grief

feathers


Seriously mom? Feathers? Isn’t this just a bit too stereotypical?

See, I have been noticing feathers on my path for weeks. From tiny ones inside my house (that don’t look anything like the down in my comforter) to all kinds of feathers outside (mostly gray and white) and even feathers in my dreams (black and orange). So after finding two yesterday and not writing for most of the week I thought, “Ok, Mom, I get it. Feathers.”
Feathers. Well, that’s a loaded sign. From ancient times to current, we have been enchanted by the animal that can fly. Because the divine realm is associated with the heavens birds are considered closer to the realm of the sacred. They can get closer to the heavens than we can. It’s that idea – God out there, far away from our messy ground dwelling lives.
Speaking (or rather writing) of divinity, I was at Church last Saturday and the second reading was one of my favorite Pauline texts – Philippians 2: 1-11.
And my favorite line:
5Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,6who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be grasped at,7but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness.
It’s my favorite because of that one word: emptied. My deep appreciation for my Roman Catholic tradition meets my experience of Zen Buddhism.
I believe we welcome emptiness by cultivating mindfulness, guarding “empty” spaces in our daily schedules, and allowing ourselves just time to be. No expectations. Inviting life to unfold. In these precious times we meet our humanity, yes, but we also greet the part of us that never dies. The part that always was, and always will be. Our souls. Our divine spark.
Those feathers, bread crumbs from my mom, remind me to stop, to listen, to be. The boundaries of her human form no longer limit her.
I hear her speaking to me,
“This, too, is your birthright.
 This, too, is who you are.”

We reach that truth, not by aspiring to be something we aren’t, but rather by simply being alive to this one precious moment
– right now.
In the stillness, all of us soar.

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