I’m sitting with my Dad here at his Assisted Living facility that for him is also newly hospice. He just smiled at me as he listens to the fancy headphones that my spouse bought just for this purpose. Los Panchos. His favorite. He has enjoyed having two daughters again after losing my sister many years ago. Sometimes my Dad forgets my name but doesn’t forget Patricia’s name when she walks in the room. I finally have time to shed a few tears in the quiet of this room.
During his last hospitalization we decided there had been enough hauling him back and forth for treatments he wouldn’t have consented to if he didn’t have Alzheimer’s. The staff treats him exceptionally well here and I see their hearts through their actions and kindnesses. He can live out the remainder of his days here without being poked, prodded, and with the serenity that this time on earth should be for him.
This time of the solstice and the waxing full cold mean brings a time for reflection and stillness. It doesn’t matter what zodiac sign we happen to shine under. At my aunt’s recent funeral I read the words ‘a time to reap and a time to sow.’ This is the time to be quiet for us. A time to listen for what is important and to allow what is not to fall to the wayside. A time to remember all the good things that life has brought us. A time to let time standstill.
My Dad has been awfully good to me. Always. I’ve sat in his car reading comic books while he tooled around with the engine. I’ve listened to him sing and play guitar with his brothers and in the quiet of our living room. I’ve watched him get up at 4:30am for his daily labors for years without a complaint. My only complaint was that he was strict during my teenage years. I can smile about that now. He helped my children with anything they needed as he did me. He opened his arms to my spouse and played guitar with her.
My Dad is still here with me and I’m grateful. Last night I dreamt a dream that reminded me of my mother and her singing during my childhood. I recently had a meditation of my parents dressed to the nines. Toasting. She’ll be there for him when he crosses over. I feel relief and gratitude about that.
But for now I will allow my soul to be comforted in the time of the cold moon. We are not wanting. We are taken care of. I hope you feel that too.
I couldn’t let today go by without writing a few lines about Our Lady of Guadalupe. It’s Her feast day. Many are celebrating Her love, compassion, and kindness. It’s said that when She appeared to Juan Diego on the Hill of Tepeyac, She said, “Am I not here, I, who am your Mother?”
I attended Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Her feast day many years ago. My memory is one of being struck by the love of the people who surrounded Her iconic image. The procession of the devotees stirred my heart. This Mother holds a gentle presence in our house and a small depiction of Her image watches over our dining room table. The face of this Goddess tells me that no matter one may go through, that may seem unbearable, may be made tolerable with Her love and support. Being led to acceptance of life’s harsh realities has often changed me and spurred me on to much needed spiritual growth.
When my spouse and I traveled to Mexico City in 2001 and we saw Her shrine at the Basilica de Guadalupe, I truly felt Her energy suffuse me with love. When I read the words that were a message of hope to me, I knew that I would never be alone. I hope that you too can be filled with Our Lady’s message of love.
Yesterday I updated my blog site and I’m totally unfamiliar with this new style of blogging that is all behind the scenes to the finished product. That just about wraps up the way everything is going in my life. The exterior seems fairly smooth but the interior me is adjusting to all things new and different. Last Sunday evening, Graciella and I drew the Change/ Cambios oracle card and it was on point as always.
Today was filled with holiday shopping, visiting my Dad at the assisted living facility, and grocery shopping. It all went off without a hitch other than the increased traffic that’s to be expected at this time of year. It all seemed mundane except for the car that was pulled over on the expressway filled with bullet holes. It made me think of how fortunate I am and that my loved one or myself wasn’t in that car or that I don’t have a child in a cage awaiting deportation and that I walked throughout the day with my spouse bickering at times like spoiled teenagers. I’m truly blessed. I wrote a few pages in my second Daisy novel WIP and got a nudge from Graciella. It was time to pull this week’s card
We smudged ourselves and the Oracle. We shuffled the cards, fanned them out on my writing desk, and pulled the one that called out. Together we pulled the East/Este card.
I immediately think of Morning Tobacco prayers that call to the four directions. The East is the place of the new day, new beginnings, the light that is within us and in our surroundings. It is the place of Eagle spirit that according to Sams in her Animal Medicine cards tells us to stay in the light of Spirit and not to get mired in the mud as can easily happen when we don’t stay in the light.
We learn to shine our shine as very young children. At some point it becomes a choice whether we want to be in the light and not get stuck in the negativity that is so prevalent as we age and are offered choices to gossip, to be mean, not to give an answer, or maybe laugh if someone fumbles or trips. This card reminds us about the peace and tranquility that comes to us in the simplicity of illumination. Today I see the image of the card as one of growth and of being tethered to beauty if we allow it. The barren trees may be from our backgrounds, maybe we had a childhood wasn’t that great or happy, but today we still have the opportunity to meet and greet the light of the sun that is rising. That whatever the background or our baggage we can still make the choice to be in the light. That whatever is going on around us in this chaotic and dark world filled with charlatans and persons who may not want to be in the light, we can not only be in the light but be the light.
Make your choice, pray to golden eagle, that you too, may fly high with Spirit!
I made it a point this week to keep last Sunday’s read up front in terms of my experience. The concept of the Sun/Sol showed up clearly for me. The meaning wasn’t news that I might be unhappy to receive. But it did arrive with a starkness, a clarity of vision, of knowledge that I would be ill-advised to deny. Did I have to do anything about the information? No. But it was still helpful to know and it started a series of talks for me to begin managing an important part of my life.
Today, I smudged myself and the oracle with white sage. It smells so wonderful. I shuffled the cards three times, and fanned them out on an uncluttered surface, my creative table. I felt Graciella’s energy merge with mine as I centered and together we pulled the Change/Cambios card from the oracle deck.
Change! Yet again, we receive the message that change is afoot. What else is new? The image shows the hand reaching for two cannisters when there is one on the counter that is spilling sugar. Surprisingly, a piece of jewelry is also seen in the sugar. The wall tiles are vividly colored and today I see them as Christmas decorations already hanging. Can you see that too?
As we become busy with the holiday season, it would be prudent to take the time to tend to what needs to be done before we attempt to do more. Are we buying things we already have? Are we neglecting basic things because we are harried and in a rush. What might we be purposefully neglecting because we believe that cleaning up our messes will take up too much time.
Take a moment. Look around. Where in our lives are things neglected or ignored because we believe that other things take precedent? The festivities are already here. We don’t have to look too far for them. We can create fun and happiness while still taking the time to take care of the things that ultimately bring a sweetness to our lives unrealized in our daily activities.
The notion of in-between times was so romantic to me when I first heard of them. I’d learned of the power of Spirit coming through at dawn and dusk. Those were the times to meditate and to slide through those slivers of space where I could experience more than my seeming regular world could afford me. I learned to scry water, to read cards, to listen with all of my senses and slowly built a foundation to always be in touch with Spirit.
This mid-morning, I find myself sitting at my computer. I am writing a few more pages in my slowly emerging second Daisy mystery novel. There’s a strong feeling of peace within my heart. I’ve placed all other things aside for this time. I’ve come to realize this is an in-between time too. We received the shipment of our boxes of personal belongings that we sent up from Puerto Rico as we prepared to place our house on the market. We opened them last night and pulled out pots, pans, and art work from Puerto Rican artisans that we cherished and enjoyed several times a year on our trips to the island. I placed a few pieces of art up on my wall and can now enjoy them every day of the year.
This in-between time is bittersweet. I loved my little house in Puerto Rico. This is a time of letting go but also a time of accepting new things into my life. As I wait for a call from the realtor, I pray that the family who is meant to have the house ambles through the serene neighborhood. That they may speak with one of the vecinos who were so helpful to me over the years. The ones who shared food with my Dad. The ones who helped fix the television for him when he started losing the ability to do the things that we take for granted. The ones who called me to tell me it was time to check on him and that the time he needed me more than he wanted had finally come.
This chasm of time is one for Spirit to come through. The feeling of serenity is strong in my office/spiritual space. It is strong within me. It reminds me of walking through the Camuy caves in Puerto Rico. The bats hung above us occasionally tittering. The rocks whispered secrets from our ancient ones. The waters trickled- gently guiding us- ensuring we wouldn’t skate on the slippery paths we tread. I am grateful for this time. I can accept the changes that life brings and anticipate the beautiful new days ahead. I can sit in this moment of time and listen as Spirit tells me that all is okay for today.
For many of us, the leftovers are in the fridge, we’ve hugged our loved ones so long, and we ready for the coming week. There’s much planning that’s been completed and now we begin to plan for the upcoming holidays! For others, this time of quiet has afforded us the time to complete certain tasks and bask in solitude. However, we choose to spend our holidays, I hope for all that the wonder of life is fulfilling and that Spirit has shown you how special you are in this world.
Today, as usual, I smudged with white sage in my abalone shell and centered my energies with that of Graciella, la Gitana, who walks with me. I shuffled the cards from the oracle deck and fanned them out on an uncluttered surface. Together, Graciella and I chose the Sun/Sol card.
The simplicity of this image is one that always surprises me in its beauty. Graciella walks the desert with her camel. There must be a certain trust in the environment to take this action. The aridity and barrenness in the image invites one to acknowledge the certain need to believe and have faith in what is happening or may occur in the environment or situation. The blueness of the sky is stark, yet pleasant, to the eye. The sun is seen, in this particular case, like a opening one may reach into. If one chooses to reach in, he or she must take care not to be burned. If we are aware of our protection, we must use it. Before we avail ourselves of situations that may not be to our best interest, we should take stock of what we may need. Do we need basic survival tools, like a cloak, a canteen or two filled with water for you and your loyal beast? Food that will not spoil? A balm for one’s burning lips?
Go forth, this week and allow yourself to be aware of the areas in your life that may be illuminated with information or knowledge that is brought in honest frankness. We might not find ourselves in the desert, but be prepared. The sun lights areas with sometimes uncomfortable radiance. Don’t we want to know? Don’t we want to see? Don’t we want to be prepared? While seeing with such clarity may be anxiety provoking, it will bring us exactly what we need and ultimately want to know.
This week we welcome the Full Beaver Moon! It is the last full moon before the winter solstice takes place in December. This moon has also been referred to as the mourning moon and the frosty moon. This moon was deemed the Beaver Moon for the trappers who busily trapped beaver before the deep cold winter weather set in.
Moving toward the full moon is an auspicious time to set an intention and to work on the fruition of projects. Being called ‘an eager beaver’ was a positive label. Working tirelessly as the beaver who focuses on the job of building dams reminds us that when there is a job to be done. We can complete tasks more easily with the aide of our community. It’s easy to lose perspective and intention on self and our planned activities during this time of year.
it’s apropos that this year’s full moon is waxing on Thanksgiving. Many of us busy ourselves with meal preparation, early holiday shopping, and with the general bustle of stress at this time of year. For some the full moon magnifies all of this energy tenfold. Relax.
Being the busy beaver who builds dams and bridges and all else they do is hard work. Beavers, when feeling threatened, will bite with their long ever growing sharp teeth. When we bite we don’t feel good afterward.s. The person we’ve bitten hurts pretty darn hard too.
I’m not sure of the beaver’s capacity to retreat but we have the ability to say no mas or Calgon take me away! Take restful moments for yourself. A soothing bath, a massage from your honey or scheduled in advance at a spa can help. We can’t control everything and the belief we can adds to the stress. Do something that will bring tranquility into your life. It’s your holiday too. Enjoy it!
Tonight I felt so lazy in pulling this week’s card. I’d written a few more lines to the second installment of my Daisy Muñiz mystery series- Murder at the Gowanus Canal and wanted to just sit and add more but the manuscript will wait for me to come back to it. The last week and a half has been jam packed. Yesterday, I had the great pleasure of sharing in Comité Noviembre that is a grand family event at Hostos Center for the Arts that’s held yearly. Puerto Rican artists and authors come together and it becomes, well, a festival! I plan to share a bit more on that this week, but other things were also cooking. We returned from packing up our little house in Puerto Rico as we have placed it on the market. My Dad got sick so I spent vital time with him. My dear aunt, who was 99 years old, crossed over and we went to the wake. Not to mention I managed to weave in getting back to work this week too. Are there enough hours in the day? What have you been doing? When I speak to friends and family, we are all moving so quickly.
But I did pull the card. As usual, I smudged with sage, shuffled the cards, and fanned them out on a clear smooth surface. I centered and joined with Graciella’s energy. Together we pulled the North/Norte card from the oracle deck.
The north! of course. Be at peace with the goings on at this time of year. The north speaks of the ancestors. It speaks of those who have been our relatives, either those elders that continue to guide us or those who have already crossed through the veils. They are the ones that have shared their great wisdoms with us. The one we yearn to be with as they feed us with the rich stories of their lives, teaching us how to live in grace, in honor, and with dignity.
For myself, today is my sister’s birthday. She crossed over at the age of fifteen. She was my elder. I feel her presence strongly at this time of the year especially. The anniversary of my mother’s death comes on November 27. She left us at Thanksgiving time. It is bittersweet when those we love cross over. I remember the unexpected feeling of relief when my mom passed. The knowledge she was no longer suffering helped my own grief along with a multitude of other feelings that came with her crossing. I spoke with a cousin today who shared a similar story. We were able to give each other strength at this difficult time of thin veils.
At some point today, I had the realization that I have become an elder. I’m no longer the child who was emotionally hurt so many years ago. That is part of my fiber but I’m now one of the ones that share the wisdoms that come with living many years on the planet. It was interesting to realize that. Why didn’t I notice that before when I looked in the mirror at my gray locks. It’s good for me to know that I have something to offer others who are now feeling what I have in the past. I have the opportunity to share as the wise one.
Graciella and I would both love to know how you are dealing with the North, the thin veils, and this time of nostalgia during the holiday season. Won’t you share that with us? We invite you to leave a comment below.
We just returned from a Mexican restaurant, LaFrontera, here in Puerto Rico. The food was delicious and the service very nice. We sat outdoors and enjoyed this beautiful clear 75 degree weather. Last evening we ate at ElSarten Criollo where I usually eat mofongo. But last night I ate asopao de pollo. Chicken soup with broth that’s to die for with rice that’s perfectly cooked. It’s with a full and happy belly that I pulled a card with Graciella.
Tonight I didn’t smudge, but was sure to center and join with Graciella’s energy as I especially asked that the message I channel would be a general one for all for this week. I’ve been focused on the packing here in Puerto Rico as I’ve just placed my house on the market and didn’t want any mix-ups.
Together we shuffled, fanned the oracle cards, out and pulled the Changes/Cambios card. This card tells us to be mindful of things, activities, and situations that will change. Keep the idea of quickness in mind. There’s no time to dwell or ruminate on our desires or wants. Be ready to jump into action..
This card brings forth sweetness such as the sugar I see falling out of the canister. In this particular read I also see a sliver of gold. Something that might have been lost shows up again.
This reading foretells that something good is coming. Be ready for it. Be sharp and on the lookout. It may entail family or loved ones. This may be your week!
Two years ago I packed up most in my little house in Puerto Rico with the help of my son and we boarded a plane back to New York. With my father in tow, in a wheelchair, and two little dogs we must have made a spectacle going through customs. I was almost certain that it was the right decision to bring my Dad back to the home that I knew, not the one he’d become accustomed to and enjoyed for eight years. Living in Puerto Rico had been, for him, the realization of a dream to return to his home town. My uncle and aunt were in frequent contact with him. There were games of dominoes held on the porch. Relatives and friends found their way to the little yellow and white house we call home on the island. Little by little the family dynamics changed, my aunt passed away suddenly, my uncle became bedridden, and my father began forgetting how to get home when he picked up his morning bread at la Panadería. He stubbornly refused to come home to New York, Not yet!
A neighbor called me one Saturday morning to tell me that the police were going to issue an order for my arrest for neglecting my father if I didn’t come and take care of him quickly. I flew down the next morning and stayed with him for a month. I thought about staying in Puerto Rico. I almost quit my job. I decided to return to work the night he wouldn’t go inside and it was late. I worried that I couldn’t handle it myself and I was right. My dad was very ill. He could barely get around. We found out through MRIs and CT Scans that he not only had multiple strokes but he also had Alzheimer’s disease. We went through the ups and downs of moving him into our Brooklyn apartment that had never been his. The sound of the lock opening in the middle of the night as he attempted to flee is something that I’ll never forget. The progression of home attendants that didn’t work out for various reasons was disheartening. It was tough to say the least. We’re fortunate that we found a fairly affordable assisted living facility for him. He is well taken care of and I can sleep at night without burdensome worry.
Two years later I’m back in Puerto Rico and have placed my little yellow and white house on the market. My anxiety has been high. I’ve been torn between the idea of letting go of a dream. I can truly understand what emotional hoarding is all about. I know deep in my heart that when I do sell the house that I will be left with a blessed open space in me for new things that my Higher Power wants me to experience. Being tied to an empty house is not fruitful for me. There are so many losses I feel about my dad. His guitar playing, his singing, and most definitely his cooking! I miss his storytelling. I miss him. He’s still very much alive but I miss him. The interactions stolen by progressive Alzheimer’s disease is heartbreaking. But the house is not my father.
I imagine that a new family will move into this lovely space and enjoy meals here such as the ones we cooked in our happy kitchen. They will appreciate the early morning sun pouring through the dining room windows, and the neighbors who are caring and kind and who weathered Maria- that awful hurricane that devastated the island. They will enjoy the nearby beaches, the glorious sunsets, and the sounds of the coquis chirping throughout the night.
I don’t have all the answers. I know that the house captured my heart and that as I ease through the motions of selling it that someone else will come forward and also feel the life and love that this corner of the world holds. So, we’re packing and sharing memories. Today, my daughter reminded me that I can come back to this beloved island whenever I want. It’s bittersweet this trip, but the sweetness is one that I savor. We’ve had a good run here on Puerto Rico. My dad got to live out meaningful years here. We visited often and loved every day we were here. For all this, I am grateful.