“No pain, no palm; no thorns, no throne; no gall, no glory; no cross, no crown.”
The above photograph was taken of my grandfather, G. Clifford Mitchell with my mom, Connie A. (Mitchell) Marchell, on his return from surviving a ‘million dollar’ wound while serving our country at The Battle of the Bulge in World War II. Some of you have read postings about Grandma Marge whose first husband was G. Clifford Mitchell. This first year without Grandma with us, I planted her favorite flowers, red geraniums, at their memorial stone. Looking around I saw volunteers with little American Flags being placed alongside a majority of the stones at Calvary Cemetery.
In honor of all the men and women who serve and have given their lives for the gift of our freedom, it is a time of deep reflection for the many sacrifices made by the bravery of those who committed to serve The United States of America. Many families experience great challenges by being separated from their loved ones when they are called to serve their country in the military. And some are called to make the ultimate sacrifice. We have so very much to be indebted to these selfless individuals who believe in this great gift they provide for our country.
Let us hope that there will someday be a time where we will no longer require to fight for our freedom but to be able to cooperate and collaborate with one another. I suppose that is what the new heaven and new earth are all about, where the lion lies down with the lamb and peace reigns supremely across the lands.
“We shall find peace. We shall hear the angels, we shall see the sky sparkling with diamonds.”
“You carry Mother Earth within you. She is not outside of you. Mother Earth is not just your environment. In that insight of inter-being, it is possible to have real communication with the Earth, which is the highest form of prayer.”
Thich Nhat Hanh
On my morning hike the stellar sky and enlivening day brought about a feeling of oneness with Mother Earth around me. As I walked the local school track in meditation, I overheard a coach motivating the students he was training. The message he shared in encouraging, emphatic words: “You’re going to make mistakes on the field, that’s ok. Learn to fix them and move on.” Was he just coaching the athletes he was working with? As that message rang true to the very core of my being, I came upon the realization that was exactly how I have been approaching life. In the optimistic way he presented his message to those he was coaching, it brought about a yearning from those he was instructing to strive for improvement. The delivery of the message in a positive context planted the seed of working towards perfection within these adolescent youngsters.
“Creativity is so delicate a flower that praise tends to make it bloom, while discouragement often nips it in the bud.”
As I left the track to venture up the back hill, I stopped as I came upon a congregation of immature eagles gathered alongside the ground as well as flying in the area! Thankfully I had my cell phone to photograph them, even though they are not professional looking nor close up shots. But the message was a very profound one for me in my journey of the heart. Symbolic as well, for the coach from the track training session had been instructing adolescent children on the importance of perseverance towards their goals, dreams and desires.
“Being myself includes taking risks with myself, taking risks on new behavior, trying new ways of ‘being myself’, so that I can see who it is I want to be.”
As I stood there observing the eagles, they began to gather in a convocation as if to communicate with one another on their next soaring expedition, deciding on where the thermals and winds would allow for them to glide effortlessly to a new destination. I remember thinking how lucky they were to have each other to assist in their learning and growing stages of development, and how important that support system is within our own lives as well. When they began to unite as a circle of life joining their energies, I stood there with my arms reaching upwards towards their wings as they rose above me, their feathers just within reach of my outstretched arms. As they soared higher, I was able to count twelve of these youngsters who had graced me with their ‘anything is possible’ outlook on life. Their powerful, pure energy filled my soul with grandeur as a monumental experience for me in my personal life’s journey.
“Jesus said: With God, All things are possible.”
“Care no more for the opinion of others, for those voices; do the hardest thing for you. Act for yourself and face your truth.”
From this profoundly enlightening experience, I slowly began the walk up the trail. As I looked to the right where some of the eagles had been grounded, I found a secondary eagle feather symbolically left for me from one of the messengers who flew into my life that morning. The eagle has been an animal totem for me my entire life and I have been attuned to their energy for some time. It has been a blessed experience for me to witness such a marvelous moment and to be able to share it with others as a way of showing that there is much around us to assist in our journey, we just need to be still, open and aware in trusting that still, small voice within, honoring Mother Earth and striving for the highest and best in all areas of our lives, knowing that mistakes are a part of our learning curve, in order for us to super duper quantumly soar!
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that don’t work.”
“And when the storm comes, and the mighty wind shakes the forest, and thunder and lightning proclaim the majesty of the sky – then let your heart say in awe, “God moves in passion.”
Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet
A remarkable storm came through during the night which produced a brilliant lightning and thunder orchestrated display. Mother Gaia marvels us continually through her ever-changing display of colorful radiance and rumbling staccato statements of empowerment. She is to be honored for her magnitude of infinite manifesting and creative abilities, extraordinary resilience and timeless moments of grandeur!
“Every shower and dew, bless the Lord; praise and exalt Him above all forever. Dew and rain, bless the Lord; praise and exalt Him above all forever. Light and darkness, bless the Lord; praise and exalt Him above all forever. Lightning and clouds, bless the Lord; praise and exalt Him above all forever.”
Daniel 3:64; 68; 72-73
And so it is with our lives, we experience moments of great joy and depths of painful sorrow. Two emotions on opposite ends of the same vibrant spectrum. By facing tragedies in our lives head-on, this produces courage and integrity of character. Through this deep inner work, it allows for the heights of joyous rapture to be experienced soaring us to new heights. Maybe that is why we are so drawn to the beauty of nature in all of its wonder and glory, for it reflects back to us our own inner journey of the heart.
“Therefore let your soul exalt your reason to the height of passion, that it may sing.”
Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet
It is during these times of sublime lucidity while observing an incoming storm, that the creative spirit within is ignited with ecstasy; just as that surreal mesmerizing gaze into a fire which seems to transport you to another place and time. There are these uncanny connections which appear to bring serendipity into our lives, similar to the weather in their arrival; on their own time, in their own way and on their own terms – as if these magical moments were actually cued to appear in our lives when least expected. Such then our lives are like the weather, to be embraced in the present moment of awareness or relinquished forever. Therefore, be mindful and fully, consciously aware to experience the great vastness and expansiveness of the infinite drenching of the soul.
In Memory of Prince
In thankfulness, appreciation and gratitude to Tofino Photography for providing the extraordinary photography! Follow Tofino Photography