MINDFUL

MINDFUL – the basic human ability to be fully present and aware of where we are and what we’re doing and the potential importance of what we are doing.

I have been thinking lately about the number of events that occur in everyday life.  And, how when those events happen, I mostly don’t realize their importance.  And I find this aspect of my life disquieting.

An example, is my friendship with Fran.  If you are very lucky you will get a friend named Fran in your life.  Someone who always knows the right thing to say and the right time to say it.  Someone who will walk beside you when no one else wants to even be associated with you.  Someone who is smart and always knows how to do the things you can’t figure out or haven’t even thought of.  A friend who knows you as you are, understand where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow.

The scary part about this is when I met Fran, as we both stood ankle deep in the water of the baby pool, I had no idea that this woman would become such an influential  part of  my life.

I am going to share a picture with you.  These are three very important people to me.  Starting left is Fran and then my dear friend Nancy (who I wrote about in Love is Lovelier..) and the love of my life, my husband, Dom.

On the day that I met these three very significant people, I didn’t wake up and realize that anything momentous was about to happen.  It just did. Don’t you wish that a clap of thunder would sound to wake you up and mark the importance of events in your life?  I look for God’s fingerprints everyday in my life but it seems that I can only see them in retrospect.

Wishing you thunderbolts of awareness and Frans, and Nancys and Doms in your life,

Bernadette

 

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ARBOR DAY

I took my walk this morning and saw this beautiful tree –

tree

She stood there with her arms stretched upward embracing the spring sunshine.  She started me thinking about how often writers use trees to illustrate our foibles – “The Fir Tree” by Hans Christian Anderson – and our strengths – “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein.

giving tree

She made me grateful that God created such beauty for us to savor and for us to use as a springboard for creativity.

I hope you get a chance to enjoy the beauty of a tree today,

Bernadette

MIRACULOUS

Miraculous – highly improbable and extraordinary and bringing very welcome consequences.

 

Sitting in my morning chair,                                         rain

Drinking my morning coffee,

Reading my morning reading,

I feel a sudden change in my body.

A flow…                                                                                           rain2

And suddenly it starts to rain.

The rain matches the flow.

How miraculous to be in touch

with nature this morning.

 

Wishing you the miraculous this morning,

Bernadette

 

rain3

DOES EVERYTHING HAVE TO BE HARD ALL THE TIME? MAYBE NOT.

churchill

I had to travel overnight to Florida last week.  I had an appointment to attend a court hearing.  I was dreading this hearing because I knew that the experience was going to be emotionally sad and I was going to have to keep my feelings in check without the help of Dom or my friends.

I arrived at the airport to find out that the flight was going to be delayed.  Great, I thought.  Now I have more time to sit around and stew over the upcoming hearing.  Next thing I know, the plane is going to not only be late but the airline changed the gate from C35 to A26.  If you know anything about Philadelphia Airport, then you know this entailed walking almost a mile to get from to C to A.  So off I trudged to A.

As I was stewing and fuming and trudging, I came upon an elderly woman standing alone with a very perplexed look on her face.  She saw my glance and asked me if I new where gate A26 was located.  I told her that was where I was going and she replied that she was so relieved because she could follow me.  I said sure, follow me, and kept walking.  Not walking with her mind you, just trudging off at the same speed.  Finally some sense of kindness surfaced in my soul.  I glanced back and saw that she was struggling to keep up with me.

 Now this kindness and decency stuff can be a real pain when you feel like you don’t have room for even one more pea on your plate.  I said to God, “Do you have to make everything so hard?  I don’t need to take care of anyone else today.”  But, the reply from my soul came back loud and clear.  “That might be you someday.  Wouldn’t you want someone to help you?”  So I reluctantly stopped and let her catch up with me and then changed my cadence from a trudge to a stroll.

Of course, you all know how this ends.  She was a lovely woman.  She had lived all over the world.  Her conversation lifted the black cloud that was surrounding me and I was reminded that kindness isn’t hard.

Wishing you a week filled with kind encounters,

Bernadette

 SLICE OF LIFE

SYNCHRONICITY

SYNCHRONICITY

Last Friday I was sitting in the chair of my favorite psychiatrist – Esther, my hairdresser for 25 plus years.

For some reason we started talking about a mutual friend, Marilyn.  Marilyn died eight years ago from Lou Gehrig’s disease.  Now you might think our conversation was depressing but Esther and I were having wonderful time remembering Marilyn.

We talked about her quirky sense of humor.  Our conversation honored that humor because Marilyn kept it in the face of many challenges during her too short life – ending a marriage, entering into a same sex relationship and finally Lou Gehrig’s disease.

We also talked about her compassion and how she had the ability to make anyone she talked to feel that they had a special place in her life.

I met Marilyn because we both had children in Haddonfield schools.  After the children grew up, my son Andrew and Marilyn’s son Mike stayed friends.

Andrew went away to school for a few years and then boomeranged home.  That first Thanksgiving home, he beat feet right to Marilyn’s home.  A few months later, Andrew overdosed.  He survived but is now a quadriplegic and has massive brain damage.

Some time after Andrew’s overdose,  I was going through his possessions and came upon a paper Indian headdress.  He had saved it from that Thanksgiving visit with the Marilyn’s family.

Time passed and I ran into Marilyn.  I told her about her son Mike calling Andrew faithfully for months after the overdose to offer support for his recovery.  Then I mentioned finding the Indian headdress.  Marilyn gave me a big smile and said that at her family’s Thanksgiving  you were either a Pilgrim or an Indian.  And if you were an Indian, it meant you were family.

Not an easy woman to forget, right?

The next day after my conversation with Esther was a glorious fall Saturday.  I had the privilege of spending the day with my grandson, Lucas.

Lucas’s favorite place in Haddonfield is the playground behind the Presbyterian Church.  While at the playground he became the temporary best friend of a beautiful blond little guy.

They played happily for most of an hour under the supervision of the little boy’s Mom.  When she was leaving she kindly made a point of telling me how much she had enjoyed Lucas.  She said he looked so familiar and asked about his parents.  When I told her his last name, she introduced herself as Pilar.

Again, another name from the past.  I knew Pilar’s mom from PTA and Pilar and Kelly also went to Haddonfield schools  with my children.

Well by now you must be wondering what all this has to do with synchronicity.  The last time I saw Pilar was when she spoke so touchingly at Marilyn’s funeral.

I haven’t figured out why this synchronastic event happened to me but I’m glad it did.

“I learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelu

Have a great weekend.

Bernadette