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What Will You Miss?

A couple of years ago on an early spring afternoon (not that we really feel spring as a distinct season in Florida), I was driving home, listening to an NPR program about  assisted suicide in Switzerland, where its legality permits euthanasia clinics.  The reporter followed an elderly woman who had made a dying appointment (and carried it through).  One question she was asked sent me into freeze-mode so the entire rest of the program became a blur and I focused on my response. When she asked the question, "what will you miss most?"  I was surprised by the answer that jetted forth without hesitation:

Birds.

Then of course I did my usual thing and cried.  (Don't tell my endocrinologist. She'll write another prescription for Effexor, and I'll have to throw it away again).

Turning onto the road leading to my development, a road lined with glorious ficus and banyon trees that get annual county mandated "hurricane haircuts,"  I thought, "this is a truth I had not expected."
A stream of my life's significant bird encounters gracefully moved like a wave before me, and I welcomed them all:

  • My first bird, Charlie, half moon parrot, sitting on my shoulder.  He was removed from my life when my allergies became unmanageable, leaving a gaping wound I never quite closed until I acquired a parrot when I was 49.
  • My being circled by a flock of almost celebratory male peacocks at the Lowry Zoo in Tampa
  • My rescued crow, Melinda, dancing up and down in her cage when I opened the front door (dont' fret -- as soon as she could feed herself and fly, she returned to the skis)
  • A family of trees full of welcoming crows outside Blarney Castle in Ireland
  • The many ducks I have rescued as a volunteer.  The one who lay dying in my car while I drove with my left hand and Reiki'd her heart with my right all the way to the vet's office
  • My macaw, Baby, seeing a tear fall, licking it, and whispering to me, "It's OK.  It's OK."
Now sometimes when I'm in a particularly stirring and poignant moment, a moment to which written description would never do justice, I deliberately stop and freeze and tell myself, "This moment you will remember."

Because what I have learned is that the deepest love defies capture by description whether by words or paint brush.  The deepest love cannot be reproduced or named.  It originates within through that spark that connects us to a greater force.  When people ask what my religion is, how can I explain?
This love that comes through the natural world is a manifestation of that great Spirit, and that is my religion.


Take a mental inventory.  If you were to leave the earth tomorrow, what would you miss?
What emerges for you?  Close your  eyes, shake of your stress, and get ready for Divine surprise.


 Please share.

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