Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Diamonds on the Sea

Our lives are filled with beauty, joy & sorrow.
The sorrow enfolds heartache.
Still I cherish your faces in the heartache of my day.
The memory of your voices lifted in song carries me to the sky.
Your tears & laughter fill me with love.

The chains of sadness have been broken & no longer ensnare me.
Their hold is like pesky yarn that occasionally entangles me.
The fear of darkness has faded & the light is glorious.
I see the glow reflecting on the water & gleaming upon the sand.
The waves of life continue to ebb & flow as our lives sparkle on the surface like diamonds.
We are forever entwined, inseparable like drops of water filling the ocean.
Where does one life begin & another end?
They cannot be separated.
We know our tears could fill the ocean, but our joy can lift the sails of 100 parachutes!

Let us remember that we can fly & we need not—must not—drown in sorrow.
The sorrow is sweet because it reminds us from where we have come.
Let it remain sweet & not turn bitter.
Let us drink pure fresh water each day all the while knowing…
the bile may rise again in our throats & need to be expelled from our bodies.
We have come full circle…experienced the richness of life.
Let us live life to the fullest never being afraid to take risks or embrace sorrow.
Without the depths of sorrow, we can never experience the height of joy.
We cannot soar like eagles.
There is no momentum for lift off, if we remain inert on the ground.

Life is a trajectory—it must be—otherwise we slowly, sadly melt into the landscape & disappear.
Our Beauty goes unnoticed when we live in fear.
Therefore, embrace sorrow & joy.
Let the emotions have their way and...
Together, let us sparkle like diamonds on the sea.

photo by bill hughlett

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Sister Walk

"When you have to walk that lonesome valley, and you have to walk it for yourself, your girlfriends will be on the valley's rim, cheering you on, praying for you and pulling for you. Intervening on your behalf, and waiting with open arms at the valley's end. Sometimes, they will even break the rules and walk beside you....or carry you for a while..." author unknown

Monday, September 19, 2005

I Can Fly!!!

It is early. The sun has not yet risen but I cannot sleep. I am too excited, because, yesterday I rode the sunset!! I FLEW and it was amazing. To even describe it in writing seems an injustice and I find myself grappling for the words.
Amazing. Incredible. Beautiful. A Dream come true.

I was in the clouds and God was with me. God and my wild angel, Jonny. Soaring, barreling through the sky and being held by the clouds all at the same moment. I never felt like I was falling or feared that I would hit the ground. I was being held up—protected—cared for. It felt out of control and so safe all mixed up together. Terror. Delight. Pure joy. I don’t think I could sustain a belly laugh at 10,000 feet but it was there. Awe. Gratitude. Worship.

The colors were brilliant and yet I can’t remember them even while I see them in my mind. Mt. Hood. St. Helen’s. Adams and Rainier. I was higher than them all. The valleys in their patchwork quilt glory. The feathering clouds reminding me of a Kino sunset. It was my time. My time to fly.

The plane was so tiny it seemed like a toy. The pilot looked about 12 but Jonny assured me he was at least 19 and an excellent pilot. Handsome Mickey was our cameraman. Dressed in his black and white bat suit, he would exit the tiny plane first.

Strapped tighter to Jonny than is probably legal in some states, I knew that he wasn’t going anywhere without me and his foot was stepping onto the tiniest “platform” I had ever seen. Before I knew it, my foot was next to his. The most difficult moment came when my second foot needed to exit and I was to turn my body forward. My body stalled for a second and once again I realized Jonny was going out the door and we were connected. The word “surrender” came to mind (passed onto me by a wise, previous jumper named Jennifer) and then we were free of the plane—“bending like bananas.”

Bombing through the air. It was undoubtedly the most exhilarating sensation I have ever experienced. I can’t even remember having my eyes open. They must have been, however, because there was Mickey filming my free fall. We jumped at 10,000 feet and freefell to 5000—approximately 40 intense seconds.

The cool air. The wind rushing—roaring. I keep coming back to the fact I felt ‘held’. Some people experience it as a buoyancy—for me it was a sense of safety and security in the midst of this incredible speed.

Before I went, my counselor, Kay, described skydiving as a metaphor for my life—“one big freefall.” It feels like an even more appropriate metaphor now, because that is what is happening. I am being held and have a sense of safety and security in the midst of this warp speed, crazy, beautiful life that is mine. Thank you, Lord.

And—I’ve only described the exit and freefall. Wow! Then the canopy opened and we were floating. Calm. Still. Beautiful silence.

“Take off your goggles,” Jonny said “and just chill. Relax.” Then, “you want to spin?” and we were turning around to see the countryside and evidently doing flips too. Yikes! Yea! What fun!!!!

All I could say was “oh” over and over again. It was kind of like sex in a crazy sort of way. Awe and worship. Beauty and feeling beyond description. Gratitude. Gratitude for being alive—for God’s creation—for being brave enough to live a dream and being brave enough to simply live my life to the fullest.

I am grateful for my brother, Dave who heard my dream and helped make it happen. I am grateful for my wonderful husband, Bill who recorded the event and supported me along the way. I am also grateful for my beautiful daughter, Janey and her friend Hannah who thought I was a little crazy at the beginning of the day but by the end wanted to be 18 so they could go for a ride too.

I also carried with me all of my wonderful friends who continue to soar through this life with me. I love you all. I am so blessed and for the moment I am out of words. But never fear…

Upon further reflection, I realized I forgot to mention the landing. It reminds me of being in flight and not wanting that to end either. “It’s too short,” I said to Jonny as we were nearing the landing field.

“Knees bent. Toes up. Here we go,” Jonny said. “We’re going to land standing up.” The next thing I knew, we hit the ground and my guardian angel tumbled over my back. We had not in fact landed standing nor had we scooted in on our butts—the norm for tandem landing.

“Are you all right?” What an understatement! I was fabulous!!! I had just completed the ride of my life. Beautiful. Amazing. Terrifying. Wonderful. And the metaphor continues….


photos by bill hughlett

Saturday, September 10, 2005

a letter to my sisters--

My heart is so full this morning--joy, sorrow, peace & heartache--Friends--I have many and for many my heart grieves and for others it rejoices. Nancy, my dear friend--thankful for me and I for her. Mary--I want to embrace you and hug you and be with you. Laura--where are you? Christine--I rejoice with you. Joyce--do not feel guilty for Josh's success. Dehnke--oh how I love that girl and Corky has risen to the occasion--more bravery than she ever lets on--beautiful and solid, filled with grace. Sandi--I love you. Remember the joy of washing the fire truck and wearing silly yellow shoes. Life is good. I love you and miss you.

My heart is filled with joy. Joy that I am not in charge. The Lord has filled the empty place in my soul. My friends, my sisters are daily reminders. Dwell not on the days of sorrow but on those that brought peace and brightness. I am Me and Me is a shining star!!

Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil. Thy rod and thy staff will comfort me and they will comfort Jonathon. Accept--don't expect. It is his path and I, the Lord, will comfort him. His heart is closed now but there will come a day when it will reveal beautiful glory--more spectacular than any could imagine. I am with him. I am walking the path. He carries his truth and his light with him even though it is under a bushel right now.

The beautiful boy is there. Rob--beautiful boy, caring for his horse--loving, caring, beautiful and beaming. Josh is shining, too. The others are a little rusty. The rain has fallen on their armor....I need to read the book again. I love you all.

May peace be with each of you today.
lovely, kind and FREE

Sunday, June 12, 2005

My Hero

How could one so young as you earn the title of hero to one as old as I? You have been wise and content from the moment you were born. Did I have a part in this creation? Have I done a good job? Maybe, but mostly you have become and continue to become the young woman God created you to be. There is such beauty both inside and out—you are lovely, you are kind and you are carefree.

Your youth has given you a position of holding onto yourself. The messages haven’t gotten so mixed up yet. I pray that they won’t for you. The ‘holding onto yourself’ is a confidence that has served you well and will be so critical in the years to come—possible turbulent ones.

Your sense of humor draws others to you, helps you laugh at yourself and also hides some of the shyness that is inside. Hang onto the fun-loving side. It will keep you young and help you grow and mature all at the same time.

Your strength in your body and athletic ability is amazing to behold. It is a strength you naturally possess and one that has never come easy for me. I admire it and am also in awe of it.

To be shy is to hold a bit of mystery both from the world and from yourself. The shyness you have has not debilitated you as it did me throughout my childhood. I pray that your shyness is not associated with shame or harm in any way.

You are talented in so many ways. You are smart, creative, and brilliant. I never cease to be amazed at your ability to fully use both sides of your brain so well. You have a loving and kind heart that shines through the darkness. There is a bravery and tenderness that is so beautiful. You have seen difficult situations, had unkindness placed upon you unfairly and yet you continue to love.

You are loving and lovely. You do not hold grudges although you speak when you have been hurt and do not stuff things down inside. You speak of the harm even when it is difficult and in that speaking you are able to let go.

Passion. There is a passion for life that seems unquenchable. It is not anxious or frantic but truly passionate—doing your best whether you are playing soccer, writing a report, analyzing a poem or having a jammy day. You do it all with a certain passion and zest. Hold onto that. It is the stuff of life. It is who you were created to be.

Our relationship has been a close one. I pray that I have given you what you need. I am sorry for the times I have been cold or critical—when I have harmed you to protect myself. I have shielded my own fear. I believe we have grown together. You have given me something to aspire to—in the words of Jack Nicholson, “you make me want to be a better person.”

I am afraid of losing you and I don’t want that fear to get in the way of our relationship. I do not expect you to fill me up or to live my dreams or my life through you. I believe we compliment each other and move each other forward rather than holding each other back. I hope that we will continue to do that.

I don’t want to place you on a pedestal and set such high expectations that cannot be met or that put too much pressure on you. You are an incredible role model and I cherish each moment we spend together.

You are not perfect and neither am I. We should not expect perfection from each other. Forgiveness and trust are wonderful things to nurture. Expecting things to always be perfect or that they will be the same is not the way to go. Let us embrace change and growth. Seeing where we have come from will set a beautiful path for where we are going. (The groundwork has already been laid.)

Remember the beauty. Love each other. Know and be known. Share. Be honest. Trust in God. You are my hero and I love you.