#NewThisDay Writing From My Photo Stream
A weekend of music, poetry, dear friends, real conversations, deep connections. And yesterday, a gathering, I host a house full of extended family. Gifts of food, warmth, memories, healing touches, small gestures, after the short drive to assemble in the cemetery, so informally, and tenderly, to have my father's ashes, to experience another stage of saying goodbye. The bench, inscribed for my mother, and now my father, the process of uniting their bodies and spirits together again, a final resting place, ashes to ashes, in the low light of the late morning of almost November. The dwindling remainder of my elders, my uncles and aunts, their dear presence, their advancing age, my desire to hold and hold them in place and time. Don't leave. You love me, you know me, I lean on you still; I am not ready to give up my place to take yours.
This morning, I'm out the door before sunrise, trusting the path will be lit in daylight soon enough, and it is.
I move through a maze of distraction, finding my way here, to these pictures - this writing meditation and reflection - my time to look deeply into the photos I composed, to reflect on their beauty and inspiration, food for my spirit, shaping the day. The ritual of writing here calls and calls through all the voices of loved ones also calling me toward their concerns, their needs, their desire for my time, attention and input. I have grown very skillful at this balancing act - I finally see how really good I am at this. Every one of them (my three grown children who all happen to be home today, and even guests!) - is attended to, and still, I make my way to this seat, my door closed, to what is for me, only me, that which powers all my attentiveness and tenderness and all the patience and compassion and concern I am called on to spend today when I'm not in the woods with the berries and branches of gold. It powers me to open the door, go into the house, and out of the house, and into the car, and into the street and traffic and sidewalks of crowds and the people I hope I will meet with my best self.
For so many years of too many cares and conflicts and pulls and struggle to find only ten solitary self-caring minutes a day, I feared this time would never come. That is has, is simply, grace. For which I say thanks. I will not squander it.
All photos and text copyright 2016 by Kelly DuMar