This is an amazing week. In a month of ups and downs. Old friends, new friends, and the panoramic beauty of Red Feather Lakes Colorado.
My friend Dan and I set a hummingbird free. I held it in my hand and felt it breath. It had tried so hard to get past the screen, unable to realize there was an open door until it was exhausted and could not evade our gentle help. How human to struggle when support is offered, when a clear and easy path practically sings and shouts "over here!"
We found black morel mushrooms, we enjoyed them with dinner. We learned from the pros how to tell real from dangerous.
Families and best friends making memories to last a lifetime time as the time slips by as if to wander the meadows with the Elk and birds. No schedule, just ideas and enjoyment. Horseback riding, geocaching, fishing, hiking, nature and archery lessons, ghost stories, glowing poi and campfires.
Small talk, deep talk it's our choice which way to go.
I think of choices others have made in my life. I think of friends I love. Mary Erickson, setting up a charity to help people get what they need. She sewed my first renaissance festival skirt. Every memory of her and her family is priceless to me. All excellent memories, time well spent. Mary died of breast cancer recently. My eyes tear up thinking of the day she told me about reading tarot cards for Bodge. Bodge was The Queen at many renaissance festivals. She was my Queen. Bodge had breast cancer. Mary turned over Bodge's future card. It was a card that normally means change, but often put a superstitious chill when it comes up. The death card stared at them. Mary blinked back tears as she told me how her heart fell. She saw in Bodge's eyes comprehension of the card. Her words were a soothing blanket she tried to wrap around Bodge. It was change. Cancer remission, healing. Bodge died shortly afterwards. It was hard for Mary even years later. Many eyes still tear feeling the loss of Bodge, her heart and spirit were so kind and loving, she touched so many lives in the time she had. Mary touched lives. Many will have teary eyes and loving memories to share for years to come. My eyes are blurring just hearing her voice as I write. She'd tell me to savor the memories, make more and share them. Even dying she was more full of life than most people ever choose to be.
This weekend I learned my grandmother died. There is more grief in a stone than in my heart. When my cousin and I were about five we stayed the night with grandma and grandpa. My cousin and I watched the helpful horde of bats circle the light outside, eating the bugs when my grandmother told us it was time for bed. We both turned around and said goodnight. We added I love you. She turned immediately with a stern look. "Oh no children, we don't love you. We have to do things for you, it is our duty as we are your grandparents." In that moment she taught me a lesson and gave me permission to invest my love in other places to loving people and pets. My one thought, too bad she chose that path. Her choice was appearance over content. Her choices wounded many. I suppose we all make choices that could hurt, with or without intention.
On the other hand, I woke up receiving word that a good friend is dying. Randy was the Chocolate Pirate when I met him. I learned he was Santa for years in the mall. He loved to act antisocial and grumpy, but was one of the kindest, giving people. He traveled and did faires for years. When he went off the road, most friends slowly stopped keeping up communication. I know because he wrote me. He loves his family. He loves his friends, even the ones who might have forgotten to write, text, or call. Sometimes it really hurt though, on the worst days we would joke back and forth to get each other smiling. Whether it's accurate or a flattering exaggeration by Randy, I am glad I always take the time to reach out, to include my friends- even the ones far away.
I wish I could give him more time. I wish I could give Mary more time. I wish I could give Bodge more time. Three incredible people who leave huge shoes to fill. Three people who chose to be there for others, to make real magic by touching hearts. Thousands of people touched and changed. Time Slips away, I wish I could take the time wasted standing in lines, waiting for appointments that do not show up, playing video games- I wish I could take that time and shift it to time with the three of them.
What I am saying, simply is: choose well how you spend the time you have. If you have friends, family that is dear- don't waste it on low quality interactions, going through mindless motions. Take the time you have and make it profound.
When I entertain as the Painted Lady I hear the sand shifting in life's timer. I have several minutes to profoundly, intimately touch hearts. I reach for as many as I can.
When I walk through my days I do it every day, sometimes more subtly. It does my heart good. Since I made that choice, every memory has value. I wring time for every drop of sublime experience I can get.
Today I saw wild moose with new friends, friends with glowing smiles and hearts I already cherish. I took a moment to stare at a meadow vibrant green and so alive, no sign of human touch to just stand. To think of choices, chances, love and loss. Even painful I would rather choose to love my friends, even knowing one day I could grieve their loss than never know what it is to choose to love.
When you wander the world you see beauty. Beauty in nature, beauty in people. If you are wise you choose to experience the sights and to make new friends- to extend your heart and grow.
Safe travels, May you choose to grasp time in your hands and use every moment you can to the fullest.