Old Teen Essays
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| Article Specs|
Article ID: 4524
Age Group: Adult
Posted: August 20th. 2001
The First Day
Greetings Witches, Wiccans, and Pagans,
Sipping on her morning coffee and nibbling at the English muffin, Wren relaxed for a few moments in her favorite overstuffed chair. The animals and birds and turtles were all fed, the cats had wandered off to take their ten o'clock nap and Skye was in the bathroom prepping for a day of bargain hunting in the St. Petersburg antique shops with her mother. Visiting antique shops and flea markets- even if they didn't plan on buying anything- was something that they had always enjoyed doing together. Wren sighed and took another sip. Skye would be returning home to New Hampshire in just a few days. Financial constraints kept their visits down to only one each year and this one was almost over. Wren pushed that thought aside. Today her daughter was here and making those very normal everyday-type rustling sounds behind the closed bathroom door and that was enough for right now.
Wren and Skye have always been close. More like sisters or best friends than mother and daughter, their relationship is something that each of them treasure. They just plain like each other, love each other and enjoy being together. They talk about everything under the sun and a few things beyond that. They have developed a set of secret signals between themselves- usually based upon some shared 'what the..?' type of experience- and each knows when the other is..Well, let's just say that cash registers 'tend' to malfunction and light bulbs 'happen' to blow out and microwave ovens may not always micro anything when the two of them really get going. And they laugh. They laugh a lot.
In the days since Skye had arrived, mother and daughter had already laughed their way through several stores, shops, visits with friends and long talks well into the night. To anyone who spied them during one of their little jaunts about town, they would look like two women without a care in the world. Some Pagans- if they happened to spy the pentacles that they both wear openly- might be inclined to curl a lip and mutter something about 'white-light fluffy bunnies', so carefree did they seem. But both groups would be wrong. And that's what generally happens when people make assumptions, judgements or sweeping generalizations about other people, isn't it? It's not that we all don't do that from time to time; it's just that some people have made a career out of it.
Religions and belief systems have evolved from the human need to make sense out of events and experiences. The answers to questions about good and ill, life and death, and what ultimately may lie beyond this earthly realm are the issues that these religions and belief systems have always tried to address. Let's face it: Life is not always easy; Life is not always kind and often it seems to us, Life is not always fair. Bad things happen to good people every day while at the same time the guilty often go unpunished. Why this is so is another topic with which religions/belief systems attempt to make some sense of.
Some religions put the blame on one or more 'evil entities' to explain why pain or suffering exist. These same religions and belief systems often twist pain and suffering into something 'noble' since they cannot adequately remove them from the world. Other religions and belief systems that embrace the notion of reincarnation state that we are reaping now what we have sowed in a previous lifetime. Since the cause of present pain and suffering often seems to have no connection to the here and now, there must be an invisible cause that carries over from another time or past life actions. You've put in your past-life nickels and now as the crank turns, you get whatever comes out the slot. Other people believe that the universe simply works like a mechanical device on autopilot; there is no one at the helm; the world just keeps going and stuff just happens because it happens. How well each religion/belief system provides the answers- if not final answers then at least some source of strength or solace when hard times hit- will determine how successful the future of that system will be. And of course, as knowledge of the physical causes of diseases or other maladies of mind and body emerge, the systems must shift a bit to remain viable and meaningful. And what belief system a person adheres to will greatly color their perceptions of what is 'good' or 'bad' in the world and why they or other people are experiencing certain problems or blessings.
Some of the most positive and spiritually healthy people that Wren knows happen to be people who are also struggling with chronic, hereditary, life debilitating or even potentially terminal illnesses. Rather than whining about their conditions, they simply take the bad days along with the good days and keep on going. Since most of these people also happen to be Pagans, they don't subscribe to the 'suffering is noble' mindset. They are also not in denial about the realities of their situations. They just deal with it day after day and most people who might meet them will never know what lies beneath the smiles or the laughter or the twinkle in their eyes.
If there is anything in this world that most people of faith agree upon it is that to one degree or another humans have a certain portion of free will. Choices can and are made every day. And much to the disgust of the cynics, of the pessimists, of the self-appointed advocates of the 'dark side', many people actually choose to embrace a positive attitude in the face of adversity. So they can call these optimists white-lighters and 'fluffy bunnies' if that is what makes them look more superior or sophisticated in their own eyes. Choices, choices, choices. We all make them.
Wren opens her eyes as the bathroom door flies open and Skye waltzes around the corner. 'How do I look, Mom?" she asks. "You look great, " Wren smiles. And she does. With her skin creamy and smooth, her brilliant green eyes sparkling with anticipation and her auburn wig stylishly in place, Skye looks the picture of health and vitality. No one today will ever guess that she has brain cancer. No one today will see any of the muscle weakness left from the chemotherapy or the slight vision impairment left from the radiation treatments. Or know that under her wig her hair is just starting to grow back or that the piece of her skull cut out during her craniotomy is now held in place with plastic clips and a flap of skin. And no one today will know that the dismal statistics for her type of brain cancer say that she may have only eight years to live or that fifty percent of those with malignant anaplastic oligoastrocytomas will never make five of those years. And no one will know that Skye has made her choice.
Skye is not a white lighter or a fluffy bunny. No one who has been through what she has could be either one of those things. She knows the score and it matters little if other people know the reasons behind her choices or not. For Skye HAS chosen to be a positive person, an optimist, and a survivor. She believes each day is a new beginning.
Some people advocate the theorem that we should all live every day as if it were our last. Skye has chosen to live each day as if it were her first.
As Wren gives her only child a big hug, they both laugh. The sun is shining, the car has a full tank of gas and the world is full of adventures waiting to happen. A new 'first day' has begun. And as they close the door behind them, Wren and Skye have chosen to make the most of it.
Walk in Love and Light,
The Witches' Voice Inc.
Photos: These two images (video still frames) were captured on Sunday 8/19/2001 and document the love and respect between Wren and Skye. They are truly beautiful creatures and their light is quite easy to capture on Video. (F.J.- Webcrafter Witchvox).
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