Life is Good!

Alas! I have been neglecting my readers and my blog because there has been too much busyness of good going on in my life to deliver it via the keyboard. Until now.

A weekend at the 60th annual Allegany Nature Pilgrimage in New York was so filled with fascinating workshops, walks and kindhearted folks that I was inspired to join the planning committee. On the public bathroom wall that weekend I was drawn to the graffiti message, “Love is what you make it.” Yup!

An outing on a blazing hot sunny day at the Niagara Air Show with my Godson proved that the Thunderbirds never get old, even after the umpteenth time of seeing them. My favorite trick, besides them surprising us with their overhead stealthy booming approaches, is watching one separate from the formation creating a giant heart in the sky, provoking collective cheers from us on the ground below. Love is in the air!

In fairy tale style (a surprise proposal during a trip to Ireland), my daughter got engaged to her high school sweetheart and I feel intense joy. I also miss my own Mom who loved her so much. I last saw Mom when she waved to us from her porch as we pulled out of her driveway when my daughter was eleven. She passed away the following weekend in her sleep, and my daughter sobbed for her that entire summer at bedtime. It broke my heart at the time, yet I feel Mom’s presence often, and again when I see the engagement ring.

Son is nearly finished playing Frankenstein with my Grand Truck, Goofy, his project that has taken years and a labor of love that many discouraged. “Sell that piece of junk,” they said. Now he is almost ready to show his bright yellow 1985 GMC that he passionately and patiently rebuilt from scratch with his bare hands, learning his own way and telling his own story. I can’t wait for a ride, if for no better reason than to manually roll down a window and slide the defroster knob from side to side. Smiles!

Wondering lately about the days when American Indian names reflected the attributes of nature and how we progressed from that to diagnostic labels and nasty adjectives to describe people. My latest label is “Recurring and Remitting Multiple Sclerosis.” Exercise, diet and strength of spirit are proving otherwise. As I declared to my physical therapist, I prefer Reversing and Recovering MS. My neurologist is a sweetheart, yet he only has MRI images, historical data and typical patients to work with. He doesn’t deeply know me or my motto, “Underestimate me, that will be fun.” My progress is remarkable.

From the Sanctuary:
I learned through a newspaper article that my neighbor is building an upscale development next to my Capture Life Writing Sanctuary. Exercising his passion for helping people with horses, he is including trails throughout. I went down to introduce myself to him and share my plan to help people through my passion of nature and words and inquire whether I could use his adjoining property. He assured me that there would be nothing but green space next to my Sanctuary and “Yes, because nature is meant to be shared.” It’s refreshing and heartwarming to find someone who shares your dream.

The Sanctuary is filled with the beginnings of summer! Fireflies with an accompaniment of frogs and a whispering breeze through the leaves in the darkness indicate her presence. Mom used to tell stories of capturing fireflies in jars during her childhood, so I know she is here. I was sad to discover upon returning from the nature pilgrimage that a predator (raccoon perhaps?) had invaded the goose’s nest. Mama was gone and the eggs were all empty and broken behind the shed. Grateful that I had not been there to hear what had transpired, I recognized the need for another’s survival and the natural order of things. Life goes on here in the form of a doe bringing her fawn out in dawn and dusk and a collection of adorable baby squirrels. Life is good!

Tomorrow brings my request to the town for a permit to build a second floor for space to host programming on an individual and small group basis to promote emotional and mental wellness for others. Fingers crossed!

Happy Belated Father’s Day with Love to All of You Devoted Dads!
And Happy Summer Solstice to All! Carry that excess light with you.

Love, Mary
(Self labeled today as “One Who Loves All Living Things.”)




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