On December 14, 2013, my partner got a phone call that would change the course of our lives. A very dear friend was on her way to the hospital for a much needed and waited for kidney transplant. Shock assailed both of us. My partner was to be one of her support people when a kidney became available. It never occurred to any of us it could be over the holidays. What about Christmas? Our favorite time of the year. All the plans we had made to celebrate? We had never been apart on Christmas in our twenty years together.
Clearly, the kidney transplant trumped everything.
On December 16th my beloved flew off to California not knowing when she would be able to return. All depended on our friend and her new kidney. I felt so happy for our friend. And so sad for us. So knocked off my feet emotionally. So lonesome.
On December 18th, I awoke knowing I did not want to feel that way until my partner returned, which at this point I felt would not be in time for Christmas. "It's Christmas, and I want to be happy," I said aloud. And I set about doing the things I knew would help me achieve that. Getting my Network Chiropractic treatments twice a week during this time to clear my body and mind of old patterns of thinking and feeling that don't serve me anymore, eating lightly and healthily, making real progress on my novel daily, having in-person contact with loved ones here in Sedona, phone contact with those in California and Pennsylvania, and email and Facebook contact with others in the USA, Italy, France, Japan, Switzerland, Korea, Brazil, and Singapore! Let me tell you that all that really helped. As did the daily phone or FaceTime calls with my partner, during which I was able to totally support her, and even make her laugh. Still, somewhere deep inside, I felt loss, even, in my most insecure times, unavoidably alone.
Until on the early morning of December 23rd, I received an email from Karen Ely, a woman I know in the Sedona area who owns and operates A Woman's Way: Women's Retreats, Travel Adventures, and Workshops -- Rediscover Your Joy: Guidance, Tools, and Support for Inspired Living. Karen's greeting was simple and direct: "Happy Holidays." Her gift, this piece by David Whyte, was complex and daring. And like a bolt from the blue startled me awake.
Everything Is Waiting For You by David Whyte
Your great mistake is to act the dramas as if you were alone. As if life were a progressive and cunning crime with no witness to the tiny hidden transgressions. To feel abandoned is to deny the intimacy of your surroundings. Surely, even you, at times, have felt the grand array; the swelling presence, and the chorus, crowding out your solo voice. You must note the way the soap dish enables you, or the window latch grants you freedom. Alertness is the hidden discipline of familiarity. The stairs are your mentor of things to come, the doors have always been there to frighten you and invite you, and the tiny speaker in the phone is your dream-ladder to divinity.
Put down the weight of your aloneness and ease into the conversation. The kettle is singing even as it pours you a drink, the cooking pots have left their arrogant aloofness and seen the good in you at last. All the birds and creatures of the world are unutterably themselves.
Holy cow! Have I been inspired since the moment I read this piece! To feel abandoned is to deny the intimacy of your surroundings? Really?? Put down the weight of your aloneness? You mean I can just do that?? Well...yeah. Okay...I get it. I could, and I did—right then—put down that weight. And stopped denying the intimacy. Yes, Christmas was still waiting for my partner to return, but not completely—not after the bolt from the blue.
I am telling you, I have a whole new relationship with my teakettle! From the time I walk toward it, pour the water into it, set it on the burner and turn on the flame, to that beautiful song it sings when the water is ready—and my kettle sings in harmonies, folks, oh yes—I am a happy, happy woman…sharing the intimacy of a delicious hot cup of tea, gifted to me by my companion, the blue and ivory Wedgewood kettle.
I shared wonderful and love-filled Christmas festivities with treasured friends. My partner returned on December 27th.
And we have been celebrating Christmas ever since! With deep and abiding gratitude for our good health and each other.
Visit Karen Ely and A Woman's Way at www.awomansway.com
Visit David Whyte at www.davidwhyte.com