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From chaos to gifts

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Some nights the coyotes call and you can hear them hunting. The scream when they make a kill isn't that "lovely nature" sound that is nice around a campfire. You can spend a long time after that listening, being worried and afraid. Making sure the cat is in and jumping when a neighbour is putting out garbage or a bat or owl flies by. But then ... there is the other side. The walks with Angus (my dog) through forest and along river where nature is looking after itself. We have had tornadoes and flooding like never experienced before and things are "healing themselves". It is reminder that nature is a balance. Those coyotes are just "doing their job". I have way more nights hearing the bullfrogs and cicadas outside my window or the geese honking gently to each other on the river. A much bigger portion of every night in restful silence. After our "raccoon experience" a couple of years ago you would think I would hate racoons yet seeing a family by the river with the mom teaching the young to wash their hands in the water... made me smile. Most of my time is not spent in fear or anger but in peace. I am part of this.
A robin who we have watched for years having a nest outside my bedroom window died yesterday, likely from hitting one of the large windows of our house. The four babies in the nest seemed frozen with eyes closed and mouths open waiting and nearing hopelessness. I was so sad because we have so many stories from when those robins lost a nest with eggs in a terrible storm... but they rebuilt and had another family. When the father robin got caught under the tarp of our trailer and only was freed at the dump where we were unloading yard waste and yet a week later he reappeared at the nest to all our relief. Of the guests who have been her recovering from cancer or exhaustion who have taken such delight and interest in the new family, watching over just a few short weeks the whole process from courtship to babies leaving the nest. So my current guest and I decided to intervene. We got worms from under rocks and crawled up a ladder and tapped gently until the wee things were willing to accept a worm. The first time did not seem to make much difference. They were more awake but not by much. An hour later we had gone to the local hunting and fishing store and bought giant dew worms and gave them their second course. More interest. More movement. And then a lovely sight. The father robin who had not approached the nest all day but stayed up searching the skies for his mate decided to come "home". We think he heard his family calling. He left and came back with a few bugs and now his family were crawling over each other and grooming... good signs. This morning they are still alive and he is gone again. They are so close to being able to leave the nest but I'm not sure they can do it without an adult to coach them. So my thoughts of "I wonder if one will survive and keep coming back here" or "I wonder if next year the father will find a new mate and come back" I keep closing the door gently on. Stay in today. We will put the dew worms out for easy reach for dad to take. We will see what happens.
And a teen ran away from home last night. The police came here thinking he might have come here because he used to be a neighbour of our guest. I get that they need to follow up all leads but it felt so invasive. I would have told them the guest was with me buying worms and feeding robins, making dinner, doing her computer work all day. But they just wanted to search her room, look in her closet and under her bed. After they left I realized they had not even told us what to do should the boy show up. Instead of coyotes we were listening for signs that he might be outside. They left us shocked and worried with no assurance that they would let us know when he was found and all right. Argh!

This morning I lit a white candle and thought about these and other things. Life is ... constantly changing and unexpected. I say that because yesterday seemed like it was a super amazing day. Lots of things checked off my list of things to do. Lots of gratitude for nature and joy seeing not only the robins perk up and dad come "home" but of the face of the clerk when we told him what we needed the worms for.... I made some decision and preparations. I felt a sense of trust that things were going well.

It so often happens that way. Either a bunch of bad things happen in a row and you start feeling overwhelmed, or a bunch of good things happen and then something happens that puts you on alert and it is hard to trust or remember where you are headed. The interesting thing about yesterday was that none of it directly affects me. I could choose to get pulled into it. I do have some small part in all of it. But I recognize that I have been the one in the centre of many trials and catastrophes and right now... I am not. I could worry. I could get more involved. I could get triggered in my own memories.

Back to that candle. I went to put on the radio news but a favourite CD was in the player and went on instead and I chose to leave it playing. I felt my heart rate lower. I went back to my meditation and found it easier to remember that everything happening around me is not me. We are all connected and I can react to things... or I can observe and choose to respond or not. I collected all the positive thoughts about yesterday together and cherished them for a moment. I spread good and positive thoughts back to the world that is hurting and lost (particularly that young man and his family) Then I read a very good article about gut flora and health and the steps to support it. Eat certain foods. I could check all those off with a yes. Exercise. Yup. Decrease stress. Yup. My mind wanted to add more. Have human contact. Spend positive time with friends and family. Spend more time outdoors and get "dirty". Build community. Do good things. Why is all this important? So we can deal with the stresses. So we can keep perspective. So we can respond and not react. So we can appreciate that bad things pass, but they happen. And we can look for the positive. And what does that do? Hmm. I think... that it goes back to that "the things that happen around me are not me". I am energy. Life around me is energy. It can all start crashing around out of control... or it can get calmed and in turn calm the energy around it. Does that make sense?

I have been on spark people a long time. When I started here I was a reactor. I needed challenges and guidelines because all those check marked items above were empty. I bounced between ideas because I was constantly reacting to things happening, memories triggered, I had no idea how to meditate or use food or exercise to find calm and peace. I just thought that if I could stop dieting and make some kind of small change that would be enough to control my food dragon who seemed to rule my world. Spark people gave me community and a place to share my fears and find connection. I learned about myself. I have vivid memories of holding on for dear life whenever chaos swept though my life but I have changed. I have checked in on my husband and my guest this morning and what could have been a messy morning is calm. It is a fasting day today for me. I will take the dog for a walk, do some pool exercises, do B&B laundry and some groceries. I have made some phone calls and made some decisions outside my comfort zone. Tonight I am attending a singing bowls meditation and while there my husband and my guest will orient another guest who is coming with her husband, to treat her fibromyalgia. lol, how amazing is that? Not only am I not a reactor any more, but the people around me are not either. It could have been a day of chaos, but instead it feels like a gift.

Happy Sparking my friends.
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