Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Turn of the Wheel

It would have been so much easier to cancel my Vermont trip. It had begun to look as though I would have to. With my aged cat all of a sudden routinely missing the litter box, I was starting every day of late with a distressing and unpleasant clean up task. The situation wasn't so pleasant for the cats either, of course, which augmented my distress. No way could I leave for 3 1/2 days under these conditions: I couldn't expect someone else to take on this chore. I felt frustrated and desperate--even entertaining thoughts of having to put her down before the convention weekend. My cat was failing, no? Was I just postponing the inevitable? I found all of this hugely stressful, especially alongside a ticking clock: the Conference, my first convention with the American Society of Dowsers, was fast approaching. Everything was paid in full, and no refunds would be forthcoming at this late date. More importantly, I felt destined to be there, but it looked unlikely I would be.

Then it dawned on me: Cleo wasn't peeing all over the place. Just by the litter box. I started brainstorming solutions. What relief I felt when the first one I tried worked. A litter tray designed for dog training turned out to solve--and pinpoint--the problem: trouble getting her hind legs up and over. With this new tray (three higher sides, and a nice low, open, front rim), she could walk right in, do her business, turn around, and walk on out. Hooray! I was thrilled, for both of us. So on to the next hurdle: twice a day meds, and food and water for the old girl every 2-3 hours, for three days running. Hiring their cat sitter, if she could even do it, for all that would blow the budget. I put out a call to my animal-loving friends.

What a production! It took a few days, a lot of organizing, and a village of helpers, but I did it. Thanks to the love and kindness of Phoebe, Brian, Robert, Craig and Orissa, scheduled around the backbone care of Sue, the pet sitter, both cats would get their pills, and even more crucially, Cleo would be kept hydrated--essential to keeping her alive and walking these days--for the duration. I would do what I could from a distance, sending Reiki for good measure. In sum, all would be well. I could go, and with an eased mind to boot.

Thanks to my reaching out to friends, I learned how to make and administer kitty fish broth, which has turned out to be a lifesaver, no exaggeration. Also, hearing of this, Orissa has offered me halibut steaks from a block of fresh fish her son has sent her from Alaska, to poach for Cleo's broth. And beyond the cat world, I stepped body mind and spirit into a significant turn of the wheel in my life's unfolding.

I set the stage for this a couple
of months ago, I suppose. In the midst of what felt like an uncharac-
teristic (for me) limbo, an inert and fallow time, I set an intention, despite having no idea how I would fulfill it: "I'll know my plan for the next 10 years by June 15," I declared. My weekend up North under the generative light of a New Moon was a parade of graces, supplying me with all the foundation stones on which to build that plan. Magnificently so. It's a marvel to me to see how various threads combine and gracefully weave a single turn of Fate.

In her Dancing in the Shadows of the Moon, Machaelle Small Wright ends some sections with a comma where you would expect a period (end of sentence, end of section). A comma because later, sometimes many years later, she would discover that what looked like the end of a moment or story was not the end at all.

I've been feeling lots of commas in my life of late. Ireland was a comma, for example. I don't know what the "more" is with Ireland, only that there is more. The Vermont trip generated a host of commas, and it's exciting to be living into them. It turns out, my chicory encounter was a comma: I learned this weekend how to harvest, roast, and grind its roots for winter coffee brewing!

There will be more to share, no doubt, as the bigger commas unfold. For now, I simply want to marvel at the workings and wisdom of Life. To thank Maryfaith for mentioning this convention to me to begin with, and for saving me a place in her room. And to extend my gratitude to all who made it possible--including Cleo and Sylvie who gave their unspoken blessing on the trip by thriving in my absence.

It's crazy to me now to think I spent my first moments at the Conference having second thoughts about being there. Pulling onto a campus crawling with a motley bunch of mostly elder (it seemed), drawling, stereotypical Americans sporting oversized name badges hung from cords round their necks had me certain I'd come to the wrong place. What was I thinking!? I found myself thinking. Fortunately, I snapped out of it pretty quickly. As I put a foot to the ground the next morning, I declared: "I will be in the perfect place meeting the perfect people at the perfect time for the rest of the time, starting now."

I was, and I did--in spades. It was clear in no time at all that I was among friends--very special friends: 500 or so of them, no less! For any time I've ever asked, "Where are my people?" I now have a very good answer!

After dinner on Saturday, I got the urge to leave campus. Sunset was approaching, and I had wanted to see it, maybe photograph it. So why was I leaving the hill and descending into the valley at the sunset hour? My answer presented itself posthaste at the bottom of the road, when I spied a classic covered bridge which called me over it. When I crossed it, parked, then walked back to it, I was immediately wrapped in a rushing sworl of sound--a sound bath you might say, washing my energies clean. This from the falling water on one side, so arranged with leaf and sun and stone that it called for pause, and I happily, gratefully obliged. "This is why I left campus," I thought standing with the rushing and beauty, the stillness and sound before, around, and through me. I don't think I stayed even ten minutes; still, I was clear and refreshed utterly for the evening session ahead.

Gifts, gifts, everywhere gifts. To think I might have missed them all-- too many to count, too many to list here. And they just keep coming. I attended a numinous Solstice sunrise in Larz Anderson Park this morning thanks to the a fellow conventioner's inviting me last Sunday. I have lived in Boston for 16 years, and though I've heard of and been invited to many other events at Larz Anderson over that time, this was my first encounter with it. What a treasure this man left to the people of Brookline and beyond. And what a commanding, bucolic perch from which to greet the dawn of a day--especially this, the longest day. I'm so happy to have learned of it, and so glad I could rouse myself before the birds! to partake of it all, to join in welcoming, celebrating, and appreciating Sol in all its radiant glory. There is magic afoot at that hour--even moreso at Solstice, it seems--and I felt privileged to be a part of it. It has cast a golden, lingering glow over what is unfolding: yet another blessing, it seems, on this new beginning,


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