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Reflection upon the in-betweenness of things produces unexpected results—A critical time that warrants the closest scrutiny. Yet, so strapped for beginnings, so obsessed for shortcuts, so impatient for outcomes, I’ve often lost untold riches that could have broadened my vision even further.

Only within the end of my senior years have I deepened the unwrapping of the layers of my birthright: I call this transition time. No longer in a hurry about anything, I stop in my tracks and poke around, much like a tree sparrow examining a seed outside my study window. Especially is this true of a striking metaphor in a poem, more to stash away for future use. Such experiences evoke deep sighing, laughter, even exclamation, “Would you look at that!”

At times, I feel as though I were being turned upside down. Life has a way of doing precisely that—whatever it takes to keep going, with the full engagement of the senses and the ongoing search for words to scratch the surface of reality.

Yesterday’s sole blooming of the gold crocus in my front garden evidenced this imperative to stop and look: How the dull grey/brown mulch framed this first sign of new life, as if a wink from Creator God, for that was what it was. Later today, it will snow – another wink.

This is the Ultimate who we seek, hiding out in the in-betweenness  of things.

“Namaste, Liz!” Within the door-frame of my study stood the hospice chaplain, her eyes lowered, her fingers tented in a prayer position upon her chest. It was Eunice, time for our Thursday morning meeting, an appointment she has seldom canceled during our two years together. As she slipped off her navy jacket and sank into my desk chair, she crossed her legs, leaned forward. I was hers for the hour, mask and all.

“Good to see you, again, Eunice,” I said adjusting my voice amplifier to reduce the stress of making speech, one of the symptoms of my terminal illness. “Thanks for coming. Seems as you were just here.”

“I feel the same way. Picking up from where we left off comes easy.” Her soft eyes welled with compassion. The variety and depth of subjects explored, the book titles shared, questions about my blogs, the laughter, and the silent moments have opened us to the grace of the present moment—both eager to learn of LIFE’S fulness.

Early on, she had given me a copy of Thich Nhat Hanh’s paperback, The Miracle of Mindfulness: Introduction to the Practice of Meditation (1999). Periodically, have I thumbed its pages, paused to reflect upon its wisdom that startles in simplicity, that grounds in humility, that deepens my acceptance of what is—all of this while awaiting the most momentous experience in my short span of eighty-six years on planet Earth.

Until that time comes, Eunice will continue tracking my psycho-spiritual growth—a fascinating process, with each days’ dreams and new learning.

Around 4:30 A.M., I awoke with this dream, one of direction:

I was invited to attend a weeklong seminar with a mixed group of academics in an Old World estate, located in the Swiss Alps. The pine cone-laden evergreens seen from the open windows of my spacious private room scented the air. In the garage was a Rolls Royce for my use.

The first morning, the Director, the seven professors, among whom were my former Jungian analyst, Ellen Sheire, and the other students met around a large oak table in the conference room. The Director’s opening comments frustrated my expectation of being credentialed at the conclusion of my studies. Not so. I was to work with my professor this week, deepen those studies during the coming year, and in the following, return to be tested before being handed over to the next professor as the others were doing. To myself, I moaned that my credentialing would take years.

Then, the Director noted my anger and said, “We didn’t fully inform you about the process because we wanted a candidate willing to learn our way of handling things. We know you’re teachable.”

The Director, a strong compassionate stand-in for the Sacred in my psyche, had arranged everything. I had only to participate. The Old World estate, located in the Swiss Alps, more than fulfilled my need for beauty and order and solitude. The mixed group of academics provided psychic stimulation. The seven professors, together with Ellen Sheire, were seasoned guides into the new learning, ahead of me.

My takeaway from this dream is the need for deeper patience and willingness with the process of my terminal illness. I still have much to learn. I’m not in charge.

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