Mary: The Care and Feeding Of

For the longest time, it was the rats.

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Abigail. Igi. Mo. Fred. George.

There they would be. They had been here the whole time. Who had been keeping their cage clean? Where had they been finding their food?

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They’d been dead for years, and yet they were alive and they were fine. Even though I felt crushing guilt that I hadn’t been looking after them, hadn’t been feeding them, there would still be the feeling of joyous reunion, without resentment. I would marvel at their presence, feeling so happy and a tiny bit regretful. I didn’t realize that I could be with them, anytime I want to.

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Then last week, during the full moon eclipse, the dream changed.

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I was asleep and the door opened. I heard the click of his nails on the wood floor. I sat up, stunned, hopeful, incredulous. He jumped on the bed. I whispered to Jeff, Can you see him? Oh yes, he answered.

Leo.

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The dream jumps to the next morning. A wolf walks into the kitchen on two legs, slowly shapeshifting into a wereboy. Or maybe I should say, were-bro, since the tone of his voice is decidedly Dude. He goes to the pantry, opens a box of triscuits, and pours them into a bowl on the floor. He’s telling me that Leo can eat anything now, anything he wants. Leo walks in behind him, his brown eyes looking right at me, and I understand. They say, This is who takes care of me now, this is my spirit companion.

Leo is resentful of this. And he doesn’t really want to eat triscuits.

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It is not the first time I understand the meaning of these dreams. But this time, I understand irrevocably.

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Feeding my animal companions, during our earthly walk together, often fell into the realm of responsibility and obligation. Sometimes money was tight. Or time was. Regardless, our heart based connection did often succumb to the mechanics of living…the need to eat, the scooping of poop, the need to be walked, to live outside of a cage, the collision of the wild and untamed with the trappings of civilization. The chewed up door. The destroyed rug. The angry housemates.

Life with a perpetual toddler.

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But now they return and they offer the relinquishing of guilt. Yes, it is still about the care and feeding, but it no longer involves trips to the vet.

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The dreams are a call to stillness. An invitation to connect with heart, with soul. To reach out with filaments and light, twining with dust like the fingers of two reunited lovers, clasping hands.

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They knock on the door, and I answer. They come to me in the dark, and I light a candle.

Missy. Mouse. Little bit. Abigail. Igi. Mo. Fred. George. Leo.

Gram. Aunt Marion. Papa. Brother. Baby.

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Welcome Ancestors. Welcome dear ones. With you in my veins, my blood follows a path both forward and back. With you in my heart, I am brought to my knees, hands placed on the earth. Humbled. Grateful. Tender. Alive.

P.S. Photos from a walk last weekend, taking the halloween costume for a whirl at the restored salt flats of the So. Bay. Also, trick or treating in Petaluma. I used a pattern to transform her into Dorothy, and although there was much shaking of fists and scoffing at the “Simplicty” brand name, all frustration evaporated when her upturned face shone with joy and she said, “Thank you for making me a Dorothy dress Mama”.

I’ll be back next week with more guest posts. I hope your halloween / Samhain was festive and that you are in the midst of a rollicking celebration for three days of Dias de los Muertos.

As for me, I have an extra reason to celebrate. It’s my birthday! Born on All Souls Day and Day of the Dead. Scorpio Sun. Virgo Moon. Sagittarius rising. Lucky. Happy. Blessed.

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8 thoughts on “Mary: The Care and Feeding Of

  1. Happy Birthday Dearest Mary! Thank you for your big heart, your huge brain, your loving kindness, your generous spirit, your wild nature, your wisdom, your infectious smile, your sweet words, thank for everything you’ve thought me, thank you for being born, for crossing your path with mine.

    And thank you for this beautiful piece.

  2. Happy Birthday Mary lady! i hope you have a very special day. The trick or treating photo of the littles in front of that giant door needs to be on a card it is so perfect. she’ll remember that dress always you know. So much love went into it; and yes, I agree, Simplicity (pfffffft whatevs simplicity – but i guess they couldn’t brand themselves “Hardness awaits”) xo.Oh Leo. xo

  3. mary, i’ve been thinking of you all morning and how wondrous and mystical it seems to be born on this day when the veil is so thin. i hope your celebrations and honorings bring you great joy and connection. this post almost brought me to tears but maybe i am extra emotional today for similar reasons as the filaments of your floating dreams, to keep those i have loved close, to expose the heart and to create bridges to other more mysterious realms. i soooo appreciate your words and the way you tell the stories of the animals you have loved and dutifully cared for. and the joy and spirit you are heaping on that beautiful and radiant child of yours!!! all those you love and honor are smiling and saying how blessed they werxe to share this earth awhile with YOU! much love to you today.

  4. you understood,
    i understand.
    you were there, ready.
    happy birthday.

    an exquisite post.
    the quiet pictures of the small trick or treaties,
    hauntingly alive.

    la ofrendas. la familia, la corazon.

    i write down my dreams every morning, looking through the crumbs of visuals like a miner sifting silt in a pan.

    love you.

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