Friday, June 23, 2017

For Thor - 85 - Summer Fair

Spring bloomed and hopped its way right into summer. The air is sticky sweet with the aroma of honeysuckle and gardenia, just a hint of pine in the background to remind me of the woods. I sit in my garden and look out over the meadow and delight in the new birds coming to enjoy this open space. I spotted a scarlet tanager and a Bluebird the other day; they flitted about nervously as they discovered new feeders and weren't certain of the cat. We have lighting bugs that flicker like tiny floating flashlights in the twilight. And aerobatic bats defy gravity in swoops and dives as they dine on whining mosquitoes. The earth smells fresh and warm and green, effulgent with life and promise. At some point the stars peek out, dotting the sky like moonlit dewdrops on black velvet. If I sit still enough, I think I can hear them breathing. It is peaceful and teeming with life all at once. This is where I find you most these days, Thor. When I just need to feel your presence in the corporeal realm, I seek solace in the arms of our first Mother.

Nature and her infinite expression of life, beauty, birth, and death have been one of the best healers for me since you died. I awake in the morning and step outside arms outstretched to the pre-dawn sky to welcome LIFE and to say THANK YOU for ALL that IS. It's not always easy. There are days when the anger and deep sadness re-emerge to twist in my heart like a knife. And though I don't bleed, the wound weeps, Thor. Still, my mother's heart cries for you, longs for you, is sad for your life being cut short. I know that will never go away. Mourning your death is a permanent piece of my life's story now. But I am stronger than I was, you know, and I can bear it. With the help of my lifelines. Yes, I still use them.

The other day, your dad had to call in a 911 to Aunt Radha. So many things are happening at once that I got overwhelmed emotionally, and without the time to write like I usually do, I crumbled under the weight. Life is moving on. Your friends' lives continue to unfold with the joys and milestones of the young and hopeful -- marriages, graduations, new jobs, new homes, new trucks, new loves. And there is a huge hole in this stitched-together narrative of your generation; your piece of the story suddenly stopped, and I am now sideline observer. So I am happy for everyone's lives and joyous occasions, but my heart will always go there, to that what if place… What if this were your wedding, Thor? Or your promotion at work? Or your new truck, house or hobby? What would your babies have looked like? Would they have your blue eyes and sparkling wit? Would they have your strength and loving heart?

Your brothers are growing up and are so sweet as they come to their own life milestones - getting a driver's license, thinking about moving out and going to college, girlfriends, and jobs. I can't help but wonder what kind of advice or teasing remarks you would lend to some of our conversations. We gather together as a family around the supper table, and there is ALWAYS this space that we collectively hold for you.

The other night the four of us sat around the fire pit 'neath the dogwood tree. The full moon sailed across the sky like she had swallowed millions of luminescent marshmallows; bright white and full to overflowing. We enjoyed cigars - some of yours and listened to Florida Georgia Line through your old portable amplifier. We felt you there, with us. With each puff of smoke that went up to the sky, we underscored our love for you, our son and brother. It was funny how you found a way to interject into the conversation by making the amp buzz and then stop for no apparent reason - at just the right time in the conversation. I am sure you were there manipulating the energy in that amplifier just to say hi and let us know that you're still here, just much less dense than you were. Some folks may think I'm just making up these interactions because I want you here so badly. That may be. But I know what I know in my heart, and that is that you are closer than ever and are right here all the time. All we have to do is think of you.

We've got a new focus these days, too. Your passion in life for the fire service is now channeled into a new non-profit that I've named, Thor's Hammer. We're holding an event in September just after what would have been your 21st birthday that is full of things you would love; firefighter games, chili, music, and little something to sip. I found a blacksmith to make the Thor's Hammer trophy; a steel hand emerging from flames holding a hammer that looks like a cross between Mjolner and a Halligan tool. The idea is that the winning firehouse will keep the trophy for the year that they win it, like the Stanley Cup! What's really cool is the total support from so many people across the nation and beyond. Volunteer Fire Departments from all over are sending tee shirts to be included in the prize packages for the games! We wanted to do something that would establish a lasting legacy in your name, sweet boy. Thor's Hammer is where I spend a fair amount of my non-working time, these days. It brings me great joy to have something positive to do for the community that also "keeps you alive" in people's hearts and minds. It's tough work, but it's so meaningful.

I am trying to remember to remain in a state of BEING through all of this and to allow Spirit to move through me into action. When I'm successful at this, I don't get all balled up energetically. Sometimes the hardest thing we have to do is to get out of our own way. I have a special angel in you, though, that reminds me to let it flow and listen. Act in the right moment and don't be afraid. Sometimes I get a little freaked out that something isn't going to happen when it's supposed to, and I intervene. That's usually about the same time things get screwed up, and I have to step back to let it sort out again. All the while, grief lingers in, around and through me. I still don't know what I will become as a result of sorrow and loss. Every day is a new emerging of insight and opportunity to learn and grow. Each moment unfolds into the next and carries me to a new place with it; I'm transformed bit by bit to know more about the Love that binds us all.

When Aunt Radha and I were talking I shared an observation with her. That life here on earth in these amazing human bodies in this super-high-definition world full of colors and smells, sights and sounds - and intense emotions - is a lot like a fair. As a spirit, we take a body and come to this Earth Fair that is this human experience, and we love it here. And we adore the people who are at the fair with us. We can't get enough of the rides and the games and the food. We get all worked up for the competitions and we sing aloud at the shows. But we cannot stay, it's impossible to stay. We suffer because we believe this is what's real. It is not. It's a brief experience for a timeless being (our spirit selves). When we're here though, it's easy to get caught in believing that nothing else matters, could be more fun, more satisfying. But it is a fleeting thing. Continuously pulled toward HOME, we must leave, and we don't want to. And furthermore, we don't want anyone we love to go either. Just like a three-year-old throwing a temper tantrum when they are being forced to abandon deeply engrossing play, we cry and kick our heels. What's funny is that once we are home, we immediately stop crying as we are so cared for and so loved; there is a nice bubble bath, and a warm meal and are tucked safely in our beds surrounded by love and peace. We are happy to be home. The words of the 23rd Psalm come to mind -

"The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."

You left really early, Thor and shocked the crap out of me. And I am mindful of the fact that I am still here, doing this life thing with your Dad and brothers and so many other beautiful beings who share this life journey with me. One day we'll all be back home together. Until then, know that I am having fun (mostly) and staying open to what this experience can teach me. There are moments when it's tough to keep this perspective, so I try to remember that you're just on the other side of this veil having left the fairgrounds early and turned for home.

I love you,