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Do treat yourself to a solitary walk as shadows soften their waning effulgence into featheriness, before darkness envelopes the woods. Be still and listen for November whispers among the trees and shrubs. Be surprised.

Heed the umbra of raggedy yellows and browns and washed-out reds, strewn along wooded trails and massed along downed tree trunks. Be startled by the solitary burning bush, its buggy leaves teased by humid breezes.

Note thinning tangles of Missouri honeysuckle outlining the serpentine curve of the limestone creek bottom, its waters pooling in crevices. Look upward at naked branches snaking downwards like hag’s hair alive with witchery. Watch a gray squirrel dodge its tail scuttling up a maple tree.

Touch a hand-sized-leaf of the London plane tree, blushed with yellow and gripping a solitary branch like a forlorn orphan.

Feel winds clicking the mottled husks of a dogwood tree, stripped of its wine-crimson foliage and berries.

Such moments evoke deep smiles—We are not alone.

Such was my experience walking outdoors in November.

At 3 A.M., I awoke with this dream:

Two distinctive women’s hats, identical in design, fabric, and color, draw everyone’s attention and comment during a social engagement.

 So it’s about hats and their purpose. Dr. C. G. Jung, founder of Analytical Psychology, described the symbolic value of hats as covering heads, the locus of our spiritual faculties: thinking, willing, remembering, and imagining; their development is key to our individuation. That there are two hats in the dream suggests a dyad: two things or persons in an intimate relationship, with a high level of agreement between them.

Who wears the two distinctive women’s hats in the dream is not clear—perhaps my sister Martha, visiting this week and myself, recipients of the Moloney heritage, yet unique in its unfolding. The hats, though identical in design, fabric, and color also exude differing energies.

This dream also follows yesterday’s infusion of spirited-women-energy in my beleaguered psyche, during stories shared by my sister Martha, sister-in-law Susie, and Dana the hospice nurse: a quaternity of wholeness according to Jung. From this mélange surfaced helpful information: my ILD with RA is a rare terminal disease, one that also shortened the life of Dana’s ninety-six year-old father. Liquid morphine under the tongue will keep open my lung sacs for critical breathing, and a final swish will take me out of here. I will not suffocate.

Such a memorable afternoon relishing the Sacred Feminine in our midst: laughter krinkled the edges of the hilarious and put even the dour in perspective. I am grateful and will continue participating in each twenty-four hours allotted me.

 

 

It finally happened! Yesterday, two speckled white eggs filled the nest outside my study window; in their place today, bob three naked chicks patched with gray down, their yellow beaks splitting with hunger, awaiting insects caught by their cardinal father; their mother keeps guard on a lower branch of the viburnum shrub, the afternoon sun shadowing its green leaves. For the next two weeks, frequent feedings will feather out the chicks and enable them to eat parts of berries or seeds softened by their parents.

Similar drama is enacted all over the world, the replication of the Genesis story: On day five, God created every winged bird…blessing them to multiply and fill the waters and the sky with life. It is precisely this unbroken chain of life that heartens the weary. Often when I used to walk in the nearby woods, a bird trill would seize my imagination and transport me to the wordless realm of the Sacred. A later blog told the story.

Never before this cardinal family appeared in my viburnum shrub, had I observed their instinctual caring, how it fosters fresh life with darting colors. It’s like Creator God orchestrated this event for up-close learning in my present circumstances—A more than timely lesson for me to assimilate.

And if Creator God set all this in motion what have we to fear?

 

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