“Miracles Are A Choice”

Along the trail in black and white. I forget who took this, sorry.

I made the deadly mistake of reading Danna Schmidt’s thoughts this morning before working on my blog post. Also peeked in on Richard Rohr’s and between the two of them I am totally derailed and shanghaied. I so totally know better.

Right now I am propped up on the corner of Schmidt and Rohr wondering just what sort of truck just ran me over. Well, it has disappeared but it’s a clear case of hit and run. I am left with this one thing, the idea of “miracles are a choice” to gnaw on.

This morning here before the start of the walk I think I am just going to leave that alone right there for you to find when you come along later. See what you can do with it. I have two ideas and maybe something else will pop up on the trail. We can talk about it when we have more time. What’s the rush, we got forever, right?

Fire in the stove loves, Felipé.

Simple and Singular

Just one.

I was just replying to a comment from Cris in Buenos Aires. She was writing about the blossom that was featured in yesterday’s post. She said, “nature is never confused” referring to the single bloom appearing. Yes, maybe one is just the right number.

As thoughts do my mind went to the square miles of sunflowers blooming on the plains along the Camino in August. What would one flower be is that show, one amoung millions. Too many to count type numbers happening. But really in December here in the Northern Hemisphere, here at Raven Ranch, it seems totally sufficient and apropos.

It stands out just being itself. Maybe so much like the Christchild in the manger. All very simple and singular. It is what it is or He is who He is. We should be that pure, that straight forward.

Off I go to build a fire in the shop and put another coat of finish on the table. Maybe I just saw a snowflake? Hmm, could be. God willing we will be back together in twenty four hours. All that I can gather loves, Felipé.

One Flower

The Advent Cactus delivers.

My Rebecca keeps a Christmas Cactus in our living room which sets in the winter light of the southern facing windows. It has always been “off” schedule preferring to bloom at Halloween or sometimes Thanksgiving than the standard Christmastime. You could say quirky and that would cover it and a lot of what goes on here on our beloved Vashon Island.

So this year, back to the beloved cactus, it decided to not bloom at all in the Fall and what should appear now but a single blossom. Sometimes a Halloween Cactus or a Thanksgiving Cactus but now an Advent Cactus. OK, so an Advent Cactus, yes we can work with that, no problem.

And the blossom looks out in the direction of My Rebecca’s chair like a messenger with a little pink message. But it is more active than pink really, more energetic. Pink would be an understatement.

In contrast it is extremely gray outside and the rain pitterpatters on the skylights, the Big Dark has arrived in all it’s dampness. We like the natives before us hunker down in our shelters and wait it out. Our focus comes close, gone are the views of the mountains and the stars shining. Our world is small where things like a thought, or a smile or yes that single flower grow in significance.

We adapt to survive in this desert in reverse. We dwell on that thought/smile/flower longer that we would have in the expansive summertime. Now we milk every single droplet of essence to nourish ourselves and each other. And the thought/smile/flower is happy to give and it doesn’t seem diminished in any way for the giving. Maybe that’s the miracle if we need one at the moment.

Waiting smiley loves, Felipé.

Oh, Monday Morning

Here on the red leather couch covered by my Camino sleeping bag I drive my universe. I have some way points to touch today, work related, and a walk in 50 minutes. But there is a lot of space left over for my mind and spirit to cavort.

The cloud layer seems thin and sunshine could appear maybe in time for the walk. I confess that I only made one lap yesterday instead of my normal three. It was pouring and I talked my way out of it. This happens occasionally but not often. Raven Creek is not running yet. The still dry ground is still absorbing.

I am lucky enough to be working on a table for Catherine and Dana. It is a seven foot long dining table made from solid oak. And it was crafted by someone they knew and has lived with various folks and now has come to them. They asked me to clean it up and put a finish on it.

The oak dining table after TLC. Applying finish next.

When approaching a project such as this I have to get to a place where I am in awe of the piece’s history: all the meals, all the Christmas presents wrapped, all the science projects completed, all the tears and the joys are all there in the burns and the scars and the glitter. How to clean it up and not disrupt this rich history? How to make way for the next act and still honor all those that came before?

Hey, time to find my boots. Time to get outside and air out my brain. See you soon. Love and stuff, Felipé.

God’s Expectations For Us

One of William’s flowers.

Father David’s homily this morning was about this idea of God’s expections for us. I hate to speak for God but His expections for us may be that we individually become the best version of ourselves going. That sounds pretty good and workable.

This reminds me of the advice that was given us for a good Camino where we lose our expectations of how we think it should be. So, just maybe God had a little more to say back then about how things should go for us when we gave Him some space. Things worked out pretty good then as I remember.

Perhaps there is something to this notion of us turning over some of our ideas to God to see how He does with it.

I have to go for now. Too many things crowded into my Sunday. Wasn’t this the day of rest? Hmmm. Take care, always loves, Felipé.

Thought I Heard Jingle Bells

I just thought I heard jingle bells, some sort of hallucination coming at me I guess. This is what happens when I’m not supervised. My Rebecca is off to book club and knitting club so I’m home alone with you and the wood stove.

Looks like my stream of consciousness switch is in the on position this morning so anything could happen. I am still smiling about the wedding that occurred Wednesday at the hospital for one. Have a feeling that if I just kept smiling about that forever you would understand and indulge me. Hope so.

Then there is the poem that I put up yesterday. It is just dripping with nectar and all I want to do is bathe in that for now or forever. It holds an important essence so beautifully not so much like a diamond but perhaps like a piece of amber with an ancient fly incapsulated. Well, that’s not it either. But anyway, I am highly grateful and happy to have that particular poem to accompany me now.

Another thing that is really really good is that I just found my set of keys. They were out all night smushed in the mud but happy now that they are here drying out by the wood stove. Sometimes small matters mean a lot.

One thing that needs to happen though for sure is for us to help each other cut down on the stress that seems to start accumulating this time of year. Let’s see what we can do about this one.

Well look, I’m going to let you out early today. We have covered all the important stuff. Thanks for taking the time to stop by. Saturday loves, Felipé.

A Poem and Some Pix

Jim Mieklejohn and his wife Jen come and walk the trail with me and then do an archery lesson afterward every week. It has turned into a special time for us. Jim took these shots today, Winter on Phil’s Camino.

Jen and Felipé along the trail, winter light.

Maple leaves in the frost.

Danna Schmidt gave me this poem and it is the one that shanghaied me yesterday AM. It is about coming home from an experience that has left us shaken and maybe we are not aware yet but we are a different person altogether, alperfect once again.

THE RETURN, by Geneen Marie Haugen

Some day, if you are lucky,
you’ll return from a thunderous journey
trailing snake scales, wing fragments
and the musk of Earth and moon.

Eyes will examine you for signs
of damage, or change
and you, too, will wonder
if your skin shows traces

of fur, or leaves,
if thrushes have built a nest
of your hair, if Andromeda
burns from your eyes.

Do not be surprised by prickly questions
from those who barely inhabit
their own fleeting lives, who barely taste
their own possibility, who barely dream.

If your hands are empty, treasureless,
if your toes have not grown claws,
if your obedient voice has not
become a wild cry, a howl,

you will reassure them. We warned you,
they might declare, there is nothing else,
no point, no meaning, no mystery at all,
just this frantic waiting to die.

And yet, they tremble, mute,
afraid you’ve returned without sweet
elixir for unspeakable thirst, without
a fluent dance or holy language

to teach them, without a compass
bearing to a forgotten border where
no one crosses without weeping
for the terrible beauty of galaxies

and granite and bone. They tremble,
hoping your lips hold a secret,
that the song your body now sings
will redeem them, yet they fear

your secret is dangerous, shattering,
and once it flies from your astonished
mouth, they–like you–must disintegrate
before unfolding tremulous wings.

We have done a lot of work on the reentry process over the last four plus years. This poem just sort of says it all. Thanks
Danna, I owe you one.

later loves, Felipé.

Shanghaied By Poetry

Our morning walk in the frost.

Shanghaied by a poem. But isn’t that how it supposed to work? I know better than read certain people’s posts before I do this my own blog. Now there is no time left.

Had a very remarkable day yesterday with my hospital visit. Thank you Jessika for all the driving you did. Thank you Danna for the visit. Thank you Patti and Carrie for setting up the meeting last evening. And thank you to the young couple that got married. I am still smiling!

Just a shorty today. More to come tomorrow. Love, Felipé.

There Were About Fifty Of Us Attending

The venue was just an old hallway before.

I am so fortunate to have witnessed this very special event. I can’t stop smiling. It was incongruous to the max. Whose idea was it anyway? Did they know that they were inspiring me so? Here I am with time to “kill” between chemo treatment and showing up for my event at 5 and what should happen? Outrageous!

Let me calm down. There was a wedding performed here at the Swedish Cancer Institute Treatment Center, right before my eyes. I am so amazed and delighted. I am here watching happy young people eating cake and sipping what appears to be sparkling cider. Well you can’t have everything.

We are finding joy in a new way here in the very heart of the beast. Just who said that there couldn’t be a full blown real wedding here were you would least expect it. Oh, maybe that wasn’t sparkling cider after all; they are all laughing and giggling so. We are all higher than kites.

But alas I must go and address business. What a day. Thank you Jessika and Danna for being part of it so far. And thank you newly weds. Off we go down the Camino.

Congratulations to all loves, Felipé.