Good morning, everyone ~

I was awakened earlier than usual today by a strange sound coming from the outside a.c. unit. Some poor creature (likely a frog) had managed to squeeze through the metal barrier just as the unit kicked on. I listened in horror as the fan blades blended the unfortunate creature into smaller-n-smaller particles that fell to the ground beneath. Our service people have informed us that this often happens. That sometimes, the frogs even cause an electrical short. Chopped or fried, it is, mercifully, a quick death. Until the frog world understands to avoid such traps/ contraptions, these things will continue to happen. Still — it grieves me. 

To some it may be “just a frog”. And it may seem foolish to them that I grieve their deaths. To those like me, however, we know that grieving is a sign of spiritual health. We do not grieve if we do not love; and to love is to risk grieving in all its many forms/degrees. 

If it’s true that all things are connected, then that universal energy (spirit) is fully affected by the loss of even so small a part as a curious frog. 

Which ought to indicate that there are many layers, various depths, multifaceted aspects of love, loss and grief. And with that being true, then there are likewise many layers, various depths, and multifaceted aspects of restoration. That universal energy is not destroyed; yet, it does need to heal from its wounds of loss. Grieving is part of that process.

How do we “restore”? We cannot put the particled frog back together again. We cannot restore a polluted lake to its pre-polluted condition (although we can make strides, the “original” has been forever changed). It’s not enough to stop doing/saying bad things. We must learn how to do/say more good things than before pollution became the consequence.

“You’ve had a hard life,” someone recently said to me. Perhaps. There have been some harsh experiences. Inseparable, however, from all of the happy ones. Life — that universal energy — is no respecter of persons. Some are born with the proverbial silver spoon in their mouth, while others are born into abject poverty, and all grades between those two extremes. Just as some frogs don’t live very long while others do. The god-of-frogs is not assigning rewards/punishments. It’s just life unfolding. It was a free-will choice for the frog to squeeze inside the a.c. unit; it was not a divinely designed punishment.

Choice and consequence. That’s a universal law. Everything we choose to do or not do, say or not say leads to a consequence. We can try our best to do/say the right thing and yet face harsh consequences. And sometimes it would appear that bad people can do/say bad things with impunity. Consequences are not always immediate. The ripple effect of everything we do/say vibrates throughout that universal energy. Inseparable. 

And so, Life goes on — with all its ripples, good/bad consequences, griefs, gains/losses large/small. 

Just so, we will try again to hold a weekly support group meeting at the Senior Center. With all the other challenges/losses of the past 2.5 years, the loss of these weekly gatherings has been a harsh experience. Bravo! to those who have stayed in contact via text/email/phone/in-person visits. I cannot thank you enough for your encouragement/prayers/good cheer over the past 7+ months during my recuperation. I look forward with great joy to seeing those of you who can attend this afternoon’s session (1-5:00-ish; in the Dharma Room). 

It won’t be the same as “before”, of course. We have all been changed by the multitude of experiences that have rippled through our lives. We are “different”, yet same. Our support group will be “same”, yet different. Life is a grand adventure, said Helen Keller — and so say all of us! Our individual lives “before” may or may not have been all that “grand”. We may have a lot of restoration work to do. If we are willing, we can create a grand adventure for self/others as we move forward. 

Stay kind. Stay caring. Stay attuned to that invisible flow of universal energy. It’s how we prop each other up!

Gentle hugs/much love,