It’s quiet here this morning so I’ll be whispering this to you.
I am gazing out the window at a “lawn” of crunchy orange fallen leaves. Lawn is in quotes since ours is a camp-like sort of woodsy landscape. I love how it looks. It’s a trade-off. Tall trees provide beauty and lovely shelter for busy creatures. Yet they also create a canopy too shady for dense green grass to flourish. I am told someone will arrive this week to labor and erase the yellow and orange from the ground. So I’ll savor the beauty til then.
Just now, I’ll let the evolving colors of my thoughts emerge, drift, and gently land where they may.
Yesterday, I kept busy with long overdue organizing and housekeeping, beginning with my closet and bedroom. While I always feel better when it’s done, the process was anything but enjoyable. It isn’t the manual labor and cleaning I dread. It’s my deep sensitivity. My fingers touching the stored sentimental bits and pieces. The dozens of decisions to make about what stays and what goes.
On a high shelf, a basket containing an urn with Bella Luna’s ashes and toys had to be removed for dusting. Our shihtzu may have left us three years ago, but her presence is strong here still. Death’s sting felt fresh as I handled what brought our family so much joy and pleasure.
Letting go of a pet, a loved one, or a dream is an ongoing exercise in deepening, and I know you understand.
I suppose the hidden blessing is how hearts are capable of forming such miraculous bonds which defy time and space. One of my spiritual mentors says grief is love with no place to go; a mysterious pathway to transformation. This feels true to my spirit just now. I’m reminded of how when left to my own devices, I simply want to cling. Cling to the lovely familiar, to those easiest to love, to inspiring words and ideas.
But the trees in my autumn yard teach a higher consciousness.
Their branches bravely let go for the season, and what appears to be sorrowful death for the tree is a path to transformation.
The day before yesterday, I spent time at the piano, and a fragment of a new song came forth with lyrics and chords arriving simultaneously as they typically do. “I long to tell you a secret – But I’m afraid you’ll run away – For what I have seen – I have seen with the eyes of my soul – There’s more in this life – to receive, to trust, to hold – First, let go.”
Indeed, fall’s magic and wisdom for letting go will not be wasted on this woodland fairy.
Three days back was our firstborn’s birthday, and mother and son had an encounter during a casual lunch. For me, it felt so much like an encounter with Christ that I am led to think it was. A beggar approached us as we were eating, handing us a note. Luke proceeded to read it as the gentleman backed away from the table. My son’s eyes became these precious blue saltwater pools as he summarized for me. The note explained he was deaf, was sorry to disturb us, was sorry he was begging, was afraid since his homelessness is new after recently losing his father. He was collecting funds to pay for a motel for the night.
I couldn’t empty my wallet quickly enough – so moved by his needs. We embraced him, and he was full of relief and emotion. (I wanted to wash his clothes – and I may go find him this week and offer.) When we asked if we could buy him lunch, he was delighted. We scribbled notes and typed on our phones to communicate and brainstorm housing options. He did not want to return to the rescue mission downtown because of the mentally ill company and unpredictability he experienced there. Something unspeakable occurred the last night he stayed at the mission, and he was determined never to return.
Imagine sleeping in a public space with strangers with the added vulnerability of deafness.
His hands were signing ‘thank you,’ while ours clutched our hearts. Our brother kept offering us the treasure and truth of his story. This included directing attention to fresh stitches and scars from a recent major surgery which surely complicated his already dire circumstances. You might think the bold gesture as he raised his shirt would embarrass or frighten us in a public place, but it certainly did not.
His sacred scars were offered as a gift.
Once you enter into intimacy with another so vulnerable, broken, and Christ-like, you can never really leave unchanged.
It wasn’t a birthday lunch interrupted; it was an opportunity for our souls to awaken to compassion, to mercy. For it’s there we find the face of God.
Awakened, you see life not as a series of obstacles to overcome or as time to achieve and produce, but as a school of higher love. It’s all rather humbling. What a blessing, this Source of limitless grace. This chance to see we are a divine branch on a trustworthy vine.
This knowing we can free fall because the welcoming ground is safe too.
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Peace to you right where you are.
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