Sunday, April 26, 2009

Reincarnation Dilemma

When I was just shy of two years old, I wandered out of my playroom with a long dark brown colored pencil in my hand and sought out my mother. I then put the pencil in my mouth, took an imaginary puff from my “long black cigarette” and told my mother that before I had died and been reborn I used to smoke these. Naturally, my mother freaked out. She called my aunt and by the time my aunt had arrived at our house, I was no longer talking about my past life. Some people believe in reincarnation and others think it’s a big load of bunk, but just about everyone has a strong opinion about it. Not surprisingly, I personally believe very strongly in it. I only wish that I were still able to conjure up memories of my past life (or lives), but unfortunately for most people, that ability fades away very quickly the longer we remain on this earthly plane, and usually while we are still quite young.

My father passed away in 1980 when I was 16 years old and not a day has gone by that I haven’t missed him more than I could ever express in words. Through these many years I’ve had a great many visitations from him in my dreams. How do I know these were visitation dreams and not just ordinary dreams? Visitation dreams are incredibly vivid in every last detail and stay with you forever, as rich years later as they were the moment you first woke from them. Every single detail of my father’s visitations remain in my mind in super sharp focus, as opposed to just dreams about my father, the particulars of which all faded within hours of my waking. I hold the visitation dreams dearly in my heart, every last one of them.

Back in 2003, I had a very vivid and uncomfortably intense visitation dream from my father and was certain that the purpose of it was for him to say goodbye to me once again as he was preparing to reincarnate. I’ve held on to that dream in my heart and in my mind for six years now and only recently spent some time discussing it with a shaman who agrees with me that it was in fact a reincarnation dream as he was coming back to this plane in another form and he needed to say his final goodbye to me. I have had some very conflicted feelings since I first had the dream and they’ve only intensified since talking with the shaman. While I am happy that my father has moved on to the next stage of his soul’s journey, I can’t help but feel lost and abandoned all over again. I know it’s selfish of me to wish he were still watching over me, but it’s nothing if not completely honest. After all, I have lived my life for the last 29 years believing that when it’s my time to die, my father will be there (wherever “there” is) waiting for me and it’s the belief that I will see him once again that has kept me unafraid of death for nearly three decades and honestly looking forward to that time when I will be with him once more. But if he’s not there anymore because he’s back here as someone I don’t know, what will happen when I die? And when I go there, will I then be alone there too? My talk with the shaman has shattered my personal belief system and I’m now no longer sure what to think or how to feel.

This is one of the dilemmas we face with reincarnation: at some point we all need or choose to come back and where does that leave our loved ones that we yet again leave behind? It’s something that I have occasionally questioned, but without a great deal of concern until now, when someone I love so much is simply gone. Now really gone. I know when we die and when it’s our turn to return, we don’t fret over what or who we have left behind, but how do those of us who have been left behind handle the knowledge that those we have loved have begun a new life somewhere with no knowledge of us and all we shared anymore in their minds or hearts? Reincarnation, like so many other rites of passage in our lives, clearly contains within it a great deal of pain and conflict.

That’s what my heart is telling me, but my head just thinks that because my dad is gone again and really gone for good now, that this sucks more than anything. And now nothing is the same, nor will it be ever again, and I don't like it at all.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Tree Day 2009

Today is Arbor Day, which is always celebrated on the last Friday in April. Although it might not be exactly accurate to refer to the observation of Arbor Day as a "celebration", it is just that for those of us who adore trees and Mother Earth and wish to keep her as healthy as possible and show her all the respect she deserves.

In the words of Julius Sterling Morton, the man who founded Arbor Day (which on the first observed Arbor Day on April 10, 1872, it's believed that one million trees were planted, by the way) “Arbor Day is not like other holidays. Each of those reposes on the past, while Arbor Day proposes for the future.”

You said it, Mr. Morton.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Full Pink Moon

Today is the Full Pink Moon, so named because it heralds the appearance of pinks, or ground phlox, one of the first spring flowers to bloom. I love pinks and have them bordering my perennial bed in enormous clumps. My favorites are the Cheddar Pinks: pale gray-green foliage with cool blue-pink blossoms. And who couldn't love anything with a name like that? Unfortunately, my ducks seem to love them just as much as I do and if I'm not careful, will eat them until there are just a few dirt-covered roots left here and there.

Today's moon is also known by many other names as well: the Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon, the Frog Moon, the Planter's Moon and among the coastal tribes, the Full Fish Moon. The Lakotas call it the Fast Waterflow Moon. It's neo-pagan name is the Growing Moon.

Take a moment tonight to step outside and bathe yourself in the cool silver light of the moon. Draw down the full moon and as you draw the moon's essence into you, feel both its power and the power of the goddess strengthening you and making you whole.