Sunday, January 22, 2012

Lessons from a Child: Dear God

"Mommy!  I have a card for you!" my little boy declares.  "Look!"  He smiles his bright grin and offers me his 'card' with a flourish.

"Thank you," I say automatically.

I look down.

The world's smallest greeting card rests like a speck of white on my hand.  It is a homemade card, crafted from a small scrap piece of paper that is only one square inch.  It almost qualifies as confetti.  And he's folded it in half.

On it's small surface, he has scratched something illegible in pencil with bold, decisive strokes.  The little kid hieroglyphics are undecipherable to my untrained eyes.

He's waiting for me to read it aloud.  He even murmurs an "awwww", like the "awwww" he has heard from me when I get a card from my husband. 

He's waiting.

"It's wonderful!" I say enthusiastically.  "Thank you!"  I hug him and his little arms encircle my neck.  While he snuggles on my lap, I encourage him to translate "Tell me about this card.  What does it say?"

"It says 'Dear God', Mommy."  He explains so patiently.

Wow!  My heart does a sweet little flip.  And I can feel the "awwww" coming on.  "It says 'Dear God'?"  I look at the paper again the way some people look at holographic pictures waiting for the image to pop out.

"No, it says 'Dear God, Mommy'." He corrects me.  Apparently, the word 'Mommy' has also been carefully engraved on this card.

Double flip this time.  A full-blown "awwww" moment has arrived.

It's like a lovely prayer that my child has said just for me.  And with those words, he has set a beautiful intention and statement into being.

I cannot fully express my delight, my pride, and my awe of that moment.

"Thank you, I really love it!!" my voice is a little wobbly from emotion.  And as I hug him again, he starts into his prayers, usually reserved for bed-time.  "God bless Mommy and Daddy and ..." 

Long after that little piece of paper fluff has disintegrated, I will have this lovely memory.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Location, location, location

Sometimes during a mediumship reading, a client's loved one in Spirit will show me a space they are connected with --- such as a special family vacation spot, their home, the client's home, where they passed, or a significant area of the United States (or even other countries) that they are connected with.

I may perceive how they feel about the space or the people in it. 

For instance, the spirit may describe the house in relation to rest of the property, where certain trees or water sources are located, special improvements to the space that the client or others have done, specific plants in the garden, property lines, how far the next neighbor is, or if they have animals such as horses, cows, etc using the space.

This does not happen with every reading.  It happens only occasionally and, when it occurs, it happens spontaneously when I am in discussion with a spirit during a session with a client. 

Yesterday, while I was connected with a client's brother in Spirit, he showed me her property and a significant space on her property that she confirmed.  It turned out that unbeknownst to her and her husband they purchased the property that was her grandparents' farm - they later discovered this when they examined the title deed.  Her brother also described her mother's property and the significant place where a memoral bench in honor of him has been placed.

Bottomline:  Location can be an important piece of information during a mediumship reading.  It can offer wonderful confirmation of the spirit loved one's continued interaction with a client and their spaces.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Courage

In February, I will be speaking at the UU church and the theme for the month is Courage.  So I thought I would ask you my blogreaders for your personal thoughts and/or experiences with Courage.  Here are a few questions to generate discussion:
  • What constitutes "courage" for you?
  • How do you personally define courage?
  • Are there different kinds of courage?
  • Describe an experience where you have exhibited courage.
  • In what way(s) have you been inspired by another person's courage?
  • How do courageous moments shape us spiritually?
  • How do courageous moments shape us as a society?
I realize that these may be intensely personal questions, but I am seeking intensely personal answers.  Please share your thoughts.  I look forward to the discussion that emerges.

Update:  I have further defined my title and subject material for this lecture - "Spiritual Courage: Living in Heaven's Net".  I shall focus on spiritual courage, grace, and the meaning of the words "living in heaven's net".

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Life in the Deep Freeze

The day after I blogged about the weather, I watched a documentary series about Antarctica titled "Life in the Deep Freeze."  Such is the synchronicity of life - I was presented with an instant gratitude moment! 

This series about the coldest place on Earth is hosted by David Attenborough, the same voice behind the Planet Earth seres.  He and his film team spent three years braving mountainous seas and blizzards to capture life at the South Pole.

As he describes amazing aspects of Antarctica, we see him among various tribes of penquins, seals, and birds.  What is conveyed most is the absolute miracle of life, death, and birth in freezing temperatures. 

Never before have I considered -10°C summer weather, but that is when half the world's population of seals sun themselves on icebergs, when humpback whales feed on krill, and when snow petrels find nesting spots on the rare bits of barren rock on this frozen continent. 

Freezing at the South Pole with 100 mph blowing arctic winds swirling around us, where the average temperature is -56, dropping to -90 and below in mid-winter....hmmmm.... kinda puts winter in western New York into perspective for us.  We'll be greatful for the occasional negative windchill, two feet or more of snow, and chapped lips.

Stay warm, my friends! And look for those moments of gratitude!

(All temperatures are in Celsius - brrrrr that's cold!)

Monday, January 2, 2012

Weather: the spice of life

Most people visit Lily Dale during the summer months and some people visit during spring and autumn, but it is truly a rare person who decides to brave the drive to Lily Dale in the thick of winter.  Why is that?  Well today is your lucky day because, in this blogpost, I intend to give you a real sense of the variety of weather that Lily Dale experiences in the off-season...

Yesterday we took a walk - Before we left the house, I recall remarking to my husband to hurry because it was going to rain and he replied that the weather forecast wasn't calling for rain.  As we set out, it was mildly cold with cloudy skies.  Two streets later, the rain came (of medium intensity, not enough to put us off our walk).  Then the rain cleared off and we walked a few more streets without precipitation. 

Eventually, we arrived at the pavillion on the lake to watch the swans mingling with a group of visiting geese.  The sun peeked out and a beautiful rainbow beamed across the lake, one leg of the colorful arc was on the far side of Glasgow Rd and the other leg was in Mud Lake.  We felt blessed to be there in that serene and brilliant moment, especially because it was an unseasonably warm January 1st and the beginning of a New Year.

Within in a couple hours, the wind picked up and we were experiencing the high winds that weathermen had predicted.  The wind blew so hard that it must have blown a snowstorm our way because by dinnertime the snow was falling.  And this morning, we had six inches of ultra white snow with another 7-11 inches expected tonight. 

One of the ways I typically describe the winters in Lily Dale to other people:  You have to GET HARDY or GET OUT! *smile* 

After each snowfall I try to remember to utilize my snow shoveling meditation.  [Yes, I have a snow shoveling meditation.]  I often tease that the official winter sport of Lily Dale is snowshovelling with snowblowing a close second.  My son (now age 3) even has his own blue snowshovel.  And thank goodness he helps with the snow tasks because last year the snow pile in front of my house was as tall as my porch roof. 

Because the houses are closed together, we sometimes have difficulty finding places to put the snow.  For you see, Lily Dale was originally established as a summer camp in 1879, but within a few years some folks desired to stay year-round (God bless them).  In those early years, there was also a private business that harvested ice from Cassadaga Lake using draft horses.  And for those who adore snow and wintersports (skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, skating), the areas surrounding Lily Dale have much to offer.

Honestly, I am not complaining --- it has been unseasonably warm and snow free here.  In fact, today's weather is the first real sign of snow that we have had this year - which is very peculiar because we typically have had a snow storm or two or three by now.  We didn't even have a 'White Christmas'.

Why is this peculiar? Lily Dale is frequently in the path of snow because it is located along the Chautauqua Ridge.  When winter arrives, lake effect storms drop an average of more than 200 inches of snowfall along the Chautauqua Ridge, and the landscape becomes a winter lover’s paradise. Typically, from December through late March, snowmobilers, cross country enthusiasts, and downhill skiers are in snow heaven.

Geographically speaking, two of the more well-known towns near Lily Dale are Jamestown (25 minutes) and Fredonia (15 minutes). Why is this important?  Usually if Fredonia has snow, then Jamestown does not have snow; and vice versa, if Jamestown has snow, then Fredonia does not have snow. And because Lily Dale is located between the two towns, whenever Fredonia or Jamestown have snow then Lily Dale has MORE SNOW, especially if both towns miraculously have snow.  People in this area joke about how there is a particular stretch of a few miles along Route 60 between Jamestown and Fredonia and that when you cross the invisible line you are in the Weather Zone.  
 
So that is what a typical winter is like here in Lily Dale --- Jack Frost will be here tomorrow morning with windchills of -5.  Welcome to winter in Lily Dale!