During the recent snow storm here in Virginia I was sitting drinking coffee and reading with a warm afghan over my lap. I started thinking about the afghan and its origins which led me to family ties and other musings. My father’s sister knit it probably between thirty and forty years ago. It was given to my mother and at some time passed on to me. For many years it was draped over the back of my sofa and used as a comfy perch for Mystic the cat. I now use it on winter mornings as I sit in my favorite chair.
This afghan is rows of different shades of blue with white mixed in to it. I am not a knitter (although I have made several half hearted attempts to learn and just never got it), but I can guess that knit and purl stitches create the wave like effect. Some rows are closely knit and others appear looser but it all works together to not only provide warmth and comfort but a pleasing complete pattern.
The aunt who knit this was not someone I saw often when growing up as her husband was in the Army and they lived in different states. My memories of her are of a warm, practical woman with a wonderful laugh who enjoyed her family and friends. When we visited her she treated us with love and was able to make even children feel respected and acknowledged as individual personalities.
What is all this pondering over an afghan? I am not a person who is much attached to things (or so I think😊). In fact I need a home as uncluttered as possible and often say I could easily live in the simplicity of a Japanese style home. However I am very appreciative of what I have. But I was surprised at my seeming “attachment” to this object. And I am beginning to see that the meaning for me is on several levels.
First, it is connection to family. Something that brings smiles to my face and loving memories not only of her and her family but of my father and grandmother. It reminds me of the heritage I have of strong women and men. Some bonds are tight or close and some loose with family members but all are connected and a part of who I am. Ultimately the afghan is connected to the Creator who provided the talent and interest in its creation and another reminder to me to appreciate the connections of love in my life. It helps me to be aware when I discount “stuff” lovingly given to me by family and friends that in truth keep the presence of Love always before me. And I have been graced with some beautiful extraordinary handcrafted gifts.
Oh I still will never have an over abundance of things and prefer open uncluttered living spaces. But I am learning to honor those gifts that raise me up in the love through which they are given. What a wonder that such kindness flows through life.
What “stuff” or “things” in your life hold special meaning for you? Why are they special? If there is nothing, why is that? Does it define your experience in life? Are there gifts you have given to others that have special meaning?
“On a clear day
Rise and look around you
And you’ll see who you are
On a clear day
How it will astound you
That the glow of your being
Outshines every star”
And so start the lyrics to the theme song from the musical “On a Clear Day”. Some of you may know the story of Daisy the young woman who is clairvoyant and a psychiatrist decides to study her. It is one of my favorite movies (although not critically acclaimed) with Barbra Streisand and I highly recommend watching it if you have not as it is great fun. But to make a long story short with hypnotism previous lives are revealed and she begins to truly appreciate who she is in this lifetime.
As that song came to mind for me (and isn’t interesting how things pop into our consciousness when they do) I realized the truth of the words as far as my journey goes and I suspect the journey of many others. At some point we experience a dark night of the soul that finally pushes us to want joy rather than pain as we grow tired of the drama and trauma. So we begin reading, taking classes, learning to breathe, learning to meditate, asking questions and often demanding answers. In many ways we are still in a stage of struggle although we are learning and growing. We feel hopeful much of the time and just know “the answer” is right around the corner. With the next book, the next class we will know Truth. Amazingly we also often draw the right teacher and/or experience to us at just the right time.
And then at some point an opening occurs in our heart and we get a glimpse of the beautiful soul we are. And although our ego may try to fight it we have more and more frequent glimpses. For me there were many moments on a long journey but I do believe there was a moment, “a clear day” when I rose within myself and saw, truly saw the magnificent creature I am. It was as though the few dark clouds left covering the sun moved on and I saw a flawless sky. Unbelievable joy and appreciation wrapped itself around me as I sang and danced and laughed. There is still so much gratitude for all the experiences of my life that have brought me to see who I am. It is astounding and at the same time it makes so much sense.
That does not mean I do not still have human doubts at times or never get irritated. But what I am discovering is that those times come less often and when they do for the most part they fly through quickly and peace returns. I walk around my house often in a semi dance or sashaying state which is someone of a hoot since I have no real sense of rhythm. But it sure is fun! The funny part is I am amazed at where I am now every day. It is not something you “get used to” and treat as a habit. It is a celebration of most days. Gratitude flows freely.
As you walk your journey never give up. There comes a point where you allow your soul to inform you. When that happens you are never allowed to go back and you are given support after support even when you do not realize what is going on. May you have many “clear days” as you travel your path.
Do your experience clear days? If so, what is it like for you? If not what questions do you have about the process? Are you willing to allow yourself to be joyful?