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Mother’s Day was awesome as always. My master craftsman daughter surprised me with a custom-made necklace and an accompanying note explaining the properties of the crystals and stones that it was made from. Priceless. My son called with special greetings. I exchanged many messages with Mom friends, prompting tons of memories of enjoyment reaped from my biological and “adopted” children. “Mom” has been one of my favorite and privileged lifetime roles, and I never take that for granted. Ever.

I celebrated my Thanksgiving in May Refirement Party. How do you even begin to express gratitude to fifty people who have made such a positive impact in your life? I did it Mary-style with a turkey dinner with all the trimmings and a screening of The Holy Grail. It seemed such a small gesture compared to what I have been given so far in this life, sharing an evening of immense joy. Also celebrating my nephew’s high school graduation, daughter’s first house and the explosion of spring here in western New York.

Memorial Day delivered a clear blue sky, setting the stage for a perfect spiritual nature retreat in the sanctuary. Since daughter is now safely nestled with her best friend in their new abode a few miles away partying with friends and son is off with his girlfriend doing those things that sons do, that left me to grab a blanket and head down to the creek for a blissful solo sunny day of hands-on naturalist training and water-side meditation. My notebook, spiritual literature and Bird Watching for Dummies accompanied me, so I was completely in my element during the seven uninterrupted hours that I spent there.

I started by observing a robin who decided to bathe in the creek. Splashing for a while, he ended by drying off and grooming in a small tree. Also entertaining me were a yellow finch, tiger swallowtail and other butterflies. The surrounding flowers dazzled me. Dames rockets launched from the ground across from me. They are a May staple, reminding me of my parents who both passed during this month many years apart. A blooming lilac bush shared its heavenly scent across the water when the breeze shifted just the right way. Buttercups swayed with their bright yellow petals, demanding my attention. As I read about Buddhist principles while young tree sprouts rained on me in the bright sun, I grew sleepy, lay back on the blanket and drifted into a gentle sleep, hypnotized by the willow leaves above backed by that astounding blue sky.

I awoke to the sound of rustling. I sat up, startling a deer who ran off into a nearby field. I continued my nature observation. My quiet presence has gained the trust of Mama and Papa mallard duck who are on the creek bank. They enter the water and are very protective of one another, alternating dipping their heads under while keeping eyes and ears out for danger. I am not threatening apparently, for they leave the water and delight me by resting on the grass close by my blanket. Shortly after, Tom Turkey approaches from behind, heads for the water and nips at the bugs at the edge. The ducks ignore him. He obviously hates the water as he dips his feet in and recoils. He looks at me as if for encouragement, and I give it to him verbally and smile. He responds by crossing the stream with a short flight, revealing his majestic plume. Two playful squirrels come near, and some bunnies as well.

Finally, I gather my blanket, books and notebook to head in to appease my grumbling stomach.

After outside dining I settle in to my sunset ritual of lifting my glass of wine in gratitude to the Universe. As always, there is so much to be thankful for today. I have gained so much spiritually and intellectually, an expected gift from the nature immersion. What a spectacular day of memorial it was. While on that blanket, I offered prayers for those who gave their lives for their country, my friends and family who have gone before me and for my ancestors who have paved my way. I love you, I’m sorry, please forgive me and especially thank you.

Pleasant Memories and Bright Blessings to All,



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