Wednesday, November 11, 2015

THERE IS ALWAYS MORE TO THE STORY




My son Alex calls me Lucy. He changed from Mom to Lucy when he was about three. It's interesting to me how people react to this. Some say: “Does it bother you? Isn't it disrespectful?” Honestly? No, not at all. 
In my way of thinking there was a time I was not even Lucy let alone Mom. Yet since Alex has come along a mother I am. And still a daughter. 

I am visiting my Mom and she no longer knows my name. My Mom has alzheimer's, many may say “she has no idea who you are”. My Mom may not know my name or that I am her daughter, yet who she is and who I am hold an energy that is totally unique. We hold our love story. When I talk to her, feed her or hold her there is a response I see in her eyes or sigh that holds a deeper knowledge maybe unknown to the body she is in.
She recognizes true love. A life force is there. Just consider the way a baby may not know a word or have control of its limbs but recognizes who it wants to be held by.
We are still very limited in knowing what goes on at a deeper level before or after words.

These days when I meditate I feel my Mom. I feel her hand on my shoulder. Today she was small, about seven years old with her little hands in mine. She is more powerful than the ever changing body she is somewhat residing in and she knows that. She always knew that. 

Am I saying my heart is not mourning? Oh, it is, I miss my Mom's vitality just as I miss my face at twenty. I miss her laughing at me in a way that let me feel soft and funny. I miss her seriously bad singing and I miss her fast walk. Yet somehow all that has existed still does.

For me, when I say the word “Mom” my whole being reacts. I suppose for Alex, it happens with “Lucy”.

I can just hear my Mom now saying, “Yes, Lucy. Oh yes!” I know the exact tone she would use.





Wednesday, September 9, 2015

BREATHING WITH NANNY AND POPPY



I woke this morning on this first day of March with a headache. It’s been there for the last four days, joining the rest of my flu which has been visiting me for the last two weeks. Symptoms are gradually improving and leaving one by one yet the heavy head is the one that makes me weak and unable to connect with the world.
What is wrong everyone wonders with worry and fear in the eyes? Fear (a virus of power) that catches me in response (I feel it in the tension that takes over and my head gets worse) and I wonder to myself why my body is taking its time? What is it telling me?
Rest.

Rolling onto my back I felt my spirit and body wanting to do some breath work. I had tried on a few occasions yet felt myself fall asleep before it actually began.

Today I began to breathe and walked into my story. My breath brought me to the memory of the house of my grandmother and grandfather. To a house in Queens, New York.
I saw the steps, the door, the checkered marble floor and smelled the scent of mothballs and wood in entrance hall, this home smelled of coffee, comfort food and the held greatest feeling of a warm welcome.
I saw each room of the home, the carpet, the old stereo system and the bay windows that looked back out to the street where I once played as my grandmother (Nanny) watched and waved and blew kisses.

I then saw Nanny’s arm, an arm so sweet and aged. I saw the thin skin that I could slide my hand over and the pretty veins.An awareness of how beautiful this arm was popped into my thoughts.
I saw her rubbing vapor rub on my chest as a child, laughing with me, making being sick a funny thing.
Suddenly I was holding her hand, my fingers playing with her wedding ring. Love was everything to Nanny. To her love was greatest wealth and what life is for. I felt that she was sad sometimes that not everyone knew this simple truth. Love and laughter ruled in this house in Queens.

My grandmother loved. More than anything she loved my grandfather (Poppy). My Poppy was a quiet man, handsome and his eyes held a chuckle (especially for my Nanny).
I felt their wisdom and kindness. I felt cared for.

Then I could see them dancing. At their fifty year anniversary a song played as they danced. I watched them with their foreheads pressed into each other. A smile of peace on my grandfather’s face.
“Longer than there have been stars up in the heavens
Higher than any bird ever flew.
Deeper than any forrest prime evil.
I’ve been in love with you”

I felt no revelation. Just pure patience and peace. As my breathing softened I felt my body relaxing, my head felt soft and free.

No headache.

My feet felt warm as if wrapped in comfort.
Bless you Nanny and Poppy. Your warmth and lessons are never-ending and I carry them so gratefully.


©Lucy Hamel

Saturday, September 5, 2015

AN EDUCATION IN HUMANITY


“Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.”― Aristotle

In the summer of 1981 my high school class was graduating without me. I had failed gym class and did not have enough credits to join my friends in this major celebration of our incredible growth.

I failed gym because I skipped so many classes, sometimes to be cool and hang out with other 'cool' kids. Sometimes I just needed to disappear in my wonder.  I could not really understand how I ended up so far behind and lost, yet I was.

High school was also the time I learned I was attractive. It seemed it was all I had. It took practice to know how to handle as it came with its own gifts and pressures. I remember a counselor writing to my mother to 'get a handle' on me as boys kept walking up to talk to me in study time. My mother asked me “What are you doing?” I said “I don't know.” She laughed.

Yet high school was also a time of loneliness and depression. I wondered how everyone knew what to do and when to go where. Who guides you in this land of rules? My parents had divorced and life, sadness and change were preoccupying their focus; they were out of touch with my emotional state. I was living in two houses and in each I felt I was a nuisance. I felt forgotten. Or maybe they thought I knew how to handle life? I only have my version.

I don't write this to make judgments and accept none against anyone, especially those I love.

I write to acknowledge any child or adult that ever felt stupid.

I write to acknowledge how wise we can be, beyond the man made definition of 'educated.'

I write to encourage emotional education in schools, making them a useful human gift. How are students taught to handle sadness, grief, love, anger, loneliness, fear, jealousy, anxiety and elation to name a few? Does a student know how to define anger or love or how best to use it?

I write to feel cleaner in who I am.
To continue:

I had lost my way and was not functioning according to the educational systems rules of how I should get from A to B.

Today in my breath work meditation I saw myself standing outside the fence, gripping onto to it as I watched my friends graduate. I hardly remember walking to the school grounds yet I do remember the sensation. You know that feeling when you have a high fever and all sounds hurt your ears and your skin feels strange? It was like that.

I was there for many reasons. I wanted to see my friends shine. I wanted my mother or father to look for me (I fantasized they would come to find me). Strangely I remember one of the biggest reasons I was there was because I wanted the principal to look in my direction and see me. I wanted him to see my anger, to see me alone, to see his face register that I knew that some people less clever than I were graduating while I sat out. I wanted him to see I knew he made choices of who he would set an “example” with. I wanted him to cringe in shame at his lack of support, but none of that happened.

Most people inside the fence avoided looking at me. It was supposed to be a beautiful day and I was messing up the joy. It was interesting to be so vividly visible and yet so invisible. (I suppose a lot like a famous star who's photo is being snapped by hundreds as she falls from grace and yet no one offers a hand)

Yet I did receive support in the form of my brother.
He showed up and put his arm around my shoulders. I remember he said “How ya doin’?” And really, that was all I needed. I was seen. It was not really the cool thing to hang out with your loser sister, but he did and I am forever grateful. I belong.

It took me some time to graduate. I ended up having one of the best summers of my life. I went to Boston University to a summer theatre and dance study program. One hundred kids had been accepted after auditions and one was me. I took seventeen courses and flourished. I had never felt such respect and pride in my life, I never felt so heard. We talked about emotions all the time! The professor sent a letter of high praise with my grades to my high school principal.

The principal said those courses were not enough and said I needed something more serious.

So I went back to Boston University to see what else I could do. There was a sociology course called “Life Crisis.” It dealt with depression and suicide. It interested me as I had lost some people close to me and I wanted to better understand them. I signed up for the class, my mother drove me there and my father paid. The only thing nobody noticed was that it was a master’s level class and the fact that I had no high school diploma.

I went in the evenings to study, read the heavy books, talked with students and doctors that were in the course with me. The final exam was tough for me, understanding all the language, but I had read all the course work and was curious and intuitive enough on crisis to sense what to answer.

I completed the course and waited for my results, I received a C. I thought...I've done it!

I was surprised a few days later to receive a call from the professor of my course. She said she felt the need to call and ask why I could only accomplish a C on the exam. She commented that when I talked in class I seemed so knowledgeable.

I laughed and told her “It’s ok!!! I am happy, you see when I entered I didn't know I was in a masters course, I have never done this before!” She was outraged and told me she didn't know if I deserved a C under the circumstances. I shouldn't have been in the course. I felt like my heart stopped.

Professor: “How did you get into my class?”
Me : “I just signed up and paid”

She changed my grade to an F.

I asked her to please tell my mother. My mother had driven me to every evening class in the city. She would go off and take an art class at the same time and return for me. We were making friends again. I felt she was remembering me.

Mom told the professor she would sue the university. It took time but I received a letter of apology from the university and my C.

So back I went to the high school to see if they would now give me my diploma. Again he said no. Again my mother stepped in and went with me to the principal. It only took a few minutes with an adult by my side and I had my diploma. I belong?

“I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.”
― Mark Twain


I had long ago learned the diploma had nothing to do with how smart I was. It was a form of being acceptable to society. It was one of the ways to get from A to B.

What did I learn from all this? What was I meant to learn?



What do I want to teach?

There are a lot of ways to get from A to B.

Power plays exist. Recognize the ego.

Failure may offer an education.

Support people when they get a bit lost.

Ask for guidance when you get lost.

Share your feelings.

There are people out there who think like you.

Know you were born with gifts.

Choose to see everyone, even if its difficult.

Don't judge, stay curious.

Wisdom finds many ways to arrive.

Intelligence has many forms not on paper.

Have faith in your journey.

Your journey is your best education.

Superiority is man-made, not God given.

A true genius knows we all have genius. 




© Lucy Hamel

Friday, August 28, 2015

TRUE YOU


Once upon a non ordinary yet ordinary moment, a soul held among many more souls sat with a wisdom known by us here on earth as God.
This wisdom whispered to the soul. It is time once again to go to earth. Be beautiful. You know what that means now, but on earth you will be confused by the messages of beauty. My love, Peace will come when you are able to see past this myth.

The wisdom sang to the soul. Be successful on earth. How could you not be? But that is a secret you only know here.

Success may be defined for you on earth if you accept it, yet know you have the true seed of success always. It cannot be taken away.

Wisdom danced wildly with the soul. Find love and give love while on earth. Your supply is limitless unless you create limits. I will honor your ability to create.

Wisdom laughed and gave the gift of senses to riddle the soul. Sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell. Here are some tools for you. These can help ground you to the earth experience , yet they can also make you lose sight of the true you inside the earth story.

So the sixth sense I shall put right between your eyes. You can see what I see.

Wisdom showed breath to the soul. Enter this moving energy. It will be your source of connection to life on earth. I am in the breath. We are together always. It connects you to all, to me, to the universe and to the body you will learn and love in. Take time to be with this energy and listen beyond the ears.

Wisdom took flight with the soul, dipping through time.

Through warm clouds under a fire burning sun

Circling to see the moon of dreams
and down

over colorful mountaintops filled with trees chanting stories only heard above

Freedom Is.
It belongs to all.
Love Is.
It belongs to all.
Dear soul, you are free.
As you grow
every soul grows
I love you.

©Lucy Hamel

Thursday, August 27, 2015

LEAVING GIRLHOOD


Fay walked toward her mothers' station wagon and climbed up onto the hood. She always craved warmth and the brown hood of the car held the heat of the sun. Stretching her legs in front of her to inspect them properly she pressed them to the cars metallic warmth. Tipping her head at an angel, she imagined another person looking at her legs. At twelve, Fay was still very petite yet her body held the muscles of a dancer, strong thighs connected to brown knees followed by calfs of a girl who loved to run with her brothers. Small hairs covered the skin and shined in the sunlight. A sigh escaped as she looked at these hairs. Until recently she hadn't given them a second thought. Yet a few days earlier she heard that girls with body hair were considered ugly.
So this Saturday morning Fay bought a woman's razor, it was sitting upstairs on the side of the tub just waiting for her. Unsticking her warm skin from the heat of the car she slowly walked back to the house, opening the screen door and to make her way up the stairs. She climbed slowly looking at her toes seeing more soft hairs and wondering if they too were ugly.
Sitting on the edge of the cool tub she began to run the warm water, unsure how to proceed. A small knot of anger sat in her stomach along with a slight bit of excitement that she would walk out with pretty legs the world would admire.
As she touched the razor to her shin she let it take an experimental glide upward. A clean path made its way up her leg, reminding her of a lawn being tended. Looking at the strange smoothness, she smiled in satisfaction and continued. Sliding the razor along the outer ankle she jumped as bright blood appeared, Fay stopped in shock tinged with a strange guilt. She tip toed over to the roll of toilet paper and grabbed a big wad and held it to her leg watching it soak up the redness and inhaled to calm the nervous shake of her fingers. Her movements now had a much slower pace, pausing as she hit her thighs to consider. Why would you just leave those hairs? Wouldn't that look stupid? Up she went, removing all traces of simple girlhood.

The screen door slammed as Fay walked back out into the sun and climbed back onto the hood of the car. She looked at her legs, her scraped ankles and smooth skin that now felt ugly and too exposed to her, as if she were a plucked chicken.
Tears filled her eyes and for a moment her legs sparkled as they had only a few hours ago.
She felt the separateness from her brothers and already missed them.


©Lucy Hamel

THE OCEAN'S AURA

"You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is like an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty."  Mahatma Gandhi

 
A friend once reached for my hand as we snorkeled in the Pacific. In the water she was stronger than I, free and happy. Her confidence bloomed in this womb-like atmosphere. She felt powerful and wise. I felt like a child and willingly let her guide me through the ocean's magic. She pointed out the jewel colored fish and swaying green plants that seemed to wave at me. As we moved to swim past our small tour boat a piece of bread suddenly floated down from a passenger above. A yellow and turquoise fish quickly swam past, opening its mouth to let the bread in, a snack from heaven.

I moved along, wiggling my legs behind me in slow motion, listening to the sound of my breath and the waters melody. A swarm of little fish came towards me, and though they were teeny tiny their speed surpassed mine and in seconds. I was in the middle of them being tickled and bumped by there pinky finger sized forms and moments later they were gone. I felt a wave of elation to be mingling in such a graceful setting. The liquid colors of life seemed to fill me with joy and made me laugh in the waters echo. My friend looked to me and smiled.

We began to circle a large rock, spotting an eel. 
My friend's eye brows lifted in her mask and she questioned me " Want to go closer?" In my mask my eyes become stern " nooooo! " She let my fears be, squeezed my hand and we swam on. Nothing felt more loving and healing than to just say I am afraid and have it be heard. 

In time we popped up above the waters surface, our bodies bobbing up and down. I think we came up to laugh, to see the air was still there and to feel the bright sunshine reflecting off our faces. We wanted to relish our moment from another perspective. A pelican was sitting on the rock nearby sunbathing and observing the strange spectacle we temporarily occupied in her home, yet she welcomed us calmly, as if change was to be expected. 

The ocean wrapped itself around our bodies yet floated away from us at the same time. 
"An image of an aura" it whispered. "Do you want to understand what your aura can be like? Feel this." Do you want to understand how much is happening in one moment? Look up, look down, look under, be afraid, be brave, be surprised, be powerful, giggle, hold a hand and stay curious. 

©Lucy Hamel

Saturday, August 22, 2015

A WALKING CONVERSATION

A cold December years ago, my son Alex and I met up with my father in Zurich to celebrate Christmas. The morning after our arrival a snow fell in  wistful slow motion, bringing a  welcome silence to the streets.
 On this soft, white morning my father and son were heading out for a walk to explore the city shops. I wrapped Alex up in gloves and a hat and wished them happy shopping.  Once they were gone I moved to the hotel room window to enjoy the sight of their forms leaving  footprints along the white dusted sidewalk. I knew their big plan for the morning was to buy me a Christmas present (which ended up being an enormous pair of furry tiger slippers which I wore proudly through the fancy hotel's hallways).

 Yet the gift still feeding my heart is the sight of the two of them walking hand in hand.

Alex had his own peculiar walk. One defined by his joy and excitement. He seemed to skip and leap in spasms, my father's arm being yanked around in it's socket. The two of them at times seemed to tip off balance and then right themselves again.  Every now and then Alex would reach his hand out to sweep snow off the hoods of the parked cars, leaving the small finger lines of a four year old boy. Although his movements were wild and scattered, he held respect in the tip of his head, glancing now and then to make sure his speed was equal to that of his grandfather's.

Beside him my father's body hunched forward to hear Alex's tales, sharing in the conversation and very much enjoying being slightly pulled about by his grandson. Although his body leaned slightly, there was no missing the pride and confidence in the steady forward movements of my fathers gait. I was sure there were occasional words of wisdom being shared, as his finger would point to something of interest. In his back and shoulders there was patience and presence. Time could stand still for a bit and that would be just fine.

I felt somehow proud to be a part of this conversation from my window. As if I had just received and given something very true.

©Lucy Hamel

WHAT IS THE MEANING OF LOVE?

Summer, 2015

Have you ever considered what your own personal definition of love is?A year ago I began to journal on it, just for my own heart and understanding. I have asked others about love too.
Some definitions I have heard sound like I hit a repeat button. Kind of like a post they may have seen on face book, read in a poem or what a parent may have once upon a time shared.

Yet I believe it is a growing and ever changing definition that I can move higher with. For what would the love of an angel be like? What would the love of a God be like? What is the love of a baby, a parent and grandparent like? How much space do you give your romantic love?

What am I here to understand if not love?

This year I have forgiven more completely old loves. I have listened more truly to family, hearing them without my teen age mind rolling its eyes. I have practiced self-love by saying what hurts and asking for better and knowing I deserve it.

I lived in my growing self and decided to be more aware.

Some days I crawl backwards and some days I fly forwards. Love, I am finding is like a wave or a heartbeat. Love can move at the pace of a growing tree and the spinning earth. Some loves are quick like a falling star or a setting sun. All have such meaning. There is no need to put one above the other. Enjoy what comes and be aware of its glory.

Love. September 2014
I say I love you a lot. Every day and many times.
Today I was thinking of how difficult it is for many to say this word. I wondered what it meant to each person and why it has been ingrained that it is a word you should limit yourself to in some way.  So I sat down, opened my laptop and looked up the definition of love. This is what I got:
Love Definition
 ( according to the dictionary) : noun, 
A strong feeling of affection and concern toward another person, as that arising from kinship or close friendship.
A strong feeling of affection and concern for another person accompanied by sexual attraction.
A feeling of devotion or adoration toward God or a god.
v. verb
To feel love for (a person).We love our parents. I love my friends.
To feel sexual love for (a person).
To feel devotion to (God or a god).

After reading this, I thought how odd it was that no better explanation or thought was given to such a magnificent word as love. The description seemed anemic for such an expansive emotion. So I began to write what love is to me...I am only beginning but thought I would share the question.
Here is what I wrote below:
Love: To see clearly into another's soul and understand another or yourself with a caring heart. To want only the best and highest for yourself, another or many.
To listen, free of judgement and opinion in order to truly hear and connect. To hold your truth and others with honor.
To offer your heart, not for the purpose of receiving, but for the joy of the experience of union.
To know when to let go in order to let yourself or another grow with faith in the process. To know love is not possessing.

To enter into a soul, through body or thought in order to share our vulnerability and truth.

To witness the goodness and growth of a person and let them feel cherished. To support another and forgive with faith in the soul beneath the fear.
Love is that undefinable powerful energy that lets connection exist between the soul and the body, the body and the world and the caring synthesis of every life force.


©Lucy Hamel

MR SMITH


As a girl, I had a wise and gentle neighbor, I'll call him Mr Smith. He lived with his wife and children in the house to our right.

One hot and muggy morning in July when I was about six years old I spotted Mr Smith sitting on his front steps. I was an awkward and shy girl and found it uncomfortable to approach people, yet Mr Smith had such a warm nature, he asked nothing of me but to sit with him while he had breakfast and that made me feel special. So I walked up the steps and sat down in a squat and wrapped my arms around my knees. To tell you the truth I have no memory of what we were talking about, my memory is of how it felt to sit beside some one so accepting and relaxed. Mr Smith was eating a bowl of blueberries with milk.  He ate berries the way they should be eaten and it is a memory that has stayed with me for forty five years. To me they looked like they were the most wonderfully sweet and fresh berries ever, the milk looked extra creamy, fresh and cool. He took each spoonful and smiled as he chewed and viewed our small street. What I saw was how clearly Mr Smith was enjoying this moment, and in his presence I almost tasted the berries. I felt that same contentment, I smelled the earthiness of summer and I listened to the noises of the morning on our street under the trees. We saw together the magic of the moment.

Let me be clear in saying Mr Smith was not always quiet. He just knew how to “be” with each person. Take my brothers for instance:

My brothers were full of adrenaline and mischief. As life in a small town could be boring they became inventive in ways of creating some drama. I remember a day they decided to throw crab apples at Mr and Mrs Smiths front door. Now that would be fun! We could throw the apples or ring the door bell and run! Mr Smith will come out and be shocked!
And so it began...ring ring or a splatter of apples on the door and Mr Smith would open the door  “RRRooaoaaaar!  He would run around the yard chasing my brothers as they laughed until he caught them and said they would be sent to the dungeon. The boys were sent into the house and down to the cellar prison where they played some more before they were into the kitchen of Mr and Mrs Smith for a snack and more laughter.
Mr Smith didn't see himself as the victim of childhood pranks, he saw himself invited into the world of childhood fantasy.

I sadly remember when the Smiths moved and a new family moved in. My brothers giggled and once again threw apples at the front door of our new neighbor. Yet the man that came out this time was furious that his door was dirty and went to yell at my mother for her unruly children. So the chance of a day in the dungeon followed by cookies and smiles was a memory.


As I thought of Mr Smith this morning I came to add something else to my list of what successful means to me. May I be an adult that children can walk up to and see I still “get it”. Fun and magic are everywhere, you need nothing more than all those moments given to you each day and if you want extra spice, your imagination is always available.

©Lucy Hamel

Thursday, August 20, 2015

TRAVELING


I have this absolute love of travel. Be it sitting on an airplane looking out of my window and watching the clouds, to sipping a drink in a new location where I know no one but me.  I feel the return of all my senses as they awaken to the curiosity of change. All senses feel fully alive, alert and yet calm.
Imagine sitting at a dinner table listening to the chatter of a foreign language. You cannot understand a word so you are suddenly more aware of the lilt of each voice, you still understand when a joke is told or when the subject has become serious. Yet you do not have to respond in words. In those moments you can sense how a baby listens and learns. In those moments you can also fade out, letting the conversation float by as you hold no responsibility to answer. Then there are some  gorgeous moments, when you meet some one you really want to understand you, and you must look deeply into each others eyes to communicate, you  jump around and wave your arms in pantomime to tell the story of who you are or what you want. When comprehension strikes you both smile, widen your eyes and shake heads in accomplishment.


 In my first travels to Greece I was shocked at all the yelling. On numerous occasions I broke down crying as some one would respond to me with arms flapping left and right about what I should or should not do.  Arguments on the street seemed to be a daily occurrence. ( Trust me, a girl from Boston had not seen much of this). I can honestly say I do not remember having any training on this type of yelling. Yet I do now. If you cross me, I have learned how to defend my space and my rights. I can yell like the rest of them yet choose only the most necessary moments. It is a tool that taught me I have the power to defend myself. This lesson came to me in my late twenties. It came at just the right time in life, it pulled me forward into strength and asked me to acknowledge I had more power than the feminine ( which I had relied on heavily).
Touch is big in Greece, people lean in, lean on and sit close. Go to a beach and you may see nudity. Walk through the town and not only lovers walk arm in arm but friends as well. The human body is welcome and entering its space is natural. I think all of us experienced this joy of closeness early in life, and then one day were told “no more”.  Did we create a loneliness through fear of touch?  Greece is still teaching me a lesson on this one, and I welcome it and explore.
If the earth has chakras ,I have taken to thinking of Greece as a base chakra... asking me to not only feel my worth but to show it.
And yet there is the night sky...to sit under and fall in love with the aura around the moon and its shadow of white on the aegean sea telling you everything is just perfect and you are blessed. Relax.
The sky wonders and asks you...are you listening to your choices? You are free to choose your beliefs.

When I think of Italy I see gold light on buildings made with care, I see statues that love our body so much they have increased its size so you can sit in awe of our incredible form.
To sit down to a meal in Italy is a lesson in enjoying the art of receiving pleasure. There is no hurry, only time which is to be treasured. You are not to worry about eating too much, in fact you are encouraged to indulge. This is a respect to your desires and the creativity of the chef. Eventually, after sitting some time, savoring the tastes and the slow pace a sigh of contentment may escape you.
You may wonder...is the word desire actually a positive word? When did I sense it might be negative? When had taking a long lunch become a 'guilty' pleasure? Should it not be a healthy pleasure?
Opening some grand old shutters in my room looking over a Roman piazza , I watch the pigeons and listen to there cooing. I see in the distance the shape of a statue and it asks me...are you listening to your choices? You are free to choose your beliefs.


 Stepping into Costa Rica is stepping into softness. The earth is softer and more slippery. The air holds a wetness and the fruit is almost plush in its juiciness. People talk in slow motion and sit lazily on any surface that looks comfortable. The land is vivid in it's softness. Green and yellow, red and blue all make there way in front of you with a playfulness you thought fit only for a children's book. All life is welcome here. Monkeys howl and swing from tree to tree, dogs wag tails and play in the ocean, bird come and sit on your dinner plate, hummingbirds hover over your hammock as you swing slowly, large beetles sit on your sink side expecting to share your scraps.  Welcome to the heart chakra. Remember, all are welcome and have equal rights of 'being'.
Nature is queen and she shows you such a variety of possibilities that exist if we except and care for all. I smile hello to the bird sitting on the back of my chair. He knows he is welcome. His senses  are probably more defined  than mine. The world seems bright and yet dreamy. 
Wild storms do come..with loud cracks of thunder and lightening that designs the sky. Rain hits the tin roofs with a roar that blocks out all other sound.  You must be patient and wait until you can begin again. Change happens. When the storm passes and you step out into that slippery mud, you may not move with grace but that is part of the fun. Learning to balance. Your hair will frizz, you will sweat and dirt will stick in any available spot ...and you will feel fully alive. Laugh that you are  welcome here. Laugh that you are able to welcome all.

Lying on a beach in Costa Rica I watch a bird  swoon down over the ocean and then glide back up and seem to float around in some slow, lazy and enjoyable dance. How did the sky get so high? Did birds fly that high at home? I used to talk to all animals and bugs as a child, I had yet to hear that any were dirty or an insect was a nuisance.  Is that true? The curiosity of my thoughts makes me grin wide with joy. Where had I been?  I was so happy in the world of childhood wonder.

And as a lizard sat observing me... we pondered on our choices.

©Lucy Hamel