The Feel of Death, The Feel of Beginnings...
Article ID: 12917
Age Group: Adult
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Posted: October 19th. 2008
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The air turned crisp and the leaves shift their colors from top down. Turning bright red, like the fire that keeps us so brightly lit when the Earth sleeps. I noticed these things today while doing the seasonal pruning. It reminded me of the constant turn of the wheel, the changing. The chance to start over again.
This year my grandmother died. In fact, it wasnít but a month ago. Sometimes I can sense a shift in the air, like with seasons. Death in the air. Hovering. Not dark. Neutral. It feels like a gray veil waving in the wind, until the time comes to rest on the one it came for.
Two days before her death, I felt it near me. I hadnít a clue that it was meant for her. There were others who were closer to death in my eyes. My beloved lab that is now at least 14 years old and had recent surgery. There was another family member who had terminal cancer that had weeks left. I felt it in the air that day without fear because death isnít about fear. Death is a part of life. I became alert to it and waited.
Watching my old pup, I listened to her pant and sat with her as she barked throughout the night. Certainly this must be her recognizing what is coming. I stayed up with her. I waited, but nothing happened. Then the morning came, and the call came. Nanny died in the night, in her sleep, when her heart just stopped.
Surprised, but not surprised, I believe that was a gift so that I could prepare my own emotions. Soon, we all grieved and shared stories and held hands. At the funeral, we listened to the Baptist minister speak wonderful words in the amazingly hot sun. Everyone came to us with love and compassion. For our pain, they stood there with warmth and the safety net. ThenÖ it was over. Sadness comes sometimes, but reallyÖ itís a new beginning without her. So fast. Life goes by so fast.
Recently, Iíve felt this urge inside of me. I thought it was that I needed to be with people who thought like me, believed like me, were like me. I thought that if I could talk to another eclectic Witch or child of the Lady or even just someone who understood my point of view, some hole will have been filled. I missed those who lived far away. I just wanted to be soothed. I felt alone.
Even as I type this, I listen to myself, and I canít figure out which way to turn. Itís because this is a time of crossroads. A time of change. AgainÖ itís a time of beginnings. My challenge is to stand on my own and recognize I am not as alone as I once believed. Iím not there yetÖbut this New Year will be my testing ground.
Iím reaching out to those who have let their practice get lax and their hearts cumbersome. To those whose faith isnít as fresh as it used to be. My leaves are shedding and Iím remembering the gentleness of the autumn as it slips us into what some might think as a melancholy slumber. Instead, let us pull in our energies and revisit our path. Why did we come this way?
As seekers of truth, why havenít we continued our research? Especially the research outside of books and the internet. Why have we forgotten to open our minds to the possibilities and have steadily grown toward the material and mundane? Itís easy to get caught up in the flow of things like politics, news, the economy, bills, and the daily grind. Itís a lot harder to take time for yourself to NOT constantly worry of such things. Yes, they are important. If we ignored that side of our life, it would be just as bad for our life balance.
The New Year is a promise of change, if we promise ourselves to follow through with it. This winter may be harsh, but warmth can be found within.
The warmth that is found is similar in purpose, but the candle can be different in attributes. Mine is simple soul searching. Some people feel inspired by surrounding themselves with music or dance. Others feel the need to meditate and return to closeness with the divine. Perhaps others feel the want to write their experiences and share them. Maybe simply show their zest for life in new unexplored ways like examining a paradigm shift or facing their fears head on. Whatever that light may be that keeps you warm, you must realize that in order to respect your light, you must know darkness.
Darkness. Some people think darkness is evil, demonic, frightening. Iím sure many people who are reading this actually think of darkness as symbolic of the night. The time of dreams and the subconscious. It is the other side to what we know. Darkness is the unknown. Darkness is what we cannot see and therefore is something where fear becomes associated. But, remember that there was darkness in the womb. There is darkness in the Earth. There is sacredness in the night where no moon shines. It is the stillness. It is acceptance of what is to come. Finally, it is rest.
Now that you know darkness, you must learn to recognize your light. You must learn how to keep it bright so that you can overcome the fears that lurk or accept the realities that have yet to make themselves known. Sadly, the only person who knows how to keep your candle lit and warm is yourself. A flame can be cold if you do not tend to it properly. Respect your life and try and keep in touch with your core. Donít be a stranger to yourself.
The chimes shimmer, and I think of her. Her body rests now in the darkness as it rested before she was born. In death, her spirit is free to shine elsewhere. She may be in a heavenly realm or again resting in someoneís womb. She will start anew. She will no longer be my grandmother, but be a granddaughter or grandson.
It is so true; you donít know what youíve got till itís gone. Despite the thought of multiple incarnations, realize that this is your one chance as who you are. Not by your name, but your circumstances. Each choice is a new choice. Small steps that grow your path.
Pay attention to where you step, and feed your flame. Make this New Year a new start. Relight your fire as a testament to your new foundation. Feel the spirit breathe and grow. Recognize it so that when spring comes, you will be ready. Another way to prepare your emotions, only this time you prepare to prosper.
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