This has been a tough holiday season, for me personally and for many in my circle. Perhaps you, too?
I recall reading the astrology for December a few weeks ago. And it wasn’t pretty. (For the astrology astute: Saturn moved into Capricorn for first time in 29 years on 12/19, is conjunct Venus, and we’ve been in Mercury Retrograde for most of December).
This period has been about limitations in love, discipline and challenges with communication. Disputes and unexpected situations. I have found that sadness and conflict has overwhelmed many of us this past week or so.
Personally, a childhood friend of mine passed away on Christmas Eve. She was battling a many-year, complicated illness. Yet it is still shocking and sorrowful to us all. Antonet (to the right) was an amazing soul — and I’m not just saying that. She truly was a compassionate angel who cared for the defenseless. She was a huge animal activist and opted to go vegetarian many years ago, before it became trendy.
Antonet was also a constant reminder to extend that same compassion to human beings, as well. She taught me the valuable lesson to love others regardless of (what I perceived as) their weaknesses. To love them as they are. She was a Scorpio with a sensitive soul. She was loving, yet was strong and grounded.
She loved to drive with her convertible with the roof down. She LOVED the wind! She said she would imagine herself on a mountaintop with the wind going through her body. Every time it’s windy, I have always thought of her. And now, today, with blustery cold winds, I know she is here with me.
We know, when we have times like this, that we need to be present and appreciate all that we still have, and to love each other.
Last week I visited Antonet in the hospital. I brought a book along, as I knew she wouldn’t be able to talk much and I knew that she would really love the beautiful quotes in this book. I purchased Embers: One Ojibway’s Meditations by Richard Wagamese, a First Nations author, in a small bookstore in Langley, British Columbia. The cover art and title stood out from the shelves. I have come to love it’s prose and photography — nature and spirituality.
Among one of the random passages I read to her was this:
ME: What’s the hardest spiritual thing I’m ever going to have to do?
OLD WOMAN: To see every person as a gift.
ME: What kind of gift?
OLD WOMAN: The best kind. Based on the way you receive them.
ME: I don’t get it.
OLD WOMAN: I know. But you will. If you receive others as worthy, lovable, spiritual creations–perfect just the way they are–you get to see the highest possible version of who you are. You get to be that. Experience that. And you become a gift to the world.
ME: Sounds hard.
OLD WOMAN: The longer you think that, the harder it gets.
The funny thing is, she was right.
And the crazy thing is, that old woman could have been Antonet. This was her lesson, her lesson to us all.