Gratitude; felt from the Heart

Gratitude within us

Very often in life do we ever realize what we have until it is gone.. People, places or even things. We have them, they are part of us, and they are gone. While many of us don’t realize this, but it can feel like a lifetime has passed and one thing in our life will trigger the response. Will this do it; likely not. But if we are conscientious about it, we will.

Much like the traits we inherit from our heritage; the inconspicuous nose on our face, wide set eyes, hair that is too thick, or too curly… but what about the wonderful traits we possess, not just the deep blue eyes, or the beautifully hair, I’m talking about the kindness inherent within us; the integrity. Are these possessions that are passed down too?

I have always found myself to be a giver, something that comes naturally to me, sometimes to a fault. This is something that both my parents portrayed without even thinking about it. I saw the smile on my mother’s face when she would give a batch of homemade cookies to the neighbouring children, as if it were something she did for herself, not for them. Perhaps this was one of the small joys she got from her life.

I have been learning what it feels like to be the receiver of these small unbelievable acts of kindness. I was given the gift of a plant. A weed actually, yes, a weed, but not just any weed. It was a weed that has meaning to me.

I had never heard of “Herb Robert” . As the giver of this gift spoke, she talked about how this plant is indigenous to the area and how she learned that it can be used as a poultice  for bruising. Upon gifting me with two wee pots of this herb, she also handed me a  description of this plant, so I could read about all the uses of this herb and how it grows.

I was grateful at her token.

It wasn’t until I read the first line of the copy that I truly understood how grateful I really was.  She had handed me a ‘magical herb’… The first line I read was “Common name: Dragons Blood,…”  Wow, did she truly understand the power of what she had given me? OR how much I would really appreciate this gift. Perhaps she did? And it was at that moment that my heart skipped a beat, and elation filled my body.

The question remains; did “I” truly understand my Gratitude for this gesture? Probably not at that very moment; I most certainly do now. This is a plant that I didn’t know existed in this area. I have seen the written words in my magic books, to be honest, I didn’t really know it was a plant. Now, I had this in my hands. And I will treasure it for always…

It feels so good to be on the receiving end; I wonder if my mother ever had the chance in her wondrous life to be there, to feel the way I feel at this very moment. I certainly hope she did!

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The Lost Garden

SAMSUNG

A cool northerly wind whisking through my hair, the residue from the harshness of a winter that has just gone by. Each day, slowly becoming longer, brighter. Each day brings sunbeams to warm my soul, to warm my days without you.  Each day that passes, is another day that you drift farther away from me.  As I make my way to your garden, there is still evidence of the moistness of a cold winter that has just passed. A chill passes through me as I stand at the garden gate, silence in my heart; looking in, remembering, reaching deep into my heart for the memory of you.

The dawn of the early morning light will soon come to crest over the horizon. I stand at the gate, trepid. The dark of night still has her shadow cast upon all that was once full of light and love. But now the garden seems to be filled with ghosts of the memories of you and all that once was. My hand rests nervously upon the gate. The once shiny, white paint is now peeling and dingy from lack of your loving care. I reach over to lift the latch. It sticks at first, and I struggle with it for but a moment. With determination it soon opens with a loud squeaking sound, rusty for want of oil. I close the gate carefully behind me, then turn and stand silently facing the stone path.

In the silence, I listen for the sound of the song birds that used to sing in these trees, the sounds that used to fill the garden with lovely songs of joy, and fill the air with love. But all I hear is silence, the quiet nothingness that awaits, as if everything in the garden is waiting your return. But there will be no return. My heart aches to have such feelings. I gasp as I turn to look at what was once an ‘Eden’ of hope and light for me. The beautiful garden which once held so fully, all the colours of the great Goddess’ palette, a garden which held fragrances that would stay with you forever. Nothing would ever compare to the essences and aromas of the flowers that once bloomed here. I see the signs of Spring, buds on the lilac bushes and tulips peeking through the ground.

The garden bench is cold, and grey.  I sit, for a moment, to grasp all that is, and all that was. I catch my breath and try to remember last spring. It is hard to imagine that now when all I see is the bareness of the trees, and the brown colour of the grass. The leaves are still in disarray scattered over the ground and the flower beds. The waterfall statue sitting in the middle of this oasis, sits still and quiet, the water has ceased to run out of the Goddess’ vessel. The fish pond in the corner is murky with algae, and muck, for no fish live there anymore.  The cottage is grey and in need of new paint. A shutter  hangs on one hinge. It just looms there, threatening to fall with one brisk, gale wind. Its paint chipping and fading, worn from the sun, the rain and the snow. The bare vines are holding on for dear life to the sides of the walls, hoping; waiting for new life to begin. Clinging to the vibrant past they had known once only not too long ago.

Slowly, I walk down the winding stone garden path, past the flowerbeds containing only brown twigs from a garden that wasn’t pruned from the season last. I pull my scarf tighter around my neck to protect it from the brisk wind that had suddenly crossed my path as I make my way to the stone cottage.

The cottage sits in darkness, with no life from within. I am taken back to my memories of you. All around the garden I can feel remnants of you. In my mind I can see you tending to the garden, you did it so painlessly, and effortlessly. To watch you work in the garden was like watching  symphony performing. It was breathtaking. The garden was your home, your life. But it was your family that always came first. You held those who knew you close to your heart. You loved them all the same. Without complaint, without reserve.  With no prejudice, no judgement. Only with love. Your heart and your soul was filled with love. You were a golden light for everyone whose life you touched. You offered unconditional love to all you met. There was not a time, nor a person who was not affected by what you had to give. Your smile, your love, a kind word, never once asking for anything in return. For you got all you needed from your garden, from the Goddess. Love came to you in many forms. I saw it in your face; your eyes lit with such Joy and Grace every time I saw you. I was never too certain if that is how you always appeared or if being in this place was what brought such pleasure in your life. You lit up the world with your presence. You were a woman, a daughter, a wife, a mother, a sister, but mostly you were my friend.  So full of life and love. Mostly though, you were a goddess; Mother goddess of the earth.  This garden was your home. You were like the great mother herself, you had so much to give, so much to share. The fae loved to dance with you and you kept secrets with them, I’m sure.

As I approach the cottage, I pull back the brush and gingerly step up onto a rock, close enough to reach the window. With the sleeve of my coat I clear away a circle big enough to peer through. I look into the dusty window, the darkness from within hurts my eyes. I squint to try to see what once was. Its hard to see beyond the curtain.

Stepping down off the rock, I go to the door. Unlocked, the door slowly creeks opens, and I step inside. I check the light switch, but the power in the house is off. Looking into the dimly lit room, it is a small one room cottage, just a kitchen for your cooking and baking.  In the corner there is a small wood stove for heat. An old copper tea kettle sits upon it.

In one end of the room there is an old stove for baking, a small cupboard for storing dry goods, a small fridge, in the corner and a tiny sink. The hutch along the back wall holds your china teacups, saucers and plates. The drawers still hold your linens and silverware.

I walk over to the hutch and examine the faded pattern on the dishes. As they sit there lined in a row, waiting, almost beckoning, to be used again. Having tea on these dishes was a wonderment of excitement as they brought me back to a period of time that I had only, until now, dreamt about. The room seemed to be waiting for the glory of life to re-enter it once more. Looking around the room, I see the life it once possessed, and just like magic the room lights up. The smell of your homemade baking wafts through the air, together with the aroma of coffee brewing on the stove, awaiting my arrival.  We always had so much to share with each other.

On rainy days, the small table by the window was carefully set so that we could look out at the twinkling of the rain; the magnificence of the shower as it nourished your beautiful garden. Your hand would rest upon mine to comfort me when I was feeling harsh and not entirely complete. You showed me how to love, and how much magic there is that exists within the harshness of the world. You showed my heart how to shine, just like yours.

The table by the window now sits bare and empty, its wood exposed to the severity of the dampness. There is a draft in the room, and the door slams shut, bringing me out of my trance.  I walk over to the door and open it once again. Standing in the doorway, I am taken back through my memories once more. Back to a time when the day was sunny and bright, when we would take our coffee mugs outside, and walk through the garden. On hot days we would sit on the swing, under the shady oak tree. Some days we sat on the bench facing the faery garden, full of ‘Johnny jump ups’, ‘foxglove’, ‘bluebells’… and more flowers that brought kindness and love to the fae people. The fae garden had shiny windmills that twirled in the wind, ‘whizzy wigs’ I think you called them. Mirrored trinkets that hung from the Maple branches that hung over head. Dancing and swirling in the sunlight. I remember laughing so hard when you told me what they were.  We talked about how the faeries were drawn to circles and all sorts of shiny things. The mushrooms that grew in in this garden grew in small circles. One day you promised to take me to visit with them. You would share their stories of frolicsome and mischievous behaviours and how they would love to come and visit with you. There was a commonality between you and them, you would say.

Looking over at your faery garden now, I wonder if they are still there. Have they moved to another place? To another garden? Or are they patiently waiting for your return to this one?  Were they as home-sick for you as I am? Would I ever really know?

Spring days were my favourite times in the garden, with the smell of dew on the lawns and the tulips as they began to bloom. The lilacs; my favourite, would be blooming filling the air with the richness of their perfume.  The garden was like somewhat of a Renoir painting, dappled with an array of colours, so rich with greens. I just wanted to stay there forever.

Time did not slow down the process of life in your garden, for with the summer came the pansies and hyacinth and each year the roses bloomed in full. Each month, it seemed, your garden had a new scent. I never really knew which scent was your favourite. Was there one? Or perhaps you just loved them all.

I remember the cool autumn nights, when the richness of the months before begins to die down and prepare for the winter months ahead. There was such an aura about you garden, it was so appreciative of you, and I could feel it! You planted and cared each day, heart and soul for this garden, and it gave so richly back to you.  We would sit on the swing with blankets wrapped about us, cups of hot cocoa in our hands. We would sit and talk for hours. We would laugh, and we would cry. And sometimes, we would just sit in the silence. Loving life, loving each others company.

When the winter came, you would start a fire in the tiny cottage, and the air was filled with the aroma of your baking.  Cookies, cakes, tarts and pies. All of them you would give away. All but the special batch of chocolate cookies, the ones you baked for me and my visits with you. They had extra chocolate chips, of course.

I sit on the step of the cottage, the sun begins to rise. I look up, and see rays of sunbeams casting a spectrum of rainbows down upon me. Pretty greens, yellows, purples, pinks and blues, all the colours of the Goddess‘ palette. At that moment the garden fills with colours. As if the Goddess herself painted it. I hear the song of the birds fill the air, and it is in this moment, that I begin to realize, you, you are this garden. Just as you are the colour and light of the love within me. For as long as I love you, you will always be in my heart, just as you will always be in this garden. There, over in the rose beds. I see you bent over, with your basket, as you clip some of the finest rosebuds for the table.  It is time for tea.

~Angelyn~

Memory of a Wonderful Friend!

Blue winter at Dawn
On this particularly grey morning. I sit down at the table so as to have a good view of the lovely garden. A place where we have sat many times before. The place where we would talk endlessly for hours. About everything, and yet about nothing in particular. Our conversations were intense, and at the best of times, silly. My hands wrap around my mug of coffee, my tear filled eyes adjust to the dimness of the blue grey dawn. As I sit at this cyber kitchen table, the only light illuminating the room is a candle on the windowsill. Your light. On this particular day, there is no smell of cookies baking in the oven. No bustling of the dogs as they rustle about your feet, one lying under the table. Wonder what she is thinking?

 

A slight touch of your hand cresses mine as you sit down beside me to enjoy the view of the garden. A touch that says ‘you are loved’. The greatest friendship I have know grew at this table, with a view of a spectacular English garden, where the faeries and sprites danced about. The garden on this gloomy morning is covered with snow, a few patterns of some small animals, perhaps a squirrel, maybe a wee bird.

I feel a chill cross the room, an auspicious presence fills the air and pull my sweater up tight around my neck. I see a shadow as it moves discreetly across the twilight of the wintry garden. I look closer but, upon close inspection nothing is there. It has moved into the shadows. I smile. In the silence of the colourless room, a tear drop falls into my cup. Memories fill my heart of all the times we sat here. Your caring, warmth and affection forever imbedded within my soul. The love you brought into my life, into my heart, fills my very being, forever. You comforted me in some of my darkest moments, and we sat here as we grieved your beloved pets.

We talked about the memory of my mother, the life of my daughter; whom you adored. In turn you shared some deep precious moments with me. You had a unique gift. One driven by your love and compassion for all living things. Your wisdom has touched so many, I was one of many to be blessed to have your presence touch mine. When you grieved your beloved pets, we sat here in this very spot; I was blessed to comfort you. We laughed, we cried. You were the mother I never had. 

Many times, you were the voice of reason. You were my logical mind that saw me straight. Your words always touched my heart and calmed my presence. You helped me to see things through another perspective. There were many with whom you brought your wisdom and love to. Those who’s hearts and lives you touched, lives with whom you have changed for the better. Soul’s whom are grateful for the exchange. Always a lady of love and grace. A true goddess of your time. You will forever be in the hearts of all those whom you’ve touched. Soul’s you have loved.

I hope you know how you have impacted my life, my heart, my soul. It will be hard to let you go, but the memory of you; the essence of all that you were will live in my heart forever. You have deeply touched my heart, and you will live there forever. My greatest wish in my life is that we would have met. Someday, I’m sure we will.

Visit with a Cardinal

As the morning sun dawns, the sky is grey and clouds are filling the light.  I sit in my garden, close my eyes & breathe.  Breathe in life surrounding me.  The birds are especially quiet this morning; rain is pending. contemplating recent events, current events and all that needs to be done.  I breathe.  Suddenly I hear the incessant  chirping of one single bird. I relish in the sound.  He chirps happily, and steadily. Whispers in my ear, I hear, “Open your eyes, little one” Slowly, almost fearful, but delighted at the same time. I see sitting before me, perched upon the fence, a beautiful red Cardinal. I catch my breath at the sight, afraid that my breathing  might somehow scare him away.  I close my eyes and ask the Spirit devas to reveal the message to me.
“I am the blood of life, here to help you with your difficult transition. There is no turning back! Everything else in your life will show great significance from this day forward. You  must take extra care in the days before you to ensure your personal happiness, a careful balance of  Spiritual and Physical is needed now.  Express your truth, develop your confidence once again and walk  your talk. Respect these teachings I bring forth to you and  I will guide you  and lead you home.”
His chirping stopped and  my eyes ‘popped’ open, my heart racing.  I looked at the Cardinal sitting on the fence. It seems as if he were looking right at me, at my soul… my heart skipped a beat and he flew away. Momentarily, I sat in awe of the silence of the message I had just received.  My face warm, my hand reached up to brush away the tear that had escaped from my eye and wiped it away.  Suddenly chilled, I got up and went inside, for now there was more to contemplate about my life and what was in store now.

As the morning sun dawns, the sky is grey and clouds are filling the light.  I sit in my garden, close my eyes & breathe.  Breathe in life surrounding me.  The birds are especially quiet this morning; rain is pending. contemplating recent events, current events and all that needs to be done.  I breathe.  Suddenly I hear the incessant  chirping of one single bird. I relish in the sound.  He chirps happily, and steadily. Whispers in my ear, I hear, “Open your eyes, little one” Slowly, almost fearful, but delighted at the same time. I see sitting before me, perched upon the fence, a beautiful red Cardinal. I catch my breath at the sight, afraid that my breathing  might somehow scare him away.  I close my eyes and ask the Spirit devas to reveal the message to me.

“I am the blood of life, here to help you with your difficult transition. There is no turning back! Everything else in your life will show great significance from this day forward. You  must take extra care in the days before you to ensure your personal happiness, a careful balance of  Spiritual and Physical is needed now.  Express your truth, develop your confidence once again and walk  your talk. Respect these teachings I bring forth to you and  I will guide you  and lead you home.”

His chirping stopped and  my eyes ‘popped’ open, my heart racing.  I looked at the Cardinal sitting on the fence. It seems as if he were looking right at me, at my soul… my heart skipped a beat and he flew away. Momentarily, I sat in awe of the silence of the message I had just received.  My face warm, my hand reached up to brush away the tear that had escaped from my eye and wiped it away.  Suddenly chilled, I got up and went inside, for now there was more to contemplate about my life and what was in store now.

The beauty of a Cardinal
The beauty of a Cardinal

My Secret Garden

In my backyard I have two gardens, one is a Faery garden designed for my little friends ‘the fae’.  Special planets for them to play. Magic mirrors and crystals are placed within this garden.  Today, while I was weeding in the garden of Fae. Faelene greeted me and I was transformed and invited into a private place; just beyond the mushrooms. Deep inside the forget-me-nots. There it was, the most beautiful gate, iridescent colours, shiny and bright.  Galena, the gate keeper greeted us. She in all her glory opened the gate and handed me the magick key… Faelene and I entered into the beautiful world where magick appears all around you.  Wonderment and awe, I looked over at my guide, and a tear escaped her deep emerald eyes.  ‘what is wrong Faelene?’ I asked.  She squeezed my hand and smiled as she guided me down a path of rubies, sapphires and emeralds.  She takes me through the multi-coloured lanterns glowing along the path. We walked in the soft glow until we got to a crystal bench, I sat on the bench and she took my hands in hers and said:

“My dear angel, have you considered all power and fulfillment yearned for by all humans exists in the present moment; in this tremendous energy. Which is more than the mind can ever imagine. It is a mystery of the paradox; the conscious awareness of your soul. When your life that has been transformed; you feel happy, and everything is a miracle, carefully orchestrated by the universe. Only when you can feel your place in the Universe will you truly understand and you will rise above.  At this moment all is as it should be, and you are Spirit. Uncertainty will always exist in your world as change is always infused with non-change. Please understand that consciousness, pure consciousness will always be present in everything, no matter where, no matter what form. In your physical world there is the least amount of pure consciousness as it will always be dominated with the physical and the illusion of being separate. Pure consciousness will become more powerful as you become closer to it. The highest state of consciousness available to us is unity. Your true self contains the light that no darkness can intrude upon; you are safe. For you are love.” 

We then sat in silence, my head lowered  in the glory that was around me. It made me think of all that I have in my life. All the Joy that surrounded me and the love from within. My heart filled with fire, a warm glow of that which I had never experienced before. There was a breeze across my cheek, a magikal kiss of the fae and I was transformed back into the reality of that which was my garden.  The sun was slowly making her ascent into the earth, the air was calm and brisk. Silence. Not a sound was heard around me. I lifted my head, and there before me, sitting on my faery statue, the twinkling life of a spring nymph. My tears, were dry.  Sunshine in my heart… I ascended inside, and the rain began…

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Mother’s Day in the Garden

  

I awake to the chirp of one single chickadee, make my way down the stairs to the kitchen and make my morning tea. I venture into the back garden. The rain has left it wet from the day before. I survey the garden and plan in my mind this years garden. I hear the kettle as it has boiled. Back in the kitchen to prepare my tea and my thoughts find my heart. Its aches this morning. Alone on mothers day. My daughter is off helping a friend in Guelph, such a wonderful and helpful woman she is grown into, beautiful and thoughtful. I cannot begrudge her, her thoughtfulness. She is wonderful and I am beaming with pride as I think of her.

Out in the coolness of the garden, the air is crisp, and all is quiet. My thoughts turn now to my mom, and my heart aches. She has been gone now four years. Pain is replaced by love, and my guilt is washed away. Where does this pain come from? I scan the recesses of my heart. I feel an ache of pain that resides there. Pain, for a memory of someone I never knew. A pain for someone I will never get to know. Pain for someone I will never get to know. All that holds in my memory is the struggle. The struggle of my life to gain the respect and love of someone I will never know.

Someone’s daughter, someone’s sister, someone’s wife, someone’s mother… and someone‘s grandmother. Was she mine? All the things that I wanted a mother to be, I did not get. Through no fault of her own. She was a woman lost within the torment of her past, forbidden to penetrate her for fear that she may be judged. And I loved her; although I didn’t know this at the time. I was unable to love her. Unable to let her in.

The woman that could not love me, showed the utmost adoration for her granddaughters. With them she allowed the little girl to come out to play. She was free. But the little girl within showed so much pain. What cost was it for her to be free, I wonder? What was so horrible in her life that compelled her to loose herself within her own self? She just wanted to be loved. She ached for acceptance and approval, too. So much so that she couldn’t see. She couldn’t see all that she touched, all the lives that she spent only moments or years in, adored her.

I walk over to the edge of the garden and bend down to touch the petal of the red tulip that fought its way through the earth, the only survivor from the squirrels. It feels soft to the touch, just like she did when she touched someone’s life. Why couldn’t she touch mine?

The rain has begun to trickle down, I am unfazed at this as the pain in my heart thickens. A white light appears before me. “dear little light, it naught trouble you so, for all that you have desired so shall be. You have great love within and fulfillment of all paths in your path complete. Heal and move toward that which lies before you. Her life was all that it was, what was her experience shall not be yours. Your life with her has served its significance and love prevailed. Love as she knew it, she had different way to walk her life. She touched love in a way that you may not understand by your earthly means. She was who she was. She lived how she chose. And you may experience that which means may differ from yourself, for though she bore you, you were not of her, but to be with her as an end to the means of her life. That which you shared in a few hours of the end, shall remain an eternity within her soul… and now your life must move on.”

I hear a ringing which removes me from this light source. A soft touch on my cheek, like a kiss from the heavens. The rain has stopped, the sun shines though. I turn my face upwards towards the sun, feeling its rays warming me, and I reflect on my own motherhood. It is clear to me that without a doubt I have no fear. A touch of a hand upon my face, the light breeze kisses me and I know, in my heart, that all is ok. I am ok. And life is just beautiful. I catch my breath, stand, and set out to begin my day! I welcome the light.

 

 

Ponderings in the Garden

I awaken to the morning sun shining through my window as a new day begins. Muddled through my head are thoughts extenuating from the past few days, paddling through the house, to the kitchen to make coffee. Overwhelmed, as I look to the days before me. Clarity of purpose, or so I thought, has always existed within me. Today, as I make my way to the back garden, never more unsure of my life as I am right now. I take to the solace of my garden, the comfort of the fae have always brought clarity to me. As I sit, balanced on the step, thinking it is time to bring out the patio furniture; I look at the debris scattered all about the garden, feeling much like my life. Each plastic pot, representing one segment of my life that was neatly compiled and tucked away in my life. Accessible and happy. Purpose, friends, thoughts, feelings and most of all, as a mother. Then, one gust of wind blows it all away. My life in a disarray much like the garden. Causing me to rethink every part of what existed to be me, and now, I am no more. At least this is how it feels.

 I close my eyes, to lose my self in the sense my dishevelled surroundings of my life. I hear the soft song of the fae. “Time is running out”. How, how can time be running out? Life was in order, plan and purpose all running smoothly. Direction, clear and concise as to the destiny. You gave me all the signs, the direction was clear. I headed to that which you put before me. What did I do wrong? In one moment, one phone call, one sentence, it all changes. You took it all away. All of it! Left now feeling more confused then I have ever been in this lifetime. Perhaps that is because, I have really failed as a human on this planet. Failed in my role as a parent and a friend. All that defined ‘me’ as me is no more. Everything I thought I was, is no more. ‘It is one thing to be confident,” the fae tell me. “And quite another to be certain, it is necessary to feel confident in order for you to reach absolute certainty within” So, have I really been certain, with no confidence at all? Or confident without being certain.

This brings along thoughts of being a parent. In this time when I thought all was certain, I failed to provide direction and the last thread of my existence begins to frail as she decides she wants to leave. I am depleted. No direction, no future… no life. Who am I really, who have I been… and what will I be. Nothing? Have I failed to provide direction for my daughter in searching for my own direction. All the while, thinking that I was showing her to seek that which in empowered within you. Really, what I have said is chase your dreams, live in the moment, for one day all your work may be for naught??? I have failed and now must let her follow her own path. Perhaps she will be the success I never was.

Friendships they will come and they will go, I am all alone. I have always really only been alone. Reasons, seasons, lifetimes. These are all far and between. Never any certainties there. The road before me seems dark and damp as the storm clouds roll in. It begins to rain. The perfect metaphor of my life at this moment as I get washed away by it all… my rainbow is gone! Will it return?


Copyright © – 2009 – all rights reserved.  

   ~ Angelyn