Yesterday I met with my writer’s group, The Purple Pros, at the Barnes and Noble Café. As is our custom in this group which has met for over twenty years, one of us brings a meditative reading; another brings a topic we write about for five minutes. Despite the fact that these activities are randomly chosen, their themes are almost always remarkably similar, if not identical. Moreover, the same themes inevitably crop up again during our touch-in ritual. We never fail to be awed by the mystery of this synchronicity.
It happened again yesterday. Margie lost her beloved husband several years ago. To the great joy of those who love her, she’s found love again and will soon marry a wonderful man. To celebrate this happy occasion, I light a small candle in a sparkly gold container and read a blessing from John O’Donohue titled “For a New Beginning.” Margie tears up as I read. Afterwards she tells us of a synchronicity that makes this blessing especially meaningful.
Since I’ll be out of the country the day of her wedding, and since she and her fiancé are both patrons of the arts, I give her a carved wooden Endless Knot that was hand-painted by the young students at an art school we support in Bhutan, a country whose economic development is based on “gross national happiness.” I bought it there several years ago. The tears continue to roll down her cheeks as she tells us the paint is the exact colors of her wedding! Enclosed is this description: “In the endless knot all the lines are interrelated to each other and the knot has no beginning and no end. It symbolizes the infinite knowledge and love of Buddha to all sentient beings. It is good to give as gift to your dear ones as an expression of your eternal love and compassion.”
Lenny’s writing assignment is to write a scene that depicts happiness that is meaningful and true to us. Here we go again. First we celebrated Margie’s upcoming marriage ritual which is all about love and happiness; then I give her a gift from a country whose official goal is to promote happiness; now we are to write about what brings us happiness. Usually I need time to think before I start writing; occasionally I never even get started. This time my scene arrives immediately and fully formed. I can’t write fast enough. Only after I’m finished do I connect all the dots: it’s about the interconnection between happiness and ritual, relationship, meaning and love.
This is what I wrote. It makes me happy just to think about it!
My granddaughters are excited about tonight’s sleepover. They ring the doorbell then run and hide, a ritual they started in early childhood and still enjoy. I loudly lament their absence until they race from their hiding places and give me hugs and kisses.
After depositing their backpacks their first stop is my bedroom. Sophia sorts through the makeup in my vanity drawer and picks out something to take home while Alex tries on my shoes. When she falls in love with an old pair that fit perfectly, I give them to her.
Dinner is delivery pizza consumed over a favorite video. Dessert is freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, still warm.
The rituals continue at bedtime. They bathe in the spa tub with bubble bath crystals and fragrant lotions. Sophia pulls the pillow cases off her favorite Swedish foam pillow. Alex asks for her glass of water.
I tuck them in and kiss them goodnight then sit at my desk on the balcony outside the same room their mother once occupied, my presence a reassurance they still crave. Their door swings open and Sophia comes to me clutching the large furry rabbit hand-puppet I brought her from a trip to the Grand Canyon a few years ago.
“You forgot to say goodnight to Snuggle Bunny!” she says with questioning eyes as she tentatively holds out her beloved bedtime friend. Will I still want to enact a ritual that means so much to her? I receive Snuggle Bunny with infinite tenderness. As my fingers animate her head and arms in gestures of shy love, we three murmur our goodnights.
Healing the Sacred Divide can be found at Amazon and Larson Publications, Inc. Ebook versions of The Bridge to Wholeness and Dream Theatres of the Soul are at Amazon, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, and Diesel Ebooks
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