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February Meditation, 2021


It was last Sunday that the quiet called. For weeks now background anxiety has registered as an anxious stomach and pressure in my head. My edgy nervous system was like a stack of pancakes, each layer with a different reason to be unsettled. Mostly, though, the stack was the way a changing era was playing out in close.

I welcomed quiet undisturbed space and followed the urge to name what is ending. I found a pad of blank index cards, and slowly, one per card, wrote down what is ending in my life. One thing led to another: the loss of a friend, attachment to land I have tended for years, images of an ageless self, community dynamics I have counted on….some were outer circumstances and others were habits of the heart and fundamental ways I have identified myself. I ended up with 21 cards.

I built a fire in the circle of stones that sits in the cedars, on the edge of a meadow, on my property. It is where I have sat with people on chilly evenings this past winter, masked, proper distances apart, warmed by the flames. Sitting on a stump I slowly went through the cards, passing my fingers over each one as a way of cherishing my life… being with the feelings that rose and fell, honoring the passage of time and a world that is changing very quickly. I placed each card in the embers. Then peace.


Pangs of blessed longing.

A soft space open

that I will neither betray,

nor hurry to fill.

Stars are bright overhead.

With abiding love,

Barbara (and Peri)


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