Awake at 4 a.m. with Christmas carols playing in my ear via headphones, lights of the city’s waterfront sparkling outside the wall of windows, chatting to friends on Facebook across the land, warm quilt covering me, baby’s muffled cries coming from his parents’ room…….I am blessed.
I have been here in Montreal for the past two weeks, tending to my daughter and her new little family. It is such an adjustment to motherhood and parenthood. It has been a privilege to play the role of elder, to ease the tension and witness the resiliency of a powerful young woman. We are such amazing beings!
My heart has been so full….music fills my heart to swelling heights. I love Christmas carols and the soaring voices. This city has a Catholic heritage with its devotion to Mother Mary. I am greeted with her image as I stroll the cobblestone streets, feel her heart in the smiles of the fur hooded folks bustling about, see her love in the eyes of my daughter gazing at her infant son. I feel her sorrow as I hear news of a friend’s reoccurring illness, another friend’s sadness at the urge to call a parent who no longer answers on this plane of being.
I am so filled with the wonder and mystery of this life. My heart is singing hallelujah for it all. We have chosen to experience the depths and heights, our hearts miraculous instruments that can shatter and heal to shatter once again…..always growing, evolving in our capacity to feel the thrum of the Creator’s love through it all. We wanted to discover if we could experience a sense of separation from the Oneness that is truth. Could we believe ourselves separate, create darkness so deep we knew ourselves drowned and still find the light of love within?
What a game we agreed to! I am reveling in all of this humanness. I am eating my fill of warm croissants in this French city, drinking hot chocolate made with spices from far away lands, kissing and breathing in my grandson’s presence and delighting in bringing forth smiles by making silly sounds and faces. We hold conversations using light language, remembering who we are to one another. The lights on the tiny Christmas tree seem to waft the fresh pine scent about the condo, diapers fresh from the laundry folded in neat piles fill me with satisfaction as does the smile on my daughter’s face as she nurses her babe to sleep. The French language flowing about me like music at the nearby produce market tucked into the old building next door, the courteous family who runs it, assisting me by going out back to bring me a bunch of kale “fresh from the shower” as I requested something more lively than the limp bunch on display.
I followed my daughter’s suggestion to go to her hairdresser, something I do not have a habit of, instead trimming my bangs when they cover my eyes or having a friend give me an occasional trim of my long locks. This small French woman had 40 years at her trade and wasted no words nor movements with her scissors. She told me she could trim my waist length hair but it would do nothing for me. I asked her what her vision was, she told me that she would liberate my hair by chopping most of it off. But she said, as she directed me to the cloak room for a gown to wear, you are not ready. “You have to be ready for change” , she tossed out as she went back to her other customer. As I changed, I asked my body, ” Shall we do this? Do you want your hair cut?” I received a “Yes!” Ok then. The mistress of hair was pleased with my answer, feeling it her due as the master in this situation. I sat and watched as one snip took years of growth off my head. And away we went from there. She spoke of blowdrying and mousse and that you must put in effort if you want to achieve beauty. All foreign ideas, for the most part to my simple routines. We reached a compromise, I walked out with my new swinging hair, old energy left lying on the floor but no coloring of my silver strands as she desired. Blonde, she insisted would create the sex appeal….oh, the fun worlds we each create! I realized that there was a slight attachment to the idea of myself as having long hair and it felt freeing to let that go. How easily we attach to things, people, places, routines. How freeing it is to step out of those confines.
I followed this, days later, by an afternoon of window shopping by myself as the family enjoyed some together time. I went into a tiny shop with natural fiber clothing sustainably produced here in Quebec. The owner and I had a great time, finding me a few new flowing outfits to match my flowing locks. I love the feel of loose soft clothing. Shopping in regular stores is not my thing, but this experience was fun and full of ease. She made a comment that struck me as we were talking about the mild winter that the East coast is experiencing. She asserted that she loved the lack of snow and warmer temperatures after last year’s brutal winter but felt concerned as she knew it wasn’t good for the planet. I found that so interesting, to enjoy something but pair it with a lashing that this can’t be good. Why not savor the warmth? Feel and express gratitude for the sun this day or whatever is appearing, trusting that the planet knows what she is about. Yes, there is climate change, yes, there are man made practices that have harmed our beautiful planet. Feeling bad does not help, rather it hinders a positive outcome. Focus on that which you desire. Do we know what is right for this earth? Perhaps the whole earth will become temperate and we will be able to eat from the bounty of the warmed earth. I do not know and so I live in appreciation of what is present and allow my love to warm my mother earth as she warms me…or cools me, or rains upon me. All a blessing.
We have been trained to feel bad about something, anything. It has been hammered into us, day and night, guilt, shame, the old bogey men out to get us. Where is the training in appreciation, in wonder, in delight? It is flooding this planet at present if we open to it. We are divine beings granted the privilege of walking a planet back to the Creator’s heart of love. How can the wonder of that be lost? Love flooding each cell of my being and all of life. I loved witnessing my daughter talking to their tiny Christmas tree as she gently released its branches, strung it with lights, placed the wooden star she made with her dad last year, on top and gave it a drink of lukewarm water. She honored its essence and it returned the favor by honoring this home with its radiance.
All day, in everything, we are given the opportunity to know grace, to feel wonder tingle through our body, to sigh with delight. In the midst of the darkest space, there is an opening to our own light. Our divinity sits in attendance, awaiting our glance. All of life does the same. Love it all! Enliven ourselves, enliven our neighbor, our food, our trees, our skyscrapers, our littered streets, our starry skies, our hungry hearts. Feed it all our love and witness transformation all around. Love, can we sing it, feel it, express it with our bodies, dance it with our toes? I AM divine, as are you. Christ is not a person to follow, it is a presence to embody. Our Christ consciousness awaits, will you open to it this day? It is the lightest of garments to wear……goes with the new hair!