Friday, October 21, 2011

Natural Therapy

Heading to the mountains this weekend. Specifically, to Mountain Lake Biological Station. It's the SUUSI Nature Group twice annual checkout trip, where we meet up to discuss the previous year at SUUSI and what worked or didn't work, and to begin planning for next year. We'll meet, we'll hike, we'll plan. But it's also a mini-reunion, so we'll eat, and drink, and laugh, and even cry. These weekends have become so very important to me. I look forward to absorbing the energy and love that each individual brings to this place over this weekend. It renews my soul. I'm blessed and grateful.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Owl Wisdom

Heard an owl the other night, as I was reading (okay, checking Facebook...) before I went to sleep. I called to Rebecca, "Owl." She replied, "I heard it."

I wonder why the call of an owl matters to me? It hits deep, touches something I can't identify. It's more than nature. It's history. It's prehistoric. It's a statement. I'm still here, he seems to say. It's not loud. In fact, if you're not listening...really won't hear him. And maybe that's the point. It's there for you, if you pay attention. And that is true about so many things in our lives, isn't it?

This is an important thing for me to remember right now, as I search/listen/wait for what is next in my life. Because something is definitely coming. I feel it. I'm open to it. And I can wait. It's a feeling of quiet anticipation. The same feeling that the call of the owl stirs up in me.

Speaking of owls, have you seen this? Amazing. And like the changes coming for me, slowly coming into view. Sweet.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Turn, turn, turn...

Yesterday I made three pans of lasagna: one I made for friends who recently welcomed their second child into the family and the world; the second I made for a friend whose mother passed after 96 years on this earth; the third I made for us, because practically speaking, it just made sense to make our dinner too.

Rather symbolic, those three pans of lasagna: life, death, and living. It's all so very normal, and yet each unique and equally important stages of our existence.

Turn, turn turn...

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Monarch Autumn

When we lived in Pacific Grove, CA, I got homesick for fall. And when the Monarch butterflies would come through and fill the air with their gorgeous Autumn-ness, I often thought in poetic terms of how they reminded me of falling leaves (although I never wrote the poem...)

Now, as fall descends upon us here in Virginia, I find myself getting nostalgic over that time in California and the beautiful 'fall color' of the Monarchs' migration through the Monterey Peninsula.

Life is funny, isn't it?

Monday, October 3, 2011

The "C" Word

It seems like not a week goes by that I'm hearing about someone who has just been diagnosed with, is currently fighting, is a survivor of, or has recently died from cancer. I suppose it's being middle-aged. But whatever the reason, it's very unsettling. And not because I'm faced with my own mortality. Because I don't take it personally; I don't take the information and think, "Am I next?" No. It's unsettling because I realize I am not emotionally equipped to know how to react or how to help. Even though my uncle and my cousin both died from cancer, and I know so many people who (thankfully) are survivors of different forms of cancer, and I know folks currently under treatment for cancer, I still feel completely inadequate when it comes to being a supportive friend.

I've been blessed with excellent health to date. Sure, I've had some high cholesterol and should lose another 20 pounds, but all in all everything is in good order. And as I've said many times before, every day I live past 51 (the age my father died of a massive heart attack) is a blessing. But good health puts me at a disadvantage in that I don't have any frame of reference when it comes to cancer. Obviously, that's a good thing. But at the same time, I feel at a complete loss when it comes to offering support.

And now a co-worker and his family have been blind-sided with what appears to be cancer. This just after another co-worker died after his battle. And I'm feeling more at a loss than ever. I can only offer practical support, as it relates to work, and spiritual support, in the form of healing thoughts and prayers. And wonder if it's enough.

Any thoughts or insight from your own experiences are appreciated.