Complementing October's Canadian Thanksgiving is this month's magnificent illustration of a stunning tree. It reminds me of the beauty of autumn, with gratitude for a wealth of memories, such as decorating my local church each year at harvest time with fruit, vegetables and colourful branches. Earl A. Grollman, in his Time Remembered journal, wrote: Memory is a master painter - lining indelible images upon your mind's canvas with reminiscences both happy and sad. Nature is also a master painter showing up in significant ways each season and oftentimes, the more we look, the more we see ... so long as we remember to pause.
Have you ever looked at something every day, and suddenly you saw something new, wondering how you didn't notice it until that moment? That happened to me recently, which involves my morning ritual of listening to two ten-minute meditations on my Tablet, and reflecting on their message before starting my day. In my direct line of vision on top of my radio, sit two small book-end Teddy Bears that always make me smile. The bespectacled male is holding a book, and the female has a perky hair-bow. Suddenly one morning I noticed the female was holding a red apple. I had never seen it before ... but now can't miss it.
"The more we look, the more we see" is the title of this month's message. How true! Yet, I admit that when my life is a busy scurry I likely miss a lot, which is now the reason that I have built in some rituals, one being the aforementioned morning meditations. A speaker on CBC Radio's Doc Program last Sunday discussed their importance, suggesting that a ritual was an intention that created meaning, something we step into, and was like having a ritual tool box. Rachel Naomi Remen, MD, in her Kitchen Table Wisdom book on Stories that Heal, often uses rituals to help people in challenging situations, believing it was one of the oldest ways to mobilize the power of community, and making the caring visible.
A recent new visible sign is one that my neighbour across the hall has hanging on her door with cheerful pink ribbons. Its message is: Be the reason someone smiles today. I read it each time I pass by and always get a warm glow. Do you believe, as I do, that we are never too old to learn something new, and never too old to dream? A few years ago I unearthed some wise words given by a friend way back when: Dorothy, you have all the ingredients, now what is the recipe? Mmmmh, words worth pondering.
Until next time, I wish you continuing beautiful autumn days. May clarity with your recipe from the rich ingredients of your life stir some memories that add to the images on your mind's canvas. As R.W. Emerson wrote ... adopt the pace of Nature ... her secret is patience. With patience, the more we look, the more we see.
Rev. Dorothy Blandford, Ph.D
Apt. 202 - 1655 Martin Drive
Surrey, BC, V4A 6E1, Canada