It's always something, isn't it? I don't know about you, but even in the best of times, I never feel completely at ease. I'm always waiting for the next shoe to drop. I'm more a glass half empty sort of person than a glass half full.
I try to maintain a glass half full perspective. But I'm a de la Garza. Our family mantra was, "Be careful!" I'm trying to remember if I ever heard either one of my parents say, "Have fun." I don't think so. In fact, I would go so far as to say that in our family, fun and joy were suspect.
After having two sons of my own, I do believe that to a large extent, temperament is innate and my innate temperament is obviously melancholy. But I'm also sure that environment has an influence and that I learned my pessimistic outlook from my mother and father.
That being said, I had a few very down moments in the wee, wee hours last night. I tripped over my dog and fell down again.
The sweet old lumpus I tripped on.
I got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. When I went in the bathroom, my dog (Sweetie, a fourteen year old, 75 pound black lab/Irish setter mix) was sleeping on the rug in the hall. While I was in the bathroom, unbeknownst to me, she moved into the bedroom. I didn't notice she wasn't in the hall anymore, nor did I see her big shaggy, black body on the rug in the dark bedroom.
On the way back to bed, I tripped over her and fell all the way down, splat, on the floor. I twisted my right foot and ankle and bruised my bad knee. And I was pretty shaken up. Sweetie, of course, was unhurt. In fact, she hardly moved.
I hoisted myself up, painfully, and staggered into the kitchen, swallowed a couple of Aleves and got a package of frozen brussel sprouts to put on my foot and went back to bed, where I tossed and turned, while my foot throbbed.
My heart and mind were both racing as I lay in bed fretting about the fragility of my old bones and body and wondering how long it will be before I can walk normally again. And since I couldn't sleep, I decided to put on my ear phones and listen to The Unitarian Church of Dublin podcast. The church broadcasts its sermons by podcast every week and I have become sort of addicted to them, especially the soothing voice and sermons of their minister, Bridget Spain.
I listened to her latest sermon based on the book Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsch. That's a book I've avoided like the plague for several years now, afraid to pick up. I've known two people, both several years ago, who committed suicide while reading that book. One was my dear friend, Alison. The other was more an acquaintance than a friend. She was, at the time, the president of the Unitarian congregation I was attending in East Tennessee.
At any rate, I listened to Rev. Spain's sermon and I must say, I remained unconvinced that God was speaking and dictating to Neale Donald Walsch. But I'm no more or less convinced that God dictated to Walsch than I am that He dictated to the authors of any scripture, be they Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, or another religion. I tend to believe that all of those writings are like every great story, simultaneously fictional yet true.
But while I was listening, I started thinking about the ways in which the universe communicates ("All coincidence, traced to its origin, is seen to have been inevitable." An ancient Sanskrit proverb I DO believe) and what message I might need to take away from my fall:
"Hey, wake up! You're wasting time."
"Hey, stop facebooking and make some REAL contact."
or "Hey, you think YOU'VE got it bad. You should get down on your knees and thank God you're not in Syria."
And so, I've shifted my perspective today. I've decided to be grateful that I was not hurt more badly. I did not break any bones. The space heater, which I fell against, was not on so I wasn't burned and branded either. And I still have a husband and two sons that I love and who love me and a good friend, Barbara, with whom I can share my doubts, sorrows and joys.
When I called her this morning, she said, "Martha, you want me to come over and get you and cheer you up?" "Yes!" I said. "Okay, I'll come get you and we'll go out to dinner."
Yes, I have much to be grateful for. And perhaps the universe found it necessary to slap me up the side of the head just to get my attention so it could tell me to, "Shape UP, dammit! And get busy! And stop feeling sorry for yourself!"
To paraphrase Julian of Norwich, "All is well, all is well and all manner of things shall be well." I'm choosing to believe that today.
As always, I ask you to share Dogwood Daughter with someone else. I'm an indie artist, no advertising, only word of mouth from kind folks like you. Thank you.
Be Well and Good Luck,