It’s nearing the end of January during one of the coldest weeks I can remember, and all I can think about is springtime, flowers and fresh cut grass. Perhaps it’s sadistic to think such things, as it only makes us fill with melancholy when we wish for flowers as we walk through snow drifts with no end in sight.

What is it about us that make us long for what we don’t have? In summer, during the height of the humidity, we long for snowfall. During autumn, we anticipate Christmas trees, sparkling lights and, yes, snow! After a month of snow, we are anxious for the buds of spring, and so on. It’s this endless cycle of longing that we have found ourselves in that carries us through our days. Longing for more, for something different, and perhaps, for another world.

 

Right now I long for my winter boundaries to be broken down and expanded to include my yard and my side porch where I love to sit. I long to open my windows and feel a light breeze and hear the birds chirping. I want to see my curtains sway gently. I want to feel a part of a larger space, not be confined by the snow drifts, my aching limbs warmed by artificial heat. I want to feel the sun on my face. When autumn was here, I was more than ready to hunker down under a blanket and anticipate the coming holidays. I wanted that. I was so sure that winter wouldn’t come to be a bother to me this time, but it inevitably did. It always does, as will summer, once the heat becomes unbearable. I find myself always wanting something I don’t have in front of me. Is it fickleness in character? I don’t think so. Is it more

of a soul longing rather than a earthbound body’s need for something different? I think it could be.

 

I’ve considered this idea, and I think it’s totally possible that what we long for as humans goes beyond our humanity, the source of which can be found in our soul. That fire that burns there, deep in our spiritual core is the source of our longing. It’s not just a longing for sun, or flowers, or snow or pumpkin pie….it’s a longing for a place where our soul originates from, a place that is nothing like our present reality. Perhaps we long for that beautiful place some call Heaven, or the Summerland. Our constant searching and desperate longing might be desire for our first home, that spiritual place where we shall all dwell someday. This longing may on the surface seem easily explained; we’re bored, we need a vacation, we work too hard, the winter was long and cold, but I believe these longings may be deeper than that, a longing for our soul haven, that place where we will be set free from the restraints of our

current existence. I believe that despite the connection and love we have for this world and those we share our lives with, our souls long for the place where there are no boundaries, where we are free to just be in a place with no limitations or illness or death. It is no wonder we are always longing and always searching for something more. This world can never satisfy the soul that dwells within which longs for freedom.

 

Am I taking this longing for spring a bit far? I’m not sure. Perhaps. What do you think? I’d like to hear some of your thoughts on this……Do you believe there is a place your soul longs to be, a Soul Haven? Do you think that our seemingly simple longings have something more behind them?

Blessings

Maria

My Sweet:

As I sent you off to school today, it may have seemed to you I took longer than usual to button up
your coat, to adjust your hat, to help you tie your shoes. The truth is, I probably did. The truth is, I’m
frightened. I know that may seem strange to you, for you believe that Mommy’s and Daddy’s don’t get
scared. We are not invincible like super heroes. The truth is I’m just a little girl all grown up and I get
scared too, just like you, but you must believe that no matter how frightened I am, I will always protect
you. That’s what grown-ups do. We get scared but we don’t let it stop us from doing what needs to be
done.

You may have heard about the terrible tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School. You may have heard
about the guns and teachers who died to save their students. I’m not sure how you feel about it, if you
are able to understand and what I can do to make you feel better. This tragedy may seem too hard to
grasp, and that’s fine. It’s ok not to understand. I don’t understand how these things happen either, but
I do know something. I know that I will always do my best to keep you safe. I know that I won’t let you
live in fear. We can’t hide at home forever. If we do that the bad guys will surely win. We must carry
on. We must go to school, to work, to the park, and to the library. We must laugh and have fun. We
must celebrate life for it is a beautiful gift we have been blessed with. We must take each moment and
love each other and not worry about tomorrow, about sickness, or death.

Bad things happen. There are people who do bad things for reasons we may never understand. Yet, I
ask that you remember that good things happen, too. There are people out there who do good things
for reasons we may never understand, also. I’ve known people to give away money to someone even
though they needed it themselves. I’ve known of people who have put themselves in danger for the
love of another. I’ve known of people who have forgiven someone who has done unforgivable things.
I’ve known people who have devoted their entire lives to the sick and poor. Good things happen too,
and you must not forget that. If you ever believe there isn’t enough good in the world, go out there my
sweet child, and DO something good for someone else. Bring goodness into the world. It’s really all we
can do.

Do not waste your energy trying to understand something that has no rhyme or reason. Go out there
and do good. Be good. Live an exemplary life and the light will fill the world and surely follow close
beside you all the days of your life.

Remember I love you dearly. You are my heart.

Love,
Your Sweet Mama

Where does the time go? It’s the age old question we ask ourselves every once in a while, especially
after attending a family or high school reunion. It is the time we see people we don’t ordinarily see,
and we notice changes we may not otherwise if we saw these people on a regular basis, which brings
us to that question…where does the time go? It passes quickly, for certain, and changes come upon us
daily, weekly and yearly. Physically and emotionally we change and grow and for the most part we may
not even notice those changes in ourselves until we look through the eyes of another person, a favorite
cousin who moved away, or a high school crush. It is then that we take stock of who we are, and really
notice our own evolution, while we notice the changes in those around us. Surely if they have changed,
then we must have also we may think to ourselves, and we saunter over to the mirror that we may
sometimes avoid, and really take inventory. In some ways we may be pleased, in others, not so much,
but overall, it’s good to look at the person we have become and give an honest assessment.

I recently attended my high school reunion, thirty years to be exact. It is still hard to believe that my
classmates and I from the class of 1982 are now the age (and perhaps a bit older) than our own parents
were when WE graduated from high school. It boggles the mind, even as we struggle to grasp the reality
of it. It’s obvious we are older, but that really isn’t the negative thing we expected it to be. As I looked
around the room at the assortment of men and women, I took a look inward. When they looked at
me, what did they see? Did they see an older version of me, or didn’t they recognize me at all? When
we spoke, did they say to themselves, “She hasn’t changed a bit” or did they shrug their shoulders and
wonder how I could have changed so completely.

I know I have changed quite a bit, and as I have pondered before, I wonder what happened to that
insecure, needy young girl. When did she leave me? Did she really leave, or am I just a polished up
version of her? Does she sit in wait for a tragic event or sad turn of events to occur so she can come to
the surface and take up residence as primary owner of this slightly worn out body? Are there always
two of us living in the same body, our youthful self, and our adult self? Do we ever truly “grow up?”

There are so many questions, and never any sure answers. Spiritually I feel I have grown leaps and
bounds, and obviously physically I have changed as well. I have found myself in a new place spiritually
speaking, and I am comfortable here, and have found friends of like mind and I’ve been thriving! For
that I am so grateful. I have more trust in the Spirit of Creation, and also in myself. That’s a good thing.
My questions lie more in the area of emotional maturity. I seem to have grown emotionally, taking care
of business, my family and my friends. I see the world less from my own perspective and have learned
what is important and what isn’t. My fear lies in the fact that as I look back at who I was, and think
she’s gone, well, maybe she isn’t as far away from me as I would like. Maybe she dwells just under the
surface of things, and the smell of fear brings her out of hiding and there she rears her ugly little head
and speaks to me in that girlish voice and fills my head with doubts about my abilities. It’s funny that
no matter how sure we may be of ourselves at any one given time, all it takes is a social event, a death,
a random discussion with a co-worker, and you are all disjointed and wondering just how much you
have actually grown. Why must we be plagued with such self-doubt? Is this an inevitable part of the
human condition? Are we doomed to ride a roller coaster of emotions? Is there no one time when we
can breathe a sigh of relief and say, “Wow, I’m glad that’s over.”? You know, I don’t think so. We go
through life expecting to reach this quiet little pond after being tossed around the raging river of life,
and you know, I don’t think such a pool of calmness exists, at least not in the sense that we STAY there
for long! Life seems to be a series of movement, stillness, agitation, and sometimes we go forward and
sometimes we slip back a bit, but it’s never stationary for long. When I was young I expected to reach

this pinnacle and I would be a “grown up” and everything would make sense and all my doubts would
slip away. Yea, well, nice try! That’s just not how it goes and all the desire in the world can’t change it.
Yes, I’ve spent quite a bit of time reminiscing this past week, and overall I have to say that my walk
down memory lane was pleasant enough and the time spent in self-reflection was of value also.
I’ve learned that even if that young girl DOES exist just below the surface, it is in acknowledging our
humanity that we gain strength. Those of us who refuse to acknowledge our own imperfections and
refuse to consider that we could have some difficult times in our lives…well, I think those are the ones
who may not fare as well as those who accept life and all its ups and downs. We may not always handle
things as well as we would like, but if we strive to do our best, at least we will have a fighting chance.
I’m happy to say that through it all, the good and bad, I think I’m doing alright, and that’s no small thing.

I didn’t learn everything I needed to know about life in Kindergarten. I think I may have picked up some
valuable lessons, however, at my thirtieth high school reunion.

Maria

As my spiritual journey has taken me off the beaten path, and I watch as my youngest child grows
older, closer and closer to the age when she will be due to have her First Communion, my mind and
imagination has gone wild! I imagine indoctrination, hellfire and man’s sinfulness being stuffed down
her tiny throat….a realization on the part of those running the instruction of what “I really am” and
a public burning in front of the Catholic Church we attend, with me as the main course! Yes, these
images have gone through my over anxious mind, and I don’t feel bad saying, it has me in a quandary.
My first question was do we go through with Communion training at all? Can we skim by this without
my Catholic mother noticing? The answer to that….HARDLY! She has been counting the days since
my daughter was born, and has planned the day down to the outfit and tiny rosary beads she plans on
purchasing for her. My mother is a wonderful woman, a very devout Catholic, and someone I respect
very much. She’s 86 years old, and this day means the world to her, just as my son’s Confirmation Day
did. He wanted to drop the classes, and I told him that if he did drop them, it was fine with me, but
HE was the one who would have to tell my mother. Needless to say, he finished the classes and was
confirmed. It didn’t kill him.

Which leads me to this: if Confirmation didn’t swallow him whole and spit him out a Fundamentalist,
then First Communion shouldn’t do much harm either, in fact, perhaps it could do some good. I was
brought up in a Catholic household, and it didn’t stop me from spiritual exploration, and I do want her
to have a relationship with Jesus, so we’ve signed her up for classes, and this past Sunday, I actually
participated in a parent’s meeting. I was dreading it, feeling like they would see right through me, as
if I were actually wearing a pointy black hat with my familiar sitting on my shoulder! I felt that way
through at least the first 15 minutes of the meeting and when there was no call to arms, I figured I was
safe for the time being. I had my phone on my lap, ready to text my Circle in case I felt threatened. My
protective circle was in place and I made it through. One meeting down….4 more to go.

This is an awkward position to be in for a person such as myself, one who straddles the fence between
Catholicism and Witchcraft. I’ve had a very tough time finding my way as it is, and then to throw in this
guilt and fear, it just makes my head ache. I wish it were simpler. I wish that I knew for sure I would be
accepted, and that in turn, my daughter would be accepted. As she grows, she is curious about what I
do, and I want to share these things with her and to explain our unique position, but I fear that in her
youthful exuberance, she will share more than she should with the wrong person, and I’ll end up in
counseling with our parish priest beginning with a prayer and liberal dowsing with holy water. I don’t
want to be put in that position, but I don’t want to hide from her either. I also don’t want her to feel she
has to hide, but on the other hand, she DOES. I’m shaking my head right now just thinking about it. It’s
making me dizzy!

I’m not sure what the solution is, so I’m just going to do what my mother always told me to do when
I had a problem. I’m going to ask the Creator for help. I want to do the right thing, and who better to
ask for guidance than our dear Divine Parent? I know I will be guided in the right direction. It’s nice
knowing that. Even though I don’t know the answer to this problem, I do know for certain that I am
loved, and that I will receive help when I ask for it.

Knowing that makes me feel less fearful, and it seems that’s all I can ask for, for now…and you know, it’s
really enough.

Maria

Only Human

They say “it takes two to tango” and that is so very true, yet continues to be the one factor that people
forget most when dealing with friends, co-workers and family. I think it comes from our proclivity to see
the world only through our own eyes. We feel wronged or slighted or left out, we get angry, defensive
and even retreat from relationships because we feel we’ve been unfairly treated. I think that a good,
healthy relationship takes two people to make it work, and when one person continues to only view the
situation from their own point of view, that’s when misunderstandings can occur. A door opens both
ways, and if you wait with your arms folded on your side of the door, and the other person does the
same…well, there is nowhere to go from there. Most of the time I find that the door is made of wood,
not glass, and it’s hard to see what’s going on with that other person, so we make assumptions about
how they feel, what they are doing or not doing. We say, “They just don’t care” or “They should make
the first overture” or “Why should I be the one to break down?” It’s not about “breaking down” but
that’s how we view it more often than not.

We are given so many chances, each and every day, to change our world. Such change can include
simple things like making a phone call to someone you haven’t spoken to in a while, someone we
have retreated from because of hurt feelings. Extending your hand can make all the difference. Your
situation won’t change on its own. Pushing all the responsibility on the other person isn’t really fair.
Realizing that what you do or don’t do can really make a difference can really be the catalyst for change.

Now don’t get me wrong, there are certainly instances where someone positively and without a doubt
wronged you, and only YOU know whether or not a certain situation is beyond repair, but it never hurts
to reexamine a situation and see if there isn’t something YOU can do to make things different. We are
the orchestrators of our own destiny. Don’t lay back and let things happen or not happen. Make a
choice and live with it. Open your heart to the possibility that perhaps you were shortsighted, that you
reacted to hurt and didn’t give things a chance.

It’s ok to admit when you are wrong. It only proves what we all knew all along, that we are all ONLY
HUMAN.

Blessings………Maria

Well I kind of fell off the blogging wagon. Having the kids home all summer did me in!! lol

But as i saw that the letter S had come up, I actually have a topic and though to make a bit of an effort. Sisterhood. I do not have any blood sisters but have been so blessed with quite a few spiritual ones. I belong to a group where there happens to be quite a few amazing woman. But here’s the catch: it’s online and although I have come to love them to bits, I had never met any of them. UNTIL this week.

My dearest sister Lilyanna had been on holiday with her wonderful husband “K” in England. As I am a hop, skip and a Ryan air flight away in France, I somehow convinced them to pop over for a day. ONE DAY.

So with a little cajoling to my husband- who was really not too sure about going off to meet “strangers” we got in the car for the 3 hour drive to St. Malo, Brittany. I hadn’t heard from Lilyanna  due to technical problems and was quite anxious. All sorts of things whirling around my brain that by the time we arrived I had a whopping headache and a stomach full of butterflies.

We pulled into the airport, and they were there, and all of that icky stuff went away…

As we know each other pretty well, it felt so easy and automatic. We just jumped right in and were off.

We were even colored coordinated!! lol

We drove over and found our little hotel and then spent the evening in the old city of St. Malo. We toured it’s ancient walls, watched a beautiful  sunset on the beach and had supper ocean side in a lovely little crêperie, stuffing ourselves until we couldn’t anymore! There will be many many pictures!! 🙂

The next morning, we got started bright and early so that we could make the most of our morning. By that time our two husbands were fast friends and so we finally got to spend a few moments together. We combed the beach for rocks and shells, climbed cliffs, visited the local churches and spent a hilarious half an hour in a French grocery store trying to choose what we would eat for our French picnic. And Of course there was wine and cheese!!

The morning finished all too quickly and it was already time to send them back to London. All four of us could have easily enjoyed a few more days on our adventure!

In the car on the way home I began posting pictures for our other sisters and brother in our group. Everyone wanted to know how it as to finally meet after so many years (we were the first). They wanted to know if it felt any different, did it change things?  I realized that it didn’t feel like a first meeting, that we were already friends, sisters. It felt natural and right.

Whatever your views of virtual groups and friends that you can make there, I can tell you that they are as real as anything IMO. And although I would love to be able to spend one on one time with each of them, I now know that the bonds that we have made are not just virtual or limited, they are special and full of possibilities. And full of love!!

Many Blessings

Danielle

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WHEN I FIRST MET GOD

The day I first met God, the sun was shining. I was outside lying on the cool ground feeling the grass
prickle my little girl skin. I was under a tree with a book, dreaming my childhood dreams. I could
hear birds chirping, and watched squirrels scamper across the yard. Grasshoppers jumped over my
spindly legs and the breeze gently rustled the leaves overhead. I felt alive. I was one with creation.
God introduced me to love, beauty, peace and hope that day. I had never felt so much love, nor had I
ever felt closer to God, even when I was in a glorious church built in the Creator’s honor. I lay there, a
member of nature’s congregation in the Creator’s cathedral and I felt joy.

My first real encounter with God (or as I prefer to think of it, the Spirit of Creation) was a wonderful
experience, but not a day I can remember exactly, moment by moment. It was just an overwhelming
feeling of being loved, and most of all, feeling hopeful for my future. When we are young, parenthood
and growing older seem so far off and so uncertain. But that day, for that one moment, I knew that
no matter what happened to me, no matter what I had to go through, that I would be guided by God
and taken to where I needed to be, and more importantly where I LONGED to be. God had blessed
me with a gift, a spirit to watch over me. I knew my Spirit Guide would not forsake me. I not only felt
God’s presence that day, but also the Guide who honored me with his energy and guidance. I know my
Guide (or guardian angel, as I used to call him) was there then, and has always been there, waiting for
me to know him. It took me a while, but I know him better than ever now, and I never feel alone. No
matter what I am going through, he is there standing beside me with a hand on my shoulder. He stands
between me and the harsh world, my armor in times of trial. I wear his light like a shield.

When I first met God, I was a young girl, looking for answers, seeking acceptance and looking for a
reason to be hopeful. When I first met God, I was shown all those things, right outside in my own
backyard. I didn’t have far to look.

Many Blessings!

Maria