“Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think of the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion's starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don't see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often it's not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it's always there - fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the twin towers, as far as I know none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge - they were all messages of love. And if you look for it, I've got a sneaking suspicion that love actually is all around.”
~ From "Love Actually," movie ~
This morning, after feeding all of the animals, getting dogs out and in and the morning chores done, I puttered into the kitchen to make my protein shake and my morning latté, and then slowly puttered (... and I do mean slowly ~ badly swollen feet, purple toes, trust me, you don't want to know!) back to my desk and as I was sitting down I looked at my latté and after a moment of being thunderstruck and full of awe, I laughed out loud, grabbed my camera, and took pictures. Some magical entity had drawn an espresso heart right in the middle of the fluffy foam. I make my latté the same way every day, I don't try to do anything fancy (the pugs and the parrots aren't impressed...) so this heart appeared in the middle of the foam all by itself and all of a sudden I was filled with waves of love throughout my body. What an absolutely stunning way to start your day!
So I settled in with my latté, surrounded by notebooks, pens, books, fiber work, pugs, parrots, Moe, and the fish all around, going back to sleep after a rousing start to their day, and as I sipped my magical love potion I got flutters, thinking of someone far far away whom I have not been in contact with for some time and who is very close and dear to my heart and I felt melancholy, but in that way that is a kind of lonely sadness laced with sweetness, and then I came across the quote, surfing about online, from the movie "Love Actually," and it was so perfect for the way I was feeling I grabbed it and put it just above the photo of my miraculous morning coffee. Now, I am swoony and romantic by nature, so you can just imagine how this set my mind to travelling all over the place while my heart bounced hither and yon and I couldn't stop smiling, even while my feet were propped up, slathered with arnica gel, and wrapped in ice packs.
So I sat here sipping and dreaming, and thinking of my guilty new secret pleasure which is a blog I started and made a closed, private blog to keep a journal of the life I am envisioning for myself, when I am able to move into a larger cottage, with a wonderful fenced yard for the dogs, room for a large cottage garden and a potager (A French kitchen garden, just outside the kitchen door, where vegetables and herbs for cooking are grown.) A big kitchen to cook in, oh, so many things. And I will move in and be happy to have it be spare at first because I like to decorate finding treasures at flea markets, junk shops, thrift stores, anywhere that has vintage things (not, mind you, expensive antiques, no, the things I love could have come out of your grandmother's attic...) and I just sat here, adjusting and readjusting pillows and ice packs, sipping my latté, and dreaming. I am an incurable romantic. Love slipslides in and out of my vision of my future, for the one I love is far far away, working, and I must leave her to her work while I forge on building a life here. I am a stalwart romantic on my best days, and then I sit down to a huge latté cup with a heart smack dab in the middle of it, and my knees go a little weak...
Love. And so many kinds of love. This afternoon I babysat my little 3 1/2 year old grandson. He is a truly magical child, a wee little boy with pale blond curly hair, huge eyes, the face of an angel, and a personality to match. He is so sweet and loving and we squeezed and kissed and talked and he patted my wrist which I broke a month ago and it is still in a brace, and he was most careful and concerned about my feet. He is very gentle with me, and just to hear a tiny little person call me "Grandma," well, I suppose one doesn't think much about it until it happens, but a grandchild is such a special kind of love and I was also present at his birth.
To see your child give birth to her child, well, it is the most miraculous thing there is. Rachel was born at home with both of her grandmothers in attendance, and I was with Rachel and Jeremy throughout the labor and at the end my ex-husband who is very dear to me, and our eldest daughter and younger son were all present to see Rachel give birth to Lucas. We held hands and cried while Jeremy held Rachel in his arms and the midwife caught the baby. The hospital had a wonderful birthing room and Lucas had barely had his first breath when we called out to Jeremy's dad and brother to come in and both sides of the family were there revelling in the enormous, unbelievable swell of love in that room. I still can't get over it.
Rachel went into labor the night of April 30, my 50th birthday, here at my family party, and through the night it got hard and she called me, and later Jeremy called and by 8 in the morning they called to tell me that they were on their way to the hospital and I never threw clothes on so fast. I got there right away and never left the room until nearly 10 p.m. that night when my daughter gave birth to a wee tiny boy and gave me the best birthday present of my life. Lucas was born May 1, so our birthdays are forever linked. This year we will be 4 and 54 respectively. It almost takes your breath away how fast time flies. And today as I was leaving to come home, I left behind Rachel and Jeremy and their tiny son playing in the front yard on a beautiful, nearly spring day, and oh, it tugged at my heart. What a beautiful little family they are. Rachel and Jeremy are amazing people and wonderful parents. I'm so proud of my lovely daughter and Jeremy is like a son to me now.
So, so many kinds of love, and some nearly inexplicable. I am thinking of Jeff. Jeff and I met roughly a decade ago through our love of birds, and it has been quite a journey. He is more than a best friend, he is truly a brother. We are both gay and he has a partner and a beautiful home and large family of animals as I do. We met because we were bird people. Today, there is no one closer to me, no one who knows me better. And the many things he does for me since I am alone here are just unimaginable. He is so good to me, and we love each other dearly. My beloved Blue and Gold macaw Maya, whom I handraised and had for a year, has been with Jeff since the summer of 2000. That bird is so bonded to Jeff it is a beautiful sight to behold, and a year and a half ago I hand raised an African Grey parrot for him. If you've been reading my blog you know that my newest rescue resident, Blossom, the Greater Sulfur Crested cockatoo, came here from Jeff's where he gave her everything a girl could ask for, but his other cockatoo tried to attack her and she became afraid of the other birds, always screaming, and, well, the rest of the story is here below, but now Blossom lives here with me and is proving to be a real soul mate.
Jeff and I talk on the phone several times a day and the bond between us is amazing. He is a miracle in my life and I love him dearly. So, so many kinds of love. And my friends near and far, all of my children and their partners or spouses, even a shy little wild cat that comes around, I feel such tenderness for. I have given her food a few times, but daren't do it too often because I can't take her in. Other neighbors have fed her too and there is a valiant effort to catch her so that she might be vet checked and a loving home found somewhere, but here as everywhere, sadly, there are feral cats and kittens wwherever there are people nearby. And they are so hard to catch. But we just keep doing what we can.
I started this post this morning and now it is very late here. I am surrounded by sleeping birds and dogs, pugs snoring and snuffling here and there, big Moe asleep on his bead, and Sampson, my little velcro pug, is on the ottoman here that my feet are resting on and will sleep with me when I go to bed shortly. He is such a funny little pug-a-lug, always wherever I am, as close as possible, and when I nap he in on my person somewhere, sound asleep. This little dog was badly treated and there was a time they doubted he'd make it. Now he is loved to pieces and has found a Mama who won't leave him (They don't call me Mama Maitri for nothing! Ha!). Even big white Blossom-Bird is asleep under her covers. It is eerily quiet and I am very tired.
To live with an open heart, to be willing to risk being hurt because the alternative would mean not feeling that warm river of love running through your life and days, well, it's the only way for me to live, and today my morning latté was a jumping off place into a day of taking inventory, taking stock of all of the people I love and who love me, and I feel very rich indeed and very blessed. Some people read tea leaves. My messages seem to come in an oversized mug with a giant latté in it. I wonder what it will tell me tomorrow?
I am about to go brush my teeth and make the last round of the night in the bathroom and turn out lights and join the rest of my animal companions in a peaceful night's sleep, but I will not be alone as I go about my last of the night chores. A little fawn pug will follow me wherever I go, and then run ahead of me excited to go to bed. He waits for me to get settled in and then he curls into the crook of my knees for starters, and I feel a warm soft boy beside me, soon to be snoring softly and drifting into the land where pugs dream. I don't have to count sheep, pug snores lull me to sleep, and I reach down and rub his soft wrinkly face and silken ears as I slowly drift off myself.
What a truly lovely day it's been. I feel so blessed. I wish you all love in abundance, rivers of love running through your lives. Sweet dreams. Tend your tender heart as you would a beautiful garden, and pass the love on to everyone you meet. Go back and read the quote again at the top of this entry from "Love Actually," and carry it with you in your heart. No matter what else is going on in the world, if we don't have love, we don't have anything. Love will lead the way.
Sampson and I wish you goodnight...