I was leaving for college, literally stepping into the hallway with my American Tourister suitcase, about to ring for the elevator, when my mother stood in the doorway and called out, “Don’t do anything until Thanksgiving!” I fell in love with a boy the first day of Orientation so there went that.
Yet the admonition not to “do anything until Thanksgiving” has reverberated over the years for half a century. It has cropped up again now November is drawing to a close. What do I want to give, and why wait until Thanksgiving. I think it’s to make my giving be my thanks.
Yesterday morning I was impelled to draw the white flag and post it on Facebook with the words: “Q. When does the surrendering ever end? A. Never. How can it when it’s the light moving through you.” Then in the afternoon I took a nap and had a dream that so moved me I couldn’t write about it until today.
Yesterday I went to heaven again. I was napping of course, taking a time-out from the day, drifting off to my favorite place. And you may not believe this, but it was exactly like here. Not in every way of course. I wasn’t there very long and didn’t see very much, and maybe I was only on the outskirts since obviously I hadn’t passed over. But here’s what happened. When I arrived at the reception desk I felt heartburn coming on and asked if they had any Tums. The women behind the desk were very busy and probably knew my heart was only burning with love, so one of them shoved a container of lollipops towards me and said, ‘Have one of those.’ I picked a cherry-flavored one and as soon as I put it in my mouth I forgot about my heartburn. Then I was led through what seemed like a changing room, the kind you’d see at the gym. It was packed with women in various stages of dress and undress, and some were sweaty like they’d just been through a workout. (RIP? No one I saw was even thinking about a rest.) When I got through that part I saw my ‘friends,’ though I didn’t know them in real life, only there. The woman was busy and said she’d see me later, so I went with the man into his ‘office’ type place and he considered what to do with me now that I was here, and suggested I might like to attend a woodworking class. ‘I would, I would!’ I said. And I woke up. I was so disappointed! And I didn’t even know his name, but he looked like Pete Buttigieg whom I’m very fond of and who’s also in charge of Transportation, so it seemed a good choice to think of him as ‘Pete.’ Or even Saint Peter if I want to venture that far. And he was going to send me to a class on woodworking. Which is another way of saying ‘wood works’ or ‘would works’ or ‘I would work.’
I would, I would, I would, I would, I would is a good thing to keep saying because eventually it can turn into I Will. But I think ‘I would’ probably comes first. It’s like how ‘I would if I could,’ becomes ‘I can and I will.’ Woodworks indeed.
If it wasn’t such a long title I think I would change it to ‘Surrender to the Burning Heart.’
Oh, America. What have we done to you? Was it only a dream of what we might be? From sea to shining—-see “A thoroughfare for freedom”?
Those “amber waves of grain”* overseen by the goddess Demeter That grace He shed on us.
That “crown of good with brotherhood” Still, may it lie in wait, “Till souls wax fair as earth and air.”
*Quotes are lyrics in “America the Beautiful” by Katharine Lee Bates, who wrote it originally as a poem called “Pikes Peak” before it was published in 1895 in the Fourth of July edition of a church periodical, The Congregationalist, and given the title “America.”
A disconnect, or interconnectedness? Unity Consciousness, or what we’ve got now?
We’ve got both now. This and that. This shifting into that. Truly, an exciting time to be on the planet.
I did “This” in the mid-1980s, 20 years before “That,” in 2007, right before social media began to take off and the we all got caught up in the net for better or worse. I’ve never doubted it’s for the better, but it’s early days. An outer manifestation of what is happening on the inner planes as we connect to higher levels of consciousness. Though right now our world remains full of contradictions, it will happen en masse in time.
Every actor must know their cues, which means we all do if we believe as Shakespeare did… All the world’s a stage, all the men and women merely players. Today my cue is a paean to the Mending Basket, also known as a Sewing Box. I have one, my sister had one, our mother had one and her mother had one, going back probably forever since there’s always something that needs to be repaired or altered.
And maybe because when I was growing up in New York and my family was coming apart at the seams, or because it was during the Cold War when we hid under our desks in case an atom bomb fell on the city, I’d be walking home from grade school—twice a day since I came home for lunch, and I’d be looking up at the same old apartment buildings lining the streets, which I now knew like the back of my hand, and I made up a story about them. I was only trying to make the walk home a little more interesting when I saw the buildings as needle cases, the people inside as the needles, and the cars rolling by as spools of thread. And then, I don’t know how since I did not grow up in a religious family, it came to me that the world was God’s mending basket, and we were all in for repairs.
I’ve never forgotten it. It’s the kind of compassionate understanding that keeps anger at bay. Though I can’t say I actually knew that when I was seven or eight walking home from school…
Later in life I heard the expression, “Earth is a school,” and liked it just as much if not more. Judging people can be as destructive as anger. You don’t expect a first-grader to behave like a sixth-grader. I’m as gleeful as the next when wrong-doing is punished, but I also know that whatever is inside them is inside me too. Whether dormant or outgrown, acted upon or ignored, whatever one carries, the other one does too. How can we not if we’re all made from the same substance.
Meanwhile, I go about sewing on a button or darning a sock or fixing a hem. Repairing the little things within my domain. The verb to sew means to join or attach by stitches. Sewing, making one stitch at a time is like sowing, planting one seed at a time. A machine will go faster, but however fast, it’s still one at a time. A magic wand might fix everything in the blink of an eye, but not if we’re in school or in for repairs. Not if we’re here to learn and to grow, because we might turn around and make the same mistakes again.
Happy sewing! Happy sowing! Happy threading those needles and cutting the threads. And when the sewing is done, happy reaping. Happy seeing through the eye of the needle, seeing through the eyes of the soul.
Why: the latest discussion on “Living Through These Times as a Soul”
We came to London to celebrate our first anniversary, then he had to get back to New York for work and I was staying on with friends for another week or two. I’m waiting with him in the Departure Lounge before he goes through security, and while he calmly reads the newspaper, I’m tortured by fears of his imminent demise.
What if the plane crashes? What if I never see him again? I should have flown back with him so we could die together and I wouldn’t have to go through the pain of his loss. I don’t want to think about life without him. How can he sit there so calmly reading the paper if these are the last moments we will ever spend together?
But I caught myself. I thought wait, if I have a higher self, and by then I knew that I did, didn’t he have one too? A higher self, looking after him. I had to trust it. I couldn’t control his destiny. He was under his own soul guidance. We were together, but we each had our own path, our own destiny. I had to trust that he would be okay, and that whatever happened, I would be okay too. I had to remind myself that it wasn’t up to me. His life would unfold as it was meant to, the same as mine. I had to let go. The letting go was humbling.
His flight back to New York was uneventful, as was mine two weeks later. But that moment at the airport has stayed with me. I have used it as a practice with loved ones ever since, reminding myself that however close we are, they have their own destiny to fulfill. I have to respect that. I also have to respect that whatever is guiding me is guiding them too. We talk of ‘holding space’ for one another, yet this seems more like a giving of space, allowing others to be who they are. I had to connect to my higher self to see it, but that’s one of the things a higher self is for.
I thought it was always ‘now.’ Ram Das said, “Be here now,” so if I was here, wasn’t it now? Being born with the surname of Wait only helped if I remembered, and ‘to wait’ doesn’t actually mean to stop, it means to be in constant readiness. I looked it up.
To be constantly ready was a lot of pressure. It’s given me high blood-pressure on and off for the last 50 years. First they said it was an over-active adrenal gland so they fixed it. Then they said a tiny hair was blocking the right renal artery and they fixed that too. Then I got pregnant at 41 and they said it was that. Ahhhh, no way to fix my heart’s desire…
I’ve included a picture of different views of my kitchen timer because it dings when time’s up and I can see ahead of time how much time is left before whatever I’m cooking can be taken off the stove or out of the oven. It’s a man-made mechanical device I can control, whereas the inner timer, the biological clock, comes pretty much pre-set and ticks away the years whether I like it or not.
But there’s another type that dings too. It’s in the timeless realm, so you only hear it on the inside. It’s programmed to coordinate with the heart and soul, so while it doesn’t measure minutes, let alone years, it measures vibrations, calculates frequencies, dings when it’s time to move on or take the next step or see something you haven’t seen before. I only had to hear it once to know it was there, and it’s stood me in good stead I still have the high (blood) pressure and my name is still Wait, but now I know what I’m waiting in constant readiness for. It’s part of “Living Through These Times as a Soul,” where it really IS ‘now’ all the time. http://atreeoflight.org/community
Sometime in the years between listening to Bob Dylan, The Times They Are a-Changin’ in the 1960s, and “Living Through These Times as a Soul,” Community Forum at A Tree of Light in July 2022, a bell went off, and I knew I was on timers.
I was used to setting my handy little kitchen timer for cooking. Putting something to the flame, the fire that melts or boils or bakes, changing the molecular structure of whatever is in the pot or cake pan or casserole dish. Because you have to time it, giving it just the right amount lest it burns or boils away. So a timer is set to ding a reminder.
The day I knew I had an inner timer too was the day I heard a dinging in my soul.
A marriage was ending and endings can be fraught with sadness. All the regret in the world makes no difference when you know change is necessary and unavoidable because you heard a ding signaling it was done. The marriage was done and we were done and time was up and it was time to move on. Yet somehow this ding removed the onus of personal failure, transforming it into something positive. My ‘free will’ was either to hold onto something that had already passed, or accept the turn in the road.
To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose, under heaven
If I’ve got a biological clock running my body, why not an inner timer set to vibrations? Rather than counting down the minutes, it would count down the degrees of alignment, telling me when I’m done like my kitchen timer tells me the eggs or the coffee or the pie is done.
It changed not only how I looked at the present, but the past too. Endings I’d regretted, times I’d left people behind or they’d left me behind looked different from the perspective of timers and time-frames. It was just time, that’s all. Their time, my time; it happens all the time. Time was the issue. But if I’m going to be timed, let it be the timing of the soul.
Just like cooking, I can be done. When the heat is on, as it is these days, the energy speeds up. Molecules move faster, change their pattern, become something else. Knowing I am on timers makes it easier to go with the change. Not wishing the light would speed up or slow down, or the bell would hurry and ring like it did at school when a period was over. Just listening, and being ready for the ding when it comes.
To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8)
“A Tree of Light, A Sanctuary for the Soul,” holds bi-monthly soul meditations and a monthly sharing. http://atreeoflight.org/
This drawing, this park, this Prospect Park, these 526 acres, these remains of Brooklyn’s indigenous forest. This play area with off-leash hours. This Dog Beach just off the Long Meadow at the Pools. This drawing, these dogs, these people, this summer, this Brooklyn.
These volunteers, these urban caretakers, these city dwellers who rake, who dig this dirt, this soil. These green spaces, this park, these planetary stewards, this love, this land. This love. This sketch, this tribute, to this love of land.