A Child’s Dream Friend and the Magic

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Our forts were similar to this one

WHEN I was a young girl I had a best friend named John.  We were inseparable and we created a magic world whenever we were together.  He lived across the street from my house. On warm summer nights we would set up camps on our front porches and with flashlights we sent secret codes to one another from across the street.

John was the first person in my life to get who I really was.  I was a Tomboy. When we were together I could just be me.  I always had dirt under my nails, scratches on my knees and fly away hair.  I loved mud puddles, catching snakes and turtles and climbing trees. John’s sister was my age and also my friend but I couldn’t relate to her made up face, perfect hair, polished nails and high heeled shoes.  I wasn’t like all the other girls and he didn’t care.  We were best friends, period, end of story.

One summer we built a go-cart together with discarded things that we found while digging in trash cans around the neighborhood.  We had dreams of being in the Soap Box Derby and could see ourselves zooming down the hill and winning the race with our go-cart. Dumpster diving itself was so much fun.  We took turns diving headfirst into the garbage can to see what treasures we could uncover while the other one played look out for angry neighbors. We found wheels and rope and wood and all kinds of things to build a go-cart with.  The  go-cart we created was the most beautiful green and yellow car, with steering that actually worked and it could fly down the hills with one of us at the helm like a rocket.

John and I spent a lot of time in the woods near our house creating hide-a-ways that only we were allowed to use.  We snuck things from our houses to make our hide-a-way cozy just like a house.  The forest was our playground and we were its king and queen. One time we built a fort in a patch of poison ivy and I had a terrible allergic reaction that put me in the hospital for several days, yet that didn’t keep me from going to play in the forest.  I preferred playing in the woods to playing, with dolls which I thought was a silly thing to do.

When I was 13 and John was 11 he went to the State Fair and ended up in the hospital very sick.  We wrote notes back and forth and I sent him rubber bugs because we each had a collection.  I sent on of my favorite bugs from my collection because I wanted him to feel happy.  This was my way of keeping the magic alive while he got better. One day after John had been in the hospital about 3 week and I was excited for him to come home his mother came to my house and told me he had died. At first I thought she was lying.  I couldn’t even imagine life without him.

I have missed him over the years because he was my first partner in the dream and we taught each other to open up to the magic of the world.

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Circle of Reciprocity

sea urchins

One morning when I went to journal I only wrote three words: circle of reciprocity.  There was nothing more.  No explanation or commentary, just three words.  It almost seems a bit redundant because reciprocity is a circular energy.  Reciprocity is giving of yourself without expecting something in return and getting something unexpected back.  Reciprocity is a mutual giving and receiving.  When we give of ourselves freely reciprocity happens automatically.  It doesn’t mean that the person we gave to is the one who will give back to us, but an exchange will come from somewhere.

The circle of reciprocity is a spiritual practice when entered into unconditionally.  When we ask for what we need and offer each other what we can, we enter into a dance of reciprocity.  We are doing a two-step exchange of needs and offerings.  Asking, offering, giving and receiving is one circular motion.  If we are mindful of our interactions we discover we cannot give without receiving and we can not receive without giving.  It happens in nature and it happens in relationships.  When you start to witness this back and forth motion it is a beautiful thing to see.

Some years ago I spent three weeks on the island of Kauai, in Hawaii, studying the divine feminine as it was expressed through the women who lived there.  Every morning I would awaken early in order to walk the beach at sunrise, take in the ocean and find shells that had washed up over night.  There were lots of beautiful shells on the beach, most of them small. The larger shells were often broken.

One morning as I walked along  the beach I found a beautiful sea urchin’s shell. It was about 4 inches in diameter and was the color lavender. (shown above in my hand)  I was delighted to find that it was whole when I lifted it from the white sands, into my hand.  Excitement grew as I began to walk with this treasure back to the place I was staying so that I could show the shell to my friends.

I had walked only a few steps when a voice in my head said “this shell must be given to Lee, for it carries a message for her.”  I didn’t know Lee very well because we had met just before the trip, but I knew I had to follow my intuition. I was disappointed that I couldn’t keep this beautiful, perfect lavender shell.  I walked back to where we were staying and knocked on Lee’s door and when she opened it I placed the shell in her hands and said “I found this on the beach and it is for you.”  She hugged me and said thank you.

Over the years Lee and I became friends.  She kept the shell on a shelf in her healing room and once in a while I would see it there and take in it’s beauty.  One Christmas we got together to exchange gifts like we had for many years.  One of the gifts for me was in a square box beautifully wrapped.  When I removed the paper and opened the box, there was the beautiful shell that I had given her years before, being given back to me.

I started to cry as I said “I was told that the shell had a special message for you, do you know what that was?”  She started to cry too and said “I have never had anyone give me something so beautiful, in the way that you did.”  The shell was returned to me at a time when I was learning that giving and receiving were the same thing, because when you truly give without expectation you always get something greater in return, in ways that you might not be aware of.

As we enter into the circle of reciprocity we become spiritual traders of life’s energy.  By this practice we learn that everything lives in reciprocal relationship with everything else, whether we can see the relationship or not.  Only spiritual exchange of energy creates flow. Our giving is our receiving.  As long as the energy keeps circulating there is always enough to go around. There is a ring of support that encircles in and unending flow of reciprocity and it is available to each of us.

Magic on the Waves

Egg

One of my favorite places to hike is the Saint Croix River.  I have gone there for years just to walk along the shore in my bare feet, feeling the sand squish between my toes.  It has always been a place were I could find peace and get back to my center, which is interesting because my brother drowned on this river.

I day several years ago I was having a bad day. I decided to go the river to get back into my center.  The river has always given me gifts when I go. Often they are significant messages for me for where I am in my life.  I was hoping to be gifted with something that would help me shift my mood.

I arrived at the river and descended the stair.  Some time I should count the stairs to see how many their are. I am guessing about 50.  Going down it doesn’t really matter abut coming up it seems like forever before you get to the top.  I went to the waters edge and began to walk.  For a few minutes I watched the swallows flying in and out of their nests that they had created out of mud on the cliff face.  Once a nest was completed it looked like an organic part of the cliff.  The cliffs along this part of the river are peppered with these clay creations.

I walked to the water and took off my shoes and began to walk.  I love the feel of the sand on my feet as the water rolls in over them.  It is organic and cool.  Walking in the water calms me.  I walked only a few feet when a wave carrying an egg came rolling toward me.  Yes a very large egg! I bent down and swooped up the egg in my hand.  I was stunned to receive this gift that was in perfect condition.  As you can see in the photo the egg is dull white with brown splotches on it and is almost 4 inches long from point to point. I picked it up and in almost filled the palm of my hand.  As soon as I picked it up the thought came into my head that it was an eagle’s egg, but I didn’t know for sure.

A pair of blue herons flew by and it seemed they were looking down at me.  Maybe there were scouts out looking for an egg that rolled out of a nest at the heron rookery up stream.  If you have ever seen a rookery the nests are stacked on top of one another like so many condos.  Maybe the egg had fallen from a goose or a swan as she flew over and it dropped safely into the river.  Something had saved if from cracking. Who has eggs roll up on a wave and land in their hand?  All I knew for sure was I was just gifted with an egg.  It was a somewhat smelly but beautiful egg.

I stood at the water’s edge with an egg in my hand and knew that I was holding a metaphor for new life, a time of birthing, a new beginning.  If it was an eagle egg, what a great metaphor for the birth of freedom and new vision!  Now I had shifted back into my center, into that place of patient waiting, that a few hours ago had seemed so hard to contain.  Now it was easy because I understood the metaphor of the gift I had received.

(When I did the research it turned out to be an egg from a Golden Eagle)