A Bird Chirping Kind of Day!

Past Life Tour Guide

As you may be able to tell by the many memories I have shared in this blog, I really enjoy being a past life tourist.  Exploring other lifetimes and remembering the lessons learned  has been incredibly healing and a great guide to me in this life.

The next natural step may be the most exciting of all though, and that is to take on the role of Past Life Tour Guide.  In the fall of 2011 I spent an amazing, life altering week at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York at the Past Life Regression Training Seminar learning how to help others access those memories that make up who we are.  The workshop, led by Dr. Brian Weiss and Carole Weiss, was the beginning of a fantastic journey for me.  Now I am hoping to help facilitate that journey for others out there, who may be wondering what came before.

My friend, Diane has written about her regression experience with me  and has graciously allowed me to share it here.  Even though this was done over Skype it was still a profound and wonderful session.  Please, enjoy:

After visiting my beautiful garden full of lush flowers I walk across a bridge in the fog-

So begins my past life regression led by Brenda, via Skype. I am in Portland Oregon, USA and she is in Cranbrook Canada.

I see my feet in sandals, on a floor of big stones. I am an adult male wearing some kind of robe garment, my fingers are short and strong. I wear some gold jewelry and I know I am a leader. My life is abundant with two wives, and many children. I am in my home which is higher than others and later I realize it is in Mexico- perhaps Mayan. 

Brenda asks to see what message this past life has for me: I see myself standing above a crowd of hundreds of people. I am holding a scepter, I have authority and power, I am satisfied and content. I tell Brenda that I am feeling fear and don’t want to remember other things, she reassures me. I know that my decisions or actions lead many people to die; slaves or prisoners. I am overwhelmed with sadness about this and know that I felt that some in the past life and as I do remembering.

Brenda takes me to the end of the life. I am old, surrounded by my family who loves and respects me. I have a son there who is my successor. We are very close and connected. I love him very much. I am lying in a bed and dying of old age. I am happy, complete. My life was good.

Brenda asks me to see the moment when I leave the life. I am met with a big beautiful bright light. I meet many who I killed and they are all there to tell me that it was all in right alignment. They do not hold judgment. I did not kill people out of a misuse of my power. I was courageous, knew right action and did what was in alignment with the highest and best for all. My spirit guides were incredibly proud of me and let me know that I lived my life well. I am met with joy and celebration for how I lived.

As I am telling Brenda what is happening I am crying. I did not abuse the power I was given in that life. I used my power with courage and compassion. My choices which led others to die were what had to happen. At this point I have tears coming down my cheeks.

Brenda tells me to ask my highest self what lessons I can take from remembering that lifetime. I am told to hold the memory of how courageous I was. That I made the choices I had to while in alignment with what I was called to do. I was told to remember that I have the power to say and do whatever I need to – as a leader. I am to hold the vision of myself with the scepter in my hand. I have the authority to lead and make hard decisions. She asked if there were any last messages and I was told, wisdom. I have wisdom and Brenda asked where in my body that was and I felt it in my heart. My wisdom is full of compassion and love.

Authority, Power, Ability, Wisdom, Courage

She tells me to ask what my next steps are to achieve my calling. I am told to continue what I am doing, that I am on the right track, be courageous, bold. I am given again the vision of my past life standing over hundreds of people holding that scepter; I have the authority to act when it is in alignment. I can courageously take powerful actions from wisdom and compassion.

Thank you Brenda! That was a great experience for me that I know it will support me. Diane R.

Amazing, amazing memories!  Thank you so much for sharing, Diane.

So, if you feel like taking a trip and need a tour guide, give me a jingle.  I’m always happy to help.


Fly me to the moon, and let me play among the stars ~ Bart Howard






Up a Lazy River

I rise.  As I leave the weight of my body and of the material world behind I feel a euphoria I have not experienced since putting on this personality.  Leaving the physical manifestation behind feels like music sounds.  I rise.  I rise and all is love.  Fear no longer exists.  I am weightless where I had no idea there was weight.  There is a cloak of fear, a mantle of it that held me in my skin and once I am released it falls away and there is nothing left between my Self and pure bliss.

What I have seen as reality parts like a curtain and there is my home, right there. I experience recognition and surprise at how close it has always been.  The veil was very effective while I was in human form.  Transparent from this other side, I am able to see whatever people and situations come to my mind.  Past, present and future meld into one and all I need to do is cast my interest somewhere and I am there.  Simply, instantly, I experience this most current lifetime.  What was once experienced by mind is now experienced by Spirit.  I see and hear and feel from every angle.  All that I felt and experienced on earth, all that others felt and experienced, and all of the waves and ripples created by every situation.  It is like a vast, musical arrangement and I hear the harmonious chords of each relationship played… a symphony of love and light.

I am still wearing the vestiges of human consciousness and can see that my human mind created every moment of discomfort, drama, pain and fear that I experienced.  I am amazed that I was so attached to the pain that I forgot how to allow the Divine to flow into my moments.  I have a knowing that my purpose in this lifetime was to find my voice.  I watch the pivotal moments as they fleet through the movie of my now Spirit mind.  So many opportunities to be authentic and to speak my truth and I watch as my human self cowered, hiding behind the mask of acceptability.  So many growth opportunities squandered.  There is no judgment, either from my Self, or from the guides that surround me.  I know that Life is our biggest challenge and that I will be given many more opportunities to grow.

I wonder if next time I will remember.  Will I know that the veil shrouds the truth and that the truth is utterly simple?  The only trick to fulfilling my life’s purpose is to feel good.  Just that.  Feeling good allows the divine river to flow and that wonderfully swift current journeys us through lessons and experiences that bring us to our Purpose.  Whatever lesson plan we have devised for ourselves will flow to us faster and easier through joyful means.

It is when we allow our human fears, doubts and wrong thinking to freeze us into inaction that the Spirit team will step in and help us along by giving us the traumatic catalysts for change, like loss, humiliation, imprisonment, despair, or any number of other triggers.  From this new perspective I understand that floating on the river of joy is so much more effective than being kicked along the shore.  The destination remains the same, even if the journey seems vastly different.

Would I choose to learn my lessons through trauma or learn my lessons through joy?  No brainer.  Next time I pick joy.

Gosh I hope I remember that.


Sit back, relax and listen to the song stylings of Leon Redbone as he sings, Up a Lazy River by Hoagy Carmichael

Up a lazy river by the old mill run
The lazy, lazy river in the noon day sun
Linger in the shade of a kind old tree
Throw away your troubles
Dream a dream with me-ee

Up a lazy river where the robin’s so-ong
Awakes the bright new morning
Where we can move along
Blue skies up above, everyone’s in love
Up a lazy river, how happy you could be
Up a lazy river-er with me

Up a lazy river by the old mill run
The lazy, lazy river in the noon day sun
Linger in the shade of a kind old tree
Throw away your troubles
Dream a dream with me

Up a lazy river where the robin’s song
Awakes the bright new mornin’
Where we can move along
Blue skies up above, everyone’s in love
Up a lazy river, how happy you could be
Up a lazy river-er with me

Woh, up a lazy river by the o-old mill run
The lazy, lazy river in the noo-oon day sun
Linger in the shade of a kind old tree
Throw away your-our troubles
Dream a dream with me

Up a lazy river where the robi-in’s song
Awakes the bright new morning
Where we can move along
Blue skies up above, everyone’s in love
Up a lazy river, how happy you could be
Up a lazy river-er with me-ee-ee-ee
Up – a lazy ri-iver – with me…

No Place Like It

“A forever home…”

A prayer, earnestly spoken one morning in the shower.  There’s something about the solitude and warm water that brings a certain clarity of mind and allows for better communication with the Spirit Team.  This particular request seemed to come out of nowhere and when I whispered the words I realized how much I meant them.  We’d been living in rental properties, waiting for our house in Cranbrook to sell and hadn’t put down roots yet in our new city, Kelowna.  A wanderer by nature I hadn’t even been aware that I was missing that sense of permanence having a “home” could create.  A quiet little prayer said with focused intention and clarity was about to change my life.

“Nothing is as powerful as an idea whose time has come.”  Victor Hugo

In 2011 we left our home in Cranbrook.  It had been a tough few years leading up to the move and as we drove out of town early that August morning I felt a profound relief and declared to my husband that I would never be back.  I was done with Cranbrook.  So much sadness, death, despair not to mention a giant nasty lawsuit were experienced in those few years leading up to our move and the idea of going where I had a clean slate and a fresh start was a huge relief.  To my mind, the well was poisoned.

So imagine my surprise 3 years later when that little prayer, whispered sleepily while standing in the spray of warm water, began a series of events that would lead us directly and quickly back to our little home town.

It began that very day.  It was a feeling.  A little flutter of fondness. A happy memory.  Huh.  Strange.  For 3 years I only ever thought of Cranbrook as the place I had escaped from,  a place where all of the horror lived, where friends died and pets died and trusts were betrayed.  I’d had 3 years away in a place where I could wrap myself in blissful anonymity and just live my life happily with my little family to keep me company.  I had insulated myself from everything.  Hadn’t I?

Before we moved away a good friend wrote me, “You know that you have lots of friends, real ones, in town. Don’t let the legalities generalize your feelings too much.”  That was some good advice and it came back to me then.  The fog of my own wrong thinking was lifting and all of the good stuff was returning to my mind.  Good friends, a great house, a beautiful location in the Rocky Mountains, a couple of decades of memories, (really freaking good memories) surfacing and shining light into that darkness I had created.

Happy thoughts began to build on themselves and that evolved into happy reminiscing with the family around the dinner table.  Then things really got rolling.  Transfers happened, the tenants in our house gave their notice and our daughter decided she would like to do her graduating year back at her old high school.    It all fell into place.  The perfect circumstances showed up at supersonic speed and suddenly we have the truck booked and are living amid a sea of boxes.

The past three years away I have learned a lot of things.  I learned that an escape does not equal a healing.  I learned that I can make friends and that they will not necessarily die on me.  I learned that I can count on my parents for anything.  And I learned that moving back does not mean  stepping backwards.  I look forward to both the new and the familiar and to reuniting with the amazing, patient friends we left behind but never, ever forgot.

All of this from a well intentioned prayer…. ‘a forever home’.  It is a powerful idea whose time has come.


There really is no place like it.



I Wish I Was Swimming

pieces of me

Everything I need to know about science I learned from watching Star Trek the Next Generation.  For example, I learned that human beings consist of “ugly giant bags of mostly water” or more precisely what Data says HERE  .Celebrity City

I went to Wikipedia, my other source for all things scientific,  to confirm that whole 90% thing and found out that we are actually closer to about 60 – 75% water.  I want to make sure I get my facts straight for any of you hard core scientists who might be reading this.  Because, yeah… I get a lot of hard core science types reading this blog.

But back to the water thing.  (be patient, I’m building a metaphor here)

Consider God (or Universe or Source or Big Kahuna in the sky, or whatever name you have for the Infinite Intelligence that runs the show).  Let’s say that God is…

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The Sweetest Flower

Happy LOVE day, friends

pieces of me

I stand and stretch, enjoying the feel of the hot sun on my face.  Brushing dirt from my knees and my hands I survey the garden patch of rich brown soil with the barest of green shoots stretching toward the sun.  Far below the sea crashes onto the shore.  Tis a beautiful day to be alive.  I rub the burgeoning babe that grows within me and listen for its older brother, napping in the shade.  Not a sound from the lad who is exhausted after a morning of “helping” me with the garden.  Young Padraich is a going concern.  He is well named for his Da, also a going concern.

I hear Padraich the Older now as he makes his way up the road to our stone cottage on the cliffs.  He sings loudly, showing off to the birds.  I smile. Tis one of my very favorites, and one he…

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A Glimpse

pieces of me

Everybody has a story, that sequence of life events that they use to design how they present themselves to the world.  My story began November 15, 2008.  It goes something like this….

Brenda is Broken Open

“God breaks the heart again and again and again until it stays open.”
— Sufi master Hazrat Inayat Kahn

The universe whispers lessons and sometimes you hear and that is awesome, But sometimes you don’t hear. Sometimes you get so busy with life and with the mundane, mediocrity of physical existence that you forget to take the moments to sit in silence and to really listen.  So then the whispers get louder.  And if you still don’t hear them, they turn into shouts so loud that you have no choice but to hear.

My shouts stopped me in my tracks.  My shouts had me cowering with arms over my head wondering what horrible thing…

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The Saffron Wars

“Pitiful, foolish son!  Why have I been cursed with such a child?” I close my eyes to shut out the sound of her voice.  My father’s sunken face sits behind my eyelids.

“More flower!  Do not shame my esteemed husband with your laziness!”  I rise from where I squat beside the funeral pyre, set and ready for the torch I have yet to light.  I walk up the hill and find the vendors selling their necklaces of fresh flowers.  I wearily pay for another armful and return to cover the body of my deceased father with even more flowers.  Already it is hard to see that there is the body of a man under the mountain of flowers, but at this time I do not wish to worry my mother with impotent arguments.

“Leave it be, Amrit.  She will make her noise.”  My father’s voice sounds in my mind as I lay the stringed flowers upon him.  I have no idea how I am to survive the chaos of these women now that he has gone.

“You waste good money!” My wife now must be heard.  “Your father would not approve of you throwing away his hard earned money on such frivolity.  Flowers, indeed! Just light the damn fire.”

I wipe a fly from my father’s forehead.  Whether it is attracted by the flowers, or the day old corpse I cannot be certain but feel it best not to ponder too long on this.

“Witch! Thankless whore of uncertain parentage! Do not speak of my husband in such a way or I will have my son burn you today as well!”

“He is not your son! He is my husband! Useless widow, you are lucky we do not cast you out to beg.”

Others arrive, merchants and men of business gathering to pay respects, their wives and mothers joining them to add their voices to the mourning.  Thankfully their presence stills the sharp tongues.

The sun sits hot in the sky and I know.  It is time.

I have dreaded this moment and now I must see it through.  I climb the hill and take a rag wrapped torch from the pile.  I breathe a moment or two. It has become silent of voice and now only the buzzing of flies and the rushing of the river are heard.  I steel myself for what must be and finally dip my torch into the common fire.  It catches.

I walk back to the pyre.  Both wife and mother watch closely, judging my every move.  I raise the torch up high, whisper a silent prayer for strength to do this unthinkable thing.  I look to my father, a mountain of white blossoms with just his gray drawn face appearing uncovered.  This man who raised me, shielding me from the harsh tongue and quick lash of my mother, who taught me his trade and gave me his business, and his home.  This man who I esteem more than any other, my father, and now I must turn him to ash.

“This must be done, Amrit.  Do not think on it, just do what you must.  Say what you have come to say.  Speak, son.”  His voice is a warm hum in my head guiding me even in his death to do this terrible thing.

“Priests and Brahmin tell us that we are immortal.”  My voice cracks.  I cough and waver.  I am made of holes and gaps.  Smoke fills them and I begin again to speak.

“These wise sayers tell us that death merely separates the astral body from the physical body.”  Sweat gathers on my brow and stings my eyes.  I swipe at the drops with my free hand.   I see the crowd shifting from foot to foot, uncomfortable with my stammers.

“We unite together in this world, father and son, brother and sister, husband and wife and then must separate. To understand the nature of the body and of all human relationships will bring great comfort to bear the loss of our dear ones. As each union ends with separation, so must each union reunite at the end of this life.”  These words I have heard hundreds of times and now repeat by rote, simply to have something to say.  My throat closes.  I cough.  Blink sweat from my eyes.

” As only son of my esteemed father,” voice cracks and I take a moment to still the quivering of my chin.   “I will eagerly anticipate that reunion.”

I lower the torch and touch it to the dry tinder beneath the corpse of my father.  It lights with a fury.

“There it is well begun, Amrit.”  His whisper.  For a dead man he has much enthusiasm.  This fortifies me enough to continue.

“The soul is a spirit that a sword cannot pierce, the fire cannot burn, the water cannot melt, and the air cannot dry. The soul is free, unbounded, holy, pure, and perfect.” With each touch of fire  that I set along the pyre my voice grows stronger.   Soon my father is engulfed in the flames.  I choke on smoke and tears.  In a distant echo I hear him cheer and then his voice fades.  Flames crawl up the side of the stacked wood. His skin begins to blacken and curl.

I am only son, chief mourner and I am duty bound to keep the fire burning hot all day.  At first the deep, thick smoke, black with grease and redolent of cooked meat, gags me so that I must vomit.   I wipe the bile from my chin and kick sand to cover the mess, then continue with the tending of the flames.  The day grows long of shadow and many come to pay respects, singing hymns and offering prayers.  My mother and my wife sit side by side, stony and silent to receive their condolences.

It is late in the afternoon when the stranger appears.  He is unknown to this village and wears the shiny clothes of a foreigner.  His features are rounded and his skin is pasty.  His eyes are pale and blue like the sky.  He watches me for awhile as I chant and pray over the glowing embers of my father.  He has tears, fat and slick on his face.  After a time he approaches me.

I stare at him, mesmerized by eyes so foreign and yet so familiar, sinking into the strange comfort the blue.  Who is he?  Has he risen from a dream?

Finally he pulls his eyes away, shakes himself then pulls a pouch from his pocket and hands it to me.  I take it, confused by this gesture.  He speaks, and while his language is one I do not know, his compassion is easily recognized.  He bows to me and turns, walking away, trailing the tattered shreds of his own grief.

I tuck the pouch in my belt.  I  give it no thought until much later.

My mother and my wife give it very much thought.  The embers still glow hot in the dusk when the bickering starts.

“What is in this pouch?  Is it gold?  Is it jewels?”

“Open this pouch, Amrit! Open it now.  We must see what this stranger has gifted us.”

“This is not a gift for you, lazy, fat woman.  I am widow of a great man and the stranger brings this gift for me.  It is obvious.”

“My husband shares all of his wealth with me.  Be grateful we allow you to share out food and sleep in our shelter.  Useless, wretched old fool.”

And so it goes.

I gather the ashes into a fine clay pot and say a silent lament to the man who was my father.  All the while I hear them spitting their venom toward each other.  It is the sound of normal life and I find vague comfort in it.

Later that night I jam dried beans into my ears against their nattering, so that I can sleep.  I turn to ash and drift along the river, gently.  My father holds me in his regard.  It is still dark when I awake with tears on my face.  Both women still sleep so I leave on cat feet.  When I am out of the house and after relieving myself against the bodhi tree, I finally untie the cord on the mysterious pouch.

The smell announces the contents before my eyes can make out the red strands within.  Saffron.  Precious, beautiful strands of it, packed high and tight in the thick oily cloth.  I pull one out and rub it gently between my fingers.  The red stains my fingers and I breathe deeply of the heady fragrance.  Not gold, but just as precious.  What might have possessed the blue eyed stranger to share such riches?

“What is it you have there, Amrit?  Give that to me!”  My wife.

“No!  It is mine!  You must give this to me.”  My mother.

“…mine, you must…”  “…. for me, obviously…”  “…  daughter of dog vomit…” “…remember who warms your bed…”  “…whorish chattel…” “….wrinkled sagging slattern…”  “…breath like goat farts…”  “….sweat of a lizard’s pubic hair…”  “….pig licker…”

They chuck words  like monkeys throwing feces.  I tie the pouch and stuff it into my pants.  As their words grow in volume I grow more silent.  As they shout, I sink into silence.  I refuse their battle calls and slip into a fast of speech that lasts for as long as their saffron war.

14 days and 14 nights.

My wife demands the spice for the funeral feast that we may flavor the rice.  “The whole village must see how wealthy we are.  While the rice cooks the aroma will announce our importance to everyone.”  My mother disagrees most vehemently.  Why indeed must we share this fabulous abundance with the peasants of the village?

My mother demands to use the saffron to dye her robe.  “I am the honored widow of your esteemed father and must have robes befitting of this station.”  Ludicrous!  My wife defames.  Dressing an old, useless woman in red stained robes would be like putting gold bracelets on a shit covered pig.

I do not tend their cries, but continue my silence.    My father’s distant laughter keeps company with my thoughts.

The morning of the feast I awaken to the delicious and unmistakable aroma of  saffron rice.  My wife stands over the cauldron, victory upon her face.  The pouch sits beside the cooking fire and I see that the contents have been depleted by more than half.  Dread falls to the pit of my stomach.  This will mean war, of course.

When my mother arises she comes to the cooking fires, face screwed tight, breathing like a bull.  She does not speak but stares into the pot of steaming yellow rice with an anger beyond the service of words.  I expect shouting but she surprises me, remaining silent.

“Softly now, son.  Tread softly.” My father’s warning.

An hour or two passes as the sun climbs the sky.  I prepare myself for this final ceremony to release my father’s ashes into the river.  It will be a relief and an anguish, this final goodbye, but I am stoic.  My duty as only son of this great man must be fulfilled.  I silently pray that peace prevails.

My wife slowly stirs her victory pot.

My mother squats near the fire, black eyes shining.

I pace.  And sit.  And pace.

Guests begin to arrive.

When the time arrives, I carry the urn into the brown river.  Singing quietly to my father, a private farewell I remember his kindness and wisdom.  I remember his warm hand atop my head.  I scatter these memories along with his remains and watch the river take him from me forever.  I wash my tears down the river, longing to join him on his final journey.  My grief is a stone upon my chest.

I am dry upon the river’s bank when the feast begins.    My wife and my mother do not shout or squabble and the silence is a blessed gift on this day of final farewells.  My relief is a thing in my hand I hold tenderly like a fragile egg. Perhaps this day will see peace afterall.

The guests comment and rave about the smell of the saffron cooking.  Surely a rich man’s feast, befitting the funeral feast of such a man as my father.  I see my wife has a puffed up chest filled with boasting.  I see my mother’s eyes twist tight in her face.  Perhaps a tenuous peace?

The feast is laid for the guests and my mother takes her place of honor, as widow, to be served first.  She walks with dignity up to the pot of saffron rice, the jewel in the crown of this day.  The rice steams fragrant and beautiful, strands of red gleaming within the perfect yellow silken depths.  The crowd of mourners waits with anticipation to finally be allowed to partake in this delicacy.  My mother sets her plate down and with a flourish,  lifts her sari, squats and relieves herself into the rice, her piss sizzling as it hits the sides of the hot pot, befouling the rice within.

Time stops.  We are frozen with shock.

My wife moves first.  She grabs my mother by the hair and yanks her backwards and off her feet.  The pot of piss rice is upset and spills all over the ground.  Hot rice and mud plaster my mother’s legs and she cries out in pain, in victory.  There is the sounds of shouting and of flesh slapping flesh.  Guests move in to separate these two women and all of their white funeral clothes become spoiled and muddied.

I do not move.  I see my wife pull a large amount of silver hair from my mother’s head who then retaliates by clawing her sharp nails down my wife’s cheek.  The site of three long red streaks bubbling with blood finally shakes me from my inertia.

“Stop!”  My voice, booming loud over top of the cacophony shocks the crowd into silence.  Though I have not spoken  in 14 days, the voice remembers and sounds sharp and clear.  The two women release each other and stare at me, vicious, defying.   The guests drop their hands from the women and look to themselves, aware at once of the drying mud and urine that covers their fine funeral garments.

I push my way past them all and go into the hut, retrieving what is left of the saffron.  I hear my mother cry out but I ignore her.  I walk toward the riverbank aware that I am followed.

“Son, my son, I beg of you!”  I swat her words away with a flick of my head.  Not bothering to remove my sandals I walk into the water.  I open the pouch of saffron.  Inhaling the sweet odor one last time I turn the pouch upside down and scatter red threads into the muddy waves, floating garbage, cow shit and holy precious water of the river.  I watch as they float and then sink into the murky depths.

The sun catches my reflection and I look into my own face, liquid and deep.   My eyes reflect blue,  the eyes of the stranger.

I remain Amrit,  cast upon the water, impatiently waiting to be ash.

50 First Days

Remember when you were a little kid, how you would get so excited about Christmas?  For weeks you would dream about that glorious day.  You imagined the lights and the presents and the food and SANTA and every other glorious thing about that day and the flutter of excitement in your belly would grow and grow until you just didn’t think you could stand it anymore.

Well nowadays I don’t feel that level of excitement for Christmas.  It’s a wonderful day and I really love the family time and all of the other stuff mentioned above, but that flicker of excitement just isn’t there anymore… for Christmas.

Nowadays I get that excitement and anticipation about New Years Day.  Now please don’t imagine that I am one to get all dressed up and head out to a fancy party on New Years Eve, dance and drink champagne etc., like the ending of When Harry Met Sally.  As a matter of fact I don’t remember the last time we went out to a party for New Years.  This year we managed to hit pause on A Christmas Story in time to do the countdown, had a sip of champagne and a kiss, then went back to the movie.

No, it’s not the New Years Eve thing that gets me all atwitter.  It is simply the New-ness of it all.  It is that fresh page, fresh start, NEW chance that I love.  For weeks I think about what will be my New Years intentions, and I ponder what I have been grateful for in the previous year.  On New Years Day, a new chapter starts.  Heck sometimes a whole new book begins and the possibilities are endless.  The best part is that I have finally realized that I get to write the stories in that fresh and shiny new book.  It’s like getting the keys to the magic kingdom!

Is it any wonder why I get so excited?

This year I have decided that one of the best ways that I can live in this new and shiny year is to try to treat each day as if it is the first day, all clean and sparkling with new possibilities.  I have had 50 first days.  This year I hope to add 365 to that number.  2014, let the magic begin!


Note to self:  Must stock up on noise makers

The Empty Chair

The table is set with the finest china and crystal.  My Izzy has outdone herself.  She works diligently to keep our family happy during this holiday season, though in the moments she allows herself to be still she suffers the pain of her broken heart.  She cloaks herself in noise and chaos to keep such moments at bay.

It has been a day of delightful surprises.  Shiny coins hidden away for the children to happen upon.   A lovely red cardinal for Izzy and the girls singing through the kitchen window, bright red against the bleak winter.  And now a fresh blanket of snow to brighten the dark night.

The family sits.   William, my son,  looks diminished somehow, as if the past year has taken some of the air out of him.  His wife, Clara fusses over their daughters, tying bibs and settling them in.   Faith and  Temperance pass bowls of steaming vegetables and soft white buns.  Hudson and Hinton argue with good nature over who shall carve.  Hinton, the eldest, prevails.  The older grandchildren giggle at their tiny table, set beside the fireplace while the younger babes are tended next to their parents.   All have gathered for the feast.  It is a typical scene, one we’ve acted out so many times before, but this time there is a great difference.  This time the room is filled with the presence of the empty chair.  Nobody speaks of it but its presence will not be denied.  They carve, and serve and pour and cut and sip and laugh and talk, comforting sights and sounds.  Their faces glow in the shimmering candle light, tentative joy, tentative sorrow.

I wonder if they know how happy I am to have them all here.

Hinton, my son, finally raises his glass.  His face freezes as he fights emotion.   After a moment he smiles, and toasts the empty chair.  The others join him.   Family.  We come together in good times and in bad.  We share the love and laughter and we hold each other tightly through the tears.

“To our lovely Mother, may her spirit rest.  There is surely a feast in Heaven tonight!”  They smile.   They tap their glasses and wipe their tears.  And soon the memories start and there is laughter.

I sit here in this empty chair, abiding love.  Yes … there truly is a feast in Heaven tonight.


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