Life has a way of grabbing you by the shoulders and giving you a good shake once in a while. It did it’s work with me at the beginning of August. But I will start with the blessing first. I am blessed to have started this month at a weekend retreat with the lovely people from the Blue Mountain Center for Meditation in Tomales, California.
I spent the first weekend of August at the Colorado School of Mines with seventy-five like minded people deepening our passage mediation practice developed by Eknath Easwaran. I started this meditation practice a year ago and it has changed my life. Being able to spend an entire weekend with these kind and caring folk, wise and gentle, loving and challenging, I was able to greet what met me the following Monday morning with grace and peace.
As I was driving to Panera’s to meet up with our writing group, my husband called me on the cell phone advising me to get back home quickly. It turns out my dad, who is ninety-two and lives with us, had to spend the week in the hospital with news that he has pancreatic cancer. He has chosen not to undergo any procedures other than those that will keep him comfortable. I recently heard a dear friend who has been through this describe it as the “long good-bye.”
If it not for the weekend retreat and strengthening my resolve to continue my practice in passage meditation, I don’t believe the time spent in the hospital with doctors saying one thing – it’s only a gall stone and so unique that they are going to write his case up in a medical journal – and then turning around one hundred and eighty degrees, I would not have handled the craziness with the calm and reserve I maintained the entire time.
Dad is fine spirits and not too sick. There is no pain, yet. He now has accepted that he needs to use the spiffy walker with a handy seat to get around. As a matter of fact I am calling him Speedy. He has given the okay for us to purchase a recliner so he can raise his feet to keep the swelling down and nap in the afternoon. It is on its way. And at ninety-two, he has never napped.
We have learned how to work with the Hospice people. My father adores his nurse, Tricia. She is an angel.
So what other craziness did I decide to partake in the month school starts when I will be going back into a classroom and teaching a grade I haven’t in five years? Well, let me tell you. I decided to do the Poetry Postcard Fest. Luckily they suggested an early start and a I got about 14 mailed until I needed to stop. Check it out. It is such fun. I will be posting the ones I sent out in the next few days.
Then I decided I wanted to dance and joined the In/FLAME 11 Day Dance Sadhana, of which I only was able to do day one, August 1st.
Even though I did not get to finish these two artistic endeavors, I feel that the teeny bit I was able to experience left me with a joy that helped me through these last weeks. I will also be posting a poem I wrote about my first dance.
Life is like that, too. Good things, though small, delight and fill the soul with joy.