Today is the last day of our Seattle vacation. We decided to take the ferry to Whidby island and visit the Wild Earth Sanctuary.
“Youth is a gift of Nature but Age is a work of Art.”
Polish poet, J. Stanislaw
As we head out on the day, my husband mentions he needs to stop at the drugstore to buy some bubbles so that he can blow them off the back of the ferry as we cross Puget Sound. David is 77 and he is the youngest hearted man I know. Playing is an essential part of his spiritual path. I am graced to walk by his side all these years.
Once we were on the ferry and he's blowing bubbles, he finds a little guy about 7 years old who has been watching him and asks if he would like to have a go with the bubbles. They play together for the next ten minutes or so while Mom and I look on with great pleasure.
As we drive off the ferry, we get directions for the Wild Earth Sanctuary which turns out to be a 72 acre preserve owned by a Buddhist. We get to spend the first part of the afternoon walking around a Buddhist Stupa clockwise chanting Om Mani Padme Hun which is a prayer for wisdom and compassion for all beings.
We visit the dolmen, walk the labyrinth and sit on the Native Indian prayer rock.
On the way out, we twirl the prayer wheel which is said to have written within it l.3 trillion prayers for peace and healing for all sentient beings. The prayer wheel records that it has turned 4,822 times. (that's right I said l.3 TRILLION)
Our relationship over all these years has always had this element of play and pray in its very foundation, but at 65 I appreciate the life force in David and his way of living so enthusiastically, more than I ever have. He also appreciates my natural soul depth.
The next day I wake up in the morning out of a troubling dream, wrists full of adrenalin, calves and lower legs aching ready to process my dream and David is walking through the bedroom naked singing Tom Jones version of “What's new puddy cat, aha aha a” and the cats we are taking care of are singing back.
In years past I compared myself to him – I SHOULD be more like him (happy, buoyant), and a few years comparing him to me – he SHOULD have more depth.
Now though there is no comparison... I wake up in my deep, sweet self and he oft wakes up singing (off key) in the shower. Nothing is amiss and both of these frames are a part of God and a part of our range of expression. Each one beautiful in its own right.
Learning to be our true selves is a sign of emotional and spiritual maturity.
All honor to you in your aging process,
(Wedding Anniversary in Taos New Mexico”- November 2012)
I think about my husband’s death often;
Okay, perhaps I obsess about it…
I look for signs of his pending demise,
After all, he’s 12 years older than I…
The other day he had to sit down after only two dances
He’s become a bit of a couch potato, especially in the evenings
He doesn’t want to go out in the cold
He has hearing aids and his eye specialist says he’s in early stages
of macular degeneration
His cholesterol is off the charts
He forgets names, dates and sometimes entire chunks of conversation…
I don’t think about my own dying nearly as much; almost never
Perhaps thinking about his death protects me in some way…
Some part of me has always been convinced that he’ll precede me
What if he doesn’t precede me?
We, none of us, have any guarantee about the timing of our passing;
Our only guarantee is that we are passing – none of us get off this boat alive.
Well, then, I think I’ll join him on the couch some evenings
I’ll be grateful that he still hears and sees
He still loves a good story and has a deep belly laugh
He still is my most loyal companion
And, we still went out late last night in Taos to
Celebrate the anniversay
Listen to some reggae music
And, we still danced every other song…