Easter 2013

Easter Morning . . . The Dove’s

 

March 31, 2013

 

The Dove’s came calling a month ago.  They have built their nest here every Spring for the last five years.  I rarely see them, but I hear their sweet sounds cooing every morning, around 5:00 a.m.  That soft, gentle sound awakens me to the day ahead.  They remind me that Spring has arrived. . . that magical time of year when flowers burst forth and seeds planted long ago blossom with fragrance and vibrant color.  It’s like no other time of year. . . a time of rebirth and renewal.  New possibilities! . . . New dreams! . . . New hopes! . . .New ideas!    It’s the time of year I am always most grateful for.

 

I am reminded of sweet memories from my childhood and the love shared with family and close friends.  The Easter egg hunts, the pretty bouquets of flowers everywhere, the even prettier Easter bonnets and dresses on fair maidens, including myself.  Soft pastel colors, real eggs and chocolate bunnies, colored baskets, and straw.  All hidden in luscious gardens for a child’s delight and discovery!  Beautiful white lilies are in bloom everywhere.  Such precious memories of the beauty of Spring!  Those colored eggs and silk ribbons, the May poles and Easter baskets filled with eggs, classical music and unstoppable laughter, outdoor picnics, lunch with beautiful china and crystal, and prayers of gratitude on Easter Sunday morning at church.  Easter is a time of celebrating life!

 

Every spring when the Doves return to nest, I am reminded of these special pleasures in my life.  Those sweet moments that always bring a smile to my face and awaken my heart to Love, once again.  After all, it was Springtime when I first fell in love!  It feels like my heart opens just a little bit more each spring, awakening me to a new kind of love within myself.  Something way bigger than me that I am ever so grateful for.

 

Every evening the Dove’s cooing sounds return.  Nature’s clock is singing a melody at day’s end, a reminder that it is also time for me to rest and renew. It’s so quiet and so beautiful.  I thank God for these Dove’s. They are a symbol  of harmony and grace, and the promise of spiritual renewal.  As I listen to their coo’s, I think about the many hats  I have worn throughout my life. . . from all the Easter bonnets and walkabouts on Fifth Avenue and St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City, to the many summer beaches in Florida and the Caribbean. The white sands and a new hat, and often a new dress and shoes at Easter were a simple luxury.  One that always made me feel beautiful and special.  Those precious gifts of adornment and Love that a child remembers from Easter mornings long ago can last a whole lifetime!

 

This morning, as I listen to the Dove’s cooing, I suddenly hear an old Easter song  from my childhood.

 

In your Easter Bonnet

With all the Frills upon it,

You’ll be the Grandest Lady in the Easter Parade.

 

I think of my mother when I remember that song.  She was always the grandest lady in the Easter parade, even if she did not know it.  Bursting with excitement and endless possibilities, she knew how to create the joys of Easter morning for her children.  It is and always will be a festive time of celebration for new life and renewal!  Family traditions and memories that last a lifetime!

 

May your Easter be joyful and all your eggs and bunnies be filled with Love, like mine.

Happy Easter!

Easter Bunny!

Easter Bunny!

Beautiful Easter Eggs!

Beautiful Easter Eggs!

A Dog’s Love

Little Buddha Dog Cover

A Dog’s Love . . .

March 20, 2013

 

A dog’s love. . . It’s like no other love.  This kind of love melts your heart, like ice cream on a warm summer day.  It keeps dripping off the cone as you keep licking it, because it’s so delicious!

It’s the heartbeat at my feet every day, and every moment that I am home, and away from home, with my Beloved Dog, Countess.

She likes to snuggle up in my arms when I’m driving.  She feels close to me then. . . like the time I took her home for the very first time as a puppy, wrapped up inside my arms, and warmly placed on top of my heart.  We both felt a connection to each other in that moment, grateful to have found each other.  That was the beginning of our bond.  When she rests her chin on my shoulder and finally lets go with a sigh, I know this is the moment she feels safe and loved, warm and protected. . . and she simply lets go.  I can learn a few things from her about letting go!

Through the years she has always come back to that same place inside my arms.  This is where she feels safe, protected and loved.  It always made me smile, especially when she was older and wanted to be a baby dog inside the comfort and safety of my loving arms again.  I welcomed it, for I knew that if she found her ‘zone’ inside my arms and rested her chin on my shoulder, she would find her peace. And she would feel the Love!

I was also consciously aware that Peace and Love is what we are all longing for, in our daily lives.  There was a simple kind of peace between my dog and I that allowed us to feel Love in many splendid ways.  The kind of Love that lets you know “all is well and I am loved”.  No doubt, we both felt that in our embrace.  A sweet embrace that only a dog can give you.  It’s special…and it’s uniquely theirs.  Only you will know what that is.

With my Beloved Dog, Countess, it was a simple thing.  A gesture, a posture that only she would do when we were alone and with each other.  It was her way of expressing her love for me, and our love for each other.  I choose to honor it whenever it arrived, for I knew it was her way  of expressing her special and unique love for me.  It was my dog’s way of saying, “I love you Mum….I belong to you…I’m here with you…and you’re here with me!”

A Dog’s Love….It’s like no other love!

For more information about “Little Buddha Dog” and Countess, please visit LittleBuddhaDog.com, a best-selling book on Amazon published in the fall of 2012.

Link on Amazon:  www.amazon.com/dp/0988407418

 

 

Pope Francis

Pope Francis  &  St. Francis of Assisi

March 13, 2013

History was made today, all the way from Argentina.  White smoke and a prayer of silence welcomed in the new Pope Francis, who chose his name in honor of St. Francis of Assisi, lover of the poor and patron saint of the animals.

 

Poverty.  Humility.  Simplicity.  All the essentials for rebuilding the Catholic Church in a modern day world where people hunger for transformation and change.  “A journey of brotherhood in love and of mutual trust” were the words spoken by our new Pope Francis today, as he gave his blessing to the whole world, and to all men and women of good will.

 

A man of prayer, a man of action, and a man who people listen to is how many describe the new Pope as he approached the people from the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica.  “Pray for me,” the new pontiff urged the crowd, dressed in the white robes of a pope for the first time.  And they did, in the beauty of complete silence.  The power of that prayer was felt by more than 100,000  people surrounding St. Peter’s Square.  And the energy of that power of silence moved through the hearts and minds of millions of people today as everyone embraced our new Pope Francis.

 

As he prays to the Madonna tomorrow, let us all pray for him today.  May Divine Guidance and Wisdom always be with him as the journey of love and trust begins.

 

 

Pope Francis, "Pray for me."

Pope Francis, “Pray for me.”

Rome-Day-3-Pope-Conclave-4

 

Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,

Where there is hatred, let me sow love;

Where there is injury, pardon;

Where there is doubt, faith;

Where there is despair, hope;

Where there is darkness, light;

Where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,

grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;

to be understood, as to understand;

to be loved, as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive.

It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,

and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.

Amen.

Aunt Lucy’s Shoes

Aunt Lucy's Shoes

Aunt Lucy’s Shoes

Aunt Lucy’s Shoes. . .    March 6, 2013

 

She bought those gorgeous Italian shoes, even though her husband told her not to. . . they were too expensive. . . but she bought them anyway.  Something inside of her called to her, to manifest those shoes into her life and inside her closet so she could admire their beauty and craftsmanship, and someday wear them.  Something about them called out to her and she just knew these gorgeous shoes were her shoes!  She just had to have them. . . Shoes that she would admire and hide inside the back of her closet from her husband, until one day she would dare to wear them. But Aunt Lucy would never wear those gorgeous Italian shoes or place her own feet inside of them, except for the day she first tried them on.  They remained inside the treasure chest of a cardboard box that kept them hidden inside the dark corners of her closet. . . away from sight.  Secret places that women hide their secret belongings and dreams from their husbands.  Secret desires unspoken and never shared.  Secret passions that lay hidden inside the heart space and imagination, waiting to erupt at just the right moment.

 

Uncle Larry found them a few weeks after her death. . . surprised and bewildered by this finding of these fine Italian shoes in the dark, hidden corners of her closet. Remembering he told her not to buy them, he just sat there with the shoes in his hands and smiled through his tears and grief, remembering her feet when she tried them on, remembering her beautiful smile when she admired them.  He had loved her feet for 45 years, and every night in their shared bed, it was their feet that met and touched in the dark slumber of night dreams.

 

In this precious moment, he holds the shoes, like an alter to the Christ, like keys to his heart that Aunt Lucy never wore, and finally allowed himself to grieve and mourn her passing.  Holding these gorgeous Italian shoes in his hands that she so admired, he realizes there is a sacred mystery here. . . something about Aunt Lucy’s longing for beauty and love and dance and movement and the journey of life and death itself. . . while she laid in her hospital bed, shoeless. . . awaiting her passage through the veils.

 

In his darkest hour of despair a smile is brought to his lips as he embraces the visible form of what is now his invisible Beloved. Even though he did not want her to buy these gorgeous shoes she has never worn, he is so grateful for their presence on this day as he calls to ask me if I would like to have them.  I say yes with honor and respect, knowing in my heart I will receive them as a treasure of his love for her. . . knowing there will be new moments of revelation for Aunt Lucy’s Shoes.

The Pope’s Red Shoes

The Pope's Red Shoes - Pope Benedict XVI

The Pope’s Red Shoes – Pope Benedict XVI

The Pope’s Red Shoes   –   February 28, 2013

Pope Benedict XVI wore those red leather shoes one last time before stepping down from the papacy on his final day as Pope, February 28, 2013.  Along with the Swiss Guard protection and the fisherman’s ring, the pontiff’s red loafers -often misidentified as Prada, but, in fact, made by a Roman cobbler, Antonio Arellano – are gone.  So is his Twitter account and even the name “Benedict” as he officially abdicates today.

While each pontiff has his own style, red shoes are a papal tradition that goes back centuries.  Red boots were traditional footwear worn by early Roman kings, the color symbolizing the blood of the martyrs.

But today, the Pope Emeritus will no longer wear red shoes.  While the pope’s red leather loafers became something of a trademark during his time in office,  there is something to be said about the man who walked inside of those red shoes.  Who is the man behind the Pope?

Some say Joseph Ratzinger is a man of great humility, and a man of God.  His first encyclical, or letter to the church, eight months after becoming pope, was titled “God Is Love.”

“Everything has its origin in God’s love, everything is shaped by it, everything is directed towards it.  Love is God’s greatest gift to humanity, it is his promise and our hope,” he wrote in his third encyclical, “Charity in Truth,” in 2009.

A shy theologian who appeared to have little interest in the internal politics of the Vatican, Benedict has said that he is retiring “freely, and for the good of the church,” entrusting it to a successor who has more strength than he does.  He said he took the step fully aware of its seriousness and novelty, “with a profound serenity of mind.”

Many faithful have welcomed Benedict’s gesture as a sign of humility and humanity, a rational decision taken by a man who no longer feels up to the job.  Sometimes a human-sized Pope can provide a refreshing challenge to our expectations, as well as an important counter balance to the larger-than-life quality of the papacy itself.  No one is born a pope.  You have to learn to be a pope.

May Castel Gandolfo and the convent gardens of the Vatican overlooking the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica offer “Benedetto” rays of happiness and profound serenity of mind.

The pope’s red shoes are gone.  The fisherman’s ring has been removed.  Another cobbler is busy preparing for a new Pope without knowing the size of his sole.  Another fisherman’s ring is being created as the fiery furnace of love is shaped and formed by the origin’s of God’s Love.  Divinity is here and now, in all its many forms, even the Pope’s Red Shoes.