Wrapped in Loving Kindness
Posted on April 7, 2016
It’s often amazing to me how the universe works.
Just when you feel as if you are the only one left on the planet, adrift on a makeshift raft in the middle of the vast, dark ocean, a hand from out of the blue plucks you up from alone-ness, creating a new space of belonging, swathed in light. It lasts for a moment, but the moment is more than enough to pull you out of what is not working in your best interest! In these past weeks since my mother’s death, I’ve been feeling (understandably) lost and out of sorts. My steps are slower as if I am walking in sand. I’ve had to push myself more than usual to get out of the house and join the world. Quiet moments are filled with a stew of emotions. Issues unresolved…and now, never will be…flashes of delightfully happy moments mixed in with those that brought pain, sadness, and unbelievable stress. Questions right and left make me almost dizzy as I reflect: As a daughter, could I have done this or that better or said such and such in a different way? Was I wrong…or right? Does it even matter? Second guessing myself over and over …
So, I was deep in a gloomy place, engulfed in my stew of emotions as I sat outside on the back patio watching the trees sway in the afternoon wind. A familiar ping sound brought me out of my head. It was a text message from my neighbor Emily.
“Are you home? Daisy [her dog] and I would like to walk up.”
“Sure.” I texted back.
Sometimes Emily brings Daisy to play with The Poodle in my back yard as it is fenced and large enough to give the dogs a good romp. Since a storm was brewing, I figured Emily wanted to give Daisy a chance to play before being stuck indoors for the rest of the day.
What I surprise I was in for.
Through the kitchen window I could see that Emily and her dog had arrived in my back yard. I opened the door to let The Poodle out. He shot out like a missile, beside himself with excitement that his beloved Daisy was in his yard for a play date. I noted that Emily was carrying what looked to be a blanket wrapped in a large bow.
“What do we have here?” I asked, immediately realizing it was a quilt. Emily has a passion for quilting and is quite amazing at it. I thought it to be one of her quilt projects.
“Oh it’s a little something for you,” she said as she handed it to me. “I thought this would bring you comfort.”
I was blown-away stunned…. speechless.
“Oh My,” I cried as I wrapped my arms around Emily. My eyes welled up with tears and it would take a considerable effort for me not to erupt into a torrent of sobs.
I took the quilt and sat down. I removed the bow and unfolded the work of art before me.
“This is just so beautiful…I love it,” I cried as I gingerly caressed the quilt, noting the patterns and colors. “I will cherish this always.”
“Really use it” said Emily, in a soft, soothing voice. “Let it bring you comfort. Keep it out and about.”
Oh, I will. I definitely will.
Emily stayed for a bit as our dogs played in the yard. We talked about the weather and I shared too some of my struggles over the past couple of weeks.
After she had gone I took the quilt and put it on a chair in my family room. I stood for a long time admiring it and thinking about how lucky I was. Just a half hour before I was feeling lost and alone…now I was feeling wrapped in loving kindness. My subconscious prayers for a pick-me-up arrived just when I need it most. The universe knows! And truth be told, there have been a number of pick-me-ups in these past few weeks. Cards and calls, chocolate chip cookies from Miss Cookie, flowers, and more flowers… and even a gift of a lovely photo frame from my friend Tracey to hold a picture of my mother…and now my comfort quilt!
As I plod through this new territory…literally one foot in front of the other…my mind is increasingly aware about the impermanence of everything. I’m trying hard to accept this concept with grace but at the same time find joy, beauty, peace, acceptance, laughter and purpose in the present moment. Dear people in my life are making the road easier and though it sounds like such a cliché to say (honestly, I don’t know of any other way to state it)…I AM TRULY BLESSED… and grateful a thousand times over.
And, at the end of the day, when I lay myself down and find that I must hush the swirl of emotions once more—as always seems to happen in the dark and quiet of the midnight hour—I am somehow able to come back to my truth: I am good.…and I was a good daughter from the beginning right to the end.
I am at peace. That is my bliss for the day.