Saturday, June 30, 2012

What a difference a Day can Make!

I have wanted to blog all week. But being the Sports Geek that I am, I have been distracted by Wimbledon Tennis and the Olympic Swimming, Track and Field and Gymnastics Trials! So, here it is Saturday afternoon and I have shut off the TV for a moment to enjoy a few minutes writing about my walk this week on Monday and Tuesday.

What a difference a day can make! On Monday, I found myself walking at 6am and it was cloudy, warm and humid. Really stifling is the word that comes to mind. As I walked around my apartment complex I began to notice all the dried up plants hanging on many of the balconies. Ferns and other plants were brown as brown could be! I was really surprised and wondered why that had happened. We had not yet come into these early Dog Days of Summer with over 100 degree days, so I wondered if people just forgot to water them or if they were all bought at the same place and were sick to begin with. I also noticed the trash left by some people and began to complain in my head about residents who didn't seem to care about where they live! When I got home I was sweaty and really kind of irritable.

Now fast forward to Tuesday. I woke up at 6am with the windows open to find it 58 degrees outside! I couldn't wait to take my walk. As I walked I listened to the birds singing; I was awed by the wispy clouds in the sky and I excitedly noticed the tomatoes growing on one man's balcony and all the beautiful baskets of flowers on so many others! The Sun was gorgeous, the Lake was glistening and I found myself singing a happy tune! When I got home I stopped in my tracks and thought, "OMG....what a difference a day makes!" Nothing had changed except the weather. The dead plants were still on the same balconies but I didn't notice them, the healthy baskets had been on the balconies and I had noticed them.

In light of the huge damaging storms that raced from Ohio through Virginia yesterday, I am sure many are thinking the same thing. Those people were bracing for the high temperatures forecast for the weekend; not a large wind storm called a "derecho". What a difference a day makes. 500,000 without electricity during the hottest days on record isn't what was planned for yesterday or today for that matter!

We try and try to plan our days in the Garden. We have our lists; we have checked it twice and then something happens to shoot it all to hell and we are left irritable and wondering what went wrong. But this is life in the Garden, right? As humans we so want the power and control, but then an event in Nature comes along and we loose that power; figuratively and literally! Gaia still has the power we so desperately want.

But in the tragedy we see those who are offering up their chain saws on facebook to those who live in their area; my sister who just happened to be visiting her in-laws in Roanoke, Virginia this weekend was there to go check on our elderly aunt and uncle who couldn't be raised by telephone (she found them without electricity and no water and refusing to leave...don't know the outcome of that situation yet); and shelters being set up for those needing a place to cool off and have food and water. We do step up when we are needed!

Wouldn't it be nice if that was the way we walked through the Garden every day?

Oh what a difference a day makes!

Blessed Be! 

Thursday, June 21, 2012


I have been thinking a lot about this concept of "Family". I was raised that Family was the most important relationship in the world; that Family was there when no one else would be there; that "honoring your mother and father" was right there next to "thou shall have no other gods before me" in the 10 commandments. I was taught that I had to love my siblings because, well, because they are Family.

Lately I have been thinking a lot about this concept of "Family." I have four siblings. I am the oldest. I have a brother 3 years younger, a sister 5 years younger, a brother 9 years younger and a sister 10 years younger. We seemed to have a happy loving supportive "family" until 9 years ago when my oldest brother went off the deep end and verbally attacked me for a still mysterious reason and stopped speaking to me, my parents and my youngest sister. My middle sister has always been toxic, cruel, two faced and the one who stirred the pot of trouble. She aligned with my brother 9 years ago and also stopped contact with me and my youngest sister and had little contact with my parents until last year. Now they are BFF with mom and dad and I think it is cause our parents are getting older and their is inheritance to think of. Even my oldest brother is getting back in their graces, but won't visit cause I live close to them. So all us siblings are in our 50's now and a few are acting worse than 2 year olds!

OK, so lots of families have these issues. What's the big deal? Well it got me to thinking and talking to Goddess this week about this Family thing. I realized that as human beings we have this need to be connected with those of our own blood. I know there are adoptions that aren't like this, but even my uncle left his three biological sons more of his inheritance than the two Korean daughters they adopted as babies. "They aren't blood" he said.

So as I was talking to Goddess I began realizing that blood does not a friend make. And that is what Family is to me. Would I be friends with this person if I wasn't related to them? For my brother and sister the answer is NO!!!!! Now my youngest sister is in fact my best friend but those other two! No way! Even tho' my mom tells me over and over again, "you must forgive them, they are your brother and sister." Why the hell do I need to forgive and be friends with human beings who have acted like monsters and have hurt my parents so badly.

I finally decided that I can chose not to see them if they come in and not to be around them, just like I can chose to be that way with anyone I meet. In fact, if push came to shove and I "needed" help, they wouldn't help me, but I can bet that some of the people I have met on facebook sure would!!!! I can guarantee  myself of that fact.

So, when I call someone now a sister or brother it has very different meaning. It is now a true relationship word. In fact, the greek word for brother/sister is in fact the word that means "human being". It does not delineate family relationship as we know it now. During the recent Dark Moon ritual, I burned the names of my oldest brother and sister and ended the relationship. It was freeing!

I love the way Kahil Gibran puts it "Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself. They come through you but not from you, and though they are with you yet they belong not to you. (The Prophet)

They do not belong to you is such a profound statement. Family is not about belonging it is about relationship to one another through Life's circumstances. And it is ok to say, "nope, you are not someone I wish to be around or to have a relationship with." And that also pertains to parents. I struggled with the whole 10 commandments thing when I worked in child abuse. I had a hard time trying to help children/teens/adults honor the parent(s) who burned them with cigarettes, beat them with electric cords, raped them repeatedly.
And I felt very uncomfortable when I would say, "well, if nothing else, honor them for giving you life." Hard one to swallow when their lives were not worth living so many times.

So I come back to this Family concept. As I approach my 60th year of life, I think I know what Family is to me. It is human beings who love each other for who they are, who enjoy being together whether in person or through technology, and who respect each other. That is Family.

I will honor my parents and help them always because I love them, respect them, and enjoy being around them. And they are elderly and need a helping supportive loving hand! Not because they gave birth to me. And if by some chance my oldest brother and sister would ask for my help. I would be there for them. Not because they are family, but because I am on this Earth to help people in need. Not because I "have to" due to the whole family thing, but because I honor them as another human being on this planet. It may seem ridiculous to spend this all this time thinking about this since they don't speak to me, but I think it is important for us all to look at how we view Family.

Who knows? In the long run there may be less guilt and anger as we are confronted with the people we were raised with. I know we can't chose our family members but as adults we sure can chose how we define them in our Earthly Journey. So, for me I have one sister and one brother (the one I work for!) and two acquaintances who I don't associate with.

Works for me!!!!!

Blessed be!

Sunday, June 17, 2012


I think a lot about my maternal grandmother when I take my Morning Walks. It's the Coo of the Morning Dove that often brings her to mind. My grandmother lived to be 95 and she died when I was an adult. Now Gram lived in Pennsylvania (she was Pennsylvania Dutch) and we lived in Virginia. Our vacations were to go up North and stay with her and visit my mom's other relatives. I loved those vacations so much and have wonderful memories of times with aunts and uncles and cousins. But for me it was those summers I was "sent" up North to stay with my Gram and then one of my Aunts that I cherish the most.

And when my Grandpop died when I was like in 3rd grade, Gram would come back with us from our vacations and spend about a month or two. Now I come from a large family and so when Gram came to visit she slept with me in my bed. This continued even into my teenage years. I must admit that there were times when I hated that she slept with me, but I loved to hear HerStory!

As we laid in bed, Gram would tell me about her childhood and the days raising her 5 children. My Gram suffered through times that were lean and she grew up in poverty and then raised her children during the Depression. And yet, HerStory was always full of hope and love and survival in a positive sense. And while she was talking I often heard the Coo of the Morning Dove.

Gram taught me to "listen and watch". We would lay in my bed and listen to the Whip-O-Will sing it's song and she would ask me to image the Story it was telling. She would tell me about watching the the little children she babysat for to earn money after Grandpop died and how she loved "working" for the neighborhood families with small children. Gram taught me a lot as she told me HerStory. She also encouraged me to tell her mine!

HerStory! We are taught History (HisStory) more than we are taught HerStory. Which is odd to me since throughout the ages it is the Women Who hold the Stories in their Womb. It has been the Women to pass on the Stories of the Family to the next generation; it is the Women who pass on the Stories of Faith and Love; it is the Women who weave the web that catches each person in the Story of Connection to one another, to Goddess, to all of Creation. And yet it has been the Men who have written down the Stories and have changed them to fit their vision. Women throughout HisStory were not allowed to write out the Stories or to teach them from pulpits, in temples or even to others. But HerStory survived and for all intent and purpose it has been the correct Story.

My mom is the StoryTeller in her family and in ours. She is the youngest of 5 siblings and now only has one sister left who has advanced Dementia. My mom tells stories over and over again; sometimes til I get very frustrated with her. But what I finally understand is that these Stories; HerStory; are embedded in my soul and they have very much formed the way I have lived my life; the values I have; and the love I have all Creation.

What I notice is this Art of Storytelling has lost it's place in our society. We are very much Now People and we don't seem to take the time to tell the Stories that need to be told. Women no longer sit in Circle weaving, crushing Corn, making meals for the family. Women no longer find it important to tell the story to their young as we get too caught up in their lives and the day to day activities of "being busy." I am at fault too!

It is time for us to relate HerStory in our daily lives. It is important whether our Story is full of shame and abuse or whether our Story is full of happy times and love and care. It is all HerStory and it is told not out of power and control but out of love for the web that needs to be weaved as we walk in Gaia's Garden with all of Creation.

I loved seeing the world through my Gram's eyes. I cherish the memories of feeling the tears running down my cheeks as she spoke of those times when there were only 5 potatoes in the house and she fixed one for each of her children and she went to bed hungry. I knew then I would do what I could to help those people who were hungry and that is very much a part of MyStory. I cherish those times when my heart was full when I walked by her bedroom door and saw her kneeling on arthritic knees in prayer to the Lord she trusted to walk with Her as she traveled HerStory. I cherish the memories of her interest in teaching me how to weave the Story that would become mMyStory to tell.

Now I just need to honor her by telling it!

This a picture of my Gram a few months before she died. I now have the rocker that she is sitting in. This picture sits next to my altar. What an incredible Woman! What an incredible Spirit! What incredible HerStory she had to tell!

Blessed be!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

My first name is Order!

She wanted to talk to me so I put on my tennis shoes and went for a walk even tho' it would probably make me be late for work. She wanted to talk to me and I knew it on some level but I have been tired lately after my back to back trips to Florida and have been missing my morning walk and it has been too hot for an evening one. But She wanted to talk to me!

The walk began like most of my walks. I am amazed at the awakenings going on around me and I spend time giving thanks and praise to Goddess and I lift up those who are in need of Her special touch. Then I begin to think about what I had ahead of me that day. But this morning would be different. She wanted to talk to me.

As I looked around during my walk I was struck by the Order before and beside me. Even when I walked in the forest to the Lake it seemed as if all the trees, shrubs, flowers had been had placed in an order that was pleasing to the eye. I thanked Goddess for this Order. You see, Order is my first name! Yeah, people think it is Deb or Sunshine, but know Order is really my name!

And She wanted to talk to me.

I had been reviewing my life and thought about how in each job, whether paid or volunteering, I found myself bringing Order out of Chaos' I spent so long in my marriage trying to do the same. I succeeded in each job and when I left each people were not sure how the work would continue without me. (please don't get me wrong! I am not patting myself on the back, just telling it how it has been). I blessed and was blessed every where Goddess put me. I know it is Her and not me. And it is the same at this new job I have had almost 1 year.

And Goddess said this to me: "You have been wondering about your Purpose on this Life Journey. I am now here to tell you what it has been and is; and you will know it is the Truth. You are my Vessel to bring Order into places of Chaos which brings peace and love as a residual effect of your agreeing to be that said Vessel. You bring that Gift  everywhere you go. A lot of times people do not appreciate your Gift of Order, but they are in need of it when you bring it. That includes visits to your daughter. What I want you to know is that Chaos is man made! Even man tries to convince each other that chaos exists in Nature, but in fact it is Divine Order that they do not understand. You understand and thus you see the Order in Creation and you see the Chaos in the Man Made world. You are not are Order! It is a gift and I am so pleased that you use it with grace and with humor and with blessing. And you will continue to be Order until you are called back to me."

I thought about this as I continued my walk and then the rest of the day. This is very true. I am always ready to think ahead about how something can be done in a more orderly and efficient way; how to best make the job less stressful which usually means applying Order to an already difficult task. It is what energizes me; it is what makes me feel complete; it is what I do the best! But I have seen it as a curse, mainly because there have been too many people who have seen it as an intrusion and an annoyance and I have been told that I was OCD (by people not by a clinician).

Now I am comfortable with knowing I am pouring into the world what Goddess so desperately needs me to pour. She has not called everyone to pour out Order; She has given other gifts to other Children; but to me she has given Order. There was a peace in this message and I am glad I took the walk!

Listen when She calls your name as She has a message for you!

Blessed be!

Monday, June 11, 2012

One foot in the grave

Three years ago, when I moved to South Carolina, we had a huge storm and this lovely tree was toppled over. All the leaves died within a very short time and I was sad that this Majestic Tree had lost it's place in the forest heading to the Lake. The Winter came and the next Spring I noticed a few leaves trying their best to burst through the uprooted Tree!

On a walk this winter I noticed that not all the root base had become dislodged from the ground. Most of the intricate root system was exposed, but there was a tiny bit still embedded in the soil. This is a picture of the tree this year!!!!

I stood and pondered the remarkable message that Gaia gives us at times like this. Magnificent Tree had one Root in the Ground and yet fought to be the Tree it once was even if it was now laying on the ground! Oh yes, the underside is not growing well, but it learned to branch outwards and forward! And more Roots have begun to find their way back into Mother Earth!

Once again it is a home for birds (there are nests in the branches) and squirrels run a muck chasing each other up and down the branches even tho' they lay on the ground now and don't reach for the sky!

One Foot in the Grave and still Living and Breathing; Producing and Creating; Providing Shelter and Food! This Tree did not give up the Ghost so to speak just because it no longer stood tall and regal! It now looks more like a bush than a tree, but it doesn't seem to be complaining at all. The Magnificent Tree is as regal as it once was; just in a new way!

Humans could learn a lot from The Magnificent Tree!

We too often feel we have "one foot in the grave" and thus are no longer productive; no longer the same person we once were; no longer rooted to our Journey. And yet for this Tree it only took one root to hold on to all that Was so it could become all that Is!

Many days, when the aches and pains get the most of me, I feel like I have that "one foot in the grave". My mind isn't as sharp as it once was; I live alone and my children are on their own and really don't need me much anymore; and the job I had as a social worker is no longer what makes me feel like I am making a difference in the world. For some of my friends, arthritis or Fibromyalgia has stopped them in their tracks and they can't seem to fathom blossoming and growing in any other way; they are blinded by the storm of a disease that has stripped them of their feeling of self worth.

Goddess never takes anything away from us. We live in fragile bodies and as such these bodies are at risk of being uprooted and knocked down by the storms of life! What Goddess does is give us a choice of laying there and entering the Grave before our Time or looking to Her to help us see what growth is now possible and how to hang on to Her even if we only have one tiny root still attached.

You see, we always have one tiny root attached to Goddess, even if we think we have been totally uprooted! She is stronger than we are and She holds on until we can shake off the dust and debris of the storm. She waits so She can show us who we can be laying down with "one foot in the grave"! For you see, Goddess never sees the grave as an ending but an opportunity for a beginning: whether here or there!

The Magnificent Tree did not survive all by itself! No, the rains and dirt provided nourishment; the Sun provided Energy for growth and the other trees provided shelter from further damage. And so it is with us; we cannot keep the other foot out of the grave by ourselves! We need each other; we need all that Gaia provides for us! It is hard for sure, but in the end we stand tall for others to witness and gain strength from so that when they come upon those storms they too will know that their one foot in the grave is what will keep them anchored so the other foot can continue to grow and produce and provide! We are all in this together!

It's the message of The Magnificent Tree!

Blessed be!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Gaia's Garden

She beckoned me outside tonight. I was really tired and didn't want to take a walk, but at 8:30pm; as the Sun was setting in the West; She beckoned me. So I put on my tennis shoes and set out to walk in the cool evening air. June and the air is cool in South Carolina; how surprising!

As I walked She drew my attention to a very large cloud in the sky and I stopped and marveled at the size and reflected on how different the clouds look when flying above them and how many people have never seen the top side of clouds! 

And She beckoned me on; telling me not to linger here. So I continued on my walk; the usual walk I have done a thousand times here in my apartment complex. I walked and acknowledged the group of people standing around drinking a beer and laughing at a neighbor's story. I listened to a few birds saying good night to each other and I noticed people turning on the lights in their apartments as the shadows of the evening crept into their living spaces.

And as I turned the corner I stopped dead in my tracks. I heard Gaia whisper: "I painted this for you!" There in front of me; there in the sky was an incredible painting like none I had ever seen. There in front of me were colors I can hardly describe; there in front of me was Beauty and it took my breath away. I could imagine Gaia sitting on a stool and taking her paint brush and creating this incredible picture and it was just for me! How do I know? She told me so. I looked around and where there were many people there were now none. I listened and could not hear anyone speaking. Around me the buildings and cars disappeared and I was transported into this painting; enveloped inside the Beauty. I reached inside my shorts pockets and realized that I had left my camera at home. I was so disappointed and then I realized that I was to memorize this painting and place it securely inside one of the rooms of my heart; held there for eternity!

I stood there for what felt like Eons and Eons; I stood there unable to move; I stood there with an Awe that filled my soul with Love and Light! And Gaia whispered to me: "The Garden is still here my daughter! I never threw anyone out of the Garden! I created this place for my Children; all my Children! This my Daughter is The Garden, let's Walk!"

And so we did. I must admit I walked backwards until the sky painting was out of sight hoping that the picture would be etched into my mind forever! As I turned, it seemed that everything had a different hue to it; as if I was looking through a Veil; not quite clear but not quite blurry either. Just very very different. The sky changed colors as I walked my usual path on the street of the apartment complex, but I began to gaze at the trees and the grass and the flowers and was transported to a time before we had asphalt and buildings and before we forgot how to care for the Garden.

And Gaia whispered to me: "The Hebrew and Christian Religions stole My Garden. They created a story that took My Garden and turned it into a place where My Children are no longer welcome. How could I be so cruel? How could I be so unforgiving? I would never throw anyone or anything out of what I created! It is beyond my understanding of even how to do that! It is time to reclaim the knowledge that we all live in The Garden. Do you think it is still beautiful?"

"Are you kidding me?" I found myself saying out loud! "Come and Walk with me!" She said.

And we ended up going to the lake. As soon as I stepped onto the pathway I began to giggle! You see She had more to show me. I stopped and felt the joyfulness of a child. They were here: Lightening Bugs!

Now remember I didn't have my camera so this is not a picture I took, but this was the sight I saw! Lightening bugs leading me to the Lake! I skipped, I laughed, I twirled around trying to take them all in. And She said to me, "Are you having fun?" I almost said, "No shit Sherlock!" but I thought that would be a bit disrespectful so I just said, "YES!"

"This is My Garden, Sunshine! It's been here all the time, but My Children are too busy to play in it, to care for it, to enjoy living in My Garden! No one has been thrown out!!!!"

I found myself dancing to the Lake and there as I rounded the corner was this Body of Nourishing Water glistening in the fading Sunlight of this Day! And I stood and thanked Gaia for all that She Created and for spending time with me in the Garden. And I danced! I danced and I think I heard Grandmother Tree laugh.

And then it was time to go home. I didn't want to, but it was as if Gaia was telling me that our time was finished and I knew I had to come home and write this out. I slowly walked back up the path and the lightening bugs flew right beside me and then stopped as I walked back on the road. I turned around and their light was gone, the sky had darkened and the clouds were beginning to fade away.

It was magick! It was Divine!

I am so glad I no longer believe that the story of The Garden and Adam and Eve is true. I gave it up a long time ago, but this was the first time that Gaia and I had talked about it. Well, I think She did most of the talking; I listened and soaked up the Glory of what She had to Speak to me tonight.

The Garden! Gaia's Garden! It is where we Live! It is Hers and She made it for Us...all of and me; the wolves, the snakes and the spiders, the rocks and the trees and even the buildings and the cars and boats!

The Garden! Our Home; Her Home! She Created it just for Me...and for You.....and for All!

Thanks be to the Goddess!

Blessed be!

Monday, June 4, 2012


I love love love getting mail! It's not as much fun as it use to be tho' since people just don't write letters and put them in the mailbox with a stamp anymore. It is a lost art and I am sorry to see it go. I love getting mail!

There is something about holding that card or letter in my hand as I read the words penned just for me! And yes, as an environmentalist I know that it is a waste of trees, but I must admit I miss that whole experience. If we have to loose trees for paper then stop all the junk mail that comes for me to throw away and encourage the lost art of picking up pen and paper and taking the time to jot a note or letter to someone (which I keep in sacred boxes and love to reread)! I still write to the last four remaining aunts and uncles I have in my life. They say I am the only one who sends them cards and letters on a regular basis and how important it is to them.

Nope....sorry, but for me; getting a thank you note in an email just doesn't have the same feel to it; but hey, I'm turning 60 in a few months and still long for most of the "olden days!"

So when I did this SoulCollage card a few years ago it spoke less to me about receiving mail in my mail box and more to me about Waiting. Waiting is also a lost art. We don't wait well as a People any more. We don't like lines, we get frustrated with "slow" responses from wait staff and from doctors, and we certainly hate to have someone tell us we will have to wait for anything. One of our favorite sayings is, "I can't wait for....."

In our frustration with "waiting" we become irritable and demanding and we sulk and we pout. Like letter writing and snail mail, it is a lost art.

So when I made this SoulCollage card it asked the question: "What am I waiting for?" Admit it, we all have this sense of "waiting." Some are waiting for the birth of a new baby or a proposal of marriage. Some of us are waiting for death to finally come or waiting for a much beloved person to return after a long time away. And then there are those of us who just have this sense of Waiting. I seem to be one of these people.

It is not a bad Energy, this Waiting, but it is a daunting one. Am I waiting for the "next shoe to fall?" Am I waiting for the Chicken Little Sky to fall? Or am I Waiting to see what Goddess has next in store for me? Am I waiting for my kids to grow up and finally be on their own or am I waiting to see how this Old Age will turn out? Am I waiting to go to the Olympics just to come home and wait to go somewhere else? Or am I waiting to fully embrace the life I have and not rush the waiting for the next stage, the next Turn of the Wheel, the next crossroads on the Path.

The Waiting Journey for me is one that I seem to be called to Travel.

Right now I am waiting for my daughter to get up so I can take my shower and use her hair dryer. I am waiting to take her to the doctor to finally get this procedure done. And then I will be waiting to see how she reacts and in two days I will be waiting for the airplane to go home.

Waiting....what does it look like for you? What are you Waiting for? Or are you one of those blessed people who move through life experiencing one ah-ha moment after another because you are able to not have to be bound to the Waiting Game!

I wish I was one of those people! Now I will wait to see how many people read my blog! I may just be a hopeless case! I'll wait and see!

Blessed be!