Gifted

The soul doesn’t evolve or grow, it cycles and twists, repeats and reprises, echoing ancient themes common to all human beings. It is always circling home.

Thomas Moore, Original Self

46842_3961924780532_359909618_nYesterday, I exchanged messages with Kayrene, a.k.a Leather Girl Kelley. We’ve never met, but have mutual friends, and we wound up agreeing to a trade–my poems for a leather cuff. When she asked me what words I wanted her to stamp on it, I said I’d get back to her.

Later, walking the dog, I knew: Jewels in the Crown. This was the phrase my Grammy used to use to describe all of us (“jewels in the crown of my rejoicing”). The other day, Mani and I were talking about names, and I asked her to remind me what “Mani” means in Sanscrit. Jewel. I read her a post I wrote about 18 months before she first contacted me. Kayrene chose the jewels for my cuff. I can’t wait to wear it.

photo(129)Earlier in the week, two people asked me for my mailing address. Both said they had a little something for me. I sent it along, then more or less forgot about it. Mail is so much more fun when you’re not waiting for it; yesterday afternoon, I opened the mailbox and was delighted to find two thick envelopes crammed inside, hugging the junk mail.

A card and journal from Jennifer Judelsohn, an artist I met at a conference last winter, whose mandala-like paintings reflect the cyclical echoes of the soul. The journal includes a small disk, and instructions to trace it each day, then discover what it wants to hold–what colors, images, words, intentions, dreams, wishes and prayers are asking to be kept alive through these cold, cold winter days.

A second card, from Katrina Kenison, thanking me for reviewing her magical book, with an inscribed copy of one of her most cherished books, “Original Self” by Thomas Moore, who lives up the road from her in rural New Hampshire.

photo(133)A hearty primrose from my supervisor, a belated birthday gift. Around my neck, a soft, colorful scarf from a friend who has a way of wrapping folks up in her love. A picture of a painted stone from a dancing mermaid, reminding me to breathe. My own words surprising me, reflected in the moonlight by a dear friend.

775116_4943026730033_447673618_oSo many gifts. So many friends. So many kindred spirits circling and encircling each other through this life, continuously finding our ways home.

Meanwhile, she wakes three thousand miles away–yet my body is heavy next to hers in the mornings, dreaming down the days till I land in her arms for real.

And until then, even then, there is never time to lament a thing, not when my best friend of twenty-six years can drive across the bridge to bring her three kids over for dinner, not when my sisters catch my girls when they’re sick, or just to play, and their dad can sit at my kitchen table chatting about summer plans and road trips, not when my mailbox fills with unexpected gifts, and I bring five copies of Don’t Miss This to the post office for people I’ve never met, and it’s impossible to distinguish the prayer from the pray-er, the giver from the recipient, the echo from the call, the jewel from the poem, so many people touching my soul, like invisible feathers keeping me aloft, the young man with the warmest brown eyes complimenting my pearl ring.

And I often wonder how I got so lucky.

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