Book Excerpts

Page 55

Beneath the Tall Black Door

All week Kathryn knew the situation was getting worse as she sat at the table and looked out over the river. There was nothing to feel good about. The first day sitting on the porch she looked at the flowers. A hummingbird skirted above the flowers and sidled toward the railing near the table, not for long, not stopping to suck any nectar. The bird’s iridescent green breast stood out brighter than any of Kathryn’s flowers and she told it how beautiful it was.

The next day, Kathryn dug behind the house in the warm soil of the rock garden, terraced in the hillside at the bottom of the mountain. The hummingbird flew by her, up into the apple tree branches where she could see it easily. She was surprised to see it again, so close to her.

The third day, Kathryn thought about the bird as she picked Hosta Lilies and tended the Rose trellis next to the garage. In the twinkle of an eye, the hummingbird joined her. It flew toward her, eye level, and flitted close by, not stopping to suck nectar but just seeming to be “in the neighborhood” of her and the Lilies.

On the fourth day, Kathryn stayed inside her house and sat at the dining room table where she could see out the windows looking toward the river. She would miss seeing the hummer. In the dining room, one small window looked beyond the kitchen toward the wood shed. Kathryn could see the Mother’s Day Geranium pot hanging outside the kitchen window. Just as she was feeling sad about not seeing the hummingbird, she noticed movement above the Geranium pot. The hummingbird flew above it; she could see it after all!

No matter where Kathryn sat or worked, the bird was with her. She had a new companion! Her desire to see the bird grew. She was feeling happy to see it near her, to enjoy it flitting above the flowers, and to feel that it stayed a short while to give her joy. She always talked to it, telling the hummer how glad she was to see it, how wonderfully it moved. She had to smile excitedly as it flitted. There was a connection between the two because every time she thought of the hummingbird, it appeared almost immediately. As she became aware of the connection between her thoughts and its appearance, she was careful not to force a thought in order to see it arrive. Her desire seemed enough to bring the bird to her.

Two days went by until Kathryn left the inside of her house and returned to the porch. Knowing Gigi’s death was near, another part of her, Kathryn’s soul, lifted and she felt safe from despair. There was a peace or shelter like a harbor of relief. Had the hummingbird brought Kathryn enough relief that she was able to handle Gigi’s death? The bird had not returned for two days and she wanted to will it into her presence, to be reassured that she could depend on the hummingbird for joy. She knew this was wrong to manipulate, to force what she wanted.

Sitting on the porch at her writing table, she reminded herself to desire, rather than to force, what she wanted. She looked toward the river, to the other side, and far in the distance she could see a dark object coming toward her with the speed of a dart. The forceful missile sped through the trees on the other side of the river, crossed over, and jettisoned through the birch limbs. So fast it flew! Kathryn could not see its colors, to be sure it were she. Across the road, over the picket fence, past the flower tops, and along the railing. She recognized her hummer and squealed softly, “You are so wonderful to be able to fl y so fast; I wish you could stop!” The hummingbird turned the corner post at the far end of the porch. It was gone.

Flight Beyond the Stars

Excerpt from “Sometimes You Have to See the Ocean”

It was a long beach walk. Within fifteen minutes the sky was dark blue. I assured myself that I was safe, alone on the beach for a long walk—what tremendous timing with just the right amount of time to get back and time enough to enjoy the ocean again for an emersion walk to take it all in. I pressed lightly on the sand and feeling complete and fulfilled, I was hardly aware of walking, in my state of all being well. Nothing was missing. The warm air bathed me as the ocean waves had during the afternoon. The tall way I carried myself told me the intactness that I felt. I needed nothing. Totally nurtured, I was able to be fully in touch with the moon and the water and the sand and to feel peace in the world and myself. There was no separation—like a baby must feel in the womb and yet I knew the vastness of the landscape around me.

Low in the sky a plane hummed softly toward me. I stopped to follow its sky path moving over and beyond me. With resolution the words spoke themselves. ‘The war is over.’ I was transgressing time–back to World War II. I had been a war baby. Now I was in the same time and place celebrating fifty years after the re-opening of the Royal Hawaiian when it had been used by American military for R&R during the war. The war in me was over. We were at peace on my Japan Day. I was free from conflict to fully be myself, to be alone.

My Japan Day had come. — An armistice with the past and all that was symbolized for me growing up— the fear of not surviving the war, the prejudice against the Japanese—inexplicable, unidentifiable—the need to be protected, perhaps. The particulars were not important. But the new place that I found myself in by following my leads, was indeed, life giving. I had been willing to give up my life that I might find it. It came when I saw the ocean. “Sometimes you have to see the ocean” my neighbor had said, “the larger picture—the calm of the ocean and being a part of God. One with myself.”

Yesterday, when I had checked into the Waikiki hotel, it was the beginning of the Chinese New Year. The Japanese massage therapist told me this as I received my final massage gift from her. As I left her and the spa and ended my day, I reached into my pocket to show her the desk clerk’s card who had made my stay possible, the one who was willing to receive a fax from “Mr. John” in the morning, and who gave me a garden view with birds, whose voices John would share over the phone, as well. Instead of his card, I held my audiocassette tape that I had made on “listening in the moment.” I had brought it with me to give to him as a thank you token. Instead, my hand pointed toward her and I willingly gave it up to her and knew that she was the proper recipient. Responding very quickly, heartfelt with gratefulness, she assured me that I would be her source of learning. My words would make her well. She was experiencing great life difficulty and said that her faith in God was great to always bring her more than she needed when she was in need and I had been the client to fill her canceled appointment that morning.

The next afternoon, I arrived in St. Louis, tired from the week’s sojourn, the interlude to Seattle and my flight to Hawaii. This journey was my interlude before beginning a three-week Life Story workshop in my hometown. Praying for the right people and the right number, I had concerns that my not being at home would hold back what should be coming to me. But each time I called the coordinator, I heard two, seven, thirteen, and when I began the workshop, dressed in my island print outfit and Kukui nut lei, the room was circled by twenty-five people. My parents were the last to come in. Looking to the room, they decided that this could not be the place because there were so many unexpected guests. People from eight surrounding farm towns had come and some had brought friends. I believed they were waiting to receive the celebration of their lives as they wrote their stories of journey and magic.

To Heal and Hold Faith

Seeing time as one is possible when viewing both backwards and forwards in one’s life and having the awareness of the same stories re-running behind and in front of each other in linear time with new results; this unity creates balances in life:

  • Backwards to childhood with its intrusive conflicts through teenage years;
  • Forward into womanhood with its rigors of pain and evil as well as the counter balance of ones creativity;
  • Swimming in the ocean, award of all, to heal and hold faith and to fulfill the dream of being an influence for good far away and in one’s own neighborhood;

Without self-expression through beauty and nature the heart’s desire would die. They are integral to God showing Himself through who one is.

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