199 – July 18
“Your lost friends are not dead, but gone before, advanced a stage or two upon that road which you must travel in the steps they trod.”—Aristophanes
I believe that. I believe we come to this planet to learn and grow in spiritual understanding. It is school. When people have learned the lessons they’ve come to learn, helped the people they came to help, they move on to the next level of experience. It is hard for those of us left behind to say goodbye—we miss them. We may feel incomplete or that we have unfinished business or just that we want to hold them or talk to them one more time. We “rage against the dying of the light.” But I don’t believe the light dies—it just changes residence.
A lot of the people I have known and loved in this life have left this realm of existence. For me, they are still alive. I think of them as my cheering section on the other side. I envision them having monthly support meetings to talk about my progress and give me some inspirational pep talks in my dreams. (Sometimes, when I’m not doing well, I think they meet daily.)
When I’m afraid or lonely, I ask them for help. “Intercede for me!” I cry. “Help me out of this mess!”
I always picture them laughing when I do that. “Come on, Chellie,” they chide me. “You know better than that! You chose this. Choose again!” They make me laugh, too. We sign off with “I love you.” They are with me always.
Love never dies.
Call a meeting of your spiritual guides—from this world or the next. Ask for guidance. Look for wisdom. Pray for enlightenment. And love.
“I am love, you are love, we are all love.”
I went for a walk in the woods one morning, enjoying the crisp green shrubs and eucalyptus trees, the sharp sunshine, and the birds chirping in the brush. I walk before the summer camp Tumbleweed starts, and greet the horses chewing their straw as they await the young campers.
I thought back to Camp Arbalado, a YMCA camp in the San Bernardino mountains, that I attended several years running for a week or two. I loved those summers! Making mom earrings out of manzanita and chartreuse lichen (she would graciously put them on and show me she was wearing them, and change them in the car before she got where she was going), catching lizards, doing KP after meals in the mess hall, and singing around the campfires every cool evening surrounded by my friends.
We had a cheer as we hiked the dusty trails:
Ma hee ma ha ma ho
Nit tat nat tat
Soap fat rag
Hobba gobba ricka racka
Hobba gobba firecracka
Hobba gobba razoon
Johnny play your bazoon
Sis boom bah
Rah Rah Rah!
Wanda was the Camp Supervisor and a darling. Everybody loved her and “Wanda Witch” was a term of great affection.
I remember the frozen surprise of our counselor the day we dumped a pail of water on her when she walked through the door of our cabin. I remember the kangaroo courts where we convicted campers of crazy rule infractions and sentenced them to silly penalties. One day our whole cabin missed dinner entirely because we were sitting on the hillside at the camp chapel watching the shapes of unicorns and castles and Indians form in the clouds. Even now I can feel the sun baking my face and the breeze cooling the sunburn into freckles. The love of nature and boon companions echoes through the years to this day.
Indulge your memories of places and faces of long ago and the joy you had once you can experience again and again. So much of this life is a great blessing.
My daily prayer is “Thank you, God, for blessing me indeed, for enlarging my territory, for your hand always being with me, that I bring joy, light, love, peace, prosperity and happiness to all I meet, including myself.” (reworked from “The Prayer of Jabez”). I love my life, and so many happy memories. They are like antique jewels I’ve hidden away, taking them out on a rare Sunday to marvel at their beauty and sparkle. My treasury box of memories still grows and I hope yours does, too.