I have come to believe over and over again that what is most important to me must be spoken, made verbal and shared, even at the risk of having it bruised or misunderstood.
This really just happened to me.
This morning I woke and said good-bye to my son who was home from school in Florida for 2 days to visit a college near-by. Oh how I would love for him to attend that school. I am keeping that opinion to myself. Just between us here, you and me and the Divine. My husband drove Ben to the airport where he would catch the first of two flights carrying him south. Hugging that big boy, young man, holding his bounding energy for a moment to my breast, marked me.
After he left, I sat down, as I do daily, to meditate and read the books that nourish my hunger for sacred words to begin my day. “Page 17” I hear from the quiet place to which I have learned to listen. So I turn to page 17 of Jan Phillips’ No Ordinary Time. I read:
In the silence of dawn do I find you
In the roar of the crowd you are there
In the eyes of the foe can I see you
In my enemy’s heart do you dwell.
I read on. I read Rebecca’s Song, a prayer song that Jan heard in her meditation. I continue reading the following pages.
“We have one lifetime under this name to speak our truths…” I jot this in to my journal. I write a passage from page 18 that begins with “Meet this day with clarity and be a light in the darkness”.
Then it is time to go. A quick yoga stretch. Time to hurry to brush my teeth, dress and drive Catherine to school. She had walked to town to pick up a cup of cocoa as a gift for her friend whose birthday is today. So I scoop her and the hot drink up on Main Street and head north on Route 7 to her high school, which sits below Monument Mountain. If you stand with your back to the front door of the school, you can see the high ridge where legend has it, the Stockbridge Mohicans climbed before they departed for any journey. Our family loves to hike this mountain. After years of pushing our jogging stroller up the easy path or wearing the kids on our backs, we graduated to all of us walking up the difficult path, which takes us past a cave opening and tremendous boulders. In the shadow on this mountain Catherine goes to high school.
I leave her and her lunch, hands full of the cocoa gift and her heavy backpack at the curb. I pull in to the lane of traffic leading out from the parking lot. My car is followed closely by the big yellow bus which is heading to the middle school down the road.
I ease nearer to the intersection where cars move at highway speed, the two lanes busy at this hour. I wait for my turn. I look south and see my friend Heidi driving her daughter in her small sexy black car, always a trendsetter, Heidi is. But as she waves gleefully at me, I see the driver’s side door is badly smashed in. Not so bad as to prevent her driving it, but as the car shot past me, I worry for Heidi and the moment she got hit. That small car seems little protection against an impact. I send up a prayer for Heidi and her girl.
Then, with the bus breathing down the trunk of my car, panting for it’s turn to pull out on to Route 7, I see the busy road is thick with cars flying past in both directions. Unless you have a kid attending this school, you might not think to slow down. At afternoon dismissal, a police car sits in the center of the roadway, slowing people to make this exit easier and safe.
Safety is on my mind. I see no opening soon for me. I worry that I am holding people up. I send up another prayer. I ask for the help of angels to get me across the highway.
Before I finish this tiny prayer request, a black car, a station wagon driven by a bearded man slows to a stop in the northbound lane of Route 7, like he was getting a direct demand from the angels. As I pray, he slows to a stop. Cars barrel up behind him have to stop. And I proceed across the road way safely. I wave gleefully at the man who accelerates without expression.
I get home to continue with my day and I remember my morning reading. In my meditation I had heard, “Page 17″ but had taken notes from other pages. My journals are filled with lines from books, poems, quotes, notations about the weather and animal life, who is going where when, doodles and small paintings and long passages of my personal entries. I copy according to what strikes me on any given day.
I go back to the book and re-read page 17 and Rebecca’s Song is there. I had read the song but not taken notes until the next page. This is what I glossed past.
For you all have an angel who sits at your side,
who waits for your calling, who hears every cry
she’s there at your service, there as your guide,
so call her, she’s waiting with arms open wide.
I clean up the kitchen. I write a few more words, then walk down the hill to yoga class. A new teacher is with us today, the teacher of my teacher. I have never taken class with him before. He tells us we will be working our front body by opening our back bodies. He talks about how our doing self is our front body while our receiving self, our grace self is our back body. Our receptive self is our back body, full of grace. (It is where our angel bones are, right?) For the entire 90-minute class we practice “falling in to grace”.
I shed a few tears of gratitude in class for this gift of getting to embody what I had already experienced this morning.
I have spent the first four hours of this day feeling how the Universe has my back.
This is the week of Catherine’s birthday. She was born 16 years ago at a small hospital in Sharon, CT. She, like Ben, was nearly birthed in the car. I seem to be tolerant of labor and willing to keep moving until I am ready to give birth. Catherine was born a beacon of light. I write about her in my book titled Laundry Line Divine. I don’t write about her so much on my blog. She is younger than my son and I protect her more in certain ways. And, while she is braver than anyone I have ever met, I feel it is my job to filter, for as long as I can, what I expose of her exquisite beauty to the wider world. She is moving at her own pace now though. And, if I take the lessons of this week to heart, the Universe, the Divine, the Angels have her back too.
Here at LLD I write about seeing and celebrating the sacred in daily life. There is no mistake that “page 17″ was an indication about my day, about my son flying on two jet planes back to school, about my daughter celebrating her friend’s birthday just 4 days ahead of her own 16th birthday so I drive her to school with a bag of caramel popcorn and a cup of hot cocoa and embroidery hoop and a collage kit. There is no mistake that this guest teacher was talking about opening our grace body. I lived the lessons of the morning with gratitude.
The morning felt like one long “YES”.
Yes to my back body. Yes to feeling my shoulder blades as hands of grace, coming together behind my heart, holding me, lifting me, opening my doing body to receive grace. So
and celebrate the
sacred in daily life.
Suzi Banks Baum
November 6, 2013