Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Conversations With a 23 Year Old Boy

Today my heaven on earth lasted 20 minutes, maybe more. When I hung up the phone, awe filled my soul. I was witness to a great conversation, a conversation that was a testament to my final goal. One that I had hoped was set in motion and nurtured for many years and now seemed to be coming to fruition. I hung up and my heart sang, my awe turned upward and I thanked Him. For this was what it’s like to be awash with joy. It was a rush. Something I hoped I would feel again and again. I felt like something special happened. Not for him but for me. I wondered and hoped, but didn’t know for sure if he heard my wonder as our conversation unfolded. I hoped he felt at least that yes, this was a really good conversation.

I talked to a 23 year old man, no longer a boy. One I have missed for a very long time and will continue to miss the rest of my life. That is what parents have to struggle with when they have a 23 year old man as their son. I miss him even more after I talk to him. It makes the day joyous and at the same time bittersweet. The connection and bond are sturdy between us, and I hope to always be part of his life, to be a friend that he feels and wants to confide in and still wants to hear from every once in a while. I’m lucky because I am his mother, so the phones calls and catching up will happen more often with us than with long lost friends. I never want to become a long lost friend.

I find joy when we reestablish that connection, to feel the unselfish love, one that will always be there no matter what is a good feeling. A mother and father’s need for the love to be given again is something we all yearn for when our children grow up and we revel in it even if it is for only 23 minutes.

That was a good conversation with many subjects, news, events, issues and a sense of camaraderie. That has always been my secret goal. To be trusted by my child, to be a reliable guide and source, to be enjoyable to talk to that he will want more of it in the future, to become a good friend, as well as his mother. This conversation was the very first that gave me an indication that we were on the right path. Transcending our relationship, to take it to a new level, one of mutual respect, support, and friendship was my goal as my son became a man.

Joy and Heaven on Earth are talking to a 23 year old man.

*Two years later, he calls more than ever before. The reason he calls is also gratifying. He calls when he has great news. He calls when he has a good story to tell us. He calls when he’s lonely. He calls when he’s a little sad. He calls when he has achieved a culinary triumph. He calls when he's found a great humorist or musician. But more than that, he even calls to shoot the breeze.

Yes, we must get our joy in little snatches. A twenty minute conversation can make the distance between you dissolve and a voice that was part of your life and heart everyday for 21 years comes back to you and can make your heart sing.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Heavenly Connections

The closest thing to heaven is to know and to have someone that can share your joy.

Sharing joy is the most intimate level of heaven on earth.

I watched the last few scenes of the film "Pursuit of Happiness" starring Will Smith. What I saw or experienced in those last few moments of the film gave me a glimpse of heaven on earth.

When his character came out of his successful interview and stood on the street filled with New Yorkers walking by, I was struck by his release, his joy. I felt it. I wanted to be in that crowd, to hug him, to tell him I understood and shared in his joy.

As I watched that scene, I knew if anyone, anyone in that crowd had recognized his moment and empathetically knew what I knew, that they would have thrown their arms around him in celebration. And he would have been so grateful. Grateful in finding the human connection he needed even if it was for a split second. His joy would be even greater had he someone close to his heart to share his joy to its fullest measure.

I marveled that his character conveyed that emotion so well, that I felt the need to tell him - I know. Although he was totally within himself, one touch, one compassionate touch, would have sent the joy exploding out of him. In that moment, human connection is what he wanted and needed so badly. He knew he had to get to the closest person in his life, so he ran to the one person that could accept his joy, his son. And even then his son was too young to share or fully understand his father's hopes, fears, and joy. It felt bittersweet to me.

Isn't that heaven on earth? To find and know that there is someone who shares your joy.

A sister, a dear friend, your mate, your child, your pastor, your co-worker, your mother or father, your teacher, your mentor, to feel that connection of the mutual knowledge of each other's fears, hopes, and dreams.

I am fortunate to have joyful sisters and mother. Women I can rely on to share my joy and to revel in it.

There are those that have no one in which to share their joy. And if you have no one, how much joy can truly be expressed.

Looking for someone to give you joy is hard and frustrating and could be a momentous waste of time. Better to be a little joy in someone else's day. Be the vehicle of joy. Put a flower on someone's desk. Take a friend aside and thank her for her friendship. Take a co-worker aside and tell her you're glad she is on your team. Take your parents aside and tell them you understand them better. Tell your child you like them as a person.

Look for what will make other joyous. And joy will come to you.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Nature's Healing Power

Imagine the green valleys and of wild flowers swaying in the breeze, the butterflies and bees lighting here and there.

Imagine the mountains, blue and radiant in the sun, rising high above the horizon.

Imagine the green blue waters on a white sand beach. The sound of waves as they rhythmically reach the shore.

Imagine the a lush forest floor, with towering trees, the birdsong above, the quiet wind by your ear.

Listen. Listen.

Feel small,
but not among skyscrapers.

Feel insignificant,
but not among the populace.

Feel like a spec,
but not among society.

Feel small enough,
to be part of the whole.

Feel the awe of the beauty of nature.

Feel the awe of its grandeur,

Feel the awe of its age.

Fill your soul, refresh your heart, and revive your mind.

Be something other than the biological machine producing, engineering, and cranking out the verbs.

Be again in nature. Reintroduce yourself to your primordial ancestral home. Be small and quiet.

Feel the warmth of the sun on your skin, your feet deep in the sand, your hair free in the wind.

Hear your heart sing for joy.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Recognizing Angels

Angels are very sly. Angels will hide among like things. Angels will kick your ass. Sometimes they’re standing right in front of you and you don’t recognize them. It might even take years before you realize that you have met angels. Sometimes it takes time to recognize how they have touched your life. Some are subtle. Some will hold up a mirror and show you something you don’t want to see, and every once in a while, one will grab you by the hand and run with you.

Recognizing angels isn’t really that hard. If you are attuned to your feelings, then angels are easy to find.

You never know when you will meet an angel, so keep your eyes and your heart open.

Maybe that woman that smiled warmly at you that you just had to smile back was an angel. Maybe the baby you picked up and who cooed at you and wanted to touch your face was an angel. Maybe the children that ran up and grabbed your legs as a hello were angels. Maybe the teacher whose words you still hear in your head was an angel. Maybe the man at home, the one that loves you the best, maybe he’s an angel too.

Maybe the guy at work that is so annoyingly competitive that he pushes you to do your best is an angel. Maybe the bitch that told you a thing or two you didn’t really want to hear about yourself and was a catalyst for change was an angel. Maybe an angel slammed a door and opened another.

Any one that can teach you a valuable lesson is an angel.

Be grateful that angels exist in your life. Throughout the day, they try to send you messages of joy, messages of validation, messages of change. Some stay for just a moment, others for a lifetime. And as you grow older, angels become more visible to you. You recognize and appreciate their presence in your life.

Searching for heaven on earth may mean to search for the angels in our lives everyday.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Home Alone

No one is home…but me.

The cacophony of sound, of movement, of vibration is gone.

Every room once filled to the brim with humanity has space.

Every sound, the clatter of pans, the television blare, the pounding of running feet are no more.

The merging of so many voices, the passion plays, the human anxieties, needs, wants, cries, frustration, and anger. But also the ideas, the planning, the singing, the laughing, and the sounds of play are silenced.

One day, I was given a gift. One never afforded to me before. I was given a choice, to go with them or to be alone.

I was old enough to stay home alone, to be left all alone.

I heard silence for the first time in my waking life. That is when I learned that silence is a blessing. I learned that being alone did not mean loneliness. Sometimes it means freedom.

I found a contentment, a quiet, a balance I had never felt. Gladness touched my heart. The only voice in the room was the one in my head and it was singing a joyful aria.

Just to be alone. Just to BE.

Another sliver of heaven on earth was opened to me.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Too Far Away To Care

I’m too far away to care.

Peace, tranquility, the release, the “I can’t do anything about it” feeling. I’m three thousand miles away. I’m too far away for it to get to me and I’m too far away for me to get to it. It’s no longer an issue, no longer my problem.

Distance has created tranquility, a peace of mind, and freedom to feel the moment.

If ever the phrase “ Let me worry about what I can do now” this is when you feel it to its fullest.

Trips allow the surreal life to take over and my real life to dissipate into nothingness. If I can put an ocean between, even better. Because driving across a continent is not an option. Swimming across a sea is not an option. I can shrug off whatever it is that pulls on me. I'm free. I'm free to be in the moment, completely.

To go to a place so far away to care, I've given myself a little piece of heaven on earth. I can always sit and quietly meditate, breath deeply, and find a way to go back to that time, to revive those memories, where I was too far to care.

Even if it’s just for a few moments.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Sharing Heaven On Earth

Searching for Heaven On Earth. I've come a long way from the days when I was convinced that I was living a Hell on Earth to realizing that there are bits of Heaven that present themselves to me everyday.

I can’t pinpoint the exact moment when Heaven On Earth touched me. But it would tag me every once in a while trying to divert my attention from the anguish and depression I felt most of the time.

I've learned that heaven can be found in the smallest of things. Sometimes they are slivers of light or moments in time. But they are definitely here. Soon I relented to this game of tag, counted to ten, and went searching – Searching for Heaven On Earth.

I will strive to find the bits of heaven on this earth and to share them with you.