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feralfae

Facing The Future . . . Sometimes

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Things are stirring in my spirit, and I can feel the awakening of a new sense of gratitude, of eager anticipation, and of gleeful delight in the gifts to come.

I feel I am moving toward some new beginnings these days. Around me, there is the new life of summer, this Solstice Day. This morning, a beautiful whitetail doe stood her ground, staring at me, when I went out to move the "watering system" which consists of a trickling hose which fills a large (ceramic) shallow bowl, then the water flows over to refresh the surrounding ground. I set up this system - two of them, actually, front and back - so that the local wildlife would have a place for fresh water. It is terribly dry here already after the week of rain. The stripping winds have been blowing incessantly, and I have drip watering going 24/7 right now for the apple trees, flowers, and critters. I move the drip locations morning and night. I am helping life. I am helping the future. I am helping to make the future happen, plants to grow, animals to survive. It is my own future, but also the future of other living things. It comforts me to know I am making even this small contribution to life.

All of this local life and its continuity even now, three years after Doug escaped, pulls me back into the flow of living. As I was watching the young sandhill cranes (they are called colts) yesterday, I was flooded with memories of earlier times of watching colts, hawks, owls, and even little birds with Doug. But the message that came into my mind was. "You are still here. You are still alive. Your life is going to go on. What are your dreams, and where are you going?" And I realized that I can be proud of finding ways to affirm my own existence. I am surviving. But more, I am beginning to find my own Path these days. I am back in the studio, and trying to ignore the pressure of being so far behind on work, but instead, to celebrate that I am back to being my old artist self, as my mind swims in the vast and beautiful ocean of unlimited creativity.

Today I am remembering my Dad, of course, and his wonderful life and his supportive love. And I am remembering some of the times he was thrown back many steps, but always got up and went on the best he could do. I feel myself beginning to face into my future, to accept that I am at a time of choosing Paths, of making decisions about my life, and that because it is MY life, I can take as long as I like, but I cannot let life pass me by. Something in me is calling for more involvement, more participation, more active living. My reality right now is still one of healing and finding a new balance, but I am working on it, and making small plans for the future, planting some seeds of new dreams, knowing that I can, once again, trust the process of growth and the new flowering of beauty in my life.

Some days, I still get caught in grief and longing, and some days I feel discouraged and overwhelmed by being alone. But each time I solve a problem that Doug would have solved, or make a decision alone that I know is the one we would have made together, I feel Doug's presence in my heart, and his spirit guiding me, and I know that no matter what, I am going to be able to face the future with growing confidence that I can do things, solo, that I have not had to do before.

I can set up watering systems to care for plants and animals. I can keep the vehicles in good repair with help. I can take my time and consider bigger decisions, write up a reasonable decision tree, make plans, and take action to shape my own future.

The invitation to come be a resident artist in the Yukon is still open. It is a big decision and I am still thinking about it.

But the precious factor - the powerful factor - is that I can feel myself coming back to life, back to my sense of adventure, and back to my sense of wanting to enter the territory of each new day as an enthusiastic explorer of life, time, and Earth. I want to throw myself back into existence and see where the flow takes me. I want to let the intrepid explorer at my core assert herself again, and see where I go. :)

But for now, in keeping with balance and nurturing spirit, it is time to head for Meeting.

*<twinkles>*

feralfae

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Thank you for such beautiful, positive thoughts this day, dear Fae. It seems to me that some of us are ready to take on a different purpose in our lives now ~ not by choice but because of our circumstances. I wrote about it over on my post under Changes I'm Making today. I have been given much to think about after listening to Dr. Jean Houston's seminar.

One of the things I thought about today was something my own Father used to say to us as we were growing up ~ no matter what you decide to do put heart into it. If you succeed ~ good ~ if you don't then try again.

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I'm catching up after a busy day, may have to do some reading/posting tomorrow after work.

fae, I've come to the same conclusions...there is no way I can do everything George and I used to do and with half the resources, but I am pleased with myself for what I have done and am doing...the decisions I've made have been difficult and yet I've done them. I'm prioritizing and living in balance and am happy with how I am doing with it.

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Prayers.

It was hot again today but I was feeling strong enough to get out and do some errands after two days abed with this kidney infection. I am much better. Much better. Pills and gallons of lemon water.

I took care of several errands, then decided to reward myself with a visit and prayers at our beautiful St. Helena Cathedral here in Helena. It was also cool in there. :) I left everything but tissues and candle money in the car. There was no one else in the Cathedral, and the only sound was the quiet recorded chanting of the monks, playing from speakers high up in the clerestory.

I stayed and prayed for a while, and read my prayer list to Holy Mother, so She could watch over us all, and then asked Doug to let me know that things were all right. I sat there for a while, hoping to hear a bird through the open window. I was just leaving, my hand on the door, when suddenly there burst forth a huge and thunderous roll of music from the cathedral organ. The organist was practicing. I just turned around and walked back into the sanctuary, tears streaming down my face. Well, all right! :) The musician was so engrossed in his practice that I did not want to approach him to ask him to play a Bach piece for me, so I tiptoed out. I am not sure he knew I was there. :) But I certainly knew Doug was there. :)

It's been a very good day.

namaste,

fae

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What a beautiful gift! Sometimes the day holds surprises.

We had thunder/lightening and RAIN today, not enough rain, but rain nonetheless! Praying for more, we need it badly! Leaving in the morning to my son/DIL's.

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Kay, I hope you have a wonderful time on this visit. Safe travels.

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nattering . . .

I can tell I am going through another round of emotional shifting and healing. When I wake up in the morning these last couple of months, I still miss Doug, but the ache in my heart is now softer, and I smile at happy memories more often than I get a stomach ache and begin to cry. The happiest moments seem to well up and remind me of how wonderful it was to live inside the luminous, comforting, and comfortable love we shared.

When I wake up now, I am often overcome with gratitude as I remember how wonderfully blessed I am to have had a wonderful husband who not only cherished me, but occasionally challenged me to rise to new levels of awareness, to be open to new adventures, and to have the courage to speak truth to power, all the while having fun playing and exploring and loving together. How did I get so lucky?

This present shift is palpable: I can feel the restoring of more of my own internal compass. I can feel more solid ground gathering under me, as if I am being prepared for some major shift, challenge, new adventure. I don't know what is ahead of me, but I find myself these days less scared of a future all alone, and more a bit curious about what my solo days are going to bring to me in the way of beauty, delight, and learning.

Some days are still dark, and I still have moments of drowning in painful sadness, longing, and tears. I am learning to be patient with myself through these times. The anxiety attacks are lessening as I am able to stand back from them and acknowledge them, without needing to find a cause for moments of worrying and fear. I just let them slip through me and out of my awareness.

I still miss Doug. More than I can say, I miss Doug's voice, his counsel, his playfulness, his loving hugs, and his delightful sense of life. I miss his gentle presence and his prayers of thanksgiving when we would sit at the table. I miss his good night kisses, and holding hands as we fell asleep each night, next to each other, feeling the rise and fall of each other's breaths as we drifted off to dreaming.

I don't know yet how my life is going to go on. I cannot yet see any clear future before me, and somehow, making plans is still hard, because it means fully accepting and admitting that Doug is gone from this plane of existence, and that I will be carrying him in my heart here on out, and that if he still has me on belay, and I him, it is a belay of the spirit tied in with lines of love. Memories still fill my heart and mind when I think of him, and all around me are memories. I cherish the memories and accept the longing for my husband as natural, as a part of life's circle of all living things, but the intensity of the longing still surprises me sometimes, when there is something I want to show to him, something I want to tell him, a hug I cannot give or get.

But I am thankful for my returning good health, my wonderful friends and Friends, and mostly, I am thankful that Doug left such a richness of memories and love, such beautiful love letters and notes, and so much of himself for me to cherish. We had planned another thirty years together, and I am thankful, even in the midst of this heartache longing, that his spirit is still in my heart, and that I can carry him with me through my days, celebrating our love that is as strong as it ever was. Always.

namaste,

fae

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Beautiful. So inspiring, dear fae. I am so very glad that you continue to heal in such a positive way. I am happy that you share with us for it gives us courage to move through our own grief journeys. The love you and Doug have continue like the grains of sand on a beach. Memories will always be right in your heart.

Sending hugs.

Anne

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I've long ago adjusted to the fact that George is not here to share things with, but I don't think that ever quiets the wistfulness all the same. I have gotten more used to being on my own and trying to make somewhat of a life for myself, knowing it'll never be a fraction of what I had with him.

Today I got the news that my good friend, Debbie, who moved to the valley (back from AK), wants to move back to MY town! I am delighted.

It is good to hear your upbeat spirit, fae, we're all making our way, little by little.

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Good to read that Fae. I find that I still can't think of having a mission for my future life though I'm deep deep deep in fighting against this visitor centre in our little paradise at Spurn. It's providing me with a structure which I need but basically without Pete I do feel I'm treading water apart from that. But I do take a hint from your attitude. It's early morning here and there is a lot going on with our campaign, but I am slightly worried about our little grand daughter who was sent home from nursery with a slight temperature. I'm sure it's nothing but sometimes I feel I am teetering on a tightrope over a chasm. Do you know what I mean?

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Jan, I think Pete is with you for this mission about the visitor centre, and I know you rely on his reasoning and his steadying spirit while you are thus engaged. When you feel that structure, that calmness and presence, hold on to it and savor it for as long as you can each time. Let it build a strong memory of how it feels in you. Then, if you are like me, you can carry that feeling into the other parts of your days. Doug and I worked a lot on human rights, especially land rights issues of indigenous people, justice, and fair, equally-applied laws for all people, especially those laws that protect human rights. When I am working on these issues, I can feel Doug's logical presence, and his comments just come into my head. I hold these moments as lights along my Path. I know you do the same with those moments when Pete is most present in your efforts.

We are still in trauma, dear Jan. When things begin to look a bit frightening, we jump to a place where we try to find solutions, protection, safety. It is normal and natural to want to protect the status quo when we have lost so very much. Enough change, already! :)

Yes, I know what you mean. Anxiety rises easily and quickly when the calmness of our days and of those we love is threatened. But sometimes, it is only our perception that there is a threat, that there is a chasm. Oftentimes, if we fell off of the tightrope, under us would be a field of flowers. We just cannot see it sometimes, because of the mists and fogs of grief that obscure our vision and skew our perceptions. Beneath us, no matter what is going on, is still the strong love of Pete and Doug, holding us, giving us that safety net of flowers and beauty.

When we teeter, I think that is the best time to hold those feelings of reason, normalcy, logic, and safety. I usually stop as soon as I realize what is going on, and take a few deep, cleansing breaths, and relax as much as I am able, and remember that I am safe and protected. It helps to give me a more steady perspective.

We are not alone on this journey, and we are deeply loved. {{{hugs}}}

*<twinkles>*

fae

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Jan, I hope your granddaughter is well soon, I know what it is to worry about those we love.

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Yesterday was a day off while the power company changed transformers of something . . .

So I took the day off and it was pretty heavenly. I finished my medication, which always causes me to sigh in relief that I can get back to more of this new "normal" — if I ever find what this new normal is going to be. :) I am feeling a lot better, and have been busy in the office the first part of the week, but since the electricity waould be off, I gave myself the day off and drove up to Freezout Lake, a wildlife area, where I saw many birds, including magpies, Eastern and Western Kingbirds, willets, black-neck stilts, and blue-winged teals. Lots of Canada Geese and American Shovelers. I had a salad and decaf with me, and had a picnic as I admired the life around me.

Then I drove over to Benton Lake NWR and saw killdeer chicks and avocet chicks, a beautiful short-eared owl, a magnificent female Harrier, and baby sandpipers, too. The Harrier came and perched in a tree near where I was watching the birds through my field glasses. She finally flew away. Later, at another location, I got out of the car to say a prayer of thanksgiving, and there she was! She hovered right above me for about 5 minutes. I love when these things happen. :)

But what a mix these days have become! A veritable emotional roller coaster, up and down. I find myself crying in gratitude, awe, grief, and I feel my heart opening, never sure where the emotional compass will settle. Doug was so very present today with me as I admired our birds at two of our favorite places. It was also a time of being thankful for our time together, for the love that still sustains me, and for the life of beauty I have, here in the mountains of Montana. I forget sometimes how very blessed I am. :)

I have a new doctor to help guide me through tests and results, although the tests are still coming back fine and clear. I wanted to remove myself from the cancer clinic, and go somewhere that is more about living and less about holding off dying. Also, the cancer clinic here is where Doug spent so very much time the last two years of his life. Every corner, every nuance, is filled with images of him and memories of those times. I needed to remove myself to an environment of more hope, determination, where everyone is not walking around sad and weak. It was truly getting to me in some rather shadowed ways.

After I saw the owl yesterday, I sat and thought about owls, wise owls, and how some of them are active day and night, as is the short-eared owl. I realized that I needed to step up my self-advocacy. There is too much of a tendency to ignore or push aside the seniors in our culture. We need to be tough! I am getting tougher. I have a new lab already arranged, I pick up my lab orders from the new doctor next week, and I will proceed to distance myself from the cancer center with its memories and emotional baggage.

I am going to try to make it outside every day for the rest of summer, for at least a half hour or so, even if there is not yard work to do. Breathing the fresh air in the forest is very healing. And I think we all need healing, even at this time in our journey. Kay, I hope your weather is as nice as mine is here. This morning, it was in the 50s, with a brisk breeze and only a few little clouds in the sky. So lovely!

*<twinkles>*

fae

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It got down to 50 last night, 58 here in the house. I close up the house in the morning so it doesn't heat up as hot as outside. It's supposed to be hot this weekend and cool off by the end of the week.

I'm glad you got some time outside with the birds! It does sound like a real treat. I need to spend more time out on the patio, it's so nice out there.

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Thunderstorms here. (What the heck am I doing writing while there is thunder?)

We have been opening, unpacking, sorting boxes of stuff, books, family furniture, art, all sorts of stuff. I can feel heaviness leaving as I toss things, put them in the "garage sale" pile or give them away. Some things, I am keeping. This sorting and clearing has given me a sense of preparing for a new life, preparing for a future that is out there waiting for me, somewhere. What ever it is, when ever it is, where ever it is, I am making space for it every day now as I clear and sort, remember and release. There is a strong sense of reconciliation, of acceptance, that Doug is still here, even if I cannot see him. I know he hears me, I know he knows what I am doing, and sometimes, when I am holding something of his, I ask him if there is any reason to hold on to this or that. Mostly, he says to let it go. I will never lose the memories or the love, but I don't need all this stuff. I know that in the future, I will no doubt pare down further the things I have saved. But for now, I feel good about letting go of his clothing, his boots and shoes, some of his other things. It was hard to let go of his toothbrush, but I did it. He doesn't need it any more. I don't need it either.

I think this clearing of "stuff" will be a long process, incrementally releasing things as I feel I no longer need that object to hold on to a feeling or a memory. The wonderful times from before Doug was ill are becoming stronger images than the years of illness. I can laugh more at the memories of goofy stuff we did, and feel empowered by the things we accomplished together. I am healing. Yes, there are still those grief bursts that catch me unaware, but I now can step back and say, "ah, another grief burst, I wonder how long my body will need this release and cleansing" and accept the tears and the pain rising from my heart, knowing that this, too, is a part of where I am today. This is who I am—a person still grieving, but rebalancing daily toward the side of loving and opening to life, while finding a place in my heart big enough for all the love I have for Doug and for his love for me. That is another part of the sorting that is going on: remembering so much that is worth holding forever in my heart, but not in my hands. :)

*<twinkles>*

fae

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You have started a big step, that of letting go of "things" that he no longer needed. You don't need them to remember him by, you still have other things, plus all of the memories and the bond you share, that will never be gone. I'm glad you have help going through this.

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Thank you dear Kay,

You know, I think I will be living in anticipation—joyful anticipation—until I see Doug again. Yes, there is still grief, and life's challenges, and this journey, for sure.

But there is also that energetic joy of well-being in knowing that someone who loves me is waiting for me as much a I am waiting for him. :)

Meanwhile, we hold each other's hearts. That makes the waiting possible, and seasons my days with joy, smiling that this love goes on. :)

namaste,

fae

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I think what you are doing is very brave, Fae. The love you have for Doug will always be forever in your heart and the memories you have are already burned into your very being.

I have found it cleansing to declutter and find a place that can use what I am no longer using.

There will always be treasures that I will keep until whenever...

Thinking of you.

Anne

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Dear Fae,

Your writing is very encouraging to me as I (almost frantically sometimes) try to store up Hope. Thank you for sharing what is in your heart. I wish you wellness and peace.

Carrie

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I am itching to declutter but need some help with it and that is lacking. Still, I'm getting rid of some things, little by little. It's funny how you accumulate all your life and then somehow you reach the point that you can't wait to be free of it!

fae, what you speak of is your progression in your journey. I, too, feel a progression. It's taken way more time than I ever could have dreamed, but the important thing is, it's getting there.

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Thank you Anne, Kay, Carrie, for your understanding and validation. Needless to say, the grief bursts come often and sharp as I hold some of Doug's things for the last time: his winter parka, his triple-insulated gloves, his snow boots, his shop tools and his art supplies. Yesterday, I sorted and packed all his socks and underthings, except that I kept out a couple of his special t-Shirts for my own use in winter. But his special climbing socks, and other alpinist gear are all sorted to a big box for the young climbers here or in Alaska.

There is sometimes a sense of relief that I have made this decision to let go of these things. I know others will find good use in a lot of what Doug no longer needs. And I am coming more and more to understand that this is all just "stuff" and not Doug. Doug is still here, his spirit as strong and magnificent as ever, expressing himself in so many ways, so many happenings, that I am in awe of the entire journey.

Anne, you are working through your own set of decisions right now, and I am so very proud of how you are coping, patiently and deliberately, with your own challenges.

Kay, I hope when your girlfriend is moved back and settled in that she can help you with sorting and clearing things. I feel less that I am decluttering, and more that I am lightening my load so I can begin a new pitch with less of a load in my pack. But it amounts to the same thing, I know. I also know that if I want new and good things to come into my life, I must have Faith, and make room for those things for when they come.

Carrie, there have been days when all I could pray for was that my Faith would be sustained and strengthened. I lost so much of it around Doug's death and the other happenings then. Now, thank G*d, I know most truly that I have never been abandoned. My perspective has shifted, and I feel more strongly than ever that if I listen, stay on my Path, and remember Whom I follow, things will work out; things will be all right. There is an Ultimate Plan that I cannot see, but I can trust, have Hope, and have Faith, and know that it is all unfolding as it should. But for me, I must remember to do my small part in the Plan, so that things can unfold with grace and beauty. Hang on. We are all here around you, as we hold each other's hearts and share each other's healing.

Time to fix breakfast for company, make a pot of coffee, and then get ready for Meeting.

I hope we each have a beautiful day, filled with lovingkindness and joy as we walk in beauty.

*<twinkles>*

fae

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Alas, it is a man (or two)'s help I need as what I'm aiming to get rid of is too big/heavy.

My friend is back here but may be moving to my town shortly, so it is HER that may be needing MY help! :)

fae, funny, today my scripture was on faith. (the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen) I think we all live by faith who have lost our spouse as we wait to be reunited someday.

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With help, one storage unit is completely empty, and we filled a pickup and the entire back of the crew cab with boxes, boxes, boxes! So wonderful to have cleared so much stuff. Some we shipped to cousins, some was carried away, and some we gave to Helena Industries, but no matter how, it is good to have fewer things under my care. It feels so very good to be getting all this done.

Today, I will deal with the laundry and putting things back together from having helpful company. As as with any intense project, I'm now catching up in other areas of my life and home. I am late with notes and letters. The flower beds need weeding. Every time I go out to sit on the patio, I can feel Doug here with me, looking out at the forest, sipping a glass of wine, and talking into the night, while we hold hands and make plans for our next adventure.

I know Doug is proud of me for making these big steps to clear my way for a future that I cannot yet quite envision. I know he is delighted with my gradual return to good health. I know he is watching over me and doing all he can to keep me safe and protected. And I miss him. But I am moving forward, one day at a time, at my own slow pace, finding little bits of my shattered heart, and slowly, gently, tenderly, putting those bits into place as I patiently solve this puzzle of who I am now, how Doug fits into my life these days, and how to make decisions about what to keep, and what to let go—on so many levels.

I am glad there is so much of Doug still all around me, and relieved that I have been able to clear so much of what he or I no longer need. Sometimes, for a few minutes, packing things to take to a charity felt as though I was somehow relinquishing Doug, but more and more I have come to realize that the Love stays right here in my heart, no matter what happens to "stuff" and that I am right where and when I need to be today.

namaste,

fae

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fae,

Congratulations! You inspired me...I got rid of a lawnmower I can't start (it has a pull start) and a snow blower I don't know how to run and would not be strong enough to (it's push style, not a riding one). I gave them to a man that does recycling. It feels good to get something out of here! So many things I need help with and don't have it, a lot of it is my son's. I talked to him this week about the 33 tires he has here, it'd cost me a fortune to get rid of them and most of them are too heavy for me to lift. He said he'll come get them (didn't say when) and that there's people in his area that use them for landscaping so it won't cost him to dispense with them. I still have four tires of my daughter's too but they're small and without rims, wouldn't be much to dispose of them.

I also got rid of a heavy old, old bandsaw that was mounted to a wood workbench. My XH cut the cord off so I couldn't use it anyway and it was super super heavy. The guy that picked it up didn't bring a helper so I had to help him get it in his truck, I was sure we were going to do our backs in, but we survived it. It's so good to get rid of some things!

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