One thing I learned in writing LoveDance is that life at least for me is about Joyous Service. My husband and I are both in helping professions—he as a police officer and me as a family nurse practitioner. The stories we share at the dinner table of our respective work day are often quite similar. As a healer, I spend a lot of time educating my patients, counseling them, guiding them with heartfelt advice. As a police officer, Steve protects and serves…truly he is more of a peace officer. There is not enough room in this blog to record all the incidences of him helping others through their issues.
Last year, we stopped in Santa Barbara for brunch on the way up to our favorite romantic getaway in Cambria. While we were dining, a gentleman greeted Steve with such profound respect and gratitude. I asked about him and Steve said that some 20 years ago, he arrested him. Before the man was imprisoned, Steve advised him to use the experience to help him grow. “And he did!” Steve said proudly, “He paid back society and became a responsible outstanding citizen raising a fine family in our town.” You see, we both take care of those in need.
Last evening after an impromptu date—dinner on the pier and a stroll through a summer street fair, I was making Steve’s lunch. My daughter teases that even though she and her brother are gone, I’m still packing lunches. A dear friend of mine just reminded me how I showed her years ago how to cut the kids sandwiches into shapes. I used to put little notes in their lunches—words of encouragement, of love, of hope.
Well, as I was making Steve’s lunch, I felt my grandmother’s presence. Nana used to do so much for Poppop, most of which he could have done for himself, yet she needed to do it. Serving him fulfilled her. And he was always extremely grateful. My mother served my father in the same fashion…yet something was missing. It was more of an expectation of how wives and husbands act. They divorced after 24 years of marriage. My grandparents were married over 40 years; unfortunately they died young. Poppop was only 62. Nana followed him to the grave twenty months later. She stayed around just long enough to hold her first great-grandchild, my son—Jarys. I have a photo of her cradling him in her arms. She was dying of lung cancer, in a wheelchair with a cannula of oxygen hanging from her nostrils. He’s only three pounds—born ten weeks premature—under the eerie glow of the neonatal intensive care unit, gazing at her intently. She died shortly after that one and only visit. I miss both my Nana and Pop.
But last night, Nana was with me as I prepared Steve’s lunch. Holding the energy of love as I sliced the left over steak, washed and tore the baby lettuce, arranged the roma tomato. As I made vinaigrette, I felt her guiding me…a pinch of Italian herbs, a little salt, a bit of pepper sprinkled into the olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
When I was done, I found Steve doing his back exercises in the bedroom. “Why do we take such care of one another?” I asked.
“Because we love each other so much.” He smiled and gave me a kiss.
True, but I think it’s more. You see, he takes care of me so well. He cooks for me…and he’s an amazing chef…he took care of the kids with the finesse of any mother…he spends time with me…and enjoys it! After 27 years of marriage we are still very much in love. We are best friends, each other’s truest confidantes.
Yet we have lives outside of us….I do my things…I have a circle of dear women I meet with regularly, a very spiritual supportive group. I love horses and can be found riding far and wide on my mare all over Ojai. I meet with my three sisters once or twice a year for a girls’ weekend and regularly spend girls’ time with my daughter. I work with my mother (she’s my office manager) but we “play” well together too.
And he does his “guy” things. A yearly backpacking trip with old friends. Lunch and golfing with new ones. Biking from Santa Barbara to Ventura with a colleague. Just the men.
It’s as if we created virtual chamams. In LoveDance, Mary meets with the women during her monthly periods in the baths. A special time just for them, taking care of one another.
I believe caring for one another out of love not expectation, taking joy in the service of our beloved is key to our long and happy marriage.
Last summer, I had an amazing dream that reminded me of an aspect of the Divine Masculine that has been forgotten, yet I see it so clearly in my husband.
The Golden Bear
In my dream I was entering the Home Depot through the lumber department to get to the garden center. I was going to buy jasmine. The center of the Home Depot was a raised platform and as I ascended the steps to the platform, a great golden bear came through the door. It was huge, larger than life, a golden orange color, translucent, brilliantly colored like a child’s crayon, surreal. I was the only one to see it. It snuffled around the entry and I crouched down on the steps. It snuffled its way over to me. And snuffled my hair, my face, my neck. Then tapped a great claw over my right eye, then over my third eye, again and again. Then it hunkered down over me like a mother bear over a cub. Yet I knew this bear was male. I felt loved and protected like when Steve throws a leg over me, pulls me into his body—trapped by love. Trapped under the bear, I was secure, feeling the soft fur of its belly, the weight of its body, the warmth, the mass…protected in a golden cave of bear energy. Then the bear transformed into a…man. I could feel his naked body, the roughness of his hair, the shift in weight, mass, warmth from bear to man. We stood and faced each other. I was WOMAN and He was MAN…all men, naked, dark skinned and hair like a Mediterranean man. We took each others hands and then he disappeared. A woman friend of mine said… “That is the forgotten aspect of the Divine Masculine.” And I woke up.
When I lie in Steve’s arms, his leg pressing over mine—the weight, heat and furriness comfortable, secure, I am very grateful to have found my home in his heart.
I pray the GOLDEN BEAR ENERGY OF THE DIVINE MASCULINE becomes well known by all.
While I hope my writing is enlightening, in essence this blog is my healing journey. I have kept a journal since my youth. The pages have always welcomed me, comforted me in times of sorrow, and gave me space to place my reflections. In writing, I learn more about me, about my life, about my world. And usually it is what I cared most to record in my precious journal that I use to comfort others.
A weblog is so different. You lay yourself wide open and quite bare online…yet it is who I am…like the heroine of my book—Mary Magdalen—I unveil my heart and soul easily. I hope my musings serve you, my readers…for I do it in joy.
Love and Light,