Taking in their happiness of this brand new day. We still can't get out of bed. We hit the snooze button a few more times as we all lounge together in a pile of covers. What gets us out of bed? A dog farts and we jump up as fast as can and clear the bedroom.

Anyway, my point is, for dogs, every day is the best day, every meal is the best meal, every walk is the best walk. They live in the here and the now. They don't worry about what happened yesterday or what will happen today. They are just happy that they woke up. It's a good lesson and one that I've been trying to learn when that alarm clock interrupts my dreams. Now, instead of crying, I snuggle with my dogs as they re-teach me this lesson every morning.

Day Dreams

I am a dreamer. Always have been. I believe you can live your dreams. Life doesn't exactly turn out the same as you dreampt it, but it's close enough. Life is more beautiful if you take the time to dream.

Here's one of my daydreams, written in January of 2001...

I awoke to the soft illuminations of light from my Zen clock. It's quiet chimes lifted me from my slumber. I got up, my barefeet landing on the rough wood floor and pulled on my robe. It was still dark, although the sky showed early signs of the coming day and I could hear the steady breathing of Warren and Clyde, our bassethound, all nestled warm in the covers.

I added a log to the wood stove and as it crackled and started to heat, I boiled some water and brewed a strong cup of black tea and honey. Taking a blanket, I headed out the back screen door and was greeting by our yawning cats. I scoooped out their breakfast into their dishes and left them to their eating. I put out my blanket on our lawn and looked outward into the wide mountain range before me. There, I sat in silence. I watched the sun slowly rise and listened to the world wake up.

My stomache growled so I arose and headed inside with the cats. I mixed together a batch of pancakes and sizzled them on the woodstoves. I poured a mound of butter and syrup on them and put them with big glasses of fresh orange juice on a tray and brought them into our room.
Warren and Clyde awoke and grinned when they saw me. We cuddled in bed and ate breakfast while the cats slept at our feet.

The sun was now shining through our window in full force, prodding us out of bed. We got up, Warren grabbed a coke and we walked barefoot down the path to the hot springs. We bathed and relaxed in it's comforting warm, bubbling waters. The we dried off and got dressed. It was to time to start the days work. We put on some mellow tunes as I pruned and watered the gardens, picked any new harvests and planted new seedlings, while Warren chopped wood, played with the dog and worked on his 1957 Chevy.

Our closest neighbor, 1 mile away, stopped by and brought us some of her freshly baked apple pie. I opened some wine and we all sat down to enjoy the pie. Our neighbor left and we realized it was hot! So we decided to take the dog for a walk. About 10 minutes later we reached the beach. Clyed took off and ran howling in pleasure at the smells. I held Warren's hand as we dug our feet into the hot sand. We threw sticks for Clyde until the sun was burning through our clothes. We stripped off our clothes and went for a refreshing dip in the cold waves.

Then we headed back to the land. We were have a fiesta that night so we had to get ready. As we cooked, opened the homemade wine, and got the bonfire going, the sun started to drop slowly from the sky. We lighted candles on the path and stoked the fire. As we kissed in the twilight, we heard the sounds of our friends arriving.

We all sat around the fire and ate, drank, laughed and talked. Then I brought my guitar out and we sang songs until we were hoarse. Later, as the peace pipe slowly made its way around, we sat in comfortable silence as we listened to the flames and the sparks as they flew out of crackling logs.

Life was good. And we all knew it.

29 January 2009

A visitor

Paris Hilton came to my house the other day. She was nice enough to let me take her picture!

26 January 2009

Life is slippery. Let me take your hand.

The spirit world is almost like a middle world between the human world and the great consciousness or collective awareness. Our world is full of suffering. We seem tied to the limits of our physical nature. As humans, we are in a sense - trapped in time. Our spirit helpers are here to help guide us through this human experience.

Animals seem to know about death. When a wolf loses a member of it's pack, they stop traveling and howl for 3 days. When the member does not return, the wolf pack moves on. Some Native American traditions include a song sung to the newly released spirit to help it in it's journey back to the spirit world.

When Oshun got sick, she had been with us for 5 years. we brought her in to sleep with us on the hide-a-bed in the living room. We let Boozie in so that he could be a part of our closeness. So that we could say goodbye together. Usually Boozie would spend his unsupervised time in the house trying to spray on everything. This time though, he sat very still, next to Oshun, with his eyes half open. Knowing. He never left her side.

Boozie knew he was sick before we knew. His usually aloofness was exchanged for quiet company sleeping next to us in the garage as we watched TV. As we realized what was happening, we began to take extra care for him. We sat next to him petting his white head as he purred. We told him how much we loved him and how thankful we were for his extraordinary friendship and the fierce protection he provided us for 11 years. As we came to peace that he had to leave this world, we knew he already was.

When 1 year old Pearly got hit by a car, we were not ready and had not carefully prepared to say goodbye. It took exactly one hour. I saw her lying in the road. I wrapped her in a blanket and brought her to our front porch. I called Warren. He was there within 10 minutes. We dug a hole, lit sage and buried her. Warren went back to work and I went inside. How do you even begin to understand or be at peace when you haven't had time to prepare?

The truth of the matter is, whether weve planned a potential loss or have experienced a sudden loss, it is ok to be a peace. We don't have to understand. We have to face the lion either way. We have to be courageous. We have to open our hearts.

When our hearts grieve for a loss, we are surrounded by beings who are there to comfort us. Once we open our hearts, we open the doorway to the spirit world. We open the way for our spirit helpers to take our hand. We are spiritual beings on a human journey. We are divine beings.

So as I've experienced different losses in my life, and I've started to view them in a new light, I've come to realize that each animal spirit that came into my life in physical form, was there for a reason. And not just for me. Oshun was my best friend in a lonely time of my life. Boozie was our protector yet we were the only ones he ever let see how big his heart was. Pearly helped us open our hearts in a painful time. We did not choose our animals. They chose us. So I have to pay attention now - what am I learning from my animal friend? What are they here to teach me? It is up to me to learn the lesson. One thing I know for sure, I am surrounded by animal spirits, physically and metaphysically, which makes my human experience extremely comforting. Life is slippery so I let the spirits take my hands.