Chocolate Covered Orange Peels, and Love…
I was sitting with the memory of my Nana this past week, Elizabeth Thelma. In Training for Radiance this past month our focus was on relationships, particularly ones that made us feel awake, alive, loved, expansive,…a life-giving relationship. We spent time with how we felt as we held the memories or presence of the other in our hearts.
I began writing about the gratitude I felt for this special women in my life. I have done this dozens of times over the years and each time something new is unveiled for me about myself, about the depth of her relationship for me, about how to shift my day to day in order to live a happier life, just through sitting and receiving the gift of her presence.
I began my writing: “There is a warmth that is solid and firm in my chest and heart, it feels like gratitude, but it is deeper than gratitude, it is a thankful rich gratefulness, warm and strong like soil, a knowing in my soul that I may not have survived, spiritually, without her presence in my life,-a deep indebtedness for her sometimes weekly letters, her hand sewn gifts, her packages every Christmas, mailed to us from California. The box filled with beautiful homemade candies and treats, powder sugar coated stuffed dates, hand shaped marzipans from almonds I would later learn she blanched and skinned herself, candied orange peels filling the air with smells of chocolate and citrus, a sensual pleasure so far beyond our usual TV dinners with chocolate brownie dessert included.”
I would not understand how much presence and time these sensual creations had taken her to make until years later when she was too old to make them for us and I began making them for her. Days of labor, filled with love, peeling and boiling orange peels, rolling them in sugar, drying and dipping them, mailing them to a woman I had physically met less than ten times in my life but who knew me more than any one as a child. Thinking of all the years of love she had given to us filled me with grateful tears throughout those hours of preparation, my heart bowing as I imagined her opening the gift box I had mailed, acknowledging her most precious gifts to me, her presence through time and thoughtfulness. Light tears fill my eyes as I write.
“My cheeks lift into a soft smile, holidays forever made magical by her love for and towards us.”
It touches me how much we can receive by just sitting with our life-giving relationships, a friend, an author, a pet, nature, those who have passed. How the divine spills out to us through these small or large moments that we sit with. How we can at any moment summon the love we felt for and from them, within us. With this ability to be present to that love, we are never alone, never unworthy, never unloved, this energy of love is always there, waiting to be accessed, and to fill us.
I left that night with a longing to be slow again, to re-ground into the small but sacred traditions given to me by my Nana.
I am reminded of the gift that being loved is; the privilege it is for someone to take the time to consider us, see us, think of us, a thing to be honored and valued. And too, how loving another is also a gift, worthy of honor and value, to be held gently and protected.
Deep presence to another in any form is such a powerful and precious gift.
As we enter into this season of thanksgiving, the questions I will try to remember to ask myself, to help me stay grounded, to stay hopeful, to stay open to that which is greater than me, …and questions that I offer to you too my spirit friend are:
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Am I creating time for what is most sacred?
What is most sacred?