Canadian Thanksgiving, which we celebrated this month, is a time of brilliant colour, such as in our tree illustration. It is a time of gratitude for a bountiful harvest, often creating new and lasting memories. Years later, I can still bring to mind the colour and smells after decorating my local church each year at harvest time. In supporting someone recently who is experiencing grief, I discovered some words by Earl A. Grollman on memories, from his Time Remembered Journal: 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 with splendour showing up in significant ways each season. A few days ago I gave my nephew a birthday card with a magnificent autumn tree, suggesting that each time he saw one, he pause and feel it smiling at him.
A former associate from an earlier career often shared an expression in his workshops: Time: Non-refundable fragments of eternity. Birthdays can bring a heightened awareness to the swift passage of time. I can attest to that; hence my theme for this year of Completing Incompletes. Do you prioritize activities for each day, or have a weekly or master plan? Most important, do you schedule time for you, for reflection or thoughtful reading before you go rushing into the day? Do I? The intention is in place but no, not always. Yet, when I do, my day is calmer and much more productive.
During my recent black-belt decluttering feat, which included donating, shredding, sorting and reorganizing, I discovered a tiny post-it note with the words: Dorothy, you have all the ingredients, now what is the recipe? It had been hidden in a file for a long time, and was a wise and appropriate comment, as at that time my lifetime experiences were numerous, often with a kit-bag full of possibilities, but lacking in specificity. Can you relate? So often we have all the ingredients, but do we have a recipe in mind, or a focus of something that gives us joy in the process? Or, do we bury it amidst life's busyness?
A focused intention is that of a local lady whose personal commitment is to continue reaching out to friends after recently moving into a care residence. Having led an active life and soon to be 100, she compensates for a vision challenge by having their names and phone numbers in a prominent place, written in large letters. She admits she works at it, as she wants to retain an active connection - and her friends support her by reciprocating.
On one of my last verbatim reporting assignments I stopped into a store in a small town and purchased a lacy needlepoint with words by the late legendary basketball coach, John Wooden: It's what you learn after you know it all that counts. It has remained on my wall since then as a reminder to remain open to new insights, to continue learning and reaching out to others. So do reach out to another and brighten someone's day with a warm exchange ... and surely brighten yours!
I wish you beautiful autumn days, and a bountiful harvest November Thanksgiving to our American friends. May clarity with your recipe from the rich ingredients of your life, stir some memories and add to the images on your mind's canvas.
Until next time ... Blessèd be!
Rev. Dorothy Blandford, Ph.D
Apt. 202 - 1655 Martin Drive
Surrey, BC, V4A 6E1, Canada