I wrote and came downstairs. I made a smoothie with lemon balm from the garden, basil, and pineapple. With some kale thrown in for good measure! I sat down to read the paper and saw why my Vietnamese friend and her husband are not free to go to the patient garden with me this afternoon like we had tentatively planned. It wasn't just that their daughter was flying in from Chicago. It was because this is Black April, the anniversary of the fall of Saigon. My friends and colleagues are boat people.
I felt a wave of guilt.
When I was in school, these people came. It made the papers and the news stations said we didn't know what to do with them. I had no CLUE why anyone would want to leave their country--I was too young. I remember seeing them at school in awful clothes, and so skinny! A whole extended family would move in to one apartment, and everyone would share the rent together. We never had seen anything like it.
It wasn't until I was an anesthesia attending that one of my residents told me this story that I understood the horror of what the boat people faced:
- This anesthesiologist-in-training, an M.D., was only one year old when they crossed on the boat. She was very sick. Had fevers. People on the boat told the mom to throw the baby off the boat because she was going to just die any way.
I looked at her with new eyes after her sharing that. She is now one to heal her people. And our people too.
I went downstairs to uncover the bird. And mama mouse looked funny. She was tending to one baby, and really rubbing it a lot with her paws and nibbling it and cleaning it. I looked closer. The baby stopped moving.
I got the tweezers out, the long ones, picked it up and noticed a gangrenous foot. That is how pet mice die--sepsis from a foot injury. It is called 'bumblefoot' and you have to look for it every day. Then I noticed the blood on the neck. The mom had bit it. Was the mom doing euthanasia for its suffering? I placed it on a piece of plastic, and just sat with it. I gave Reiki. I sat next to the heater so it would not feel cold. It was guppy breathing. That is not good. I went upstairs to take a movie of guppy breathing, for educational purposes. By that time, the baby mouse had seizure activity, then the tail relaxed, and then it was still.
I went in the garden and picked flowers and buried it. I placed a big shamrock plant on top out of the pot. I named the baby 'Patty'. I went back in to the mouse cage and looked for any other corpses. There was one, about two days old. I buried that one too.
While I was in the back yard, I saw a spirit. It was a civil war army officer, or something like it. I asked who he was? He was a rancher and dressed like that to keep people in line on the ranch. He showed me what the area looked like back in his time. It was so open and free. I really liked it. Then he went away. Movement in the lawn caught my attention next. It was a gopher! I watched him for a long time, tugging at grass. It was the common area, so I didn't care about 'the lawn' or anything. I just laughed and thought, 'So, YOU are the one that has been eating my herbs!'. There were hummingbirds too. The trees had a presence that I felt, an intelligence and a message that was communicated to me. It was very 5D. Apparently, when they are ready, others are going to start having experiences like this too.
Because my Vietnamese friends met in music school, and were classical piano majors, I did something I had been wanting to do for a long time. I dug out my piano music and played Clair De Lune by Claude Debussy. I started playing at ten, and my piano teacher encouraged me to become a music major myself. But I was all about science, and would have none of it. I just enjoyed playing. As the years went by, I played less and less. Motherhood completely destroyed it. As a single mother you can NOT sit and play. There are interruptions. The kid bangs on the keys and your hands. You can't leave them alone. I was so rusty. But my soul was glad to have my piano back (our son was with Dad's weekend). One day, my friends will invite me to see their concert grand piano. I have dreamed of my own since I was a little girl. It is so nice to share an interest like that together.
Blessed Mother requested that I promise Her that I would go to yoga today. I really wasn't going to. And what was odd is that she requested I wear a certain bracelet. It is my favorite one, a delicate art deco style platinum filigree with subtle sparkle from diamonds. Why would I wear that to yoga?? I also had to take my other jewelry off, too. She asked me to wear two other diamond pieces too.
Looking back, I have to laugh. I have on the diamond earrings that I bought when I graduated from medical school. The sales lady said, 'When you have a boyfriend he can upgrade them' I was like, 'WHAT?' Sure enough, the Christmas after I got engaged, Frank upgraded them to this size. My necklace is a lovely art deco platinum pendant with a center diamond and very subtle hearts of diamonds circling it. Frank had bought that for me to tell me he would never abandon me. You see, the emotional 'disconnect' had been troubling us, and he thought a diamond in a velvet box would 'fix' it. The bracelet is the one I had been wishing for all year and hoped to get the following Christmas. Instead, I got a Palm Pilot, matching Franks Christmas gift he bought for himself. I got upset. The Palm Pilot cost the same as the bracelet, and the electronic device to me only meant 'more work'. So in January after we did our taxes, Frank told me to look in the freezer. There was my bracelet. That was cold, cold, cold 'ice' now, wasn't it? A diamond bracelet as a weapon. I didn't care. I got my bracelet. (See how far I have grown Spiritually in ten years? It is like night and day! LOL)
Anyhow, at yoga, I was late because I was getting this jewelry. I also had my hair in a bun, with a sparkly clip above it. I was told to wear lots of black and dress like I would for ballet. I was like, 'okay, whatever Blessed Mother!'. Class was wonderful. I enjoy my new body that is smaller and healthier with the raw vegan food. I could even do plank!
Shivassina was even more wonderful. There was a beautiful quote read to us from Tantra about not being caught up in the Illusion and instead thinking about Love in the--oh I forget the word--the eternal? It was a very healing quote for me. Remember those 'Moments of Sheer Terror'? Well, luckily for me, yogi Bill was able to dig some of them out of the knots in my neck.
And when I opened my eyes, somewhat disappointed that the ting shaw rang and I had to 'come back', guess what? By some miracle, the room was filled with stars...little green ones...everywhere...on the walls, on the ceiling, on the floor.
I haven't had anyone do anything that wonderful since the bubble man's show five years ago. He said, close your eyes, and believe--then when I opened them WOW! Bubbles filled the room with laser show lights. I gave thanks to God today for that surprise at yoga.
Then I went on a date by myself.
I was so excited! It was a picnic in Heaven. I will explain. I bought a salad I made at a local natural foods store, and bought kombucha and I cheated on the RAW by getting three French macarons (lemon, chocolate, and raspberry). I drove nearby to where I used to work. I started there my first day of residency!
There is a beautiful garden in the back. It was made by an Italian who wanted the patients to have a chance to heal as they worked. This beautiful garden is made by drug addicts, alcoholics, and not-too-seriously mentally ill people. They learn responsibility by selling their produce and plants every Wednesday. Beauty is a medicine! And it works! The sunshine, the nature even healed ME--as an intern would go out there when it was slow and pick flowers with my trauma shears. The other residents used to make fun of me for always having a vase filled with cut flowers in the call room. I didn't care.
In this garden I know every tree. Just like I did in nannu's back yard. He trained in Italy to do the orchards. Just today I had nespoli. It is so much fun to pick it off the tree! (nespoli are 'loquats' in English). I saw baby peaches, figs, artichokes, oranges and lemons. The smell of citrus blossoms is a delight! And one very special tree, in July, has red fruit that is sweet and stains your hands something wicked when you eat it--it is the chezzu. Mom showed me how to eat it. As a surgeon I had to be careful to wash the fruit 'blood stains' carefully from my hands!
I sat under an arbor, and ate with the butterflies...and patients! Some of them were singing. I videotaped it. I won't share them but I will put a YouTube of the original at the bottom here. Think of Bill Withers with his gorgeous voice in a wheelchair with one leg missing, an almost homeless woman singing harmony off key, both in the sunshine, and another with a guitar in the gazebo singing too. How many people get to be serenaded live in such a gorgeous place while they picnic? It was really organic and nice to just 'BE' like that.
I also made friends with the master gardener on the weekends, Sheldon. Isn't it funny how both the Japanese (like Sheldon) and Italians (like Nannu) are terrific with gardens? I asked for permission to pick nespoli when my Vietnamese friends come. My friend's husband likes orchards. Sheldon said, 'Pick some now!' And I did. They were at the peak of the season, and better than the macarons.
Find your JOY. It will strengthen you for your 'lessons', whatever they might be. I had two great big ones after. I don't feel like blogging about them right now. Possibly later. But when you have the chance, be kind to yourself, and make yourself feel glad to just be YOU.