I stepped off a plane on Friday May 29 anxious to see my family and new grandson who was born Sunday March 22. Jamey was growing fast and I couldn’t wait to meet him before he started high school, ha ha. San Francisco International Airport was like a ghost town – I felt I was in the middle of a futuristic science fiction movie. I took photos because my commercial airplane loving and aspiring pilot grandson Donovan wanted documentation of what was going on in airports. I was happy to oblige:
One of the first things I noticed when I arrived at my son and daughter-in-law’s house was the chalkboard message in the kitchen:
FAITH > FEAR
I washed up and planted myself on the back deck, not pushing anything. I deferred to Krysti, a R.N. to lead the way. If she didn’t want me to hold the baby, I understood. I believe that Krysti tapped into her nursing knowledge, faith and intuition and allowed that to steer her. Before I knew it, she placed Jamey in my lap. I was in seventh heaven to finally be holding this beautiful little angel with twinkling eyes, dimpled smile, and flawless creamy skin:
My visit also coincided fortuitously with a return of my daughter Meghan who had moved to Texas in March, and was now in California for a business appointment. We arranged to meet for an ocean hike. The minute Meghan saw me, she came up to me and gave me a hug and sweet greeting, “Hello Nana!” Since she’s not a big hugger, I was taken off guard but absolutely delighted to receive this spontaneous gesture of love! Not one ounce of fear in her courageous heart.
Here’s our old stomping grounds. What a wonderful June reunion of family. Krysti and baby, Meghan, my sister Linda and me.
A visit to Northern California would not be complete without seeing my East Bay grandchildren, Mary Sue and Maverick:
All of this is a lead up to a poignant story that, in my opinion, is illustrative of choosing faith over fear.
I was hiking on a new trail in Pacifica with friend Rosie and as we headed back, I saw a young boy climbing up the hill toward us. He smiled broadly at Rosie and I thought she knew him. I noticed that the little boy had a bent, stiff arm at his side and appeared as if he might have cerebral palsy. He walked with a bit of a limp too but it was overshadowed by a brilliant smile and life force emanating from his small body. He stopped in front of Rosie to get a high five and she gave one. I was lagging a bit behind and caught up and asked, “where is my high five?” He gave me a hardy slap and at the same time I saw his father making the climb up the hill, and he called out to Rosie and me:
“He’s not contagious!”
“I’m not worried,” I replied.
“Oh God bless both of you,” he said to Rosie and me,
“I love you.”
Rosie said she got goosebumps.
The little boy, who appeared to be about six years old, didn’t know about the world’s new commandments, “thou shalt keep six feet distance” and “thou shalt not shake hands“. He wanted to run up ahead on the trail, greet strangers close up and slap their hands. Rosie and I did not hesitate to make human contact and it moved the father to such a degree that he told two strangers he loved them. Perhaps he had experienced hikers jumping out of the way of his exuberant, high-five slapping son and was overtaken with emotion by two people who were not afraid.
What does it mean to be human, I’ve asked myself many times in 2020. I know I need human contact, love and friendship to feel human. Sure it’s absolutely necessary to protect the elderly and vulnerable, but as a wise man once said, none of us are going to get out alive so I choose to live my life and not be afraid. I can’t do otherwise.
“That the birds of worry and care fly above your head, this you cannot change. But that they build nests in your hair, this you can prevent.” *
As I end this June chapter on the arrival of summer solstice and ring of fire solar eclipse, I would like to take this opportunity to wish my husband Dan a happy wedding anniversary. 40 years ago on June 21st we exchanged vows in St. Bartholomew’s Catholic Church in San Mateo, California, and went to my parent’s back yard for a lively outdoor reception. Three children and nine grandchildren later, I’m honored to have spent these years with Dan, my brave Celtic warrior, who chose to jump into that burning ring of fire with me. It’s never been boring and his sense of humor and easy going disposition have been a good antidote to my more fiery nature!
This solar eclipse, the only one of its kind this year, unveils to us a bold, breathtaking and blazing ring of fiery light since the moon’s disk is not quite enough to cover the sun. This is a reminder that darkness can never completely overpower light. If I focus on the divine light within and protection of my Higher Power, then…
I shall not fear “the terror of night or the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.” **
Keep the faith dear friends and readers.
*Chinese proverb quoted in Courage to Change, page 305