Today I had a flash—more than a flashbulb! more like a nice long, sunny bask—of a breakthrough in my deepest inner life. (Wow. Whew. Yay!). Along with this this acknowledgment, the gratitude, and the grace comes this rush of extreme heart gratitude towards all the beings throughout my life (and space and time) who have helped and supported me along my path up to and through this particular moment in time. Oh, what a vast list! 🙂
Some of these are friends, teachers, mentors, guides-—you know, all those overtly helpful and supportive archetypes. BUT included in this list (she laughs heartily) are also all those who have been the signposts, the warnings, the unintended lesson bestowers, the table flippers, the chaos bearers. They are here too.
So how does a person thank ALL of them? What is one simple way to thank everyone for everything everywhere?
I’m going to write you all a love letter.
Here’s how! I am going to write you all a love letter. 💚 But first, before I can do that, I need to create the salutation! But before I can say “Dear . . . ” or “Hello . . .” there’s got to be a list of names. YES, a list!
I’ll make a simple list.
Yes! I’ll start here. Here’s (only the beginning of) my list . . . my thank you list.
Humorous side-note: If you are reading this—the beginning of my love letter—and you find you name here, you won’t know if you are on the list because I have felt (and still do feel in sweet memory) your love and generosity and care—OR if you have been one of my many (oh so many) blessings in disguise. Haha!
So, to begin . . .
With great gratitude to . . .
- My first tree, the giant magnolia in our backyard—for thick leaves and petals, good climbs, daydreams, and endless bugs to find. I loved you so much! . . . As of at least summer 2016, she still stands. 💚!
- Claire, summer day camp (age 6)—the one who stood beside me at our favorite oak tree, where we use to watch the little green “silk worms” traveling the canyons and ravines of bark, and with a whim of uncommon authority informed me (in secret!) that if I could just wake up at midnight and walk out of my house and all the way down to the end of my street, that she would be there waiting for me, and then we would turn into cats and have magical adventures together. I don’t know why I believed her! But I love that night after night I tried to wake up at midnight . . . all summer long.
- The young camp counselor, sleep-away camp (age 7)—the one who invited all of us children to rest on our backs on the sun-warmed wooden deck, surrounded by the pines and firs of the high Sierra, mountain birds exploring the sky above, and then she told us a closed-eyes story of imagination, where we traveled through every color of the rainbow. I still remember the texture and taste of each color! Amazing. More than three decades passed before I learned that I had gone on my first shamanic journey. 🙂
- Miss Brooks, my 2nd-grade teacher—for letting us make a giant art mess every Friday, and teaching me about geography and compass directions! Creativity was welcomed and celebrated inside her magical classroom.
- Mr Ed, someone’s grandfather—who came into our 2nd-grade classroom once a week and did the most amazing science experiments for and with us. Love!
- Mrs. Burnham, my 4th-grade teacher—who let me read fervently and without interruption for long periods of time, often. She loved readers. Also, after years of drought, one day in 4th grade it rained. It rained crazily! Blasts of rain! Out of dry dust, suddenly it was raining jaguars and wolverines!! Amazing!! I loved that, in all that ecstacy of weather, Mrs. Burnham simply stood in front of the classroom, gestured toward the window, smiled, and said, “Children, this is rain.”
- DD, my best friend—for teaching me about adventure!
- Lara, my other best friend—for teaching me about stillness.
- Mrs. Davies, my fifth-grade teacher (age 10-11)—who loved nature and science, wrote kind and endearingly enthusiastic comments in my creative-writing journal, and—best of all!—one day, right after we’d all read Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIHM, brought in little baby rats (that her son had rescued from his high school science lab). I was given permission to adopt one! I will always remember the day I received my pet rat.
- Justin, the best rat who ever lived—for his great kindness during times of heartbreak, fear, and sorrow. 💛
(to be continued)
Gosh, I was just planning to list names . . . maybe 300 names, ha! . . . but only names and maybe a few words, maybe a little poem of names.
But now it turns out that each name wants to hear a story. 💚
Many stories to come . . . 💚🙏 . . . 💚🙏 . . . 💚🙏 . . .!
So how does a person thank everyone for everything everywhere?
One simple way is to begin with a name.