As any ex-patriot knows there will always be a missing for bits of the old. Emigrating from the States, I miss my hot-fudge sundaes, the sound of snow shovels scraping against pavements of a cold New England winter and my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving or now more fondly called Turkey Day.
When asked, “What brought you to England?”
“A thought.’” is always my reply.
It happened one morning, 27 years ago. Without any previous contemplation and totally out of the blue I heard, “Move to England.” Delivered like a prismatic lightning flash and with a crystal-clear voice that directive ended up changing my life forever. At the time, I was the last person one would expect to make such a dramatic move. Having never traveled nor with any wish to, I felt quite content in my life, good friends, close family, creative job, 2 lovely cats and a beautiful flat.
The other night I dreamt I went into a shop to buy some stamps. I delved deep into my hand-bag, resorting to emptying all the change found at the bottom on to a tablecloth. Finding what I needed, I noticed a tiny disk no bigger than a pin head mixed in with the coins. I asked the woman serving did she know what it was. She told me it was a very rare and valuable coin of which there are only 9 left in the world. I wondered how it had found it’s way into the bottom of my bag.
I am having trouble with the cat.
Originally a stray, Osiris has lived with us for 5 of his 7 years. In the beginning he would hide for hours somewhere in the house needing to feel safe. Little steps but eventually he’d sit next to us on the couch accepting closeness but the smallest unexpected sound, like a sneeze, would set off his wild side and he would be off like a shot. With patience and love there has been great change. As he learned to trust he began to relax. I was so pleased with my ‘cat therapy’ and looked forward to him learning to give back as well as to receive. It’s been a challenge for not only him but me as well. My last cats were with me for 18 years and I am missing that intimacy of a cat asleep at the end of my bed. Not too long ago, I awoke with him purring contentedly astride my hip, giving me great hope.
Awakening to the Power Within
Imagine – You are on a path. It is dark and your only light is the lantern which you carry. It’s light is low. Unsure with each step you struggle, often stumbling or loosing your way. Misjudgment and uncertainty are your companions on this long journey. You travel this way for many miles and much time. Sometimes though, the dim light brightens and the path forward is lit clearly. Amazed at how far off the path you have fallen, the strength of sight leads you back to the path. The light has not only cleared your vision but as well lifted your spirits. In this lightness of being you are aware of so many changes you can make helping yourself on your journey. You feel vibrant, uplifted, alive. Then a strange thing happens. Distracted you forget about the path, loosing sight, the light dims as your fear increases. Again, each step becomes a struggle as you walk, stumble and walk again.
I vowed to change the world today, my goal – to pick up one piece of litter each day. Change comes in all shapes and sizes and although not world saving it is world helping. So, there I was this morning jogging through the cemetery, when my eyes settled on a discarded cellophane sleeve from a bouquet of flowers. As I bent down to pick up my very first daily litter, I caught site of two more sleeves nearby. One became three as I carried on jogging, flapping cellophane in the wind.
On my recent return flight from the states I saw something that would forever change my flying experience. It happened at that time in a flight when passengers fed; slip off into their own private space. Engrossed in books, movies, music or relaxing in the place of reverie all is quiet bar the sound of the engine wrapping itself around the plane. When suddenly, a short, loud, delightful burst of serious, belly laughter fills the air. With silence broken a number of disconcerted bodies shift and settle. But not for long, as a few moments later another loud burst of laughter escapes. Straight from the belly it is deep, rich and male.
Fascinated I watch the tree surgeon very carefully and systematically fell a group of tall sycamore trees. First the lower branches are removed leaving footholds to the upper canopy. Standing ready to feed branches into the chipper I am bewildered as more and more greenery falls to the ground. We are lucky as it is one of those brilliant blue days. Hot, sunny with not a cloud in the sky.
Perched on the edge of my garden chair, I lean over to get a closer look at the multitude of tiny ants busying around my feet. Their movements seem so haphazard, going in one direction, switching to another, marching in wide curves than staccato back and forth movements, popping down a crack in the payment, popping right back up and then more circling. Each ant seemingly involved only in their journey as from my overhead view I don’t see one connecting with another. Nor from my perspective are they working as a group, just a bunch of tiny dots frantically running around.
I am having an exquisite moment. Sitting in my courtyard the sun shines brightly as every bit of me relaxes into it’s warmth. My eyes drawn to a ladybird traveling down the handle of a spoon resting in the leftover milk of my cereal bowl. Fascinated, everything else fades further away as I follow the little guy walking purposely (or so it seems to me) down towards what must appear as a white lake at the end of the silver path. I think maybe it is thirsty or curious but before I can take my reflection deeper the little traveler slides the last bit and lands into the lake ending up on it’s back with minute legs (many of them) kicking furiously. Without hesitation I dip my finger into the milk and coming up from underneath rescue the explorer. Flipping and regaining his demeanor now settles on my thumb and as I watch, washes each leg in turn. I have to wonder if he likes the taste of the milk and is grateful for a drink.