New Day

I awoke thinking about Attila, and how his night in Tank went. He called shortly after I arose, and was as cheerful as ever. He said that he was warm enough, tried various configurations in positioning, finally settling on curling up on the back seat, and feels that it was a good night’s sleep, but that there are a few kinks to work out still. My relief was instant, hearing his voice, hearing about his night, what he would have for breakfast. All is well with my camping husband in the North.

There are so many things to do here at Mist Cottage, that it is hard to stay focused on just one! It is best to sit and think before beginning the day.

This morning, I sat in my easy chair, listening to classical piano music on my computer, watching the screen display my collection of art images, and I was struck with awe. Life is such a gift, the good, the bad, the boring, the exciting… all of it, except perhaps chronic pain, is a gift.

And love, what a gift that is. It isn’t always easy, it isn’t always happy, but it is the silver line that I have followed all my life.

It began for me with my Mother, who is fully human, a glorious person who gave much more than she ever got. She brought me into this world, she was my first home, she was my first love, we shared a body during my most vulnerable time, and when it was time, she gave me up to the world, and established my life in it. And through difficult circumstances she always did her very best to see me, and my siblings, right. It took me many years to come to terms with the circumstances of my youth, but through those years my love, admiration, and appreciation for my Mother never wavered. You are as beautiful to me now Mom, as you were when I first gazed up from your arms, into your beautiful face.

What my mother began became the theme of my entire life. I have loved such wonderful people. I adored my Grandparents, their lives, and their home, were the eye of the storm of my childhood. I love my brothers and sisters with a love and bond so deep that it is beyond words. We shared so much, saw each other at our worst, at our best, and we survived, each in our own way. I love my children as I love myself, find joy in their triumphs, pain in their suffering, and find myself staring at them in wonder, marvelling at their beauty in my eyes. I love my grandchildren with such joyful abandon, such joy as I did not know existed before I met them. I love my friends, the stars in my heaven, no two alike, all uniquely and marvellously their very own selves. They are life forces that run close to my sliver line. My first deep romantic love, for a singer/songwriter, came to me as a window opens on a sunny day, bringing warm breezes, bright colours, heavenly scents, and a view of the world that shone bright, and still does; he was my starting place, reflecting back to me parts of myself that had remained hidden until I met him. He passed away in 1996. And now, the heavens have granted me Attila. From the start, when we were “friends”, I knew that I wanted him in my life, and could not imagine a universe without him in it. We recognized one another, in the midst of the chaos that is the world, that was our lives.

When Reenie wrote in her very last blog entry “Love”, it touched my very soul. Reenie knew about the silver line, she lived unwaveringly along her own silver line.

Tipping my coffee mug, and saying to those who are following their own silver lines, “to love”!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

Attila’s “Camp” in the North
6°C
Date: 6:00 AM EDT Monday 14 September 2015
Condition: Clear
Pressure: 101.5 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 5.5°C
Dewpoint: 5.5°C
Humidity: 100%
Wind: calm

Mist Cottage
13°C
Date: 6:00 AM EDT Monday 14 September 2015
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.1 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 13.2°C
Dewpoint: 11.6°C
Humidity: 90%
Wind: WNW 21 gust 32 km/h

Quote

“Of all forms of caution, caution in love is perhaps the most fatal to true happiness.”
Bertrand Russell
1872 – 1970

[I feel it is important to love as boldly and broadly as possible. We need to weave our star blankets strong, make them warm, wrap as many people into them as possible. Maggie]

For My Journey

What an intense time we have had here over the last few weeks. The intense experiences just seem to keep coming. What I am realizing is that in each instance, there has been a gift, a treasure, a vital necessary thing that I have needed in my journey through this experience called life.

Mist, in her gentle passing, gave me the experience of a gentle and loving parting. She experienced no fear, no distress during her last hours. She was ready to go, and yet she made time for Attila and I, allowing Attila to brush her as we sat with her in the examination room at the veterinary’s office, allowing me to tickle her chin, nuzzling me. She trusted us and loved us until her last breath, as we did her. That trust is something I needed for my journey.

Reenie, in her boldly lived life, endless capacity for hope, and love, taught me so much about living my own life. I needed her bright light, that she shone so generously on the world, for my journey.

Yesterday, I reunited with my closest younger brother, in age, who I last saw almost thirty years ago. He and I, we shared some very challenging times during our very early years, when we were children, just children. We have both traveled far since then.

He was staying at our Granny and Grandpa’s house, with a friend, an engineer. They were enjoying a few days away from the city to go fishing. He had visited our Granny and Grandpa’s house many times over the years, but I had not managed to visit at the same time. On every visit to Granny and Grandpa’s house I would check to see if he was there, or if he had been there.

Attila and I were visiting our camp, and decided to check on Granny and Grandpa’s house before we left. We knew immediately, as we walked to the back of the house, that someone was staying there. I went inside, calling my brother’s name, but no one was there. I made a call, and found out that he and his friend were staying there, were driving a truck, and had probably gone fishing, those were the only details we had.

We had seen a truck at the boat launch on our way through, so we returned to the boat launch. There was a truck there, so we went down to the shoreline to wait for the return of the fishermen. We met a local couple who were fishing with their son. The fishermen in their boat were nowhere to be seen, so we spent several hours chatting with the fisher-family on the shore. Eventually we saw a boat coming in to the boat launch, so we went to see if it was my brother. It was not. My brother had not been out fishing, as there were no more vehicles at the boat launch, so there were no more boats coming in.

Attila and I decided to head home, and to drop in at Granny and Grandpa’s house on our way by. After parking at the front of the house, we passed the kitchen window. There were lights on, voices from within. We came into the house and my brother rose to say hello, not knowing at first who we were. Then he recognized me. What a joy to see him, to hug him, to know that he was fine. We talked for hours and hours and hours, catching up, filling each other in on the last thirty years of our lives. The years fell away from us as we talked, and we were very young children again, together laughing, grinning. We were very close in our very early years, had great adventures together, in our brief time of innocence. That bond we formed in those early years had only grown stronger over the decades. The young boy who held his mother’s hand for a family photo, adored his younger sisters and brothers, was alive and strong in the man. It seems so very right that this gift was given to us at our Granny and Grandpa’s house, a place that we had both given and received unconditional love. That enduring bond of love and faith that I share with my younger brother was something that I need for my journey.

So the universe has been exceedingly kind to me of late, giving me gifts that I did not know I needed, gifts that have lifted weights from my soul, gifts that have lit dark corridors that had been locked away behind closed doors.

It is enough to make one believe in angels.

Granny and Grandpa’s house, last summer when Luna, Janus, Imp, Elf, and Tink visited. Luna was visiting her Great Grandmother and Grandfather’s house, and the Grandbabies were visiting their GG Grandmother and Grandfather’s house. Five generations of connection.
DSCF3079 grannys house 400x266

Worldly Distractions

Weather

19°C
Date: 7:00 PM EDT Monday 10 August 2015
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 100.9 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 19.4°C
Dewpoint: 18.0°C
Humidity: 92%
Wind: calm

Quote

“The lack of emotional security of our American young people is due, I believe, to their isolation from the larger family unit. No two people – no mere father and mother – as I have often said, are enough to provide emotional security for a child. He needs to feel himself one in a world of kinfolk, persons of variety in age and temperament, and yet allied to himself by an indissoluble bond which he cannot break if he could, for nature has welded him into it before he was born.”
Pearl S. Buck
1892 – 1973

Reenie

Reenie, of Reenie’s Reach, left us yesterday afternoon.

I haven’t taken it in, not completely, not yet, probably not ever.

The internet is where I met Reenie, and where we got to know one another. It was our only avenue of connection. How do human threads of attachment grow so strong in such an environment? This will remain a mystery in my life.

I do not remember when Reenie and I first encountered one another. At first I didn’t believe she was “real”. Twice before I had encountered individuals on the internet who presented lives that were fabrications, for their own reasons which did not seem to be particularly nefarious. Was Reenie who she said she was?

As time went by I began to appreciate Reenie more deeply, and decided that if her presentation was fabricated, it was beautiful, it was art, and I loved her for it.

Reenie named her new blog Reenie’s Reach back in 2006:

“Oh, and my site is called REENIE’S REACH because I like the sound of it – that I’m always reaching. There’s so much hope if one continues to reach. Yeah, REENIE’S REACH says a lot about me. Always reaching.”
Source: http://www.journalscape.com/ifwriter/2006-01-18-13:23

At that time I don’t think Reenie realized just how far her reach would extend. She reached into my life, and the lives of many other people. She reached a state of grace, living with quiet dignity, exemplifying the most admirable human qualities, allowing herself, and thereby the rest of us in her circle, to be fully and gloriously alive and human.

Reenie once wrote to me, “We have more in common than you know.”

There is no higher praise, no thought more comforting.

She lived gracefully through her days with IPF (Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis), a disease that slowly arrests the lung’s capacity to use oxygen. This same disease took my father-in-law. It is not an easy disease to live with, to die with, it is fatal.

When Reenie recently wrote that her children were coming to see her, all three of them, I knew she was easing into saying goodbye. Her next blog entry, her last, summed up how she lived her life, how she saw other people, and what she gave freely. “Love” was what she wrote, just one word. And like an arrow, that word pierced my heart with a deeper and broader understanding of life on planet earth.

Every one of Reenie’s many friends would understand her meaning in a different way. Reenie would have loved that,

for Reenie

she is leaving
it was on a bulletin board
broadcast to all interested parties

standing alone
I read in a hearts quiver
the expected news I dreaded

her last word
Love, her final missive
with that she took my hand

Maggie Turner

God speed and God bless Reenie. May we meet again.