Innisfree Spirit Ministry

Innisfree Moment Archive

April 2024

Serenade of Love

Serenade of Love

Listen to the audio version by Dorothy

As you looked at the illustration above where the attentive audience of Cooper, Bailey, Panda, Buddy, BJ, Rico, Bella and Max (just out of frame) is serenaded by Grace, did it warm your heart and bring a smile? It certainly did for me, so that I immediately contacted Grace for her permission to share it ... and am SO grateful she agreed. The original photograph was taken on Christmas Day 2015.

Welcome to April's newsletter, to the magic of springtime, and the joy of music. As mentioned last month, ideas often flow out of a background story, and this month's Serenade of Love goes like this:

Grace McGran is the founder of Pet Granny, now located at Black Creek on Vancouver Island, and a treasured friend who came into my life in 2008 when I was in the process of adopting a 3-legged calico cat from the BCSPCA, whom I would name Cadi (Gaelic for simple happiness). Knowing I would shortly be away for an out-of-town commitment I wanted to find a caring person to come to my home and look after her; with Grace, I knew I had! At the same time Grace's late husband, Noel, originally from Ireland as I was, provided website assistance that I also needed. He gave Innisfree the Celtic flavour that remains today.

Let's look again at the illustration above: The joy of music is magical and comforting, oftentimes bringing calm to both people and pets of all ages ... obviously that attentive audience was tuned in to the magic! Grace also shared that when she played the piano and looked around, she would see her boarder dogs gathered in a circle behind her chair, including ones considered to be completely deaf, and some coming up to put their paw on the instrument.

The late Irish poet and author, John O'Donohue, wrote that music is a great balancer in life. I certainly agree. Perhaps you do too?

When doing research for my dissertation on staying young-at-heart as we age, I spoke to the manager of a care home who emphasized the importance of providing music and pet visitation for residents, and how those who didn't speak at all, when hearing a popular song from their younger days, would perfectly sing the words along with the music.

Another caring Serenade of Love is provided by Paul Barton at Elephants World in Thailand, who plays classical piano music, providing comfort for elderly elephants, some of whom are blind and have been mistreated. The elephants stay close to the piano, flapping their ears; one 80-year-old sheds a tear while listening to Clair de Lune. Videos are available on YouTube.

There is an often quoted saying in Buddhism that life presents 10,000 joys and 10,000 sorrows. What provides you with comfort, joy and peace? Do you have a go-to that works for you when those sorrows arise, as they do? It is important we remember to be kind to ourselves when those challenges arise, such as anniversaries of the loss of someone close. Perhaps going out for a walk, or talking to a friend works for you. For me, it might be playing in the kitchen, actively clearing out a drawer, listening to favourite music, and knowing the sadness will pass.

Five years ago today my newsletter was titled Life's Journey, quoting words from Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden: We lead our lives like water flowing down a hill ... until we splash into something that forces us to find a new course. Yesterday was the five-year anniversary of when I started a new course but, true to words by the late Dr. Raymond Charles Barker of New Thought teaching: Yesterday ended last night ... and today is a good day!

For a light-hearted moment, please consider going to Pet Granny's website gallery to look at Grace's delightful captions for Cadi as my office helper. Cadi often planted herself in the doorway of my office when I was working late at the computer, letting me know it was time for us to sit together and read to her. Yes, she was the 'boss of me'! I still miss her, as I do those no longer with me, but am so very grateful for all the memories.

People and pets come into our lives and leave again, so let's continue to create cherished moments that leave precious memories, which are lasting.

Until we meet again, may you serenade another, or be serenaded to, with music or stories, and may your April days be joyful.

Blessèd be to you ... Namasté!

Dorothy B.
Dorothy B.

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Rev. Dorothy Blandford, Ph.D
Apt. 202 - 1655 Martin Drive
Surrey, BC, V4A 6E1, Canada