To Leap as if to Fly

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He draws near, giving off sparks in the darkness, like a flashlight, beaming straight into my vulnerable heart. Those eyes, those eyes, always drawing me in deeper. I slide down the slippery mud banks in the darkness and find myself surrounded by a prism of rainbow light that permeates me and warms my limbs, I fall asleep and dream of his piercing, loving gaze. We frolic in the tall grasses, they brush gently on my cheeks, we roll down the grassy green hillside and fall into a pile of ultraviolet feathers, fallen moonbeams, and mounds of golden-hued rose petals. We lounge there into the wee hours of the morning. I hear him whimpering as he dreams of chasing the golden squirrel from treetop to treetop. To leap as if to fly.

Ours was the truest love affair. From that moment I saw him in the Escondido Animal Shelter in that room filled with Pit Bulls and he stretched up to reach for me and told me he wanted to teach me to love deeper. I had no idea what was in store. I’ve literally followed him for the past 6 and a half years. He out in front and center. He has taken me thru storms, lost at sea, waves rocking my boat until it felt like there was no horizon left. Then we awaken to the sunrise, together, side by side, calm seas, warm glow of the sun kissing our bodies. We have weathered many storms together. I thought for sure he would outlive my father, who he loved deeply and completely. We learned to find joy in simple things together. Treats after pooping, or upon entering his grandparents’ house. All he had to do was stare and bark until he got what he wanted. Daily walks, my fair-weather friend, would peek out the doggie door to see if it was raining or snowing and decide to stay in until absolutely necessary, then to run on tippy toes and back inside to the warmth of the couch and blankets to snuggle with me even longer.

I will honor his memory by doing the downward dog, stretching like he did daily upon getting up from any seated or lying position. We would do this together. 4 feet on the ground and butts in the air. He was a natural, I a copycat.

I learned all I know about unconditional loving from him. Who was the master and who the pupil? I wasn’t a good dog owner if you think that requires discipline and being the alpha in command. I was in awe and reverence to this sacred soul in a little doggie suit. I would do anything to make his life more comfortable and enjoyable. When I traveled I would always bring him a new toy, and he treated each with respect and took such joy in each and every one. He never chewed up a stuffed animal like a normal dog. He loved them and liked to sleep with his favorite at the time under his head for a pillow. Lately, it has been a round giraffe. He liked teasing me with it, acting like I could actually have it, then withholding the prize from me.

I don’t think I can part with his toys. They will be a gentle reminder of his daily sweet nature and my love for him. Is it crazy that I want to give him the bunny and the moose that I kept out of his reach and called my toys? Is it crazy to want to send them to rest with him when I bury him out on the back 40? I know he’s in the spirit world and not the physical, but something about me letting go of them now gives me a sense of abundance and doing the right thing. Crazy, I know, call me crazy. Crazy in Love with a Dog named Dan. Who also answered to Sheridan, Dan the Man, Danny Dog, Danno the Manno, BoBo, BooBoo, Little Buddha Boy, Dan-zer, Dan-Dan, Pooh Bear, Lil’ Darlin, Danny Doodle, Bob, Bubba, and Daniel Boone.

Mother Always Said

 

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_1e11Her mother always said, “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all”. Her mother heard this from her own mother as well and it became ingrained, so she, of course, passed it on to her children. But it stopped right there. She had a different view of this, she felt it was healthier to come to terms with your emotions and own your own thoughts and speak from the heart with compassion, but be honest.
She agreed with her mother, that spouting off negativity for no reason, or to harp on something unsettling from the past was a waste of energy. But she saw the value in being authentic and there was a time and a place to voice the ‘not nice’ stuff. It never was to be used to hurt another. She loved the practice of writing a letter and burning it, or email and trashing or deleting it. There was something very satisfying in speaking out the emotions in the heat of it all and breathing some deep cleansing breaths and then letting it all go. The Universe was her best friend and was always there with a kind shoulder to lean upon.
Another thing her mother always said was…”if you feel bad, get busy!” She resisted this one growing up. It seems like an avoidance of being present with your emotions, a running away from or stuffing of them which she thought was totally unhealthy.   After coming to a more enlightened view on the first point, she liked to wallow in her own emotions and get carried away by her own moods and run with her monkey mind on many a crazy trip.  Once she had gotten that, she then knew what her mother meant by simply getting busy. There was no reason to dwell in the past or get carried away on an emotional tangent that created drama and suffering. She saw how suffering was all self-inflicted and how it was all a matter of choice. You could choose exactly how you reacted to anything happening to or around you. Being busy was more just a sense of Being in her own flow and not getting sidetracked into crazy making – or what she would see as being a drama queen. She would rather stay in her center and keep moving forward or at least stay in a more bliss-filled state of being.
But the favorite thing that her mother always said was, “what a heavenly breeze” when the weather was just so. She liked this saying and found it stuck in her own repertoire of comments to use when she felt on top of the world. She made up her own unique sayings as well. She loved to exclaim “I’m a happy camper!” She had fond memories of her mother and wondered if her own daughter would feel the same way about her someday.

Gentle Gorilla Tactics

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Part of her loved her writing, she called her Ms Twilla. Ms Twilla had ruby red curly ringlets of hair that fell down around her face and just over her shoulders. She had grass green eyes that shot out tiny lightning bolts of warm light from somewhere deep within. With each jolt, you felt her love sink deeper into your soul. She dressed like a butterfly, wearing greens shades, oranges a-blazing all highlighted with fuchsia. She also loved to paint her face and body. Sometimes you thought she was fully dressed, but upon second glance you found that she was partly naked. It was always a joy to encounter Ms Twilla. She couldn’t help but lift your spirits. Ms Twilla loved to curl up by the fireplace in the evening on a sheepskin rug with a cuppa Damiana tea and listen to her read her daily pages. Ms Twilla smiled, oooohed and aaaahed during the read back. She would then pipe in with lines, and only lines, word for word that had touched her fancy and brought tears to her eyes and joy to her heart.
On the other hand there was the part of her that hated her writing, that she called Mrs Montgomery. She had long jet black hair with a one-inch highlight of silver that shot across her forehead and down her back like a blatant skunk stripe. She always wore it up in a tight bun when she went out in public so as not to attract so many sideways glances and snickers. Mrs Montgomery always interrupted her every thought and word and criticized her original thinking in an attempt to put her into boxes. She paced the room and mumbled loudly as she was reading back and interrupted even while she was deep in thought, in a flow that was moving her writing so effortlessly, like a stream flows to the river and the river to the ocean.
Sometimes Ms Twilla would appear from behind the chocolate colored velvet curtains and shoot pea-sized pebbles at Mrs Montgomery, attempting to distract her and calm the energy in the room thru her gentle gorilla tactics. Ms Twilla loved her writing and hated to see anything get in her way. Once she slipped some valerian drops into Mrs Montgomerys tea, knocking her out for a few hours of much-needed peace and quiet.
She wrote every day. It was her religion, her way of tapping into her innermost dreams.  It was a type of gauge, a barometer of sorts that her friends could tell how she was doing by listening to her readings or by reading her writings. They could tell which part was alive and well behind the scenes. Was it Ms Twilla inspiring her or was it Mrs Montgomery that was busy meddling in her business, crushing her dreams and sidetracking her on worries, complaints and in the box thinking?
When she loved her life, was on top of the world and being supported, she was walking arm in arm with Ms Twilla, whistling tunes and noticing tiny ladybugs and each flower they encountered and finding familiar shapes in the clouds overhead. She loved it when Ms Twilla was in her glory. Her words just seemed to bubble forth, no thinking, no space between them. Her words came from some aspect of herself that she didn’t even know existed.
Hallelujah! It was high time, Mrs Montgomery took a forced sabbatical, they shipped her off to sea. They signed her up for a trip around the world on a slow boat headed towards China. She thought she had won the trip playing Bingo, but it was all rigged. It was a time to celebrate and toast their bubbly water with fresh lime and lemon wedges. They danced on their toes and twinkled with the stars.

Wings of my Heart

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I am searching the world for you, my love. Builder of treehouses and the perfect cuppa tea. Lover of pugs and dreamer of a quieter, more peaceful planet. Birdwatcher, dream chaser, river rafter, tree climber. We have walked in the still of the night, under the same stars and sliver of a moon. We see them but from a different side of the world. I somehow know that you are in Scotland, I scour the rolling hills and thick woodlands. Hiked the highlands and the lowlands but somehow find you online and in Sweden of all places! Ready to dig in the lush dirt of your native farmlands. Co-mingle our rich dirt, loamy with peaty. My clay, silt, sand, gravel and yes even boulders with your Peaty Gleys and podzols. Piping hot bowls of Scottish oats with Irish butter. Earl Grey tea with tupelo honey. This morning the sun rose early above the hickory grove. The sky was a particular shade of deep red vermillion. The frost hung onto the weeds and branches waiting for the heat of the day, which today would be a brisk 37, but at sunrise was 12. My heart hangs in the tops of the trees, I graze on hickory nuts, husking the woody outer shell onto the frozen ground below. My mind has flown south for the winter, leaving my heart alone in this frozen wasteland. without the ability to reason I long to take flight, to lift off, to soar high above the frozen rivers and lakes. I fly south by south-west until the heavens start to turn to deep hues of Ultramarine and the horizon is on fire with a burst of shocking pink. It seems impossible, and unfathomable to see these colors at the same time. Only from the wings of my heart, seeking the warmth of your shoulder to lean upon. To have you wrap your strong arms around my tiny frame in comparison to yours. You are an artist that paints with your dreams, which have been distilled down into pure hues and luminous powders that when water is added become another color altogether. You paint my naked body with robes of saffron. You have milked the trees of the Garcinia trees for centuries to have your storehouses of resin. The flat round cakes that are stacked like poker chips in scarlet red velvet satchels. You carry them on your back along with tiny cobalt blue vials of dragon tears. You are my alchemist, the edge pieces of my puzzle that make it so effortless for me to take the next breath and the next, like a child that has followed the same dirt path to school for years, knowing how each step feels beneath their bare feet. I wear no mask for you. I climb out of my lookout, high in the treetops and put on the water for a cuppa tea with you. Earl grey with Tupelo honey.

Our Puddle of Earth

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A rabbit kickboxing a crow on our puddle of earth…
making mud pies and cherry crisp out of that which grows
along the banks of the river.
We long to eat with the kings and queens of long-forgotten
castles and tip their hats to the pretty ladies as
they stroll by.
Where have they all gone? Fishing? Golden-eyed carp
and bottom dwellers, longing to know the truth,
the way, the stories that the ancestors passed down
generation to generation.
The crabapples fill the streets and the roll down
the hill when the wind blows.
The rains begin to pitter pat on the tin roof and
I long to hear your voice.
I long to journey down the same path that you walked.
Don’t touch it, its a bee. If it lands on you stand still,
don’t touch it.
Find a stick, act like a turtle, what noise does a turtle make?
The sun shines down thru the leaves as they cling
to the branches waiting for the last warm day…
turning colder and then to frozen ice as
it clings to them as a small child holds tight to
their mother’s leg.
The third coming of the blackberries…
racing with time, chasing faster than a roadrunner,
a jackrabbit, running to outwit the first frost.

It’s a game that we like to play.
Wondering how long the growing season can be stretched
before the frost falls on the pumpkins and turns everything
to mush.
It’s a long road, a dirt path, no creatures in sight that have
been domesticated for man-kinds evil ways.
Only wild animals, jackals, long-eared owls, coyotes
and Bob-bob-whites speak up.
They know that we are out of our element…
but they have learned to live and let live.
Something that we humans are just now starting to grasp.
We come together along this stretch of wild roses,
and winding roads, we learn about our heart
and how its connected to every creature.
We smile as the younger man on the bicycle passes this way.
Fall has come, we must find a hollowed out old tree
to snuggle up within…
or find where the bicycle is parked and
see if our heart has at last found its resting ground.
The jet-black dog pulls against his collar
and digs a hollow in the dirt to sleep for the chilly winters night.
Our puddle of earth brings us warmth,
a burning fire at our hearth
and a sense of Belonging to a greater good.

O’ DANNY BOY

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Danny Boy – oh manny boy – uncanny how much I do love thee.  Bee me, bee free, bee sweet like honey to the comb. How I am like you, like a dog, loyal to a fault.  Forgiver, Forgetter and follow the scent like a hunter on the trail of a rabbit in heat. Eat Meat – Repeat. Blood, Flood, Mud…I live in a world filled with mud, have 4 pairs of mud boots and you simply have 4 paws, paws that dig in the dirt, rooting for field mice, bounding after squirrels in the Aspen trees.  Flees, did we get them from that fat cat named Juliet?  Forget it, Regret it! Look at her sideways and avoid her friendly catly ways.  Danny doesn’t like fish or seafood of any type.  Avoids shrimp and scallops – perhaps I should follow his lead and avoid the toxic chemicals and pharmaceuticals that end up in our waterways.  You may think that a dog isn’t that smart, but their innate instincts, I’ll take any day over academic learned ways. 

Too smart for my own pants.  I’m sure I heard that as a wee one.  I’m not really a smarty pants, just won’t say no, or can’t, or let go of a dream without a fight.  Started College at 14 instead of High School.  Youngest one to be made a TM teacher.  Perhaps I was over-ambitious.  What happened to my childhood?  Follow the scent of the desire like a turtle racing the hare.  Slow and steady wins the race.  I chase Danny when he chases squirrels.  Sometimes I’m smart and stand still, listen and wait.  He always comes back.  He knows the rules, loves to break them without a care in the world – then give me that sad brown eyes – I’m so sorry look and get some loving lecture about – “this is just for your own good” – with “bad dog” thrown in a few times – which turns to lots of petting, loving and then way more “good dog” to the bad.  He knows I’m truly, madly, deeply in love with him.  I traded in having a man in my life for the greatest dog on earth – DAN the MAN!

Inner Animal

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The BEE in me is waiting for warmer weather.  Huddling in the darkness, in the cold, rubbing my hands and feet together to spark some heat waves.  Scurrying to keep busy, busy, busy, always on task and with a purpose to my every move.

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The HUMMINGBIRD in me s always on high alert, waiting for the other shoe to drop.  Going from one project to the next like flower to flower, gathering the sweetness.  Forever looking for the nectar, the pearly white teeth, the wisdom within the happening.

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The RAVEN in me is moody and withdrawn.  Quietly watching, always observing, just out of reach.  Brooding in the meditative, early morning, tea sipping, couch time with myself and Danny Dog.  Mind actively alert and calculating everything in its perfect timing.  Sit, Still, await the right time to make the next move.

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The ELEPHANT in me is holding onto my most cherished memories. Forgetting everything and nothing at the same time. Tears well up when I’m all alone and can reminisce.  The Elephant in me cares so deeply about family, pulls the tiny helpless youngster out of the slippery river bank.  My Elephant memory remembers only half of the truth.

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The LLAMA in me likes togetherness, likes Tribe, likes writing with women on Mondays.  The llama in me loves to hike, trek and ground with the mother earth beneath my feet. Walking two by two, pacing myself, knowing that NOW is all that there is.

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The DOG in me is smug.  It’d part Pug.  It loves napping in the sunshine.  It loves chasing squirrels like it chases dreams.  The Dog in me howls at the moon and runs uncontrollably when it hears certain sounds.  Tractors, Road Graders, and Snow Plows hold a certain fascination.

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The Goat in me is sturdy, dirty and grazes on weeds and other edibles.  She wears flowers in her hair and dances on tippy toes.  She looks for trouble around every bend in the road and climbs trees with the grace of a ballerina.

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The GIRRAFE in me is calm, clear-headed and bright-eyed.  The Girrafe in me pays close attention to diet and exercise.  She loves her flexibility and strength.  She fasts on liquids for days at a time, sometimes weeks.  The Mirage or not just a figment of the imagination.     Leafy greens and high hanging fruit and her favorites.  She longs to be a monkey at times, to frolic in the upper canopy but is satisfied with being a Giraffe because of her viewpoint.

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The SEA TURTLE in me is floating in a world of imagination and light.  Beauty flows in and out of my mind, my heart and wraps around my Being.  The Sea Turtle in me moves effortlessly through life – avoiding the pitfalls and hungry sharks.

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The TOMCAT in me likes to wander the streets alone, scavenge for treasures in unobvious places.  The TomCat in me likes the challenge in the chase.  Online dating, blind dates and talking to strangers at coffee shops I find intriguing.  He likes going to movies alone and a table for one.

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The MANATEE in me is used to being ignored, relishes in nature as its oasis in the midst of life’s storms.  The Manatee in me sees all the beauty in survival by focusing on NOW exactly as it is.  It wishes it would have a thicker skin and be as tough as nails more than not.

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The MOUNTAIN LION in me is pacing, craving, ready to endure the longest, toughest or times without regret or a whimper.  The Lion in me keeps the peace with its sheer presence.  Fear, razor-sharp teeth, intimidating… I don’t think so.

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The MOUSE in me loves to nest.  The Mouse in me is into Tiny Houses and Functional Spaces with no waste.  She likes Sustainable Gardening and Living off the Grid.  She will find a way to make Ghee from Goat or Sheep milk. The mouse in me hates to give up Cheese!