Circles of Life ( May 6-12, 2018) / by Hayden Michelle

This week began with a posting about celebration of life-- that of my son as he celebrated his 14th birthday with friends and family... and the week continued with a different level of facing the preciousness of life.  On Wednesday, we heard the unexpected news that my 43 year old sister-in-law, Erin, was rushed to the emergency room the previous night, and after exploratory CT scans, diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer.  The shock of such news in those we love has no adequate preparation, and my brother John and their 4 girls, as well as family and friends, are facing this news by rallying around to support her and the whole family in the gravity of this unexpected journey.  

Erin underwent major surgery on Friday, which was successful, and now will recover 4-6 weeks before starting chemotherapy for the involvement of her liver.  She asks for as much prayer and support and love as can be sent her way, and for her family, especially John, "who is my number one support" (as said by Erin), and their children.   Please muster all the positive energy you can to support her  healing and recovery, and strength for her entire family and all those who love her through this incredible challenge.  We love them all dearly, and want them to be surrounded by as much sustenance as possible.  I know they will feel your love and care, and I thank each of your for your prayers and holding of space for them.  Gratitude beyond words...

("Yesterday we awoke to dark rainy skies, and proceeded to a farm, where we celebrated my son’s 14th birthday. Completely undaunted by the existing conditions, the kids headed immediately out of the shelter and onto the green grassy hills, hours of intermittent rain pounding their uncaring bodies as they played Capture the Flag, all ages mingling in the freshness of the air. They created music and sang for a long while before returning for a power game of Red Rover, parents cheering from the sidelines as if it were the finals of some big game. But the kicker of the whole day was the kids quite literally sinking into the joy of mud, which began with a single sling by one of the remaining kids, and ended with head-to-toe encasement in this most primal element of the earth. I do not think any of us has laughed that hard or long in some time. We drove home still laughing, filled with the reminder of the simple power of play and friendship. Wishing you all the same today...")


("This painting took way longer than it “should” have, and not because the end result is particularly wonderful, haha... it is because I could not leave it alone, and the more I tried to accentuate the separate spaces, the more they bled together. I was eventually left with the choice to blend in the parts that had bled together, and make them cohesive, or ditch the painting, which I promised myself I would not do in this daily discipline— I vowed to work with each circle, love it or not, develop it the best I could, and call it a day. This is what we all do every day, I realize— work with what we have, try to integrate and honor even the pieces we would rather disown and keep separate. It occurred to me that I was only able to relax when I could see the beauty that resulted in the parts that came together here, seeing that they softened some of the hard edges. Aware, once again, of my own inner resistance to acceptance of things I find less than appealing. Happy this bit of pigment, water, and paper made me mindful of this dynamic and gave me a visual to remember its message.")


("As I age and face my own health and that of those I hold dear, I reflect often on how to heal in ways that attend to both my inner and outer needs. We are all a balance of these energies, and like the spaces which I all too often try to keep separate, one is part of the other, as inseparable as I am from the genes that are my blueprint. I wish generosity of compassion, courage, and hope for all that are coping with illness in their minds, bodies, and spirits. As one wise woman with whom I work has often reminded me, our whole beings strive to be well and to heal what needs healing— it is deeply rooted in our nature...")


("As I wake each day, I feel an ongoing struggle with tending to my own growth as I care for the daily needs of my children, and stay connected to our family and friends. It occurs to me that the same soil that feeds my children and spouse and those I love, is the same soil that feeds me, and that we all must depend on a consistent flow of water, nourishment, and sunlight in order for our lives to flourish. Time, energy, and resources are needed to make this happen for each one of us, and all are pulled in many directions. My hope is that each day, we can find small ways to remain fortified and balanced, teaching our children and ourselves that there is enough light for us all, and that flowering is not only possible, but vital.")


("As the rain is pouring down on the patches of dirt outside my window, I am reflecting on how naturally and effortlessly water soaks into parched earth, and how I wish I could just send this ease of healing for those who need it... We can all radiate out love, and reflect back the courage and inner strength of those who are in this difficult place, letting them know they are surrounded by deep love and immense hope...")


("Holding space and prayers and support for loved ones in the very heavy place of waiting today, surrounding them with calm, extra breath, trust, and hope for healing.")


("Often when I walk, I come across imprints of animals that have crossed before me. I always wonder where they were going, if they were traveling alone or with another... I reflect on my own life and the tracks that have influenced who I am, grateful for the lessons that have already come and the potent possibility contained in those yet to come. Today, I want to remember with gratitude all those who shape my life, as well as hold awareness for the many ways we can shape each other’s. It is empowering to know that always, there is the chance to make positive difference in each other’s lives.")