A Place To Die For

I needed a little something to fortify me before I finished listening to what the man had to say. The problem is, there wasn’t anything in my hand to get a sip of and there wasn’t anything nearby to get something from. Instead I was on a windy outcrop, trying to remind myself why I had though it was a good idea to be up here. Even more importantly, what did I hope to gain in understanding by seeing her final resting place?

Thankfully, the guide was none the wiser as he carried on sharing with me how they had found her a few years back. She was propped up against a pile of large rocks, as if she were resting. He said at first they thought she was very much alive and just resting, or taking in the view.

When the group got closer to her, they realized something was off about her wrap. It was a bit too authentic and yet had holes that would have left her cold. Her stillness was just too still. The only thing moving was strands of her hair blowing in the cold breeze.

I had seen her earlier, in the glass case. She looked so peaceful, as if she had simply fallen asleep in the rocks. Only a medical investigation had indicated that her death hadn’t been natural. She had been poisoned. She was, after all, an offering to the gods. It would be easier for all involved, the guide had said bringing me back to the outcrop, for her to be compliant and given some herbs to help her relax and simply do what she needed to do.

If she was in her early teens that was it. So much responsibility rested upon those young, thin shoulders. Where she had been left, and the method of her positioning was in keeping with an offering to a rain deity. She was an offering to ensure that gentle rains fell for an ideal crop growth to feed the rest of the people.

What would happen if she had failed at her job? What if her life was lost and the rains did not fall? The guide told me that another young maiden would be brought up. Clearly the first maiden was defective in some way. Or the god was fickle. Or perhaps the people had failed to do something and now had to pay the price.

At any rate she wasn’t the first to go this way and also wasn’t the last. Perhaps to her this was an hour to have be chosen. How could I possibly know and or understand? I thought maybe by going up with the guide I would gain understanding or something. All I gained was how cold and lonely it was up there. And despite it having an amazing view, it wasn’t what I would call a place to die for.

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Healing

He gently shook his head as I started to pick up a stone. Once again I had failed to learn the lesson. Rather than get angry or frustrated with me, he simply put the stones back and motioned for me to follow him.

He went over another section of his house, this one filled with what looked like highly breakable things. With a smile and all the time in the world, he started out describing each item and how it related to the earth, wind, water or fire. He moved to items over to me, and quietly said “take, they are for you”.

And so it was that I came into treasure without even realizing it. He left the room was I was marveling over my new gift, one I would never have anticipated receiving and came back with a small bag. “Wife of many years made this, many years back. I have been waiting for it to tell me who it belongs to and now I’ve heard it tell me it is to belong to you.”

The bag was really a small pouch, intricately woven with beads and sparkle here and there. After I had admired the craftsmanship of the bag, he took it and placed the items in the bag, murmuring over them as he drew the string tight.

He admonished me to keep this near by my person at all times for the spirits would speak to me or at least guide me if I kept this close by. He also assured me that I did not have master the stones, the art of divination as he thought I had gotten what I had come for.

He was correct. I had gotten what I had come for, which wasn’t to learn the art of divination as much as it was to study how he, as a healer, used it to determine a person’s sickness. He could also find what plants and herbs needed to be used the help a person through the same process. I gathered my notes, my priceless gifts and thanked him profusely for allowing an outside into his world. He could not possibly understand how important any of these observations were to me. Instead, he told me, he felt that I was to heal people in another way.

He told me that the observations were not power, they would not do anyone any good for the power was in the healer. If I wanted to share what I had learned I could, but it wouldn’t matter in the end for the observations would just be what my eyes caught. But the other healing that he felt I had learned (I’m not so sure he’s right) would be powerful, but only if I used it as it was meant to be used.

So as I pull together my notes, a lovely bag rests on the table near my hand. The bag represents the power of kindness, faith, and hope. And if those aren’t the main ingredients in healing, I’m not sure what is.

Crossing The Ts For Lupus

Beloved is the kind of man who will offer you tea if you’ve had a bad day.  Need to rant or rave?  He has a tea for that.  Need something to calm down or help you rest?  There is a tea for that too.  He has different teas for serious chat, funny chat or just curling up with a good book.  

He does not have a tea to hear or cure lupus.  Teas for inflammation?  Yes.  Teas to settle a queasy feelings?  Yep.  But nothing to cure this disease.

He has, however, a ton of patience and time to research.  So when a well-meaning, good-hearted friend told him of a tea that will cure me of my lupus, he had to check it out.  Not that he believed it would be a cure, but if it could help with a flare, why not give it a try?  So research he did.

What he discovered was the tea could only be purchased from a small group of people, because the tea is green in remote places, wth all the extras added to it being “special”.  This also means the tea is expensive.  And untested.  Only word of mouth as a validation that it works.  He decided it was more a placebo with mild anti-inflammatory ingredients and thus not worth it.  

So researched all the cures for lupus he could find.  From diet to lotions, from pills to a magical elixir.  Special diets, eating at certain times, eliminating items and such.  And of course it’s all word of mouth because if there was a cure, we’d know about it.  What do all these have that allows them to exist and for people to continue to promote them as a cure?  Hope.  They are all signs of hope.  Something to grab ahold of and anchor yourself to as you hope for a fix to a horrible, chronic illness.  But they are empty hope.  It’s like anchoring yourself with a floatations  device.  It just doesn’t work.  But you want to hope, you want something to reach for and grasp, so you do.  Because you need to cross all the to in your journey.  Just don’t fall for a healing tea.

May

May your future be bright someone once said to me.  And I thought what a lovely word it is, may.  It’s not a guarantee, it’s not a promise, but a sincere hope or wish.  And I’ve always been partial to the month of May with flowers in bloom, warm weather and such.

And then, many years ago the month of May as well as the word may, lost its shine for me.  After a period of time of feeling less than stellar, in the month of May I was diagnosed with lupus.  And with lupus the positive side of the word may changed.  I was told lupus may cause organ damage, it may cause neurological issues and so on.  

Now may is a bit of a balancing act, but accurate because I never know exactly how lupus will behave when I get up n the morning.  I may be stiff.  I may have lots of pain. Maybe a headache will appear or a lovely rash.  You just don’t know.

Here’s the thing though.  Although my relationship with the word may has changed, I’ve not given up on the hope and the promise.  I still believe in a bright future.  Yes it has lupus in it, unless we find a cure.  But it is not all bad.  It may have struggles and moments that aren’t fun, but it may have times filled with friends and fun.  It may have challenges, but it may also have triumphs.  So it’s a bit complicated, this May and I.

Red Flowers

There is a tiny red flower that always grows in the spot each year.  Regardless of the weather, the politics, the horrible things that happen, this red flower still grows.  

For as long as I have been there this flower grows.  And long after I leave here, this flower will carry on doing what it does.  It will disappear when winter comes and when spring comes it will reappear.  It’s like a bit of magic, nature’s way.

This red flower has been a sign of hope, strength, smiles and curiousity for me.  I’ve sat beside it on nice days when it seems the world is not what I remeber or want.  This flower has been why I’ve gotten up and gone outside some days.  And why I’ve yelled at the four-footed one who soemtimes lets her energy get in the way of seeing things like a delicate red flower growing through the cracks.

I’ve debated cutting it some years, to bring it in the house as soemthing to cherish on my own.  I’ve never done it, something always stops me and reminds me that it belongs where it is.  To cut it, to take it into the house would be to turn it captive to my whims.  It is meant to be where it is, free and wild and simply being what it is.

Today I saw the bud of the red flower, just getting ready to unfurl itself into its marvellous bit of magic.  In a day or two it will open up its magic, throwing itself out into the sunlight, the breeze and the curious nose of one small four-footed companion.  And in a few days I will read beside this red flower while the four-footed frolics in the fresh grass.  Because sometimes all we need is a red flower, growing in the cracks to be reminded that things continue, that magic exists.

From Where I’m Sitting

I love to sit here, when the sun is just breaking through the darkness of the night. It’s so peaceful and silent outside of the window an it seems as if the whole world is just standing still. During these moments it is as if I can hold time still and not worry about appointments, things going wrong or anything.  It’s pure magic.

And then the house begins to stir and it’s I see it’s a bit of a mistake that I’ve made in thinking that it’s magic. It’s just the stillness and the sense of being alone.  Not that I mind once the household begins to stir. After all the four-footed one is always eager and ready to tackle a new day. She wakes up with energy and happiness and it’s hard not to catch her vibe, even if just for a bit.

And the way Beloved never fully wakes up before he makes his way here, searching for a cup of coffee to jolt him into the here and now.  It’s impossible to not take that in and feel as if maybe there is magic in the moments where we aren’t fully awake and aware of whatever it is the day will bring us.  Once he’s managed a few sips of coffee, it’s all good and he’s alert and ready to go.

When we are both up at this time it’s different. Because he’s up for other reasons. A haunting nightmare perhaps, something from work lingering in the air or something that is too grey for his liking that must be sorted out sooner rather than later so he can rest.

But if he’s asleep at this time and I haven’t wandered over to my seat, I will sometimes just watch him, watch him sleeping with the slumber of a man who is certain of his place in this world.  Mostly though, I take to my favorite place and instead watch day start to lighten the sky and the world gets ready for the fortunes of the day.  No worries about tomorrow, or bad dreams, just the hope for the fortunes of the day.

What I Saw

Over the years I have had my palms read, my aura read and my tea leaves read. Today I had my coffee grounds read.  Yeah who knew this even existed, certainly not me.

The idea is you make a pot of coffee with grounds thrown into the bottom and of course when your pour it out, grounds end up in the bottom of your cup.  After you’ve consumed your drink the grounds stay there and a trained reader can educate you about your future.

I can tell you that this reading was much like all the other ones I’ve had, a lot of vague references about the future which can be interpreted in several different ways.  That way the reading is surely accurate, you see events unfold in a manner that is self-serving.  Or at least in keeping with the reading.

Regardless the idea that anything can offer us a glint of hope for the future or maybe just a small slice of what the future may hold is always fascinating.  Not because it will show the future, rather because it touched deep within our subconscious and laying bare our hopes, dreams, fears and such.  In other words it says more about us than the skill of the reader.  And in my case the vague statements revealed to me my anxiety, excitement and  concern about what the future may hold for career, health and general life.  I didn’t need a reading to know that, but it was intriguing all the same.