I sat at the table as Christmas dinner was served and committed myself to watching carefully. Did Grandpa really have a story for every situation? I watched him carefully, feet swinging, as Dad carved the roast with the new electric knife and Mum and Aunty whizzed back and forth from the kitchen with last minute vegetables.
We said grace. We ate. We talked. We listened to each other. Even as children, we had a voice. We were heard, but mostly I liked to listen. We were happy together. We were family.
I looked at Grandpa carefully. I noticed he was getting older. As I grew taller and my chin was rising above the table, my feet nearer and nearer to touching the floor, he seemed to be correspondingly shrinking – a function of gravity and time, he explained. Grandpa always had great explanations. I accepted his aging as children do. I could not imagine life without him in it. He held up the roof of my world.
Then I saw Grandpa take a breath, and settle into storytelling mode in his place at the head of the table.
Image: Empty Present by Kym McLeod, freeimages.com
“And that reminds me…” Grandpa said.
“Here we go again,” muttered my cousin.
It was Christmas.
“Here we go again. Another round of Gilby’s stories.”
I looked at my cousin with the round-eyed shock a small person feels when a beloved and looked-up-to elder does something unaccountable. Eight years older, he was my eldest cousin. I thought he was perfect.
When I was very small, I had decided that I would marry him when I grew up… My dad had the unfortunate task of carefully explaining why I would have to marry someone else. I thought it was a great pity. I idolized him as only a small girl can.
Unfortunately, he was going through his adolescent boy phase.
Image: Candle by Ana Abreu, free images.com, 2015
“But, I love Grandpa’s stories,” I objected, ignoring the fact that beloved big cousin had very incorrectly and rudely called Grandpa by his first name.
“Yes,” he huffed in agitation, “and there’s so m-a-n-y of them… and they are so l-o-n-g! How can he possibly have a story for every situation?” and rolled his eyes.
I heard the words but they made no sense. I LOVED Grandpa’s stories. I LOVED learning from the wisdom of those who had gone before. I listened and listened… I learned and learned… and every story was like a jewel reflecting light into the darkest corners and illuminating the way forward. Grandpa’s stories guided my way forward.
But was my cousin right? Was there a story for every situation? And what did it mean if there was?
We are never truly alone.
We are reunited with our loved ones again and again.
You are immortal.
How do I know?
My Grandfather taught me…
I am an Anglo-Australian woman with blonde hair (OK, it is touched up to hide the gray, but I refuse to fade as I get older!) and blue eyes. My biological ancestry is a Celtic mix of Irish, Scottish, Yorkshire and Cornish. I was taught to be proud of my English and Scottish ancestry. I was taught to be proud that I am 5th generation Australian. I was taught about the alcoholism that came with that ancestry. I was not taught about how white people dispossessed and killed aboriginal people for land, and my Irish ancestry was not advertised. In a lot of ways, as Australians, we are still not far enough from those colonial times when pubs had signs advertising “No dogs, No blacks, No Irish.”
But as I stood on the grass at Rhinebeck after another life-altering past-life regression with Dr Brian Weiss, my current-day, Celtic-derived self was still overshadowed by the me of the past. I knew I was taller and fitter and stronger. I held my head proudly and testosterone flowed through my body. Dark hair flowed down my back in a dark river that shone in the sunshine. I walked with other feet that knew the shape of the Earth beneath.
“How did you know your Grandfather preferred you to your brothers?” asked another participant.
“Because I was the best.” I answered.
My present-day self cringed at the lack of humility – the arrogance. My Navajo self lifted his face to the sun and knew the truth. I was the oldest. I was the fittest. I was the strongest. I was the most intelligent. I revelled in looking after my tribe. It was my place. One day I would be an elder… just like my Grandfather. I could see the truth reflected in the firelight of his eyes as the tribe sat together many night times… listening to the stories…
Image: Campfire by xannca-d7ap3af, DeviantArt, 2015
But it was not to be. Not this life time.
Unsurprisingly, the story of this blog has been an unfolding journey… like the morning sun kissing the surface of a still pond… or the slowly awakening petals of a lotus, opening until we reach its heart.
Image: Pond lily by Kevin M, freeimages.com
This blog began as a way for me to begin writing again… something I had given up as a young woman when I realized I must give myself only one option for the words that needed to be spoken. Now, words begged to be written. I was burning with outrage at the way our Western throw-away society throws away people. I wanted to ignite hope in the hopeless. I wanted to communicate to those considering suicide that “dead is not dead”. I wanted to light a candle in the darkness.
I still want to do that…
But on the way, it changed…
Life called. We live in a society where children must be fed and educated, and a roof over our heads just takes money. My blog morphed into a business website. I learned about Faith and Abundance (yes! with capital letters) and my clinical rooms became a re-charging station for people who help others.
And still, there has been a book calling me… a book calling me to write it. The message has changed. I am still listening for what it may be while I polish each post like a gem… making today’s few words gleam in the sun, resonating with joy and peace, love and hope.
Wishing you all the very best for 2016. May miracles find you daily.