The wind kept calling to me yesterday morning; clouds flowing in layered motion up the Sound. Trees were dancing and singing with it, as if trying to catch my attention. Two bald eagles held onto the waving branches of Old Crooked-Top, across the water, like sentries, like the watchers deep in the mouth of the bay. A presence, close and welcome, pulled upon me like the moon upon tides...come outside...come outside...and the rain stopped, as if on cue. Lots of work to be done, but the work will always be there, waiting. This was about connecting, a chance to listen deeper to the Love that was calling. I took an oath and gave myself to this Love in ceremony on Bear Butte, coming out here in 1996. I have learned to listen for it, so I put on my comfy walking shoes and grabbed Rani's leash. She jumped to her sitting position by the door, smiling.
Usually my wee grandogger is timid when the woodwinds are playing and letting their pasties fly in the dance...but not today. She felt the energy too, and walked by my side at a good pace, both of us breathing the wind...the breath of trees and plants as they dance. Trees are blossoming, bulbs have sent new life towards the sun and our breathing. With each breath came a joy to be on this wee spinning garden in space and a sense of blessing.
"Look up," whispered the shiny huckleberry bush, and we both reacted at the same time. Dog and human stopped and looked into the sky. There soaring right above our heads were two spotted eagles, checking a neighbour's orchard for lunch. How could we not feel blessed by their beauty! Clearly we could see (yes, Rani followed them too) the brown and white speckling on the underside of wings and body, each as individual as a fingerprint. Their wings stretched out, still and wide.
It was then time to turn for home, tingling with the experience. Rani has had some strained muscles in one back leg, so she is on restricted walks as she heals. The mental exercise of keeping slowly at my side is good training for being a companion dog for Anna...working her way to service dog status. As we came down B. Street towards the house I saw the mail-carrier leaving, so we stopped by our mailbox before coming in. I don't look as much for letters anymore. It was Anne and I who kept our letters regular and deep. Today would have been her 55th. birthday...and she'd be my "much older" friend till November, the quintessential best friend who lost her battle with breast cancer in 1991. I never reach in my mailbox without thinking of her.
I grabbed the usual pile of bills and credit card offers and we headed into the house. Imagine my surprise when a little envelope showed up in the stack, a letter from another long-time friend. How delightful! I opened the envelope...to an unimaginably sweet, sweet gift. An old paper remnant, folded in threes, and a photo. I opened the old letter and recognized the handwriting instantly. It was just a wee note of "how are you" and such. There, on what Grey Wolf always called a "talking leaf," sat a moment with a woman I have loved since I was sixteen. The photo was her son as a toddler...he who is now, with his wife, expecting baby number two, Anne's grandchildren.
My friend Jane had been doing a dust and clean-out, finding the letter and picture. She most thoughtfully sent them to me, rather than throw them out. I spread my fingers across the top of the page, silky with age...as if I could touch the essence of my beloved friend. And I could. I could because the wind beckoned and told me to listen with my senses. Thus were great gifts given. Happy Birthday Anne...thank you for coming. My gratitude to all the messengers of Love and Spirit. Thank you, with every breath.