Friday, March 20, 2015

gentle transitions ...

Tomorrow would have been her birthday. 

She would have been ninety.

A Spring baby ... the youngest of three children and the only girl ... I wonder what blessings her mother bestowed upon her when she was fresh and new? What secret hopes did my grandmother hold in her heart, in her dreams for her only girl child?

This Spring arrives in the nick of time.  I know grief is not finished with me, but I am ready for the heaviness within to lighten and I feel my heart turning towards the horizon, towards new beginning, new cycles and new growth.

For months I have been in deep conversation with the Moon ... unraveling her meaning for me and coming to understand the extent to which she illuminates my relationship with my mother and with myself. My moon mandala practice has ushered me into the mysteries of Maiden/Mother/Queen/Crone and unusual for me, I am relaxing into an understanding that lies beneath language, below what the mind can grasp.  

I tried to explain to the Husband how my relationship with my mother is best described by the moon: how all my life has been a continual journeying out and away from her, collecting experiences, gathering knowledge and but always orbiting back to be seen and understood by her light. Now I journey out and I must make myself return ... I must find a new source of illumination to guide me, a new anchor to hold my sense of self tethered to life.

I am finding my way through simple practices.  Each morning I feed myself one poem, moving mindfully and attentively through River Flow: New & Selected Poems by David Whyte.  

As someone prone to gobbling books up, it is beneficial practice to make myself take time and care, savoring the words, the lines, the rhythm of his art.

I am cycling back to beginnings, remembering how it felt when I first returned to creative play years ago. The simple pleasure of gathering materials, creating bright, colorful things because they pleased me, they brightened my day. 

Getting out of my way and cleansing myself of thoughts about Bigness and Importance and Grand Acts. Enjoying the simple, the playful, the tiny bright moments that lift my spirit and refresh my heart.  

These are all things she would understand ... she delighted in my creative play while quietly pursuing her own.  I mark her birthday with colorful adornment (she was known for her stylish outfits, beautifully coordinated and accessorized) ...

and I honor this season of new beginnings, new growth, and new opportunities to choose Love. I honor the mystery that calls me forward, that carries me through the darkness for I know in my cells, in my soul, it brings me home.

And so to these
unspoken shadows
and this broad night
I make
a quiet
to the
great paternal 
to hold her
when I cannot,
to comfort her
when I am gone,
to help her learn
to love
the unknown
for itself, 
to take it 
a lantern
for the way
before her,
to make her see
where ordinary light
cannot help,
where happiness had fled,
where faith
will not reach.
-David Whyte (excerpt from My Daughter Asleep)


Happy Birthday Momma. I lean against your cloak of darkness and I feel your love. 


  1. I wish I knew this type of relationship.
    You are so very fortunate.

    1. I am grateful for having had the relationship I did with my mother, but I don't believe fortune had anything to do with it. The love I received was forged from hard circumstances, created from tiny seeds carried through darkness and uncertainty and nurtured with a brave and open heart. I've come to appreciate that my mother created for me the relationship she never had and doing so took immense creativity, fortitude, and courage. And now I have an immense responsibility to honor that legacy as well as the one that resulted in that my greatest gift - my daughter. The roots of that relationship rest in misfortune and terrible loss. So it is imperative for me to never forget opening to Love is a choice, a brave and powerful one and that yes, blessings come my way, good fortune smiles upon me, but I am the one who forges love and a life from the raw materials handed to me. It is a responsibility and a gift. I say all this to offer hope for wherever one is, we can begin now to be the change our hearts dreams of. The impact of that choice will ripple forward ... xo

  2. oh, miz Lisa. *sniffle*. i love what you've written here...and how it beautifully expresses the things toward which i'm leaning...although with more defiance and bird-flipping rather than the soft and gentle sinking-in that you've found. *grin*

    grief, i think, likes to lurk around corners and hide behind trees -- it enjoys leaping out at unexpected times -- but i'm getting better at not being so staggered by it....letting it flow through with the same ease in which i see the crows and [just yesterday!] the swans which tell me my Nanna is near and all i need is to remember Love to draw her closer...but the touchstones help enormously..the small acts of honouring her spirit -- so i LOVE that you made bright and beautiful baubles to honour your mum's birthday -- i think that's the most marvelous thing!!


    much love to you, dearest of hearts.....xoxoxo

  3. I so appreciate you, and the witnessing and unfolding of this journey you are going through. You articulate it all so beautifully, in the midst of just how painful it must all be, there's no doubt. My wish for you to have the bright new beginnings, new growth, and new opportunities that you so deserve. May this new spring season, bring forth much renewal for you that is filled with love, hope and healing. xo

  4. ((( Lis))) if you ever need an shoulder to lean on as you walk your path of loss. Call, Skype, text, email me. I'm here for you <3.

    You are so loved, here and beyond, my friend. xo