Slowing down

Fall invites us to slow down, gather all parts of ourselves and reflect. When we align with nature’s rhythms we have an opportunity for rejuvenation. The past weeks have allowed me to draw inward, focus and savor all of life. The glory of life around me is stunning, the people and connections authentic, and at the same time there is also so much disaster and devestation. As I quiet and listen, I learn to hold it all with awareness and love and find my place of service and action.

This past week’s Hurricane Ian caused me to slow down and keep close to my sister who was frantic and barricaded in her bathroom with her partner and dog Charlotte in Rotonda, Florida. Luckily she had cell coverage, and the only way to help her was to slow down and remain calm. Although she was far away, it taught us to lean into each other with love. 

A leisurely lunch last weekend opened another opportunity for authentic connection. My husband, dog Shanti and I had our lunch at our favorite bakery and cafe, while sitting outside at a picnic table on a brisk and sunny day.  We noticed an older woman sitting in a car for quite some time. I was keeping an eye out with concern. After working in the mental health field for so long I recognize the signs of dementia. We had finished our lunch were ready to leave but the woman was still sitting in the car by herself, looking outside the window and seeming a bit confused. I did not want to scare the woman, so did not go over to the car but went to say hello and talk to another woman sitting alone at the next picnic table. She too had noticed the woman in the car. We sat and talked and waited for the driver to come out of the cafe. We were both relaxed in the present moment and not in any hurry. This allowed a true and joyful connection.

A stranger became a friend on the journey of life. We talked until the driver came back to the car where the older woman was waiting. Both of us grateful and relieved. We parted with joy and she said how wonderful it was to connect to have conversation and smiles once again, to be in life without masks and hiding from one another. Indeed it was a blessing.    

After our lunch we went to walk in our favorite park, Fort Foster, which happens to be one of the few places in the US were monarch butterfies congragate in preparation for thie migration south. There we paused to watch the ocean and then noticed we were in proximity to thousands of monarch butterflies who were also pausing, just waiting for the right winds to begin their miraculous flight. 

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