Past Lives: Dreams and Memories

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I am walking next to a little girl with blonde curly hair, underneath a black straw boater hat adorned with a few flowers. She is wearing a black coat down to her knees, white stockings and black ankle boots. She is walking on top of a rock wall as I walk alongside, her small hand in mine. I cannot see myself or what I am wearing; I feel that I am not her mother, but someone like a mother. I believe that I am her governess.

That is where the dream ends. As soon as I wake up, I know that the baby growing inside of me is going to be a girl and that I have known her in another life.  Since my daughter was born, I have been a mother and a teacher to her as well. I introduced her to story time and parks; books and Opera and classical music; daytrips and Broadway shows; art museums and painting and drawing since she could hold a crayon.

We get glimpses of other lives we have lived in this life via dreams or memories during our waking life.  Déjà vu moments; things that come easy to us; a feeling that we’ve known someone we just met a long time; an uncanny longing to visit a place we’ve never been before. We dream about events that may happen in the future. In dreams we may find answers to questions, problems or clues about ourselves. We can also get clues to whom or what we were in another life.  A past life dream will come to us just like any other dream.  It may look and feel different than a typical dream. Instead of a dream that seems weird or may jump around from one scene to another, past life dreams, in my experience give us glimpses of another life that happened millennia, centuries or decades ago.  In that snapshot of a former life, the subconscious gives us – our conscious self – the details. We know the rest on a soul level.

Past lives, for anyone who may not understand what exactly a past life is or how it is even possible – you may not believe in past lives or reincarnation and that’s okay – can be explained like this.  Reincarnation is when a soul chooses to live in a certain time or place; the soul chooses the people it will live a life with and other people who will help it along its journey in every life time.  Many of our souls have lived several lifetimes.  A soul chooses to reincarnate on earth or anywhere else. The universe is vast; we are not the only solar system out there – it may be very possible to live in another solar system.  We, that is, our souls, our guardian angels and spirit guides begin the process of putting together our life plan or blue print for the soul’s (our) next journey.

Past life dreams can be in color, black and white – as most dreams are, or in sepia – which for me is indicative of a past life in ancient times. I have had a glimpse of a past life that was in sepia – an antique type of color – that may have been in ancient Egypt. In one single flash of a past life you will know when and where it was; who the person or persons are in your current life; when this past life occurred; and feelings attached to those memories.

Occasionally, we will get a flash of a past life memory while we’re awake. Sometimes it comes to us when we suddenly experience a déjà vu.  It could happen while we’re at our computer at work; driving somewhere in our car; even visiting an historic site – there’s a reason you’re there.  Something will trigger a past life memory and it will resonate with you.

Past Life Regression Therapy is another way to discover a past life.  Regression therapy is conducted by a regression therapist who specializes in past life therapy and is generally conducted to help heal a mental, physical or spiritual issue which may have originated in a previous life or multiple lives and is  coming to the surface during this incarnation to be addressed.

Through dreams, memories and past life regression I know that a few of my past lives have involved moving west in a covered wagon; being part of an aristocratic family; and religious persecution.  The purpose of reincarnating is to learn lessons, such as compassion or perseverance, until our soul has reached enlightenment. It may take several lifetimes.

 

AS WITHIN, SO WITHOUT

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AS WITHIN, SO WITHOUT

 Ferncliff Forest in Rhinebeck, New York, is a beautiful 200 acre privately owned Preserve with hiking trails and a modest camping and picnic area that surrounds a serene lake. It is a nature lover’s respite. The area begs to be photographed. I gave in to it. I took a few photographs as we climbed up large hills winding through bare trees. I could imagine how the trees would look in a month when the leaves filled in the bare spaces.  My destination – the reason that I wanted to go the forest in the first place – awaited me in the center of the forest on top of a steep hill. My camera ready, I excitedly climbed the hill and walked up to the fire tower.  I was genuinely surprised at what happened next.

When I walked up to the tower’s steps, I hesitated. I allowed others to go before me. It was not what I expected, but I did not understand the apprehension I was feeling. I climbed the first set of steps, about a dozen. Simple deer fencing was all that covered the outside of the tower from the base of the steps up to the railing on each set of steps all the way up the 80 foot tower.  I’ve climbed the Statue of Liberty’s narrow steps, only feeling slight vertigo. But, this was different.  Once I got to the landing before climbing the next set of steps, I froze. Hesitatingly, I began to climb the next set of steps to the landing with tears in my eyes. I started up again and again backed down turned around on the landing and went down the first set of stairs and once down on the ground,  looked up at the tower, my fear beginning to grow.

I had started repeating “I can’t, I can’t” over and over which was turning into a self fulfilling prophecy.  Someone I was with said to me, “What are you afraid of?”  In that moment I knew my fear was a metaphor.  What I was afraid of was beginning to become clear.  And, suddenly I became frustrated with myself for not trying harder. I had waited so long to come here, climb the tower and take breathtaking photographs of the view from the top.

Where does fear come from? Are we taught to fear?  Or do we create our own fear?  And is there something else at play here? Fear is paralyzing, it stops us in our tracks inhibiting us from moving forward. It doesn’t matter what you are afraid of or what event triggers the fear. Why we fear is personal.  All humans are not afraid of the same thing.  Most people fear spiders, others do not; some fear other people or situations while it doesn’t bother other people; many people fear death and others enjoy living. I believe some fears go way back, not only in this life time, but further back, to a past life.  We are all working out karma from another life or lifetimes. If we don’t work it out in one life time, we carry that karma with us to the next life and so on. I believe that while I was on the fire tower the karma clock was ticking.

With a fear to conquer I decided that the third time was the charm. I began again. The first set of steps. The second set of steps, half way up, backed down, sobbing from fear. I knew what my fear was and it wasn’t the tower’s steps. The fear I felt inside about moving forward – financial security, stability, taking the next step – was manifesting on the outside. As within so without.

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Determined to get up the tower and take pictures, I looked up, not down or ahead, as was suggested by someone else and I prayed to be kept safe as I moved upward. I breathed, counted the steps and finally made it up the fourth set of steps (about half of the tower –the rest will have to wait until fall when I go back). The view of the Hudson River and the Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge was amazing. It was more amazing because I had chosen to move forward.  In the end what helped was counting steps…one at a time.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

John Lennon

In the early morning of Tuesday, December 9, 1980, I awoke at 6:00 a.m. when my clock radio alarm went off. I lay in my bed for a few minutes more listening to the music, not really in a hurry to get up and get ready for school that cold, dark morning. After the song finished playing, Pete Clark, the deejay of the local rock radio station said, “Good morning. I’m sorry you have to wake up this way this morning.” He paused and then continued saying that John Lennon was shot and killed the night before. After that I didn’t hear anything.

I was numb with shock and then disbelief. Either way I was jolted out of bed, cold notwithstanding, and got ready for school. Nearly everyone in  my senior class was stunned. It was pretty hard to accept. For most of us it was our first experience losing someone we knew, whether it was a celebrity, friend or family member. Personally, I didn’t know how to process this. No one ever really explained death or dying to me.

The first few days after John Lennon was murdered, rock radio stations in the New York area (and I’m pretty certain everywhere) played Beatles and Lennon’s songs and interviews; newspapers ran special editions; Beatle and John Lennon memorabilia were being sold in stores. (The internet was about ten years away.) Meanwhile, he and his wife, Yoko had been working on their new album together, “Double Fantasy” at the time of his death – his first album in five years. Ironically, it’s first single was titled, “Starting Over”.

What I recalled about John Lennon at that time was his music, his social activism (the bed-in), and to some extent his religious or rather spiritual beliefs. I did not realize until many years after his death the depth of his spirituality. He believed in re-incarnation, that God is a source and his spiritual and social beliefs were reflected in his songs. I wonder what he would say about the state of the world today.

In the book, “The Cynical Idealist: A Spiritual Biography of John Lennon” by Gary Tillery (2009, Quest books), Tillery writes that soon after writing “Nowhere Man” in 1966, John “would be down on his knees in a locked bathroom begging God for a sign.”  Elizabeth Gilbert also got down on her knees in her bathroom and begged for God’s help, as she wrote in “Eat, Pray, Love”.  I can relate to this and I’ll bet a lot of us can. When I’ve desperately needed an answer from God or the angels, that’s where I go. Why is that? I believe it’s because it’s the most private and therefore safest room in the house to communicate with God.

John Lennon would have been 75 years old this year;  incredibly 35 years since he passed, 2 months after his 40th birthday.

 

“We live in a world where we have to hide to make love, while violence is practiced in broad daylight.” ~ John Lennon

 

My Grandmother’s Eulogy

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Evangeline, my grandmother’s name,  was born in  1922, to parents who were pastors. The English meaning of her name is “Good tidings the word”; the Greek meaning, ” Good news message”. The word Angel is also in her name.  Angels are Gods messengers.

She was the visiting pastor at United Methodist church where my mom brought us nearly every Sunday. On that Sunday, the entire family was present and on time. She was present at the same church when my sisters and brother and I were baptized when I was about eleven or twelve. (During my dad’s and aunt’s upbringing she had travelled to different churches to preach. It was work  in the early 1940’s for a single mom. But, her connection to the church and Jesus was also her lifeline.) Until then, I’d never seen my grandmother in that role. She was speaking passionately with a raised voice and raised arms. Soon enough I would learn just how passionate she was about her faith.

Over the years that I visited her house,  I noticed books and papers piled up on her kitchen counter; bookshelves packed with books in various rooms of her house; music albums or cassettes neatly placed in their racks, the bead and  and pictures of Jesus or Bible quotes written or painted on paper and framed or carved in wood over archways and rooms in her house. The common denominator: they were all about religion. Specifically, Christianity, Jesus and the Bible.

As a child and then adolescent, I dutifully went to the methodist church with my family on Sundays. I recall that we started going to another church, Wesleyan,  that  seemed, at first to work for me. It was around this time that I was ….. looking for something else. It’s not that I was rebelling  against religion, rather I was looking for something that held meaning for me.  I didn’t know what  that something was, but somewhere I learned that most answers could be found in church or by talking to God. Maybe I learned it from my grandmother. I found a church to go to, but I did not find myself.

Throughout high school and into my early twenties, I was a devout follower of rock and roll.  I  accumulated rock paraphernalia: albums, ticket stubs, tee shirts and magazines. Unfortunately, what I learned from my grandmother was that you have to love God and church 100 percent. It’s all or nothing. If I wanted to find God and belong to church, I could not  continue to worship my rock and roll idols. I could not give up my Ramones tee shirt, the ticket stub from a Mink DeVille concert that I saw with my friend Jody or my collection of Hit Parade and Rolling Stones magazines. Could I?

The yearning to find that….something else became stronger around 1991.  What I found was a book that was not the answer for me, but it did lead me to my first teacher who handed me his copy of Shirley Maclaine’s  “Out on a Limb”. Many years earlier I had seen a People magazine article of her promoting her new book and I found the concept of reincarnation scary. At the time, reincarnation was synonymous with Shirley Maclaine. I believe that, over time,  her celebrity helped to bring new age practices into the mainstream.This book was the something else I was looking for.  As soon as I started reading, I could not put it down. Most of what she wrote resonated with me.  The part about re-incarnation would take a little more time for me to grasp. That would be the book after “Out on a Limb”,  when my friend told me about Edgar Cayce. With both of these books read from cover to cover, I was off and running on my spiritual journey. And, I got so excited about what I was learning, that I could not wait to share it with everyone. This is where I begin to sound like my grandmother. This was my A-ha moment. This was our connection – although we both came at it from different sides.

At that time, I knew I had found exactly what I had been looking for.   I started to share my new discovery, but I knew it would not make other people comfortable: family, friends and co-workers. I tried anyway…and well, the obvious responses happened. Use your imagination.  I knew my grandmother would have thought it was the rock and roll or not going to church that got to me. I never did share this with my grandmother, although I  did try to tell her once, but she did not understand what I was talking about. Out of fear or respect , or both, I changed the subject.

Anyway, after reading “Out On A Limb”, the Universe opened up for me. This is how I now know when I am on the right path. Some might call it synchronicity. Others may say it is fate or destiny. Well…it’s both. It is meant to be.

So, I started reading everything I could to learn more about everything esoteric and paranormal. I did my research. I wanted to know and understand what else was out there and I knew that there was more than just the Bible and the three core religions: Catholicism, Judaism and Protestant.

I would pick up any book by Shirley Maclaine, process it and decide where to go from there. Then, Sylvia Browne and Doreen Virtue. Then various books with a spiritual message.  Collections of Angel figurines and ornaments, butterflies and dragonflies in any form came next – they’re in almost every room in my house. The new age music that calms me and brings me peace. Recently, I looked down on the floor next to my bed and over at the book shelf. Nearly every book on the shelves are spiritual in nature, except for a few biographies and  my Ramones CD’s.

A thought came to me: I had become my grandmother.

When I talked with her last year, I began talking with her about the Bible and her favorite person in the Bible she told me was Jesus. His pictures adorned her home. She looked up at me as if she had just realized I was talking about something she knew. A certain look came over her as if I was speaking a foreign language that she had recognized. I showed her my gardens because I knew she loved flowers. When I saw her in the nursing home over the summer, I’d brought an oversized “Hello Kitty” coloring book with me because I knew she loved coloring. As she  colored Hello Kitty with only a blue crayon, I just watched her and recalled it was just like I remembered her views on religion. Talking about Jesus, praying to him and reading or being read to about him. She loved Jesus.

I started this story  a little over a year ago when I first learned that she had the signs of dementia. She passed away nearly a week after falling in the nursing home where she lived for the last seven months, eight years almost to the day that her husband passed. I believe she didn’t want to live anymore. She wanted to go “home” to see him. And to see Jesus.

The Art of Letting Go

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My daughter, my first born, leaves for college this month, two states and three hours away from home. She’s ready. I’m ready, I think. I say “think” because I’ve had eighteen years to prepare for this milestone. But when I think about it, I get anxious.

I recall watching the school bus going by our house when she was two months old and thinking to myself, “She is not going a noisy, germ-infested school bus.” Five year later: new shoes on and a Veggie Tales back pack loaded with her lunch and school supplies, we headed for the bus stop. I had the video camera ready as the school bus drove up to record this milestone, as I had so many others since she was born. We barely said our goodbyes, when the school bus door opened and she eagerly bounded up the steps to take her place in the front seat. Her little brother and I watched as the school bus drove out of sight. I had prepared myself to go directly to the grocery store so that I would not have to go back inside the house, but alas, I forgot my pocketbook in the first- day- of –school excitement.

After I wiped away my tears, my son and I went to the grocery store… and then the mall. I celebrated my first born child’s first day of school by shopping. The second child was easier, not as emotional the second time around.
And so it would go…moving up from elementary school to middle school…moving up from middle school to high school…graduating high school …and all the many other achievements in-between.

I’ve been learning to let go for the last eighteen years: Watching her grow from an infant to a curious toddler to a free spirited girl and to the young woman she is now; when she learned to walk and no longer needed me to carry her, learning to ride a bike, and finally gaining her independence when she obtained her driver’s license and could drive herself to school, her friends’ houses and to the mall; the first sleepover with friends (and all the subsequent sleepovers) and when she traveled to France and Spain with her school mates.

It’s hard to let go – to let her be…herself. I want to hold on to her longer – to be the little girl who looked at me with a Cheshire cat smile when she was up to something (and she still does). Or in the morning when I’d wake up and find her sleeping on the floor next to me with her pillow and blanket – a safer place to sleep when a nightmare would wake her up. On the other hand, I know I have to let go and allow her to be the lovely young woman she is. It’s time for her next adventure.

This is her journey. She chose her path. She chose me as her mom for this life’s journey. She is mine to borrow. But her life is her own. It always has been. We were brought together to love and learn lessons. I feel that in this life, she is teaching me to let go.

But, I’ll be calling all archangels and angels to watch over her as I drive home the day I drop her off at college. Maybe I’ll drive to the mall first…then go home.

THE GIFT

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THE GIFT

Writing is not what I aspired to. In English and History classes in high school, I dreaded writing and barely got past the first paragraph. College papers, when they were required, were the bare minimum. My papers resembled lists and I repeated myself in those essays or reports. I did not enjoy writing. It may have been explained in English class, but I did not really know how to construct an essay, a story or a report. So, I could never have imagined then that I would become a published author.

It is said that to write well, you need to read to understand how sentences are structured and how to put a story together. Growing up, I loved reading books. I read classics like, “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” ;  Guy de Maupassant’s tragic short story, “The Necklace” twice, and every book by Tracy Chevalier.  I would read biographies on almost anyone and I still do,  for school and for enjoyment.  I read magazines from cover to cover, the New York Times and watched television news programs. This is how I learned how to deliver and write a story.  I saw writing as a way to obtain information or for entertainment, never as an art form.

And then, in late 2008 I had a life change. After twenty years working in the accounting department for a  media company that included a newspaper and a magazine, I was laid off. During the first year of unemployment when I had related the story of my spiritual journey to someone, it was suggested to me that I had a lot to tell, and that I should write books. I thought to myself “Never. That is not something I would remotely be interested in doing.” I did not like writing….I could not write. On reflection I wondered if that was because I did not think I had a story to tell.

Well, I did not think about that exchange again, until two years later when I took classes at a community college and found myself looking at the college’s club bulletin board. There were clubs and organizations for nearly everything and everyone.  I found myself looking straight at a notice for the college newspaper. I was led to it. I felt it was a sign, so I humored my spirit guides, even though I still did not believe I could write anything.  So, I attended the first meeting and I got a positive feeling. Something inside of me changed.  Shortly after that, I wrote my first brief on an  event at the college. A simple paragraph. I could not write any more than that. Still, I kept at it. There must be a reason why I joined the college newspaper.

My next assignment was to be an article on plagiarism. The publisher said there had been increased issues with students copying papers and cheating on tests due to the availability of cell phones. I took my time with it and really got into investigating and interviewing people for  the piece. I really enjoyed what I was doing and the writing came easily: I wrote over 900 words. The editor told me the writing was good and nothing needed to be edited. I remember thinking: what happened in that one month from the first piece that was a basic paragraph of information that I scraped together to this 900 plus word story? I never took a writing class. I was never a journalist. So, how did this transition happen? Where did this sudden burst of writing come from?

I don’t know how else to explain it other than it was meant to be. Destiny. The universe led me to it. Specifically, on a soul level, it was planned before my current incarnation. We all have “blueprints” of what our human experiences will entail. The who, what, when, where and how  of our souls journey. Who our parents will be, what lessons our souls want to learn, where we will live, who we will marry, how  many children  we will have, and when our souls current mission will end. I believe my spirit guides and guardian angels, who were with my soul during the planning stages for this incarnation, gave me gentle reminders about events that were pre-planned and guided me through the implementation of those plans. They led me to that bulletin board and subsequently helped with the writing of my book, “Sweet Dreams”. While the characters in the short story are composites of people I knew in this life-time, and are now on the other side, I am very certain one of them  also assisted with her part of the story.

Everyone has a story to tell whether it’s happy, tragic or inspiring. Writing is only a part of  mine. Although it did not come naturally to me until a few years ago, I really enjoy it now. For me, writing is a gift that I share with everyone. It is not mine to keep.  I am grateful for this gift. Who knows where it will take me or for how long. Everyday, I look for something to write about; or an idea will “pop” into my head – divine intervention. Be grateful for your gifts whatever they are.

Happy Christmas and Best Wishes for all great things in 2015.

Sweet Dreams

A GHOST STORY

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One rainy spring day a couple of years ago,  I took my Nikon camera and went for a walk in a local park. Being in nature is very restorative for me and I love photographing nature. I had taken about two dozen photos already that afternoon when I came upon a road where no one was walking. The road was on a slight incline, with a gentle curve, and a canopy of green leaves overhead, protecting me from the light rain. It was there that I took my one of my  last  photographs.

I looked at that scene before I raised my camera and then looked at the scene again on the camera’s screen. Click. I looked at the camera’s screen to see what my photo would actually look like.  It looked good…except for the white ball at the bottom right. I didn’t recall a child’s ball there before and during the time I took the photograph. Suddenly, I got chills and not the good kind. I felt scared and started walking toward the exit from the park. I knew it was an orb. But, was it a ghost? If not, who or what was it?

I walked over a small stone walled  bridge near the exit of the park. I looked at the stone wall  with a tree towering above it. I didn’t think it would make a good picture,  but I  felt compelled to take one last photo. Click.  Once again, I look in my camera’s screen and I see the same bright orb near the top of the stone wall, as if whoever it was, was sitting on the stone wall, posing for me. I wasn’t scared, but rather I thought whoever or whatever it was had a sense of humor.

Somewhere, I had read that nature angels or fairies’ orbs are bright. Maybe it was an angel or a very large fairy.  I had taken photographs before that showed orbs: in a church, in a school, and outdoors. I have taken photographs that have shown several orbs in different sizes, but not as bright as the orb I saw in the park that day.

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To my recollection I have never seen a ghost, apparition, spirit or whatever you want to call it. Well, I have seen an orb that glided along the floor of a house I lived in… temporarily. After my logical side proved that it couldn’t be a passing car’s lights reflecting in the house, I jumped up and turned on every light in the small house. ( I had been watching a movie with the lights off – serves me right.)  Several years ago, an intuit told me that I was able to see spirits when I was a child, but that I had been taught to be afraid of them. To this day, I am petrified of seeing a ghost. In my bathroom, on some occasions, I just  know a spirit is there, although this entity travels to different areas of my house. But the paranormal activity doesn’t stop there. On one very frigid winter day, I picked up my cell phone to call someone and while I was waiting to hear the connection go through,  I began to hear something like a radio frequency instead. An awareness that something odd was happening struck me. And then I heard a female voice saying clearly but eerily, “Leave the ranch.” I tried to get this persons attention by saying, “Hello, who is this?” And, I wanted to know what “leave the ranch” meant? Get out of the house or leave them some salad dressing? But then it was over. It didn’t really scare me then, oddly enough and it was the only occurrence. If I am right and there is a spirit in my house, I haven’t yet mustered the courage to ask who it is. On second thought, I don’t want to know.

There are ghosts or spirits that are called ‘earth-bounds’ – souls who have left their human bodies but have not crossed over into the light. And believe me, when I hear that a friend, family member or someone I know has passed away, I cross them over. It’s not because I don’t want my house to be paranormally active –  I don’t. It’s for the sake of the departed soul. They belong on the other side, except when they come back for a visit. There are spirits and angels  all around us. I have felt friends, family members, my spirit guides, and angels. They’re not around to scare us – they’re checking in to say, “Hello.”  I can’t see them, but I have seen something out of the corner of my eye on more than one occasion and they usually give you a good feeling, a feeling of warmth, sometimes physically. I have felt this way when my cat, Zippy, visits me. He sits right next to my leg when I’m laying in bed watching a movie. With the lights on.

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CHANNELING MY INNER GODDESS

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In the eighth grade, circa 1977, I learned about Greek Mythology, a unit in the English curriculum. I was fascinated by the Gods and Goddesses and what their powers were. I was awestruck by the ancient ruins. I always wondered if  the Gods and Goddesses really existed. Were they real?  When did they live? Were they just a myth? Something resonated with me. I couldn’t explain it, but I started to become obsessed with the myth.

At the end of the unit there would be a party and all of the eighth grade students had to choose a project to complete: a written paper, a diorama, an ancient ruin re-created from papier mache, or dress up as an ancient Greek God or Goddess. Anyone dressing up would automatically get an “A” for the project. About a half dozen or so other students and I opted for the latter and dressed up as famous or infamous Greek mythological figures. I chose to dress up for the automatic ‘A’ as I had no artistic talent and I didn’t like writing.  In the cafeteria, where the party was held, there was Ambrosia salad, displays of projects and a parade by a few of the students dressed as Ancient Greek Gods or Goddesses.

I recall someone who came as Atlas, the legendary Titan of astronomy –  holding up an unusually large globe from the social studies room. Another student who walked in with a bow and arrow, and donned wings taped to his back – cut out from poster board – was Cupid, the God of desire, erotic love and attraction. I was more down to earth. I came as the “Earth Mother”, Demeter. I was drawn to her during our studies of Greek mythology. I wore a rather large piece of material – that I borrowed from my mother’s sewing room – around me for my dress and a Christmas wreath on my head. ( A few years ago on Halloween, I reprised my role as the Goddess of harvest and agriculture – with a grape vine wreath.)

I couldn’t put into words then the hold that the story of  Demeter had over me. When her daughter, Persephone, was taken by Hades to the Underworld, Demeter, heartbroken, ceased taking care of the earth. The crops stopped growing, trees lost their leaves, flowers no longer bloomed. Until six months later, when Persephone was allowed to visit her mother for the next six months, and the crops began to grow again, the leaves grew back on the trees and flowers were in bloom once more. But the deal was that Hades would take her back at the end of six months.  Demeter would become depressed and once more the plants on the earth would die. And so it would go, every six months – Demeter would have to share her daughter with Hades.  And that, according to Greek Mythology, is why we have the seasons: fall and winter, spring and summer.  Maybe I was gullible, but this story made sense to me, more than any other story of a Greek God or Goddess. Is it possible that it was more than just a myth?

Anyway, the week after the party when I went into my Earth Science class, my teacher, Mr. Witter, told me he always thought I looked like a Greek Goddess. I took it as a compliment, even if it might have sounded a bit creepy. I felt a connection with Demeter. Maybe we all feel a connection with the Earth Mother. We plant our gardens, take shade under a tree, decorate our homes with vases of flowers and in the summer enjoy the fruits of her labor at the farmers market. I have always loved the fall: the crisp air, colorful foliage, the crunch of fallen leaves under my footsteps and baking zucchini bread and apple bread. Still, I’m sorry to see the long, warm summer days go away.  Perhaps it is empathy for Demeter that we feel when summer comes to an end.

And so it is at the autumnal equinox, that I channel my inner Demeter and pay homage to the Greek Goddess of harvest and agriculture, the Earth Mother, who gives up her daughter to the  Underworld and the plants, trees, flowers and crops die or hibernate, until once again Demeter is reunited with Persephone in the spring.

ANGEL TO THE RESCUE

 

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( picture of the Bunker Hill bridge, Boston)

 

I remember the days when you went on a vacation road trip and you would need a map. A Rand McNally paper map that was folded accordion style and then folded over, like a small memo note book. Growing up, my family had one for New York State that my dad bought at the gas station.  Later on whenever I went anywhere, I bought a map before I went on vacation. I had maps for New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. Some trips only required that I stay on the interstate and use the green directional signs and I had no problem getting to my destination. Times changed and we started relying on technology to help us find our way. Paper road maps, for the most part, although they do have a few in some gas station food marts and convenience stores,  have ceased to exist and have been replaced with  MapQuest, Google maps, etc.

And so, on vacation in the Boston area last month, we got lost. To be specific we were driving back from Boston. My daughter and I had had a wonderful day shopping in Quincy Market Place  at Fanueil Hall.  We had been in the area a few times before, and we’ve had several trips to the north of Boston in Glouchester  and Rockport.  But, I wasn’t as experienced driving in the Boston area. My daughter had put our destination into her Galaxy S4, giving the computer the directions we needed to get from Boston to our hotel a half hour outside of Boston, in Wakefield, Massachusetts. Option one: Get on I-90 to I-95 North until our exit. Cut and dry. Option two: Take Route 1 and shave off eleven minutes, saving us time and gas. Too good to be true? Yes.

We took Option two. The robot lady in my daughter’s Galaxy S4 mobile device, sent us on the scenic route of eastern Middlesex county. We must have driven up and down Walnut Street a dozen times. The robot lady re-directed and re-directed us. We did see the small road sign for I-95, but where was I-95? Where was the road that led to the ramp? Ninety minutes before we had begun a thirty minute ride back to our hotel! My head was aching and we were exhausted. Then the inevitable happened. Her phone died. My cell phone, an older Samsung model,  not set up for internet, was still very much alive. And this may have been what saved us. I need to say that the few people who helped us with directions were very polite and understanding, even in the age of the internet. One person stands out. Was it fate? And if so, why?

After what seemed like our fiftieth time cruising up and down Walnut Street, we gave up and  drove until we found a gas station. I got out of the car  and walked into the gas station to ask for directions. The old fashioned way – you know –  what people did before technology changed our way of life. There were two people in line at the gas mart counter.

“Excuse me”, I asked the tall man next in line. “Can you tell me how to get to I-95?”

He hesitated a little and started to speak up  when the woman in front of him who was at the counter said, “I know. You have to…  Hold on, let me finish here.” The man behind the counter gave her the receipt and change for her purchases which she put into her tiger print clutch wallet. She closed her wallet and we walked outside the store while she gave me directions. She spoke well and had a great sense of direction. She lived in the area and knew it well, I could tell. She told me to go out here, turn there, go two lights, turn right, go around the lake, then come to a stop, go onto Walnut Street (where we saw the sign for I-95!) and then turn somewhere and you see this store and the ramp for I-95. Okay, she didn’t say it exactly this way, but her directions were clear. Except that at this point my head wasn’t absorbing any more information. I nodded okay, thanked her and jumped back into the car where my daughter was waiting.

I went to start the car and realized I didn’t recall anything this young woman told me. I was mentally exhausted. Suddenly, there was a knock on my door window. It was her. I rolled down my window.

“Would you like me to text you the directions?”  she asked.

“That would be great! Thank you!” I replied, relieved.

Did the universe communicate to her that I needed written directions to get me to my destination? I believe that. I don’t believe in coincidence. She was meant to give me written directions by text.

What followed was better than the on-line directions. She sent me a long text of perfect directions. I looked them over and handed my phone over to my daughter. Every single direction was spot on. Can a human being communicate directions that perfectly? Was it divine intervention? We were back at our hotel in less than twenty minutes. I sent her a text to let her know that we arrived and to thank her. I was grateful.

I believe in signs. I believe that our angels and spirit guides are around us, helping us throughout our day and our lives. In little ways and not so little ways they rescue us from whatever trouble we’re in. We can recognize that if we are aware. There are people who come in to our lives for long and short periods of time to assist us during this journey. Some for just an interlude – like the woman who rescued me that warm July day.  I don’t believe she was an angel,  but I believe she sent  by an angel. We were both in the right place at the right time. It was fate.

After we rested for a bit in the hotel, we went out to find something to eat, trying not to get lost again. We pulled up to a fast food restaurant, not my first choice, but it was late and not much was open except fast food. Before I got out of the car, I asked the universe for a sign or something to let me know what was going on.  Why did this happen today? What was the purpose of  getting lost today?  Then, I thought… “aaaaah. Getting lost.” Was I getting lost spiritually? Was  my soul veering off  the road and did I need to be re-directed?

I have learned over the course of my spiritual journey to pay attention to signs. Our angels, loved ones on the other side and spirit guides communicate to us in various ways: butterflies, birds, dragonflies, coins and sequential number patterns, to name a few.  So, as I got out of the car and walked toward the restaurant, my eyes caught  a sign at the gas station next door to the parking lot. The sign I’d been looking for came in the form of  the price of a gallon of regular gas: $3.33.