Yesterday I had the joy of sharing breath and heart space with two magnificent beings: a pine tree and my Gramps. What a heart field this pine had. I could barely speak while feeling its energy. I could feel it even 20 feet away, and it was very hard to leave. In its presence, all truly felt right with the world. It boggles the mind to stand in such truth in these times, but to feel it is to know it not by reason, but in your bones.
Later that evening I called my Gramps to check on him. He just turned 98 under lockdown last month and, incredibly, he lives alone in the heart of LA. There was an unusual urgency to his tone I am not used to hearing. He is one of the most light-hearted and happy-go-lucky people I know. “I want to tell you something,” he said. “Take a breath and count 1-2-3-4 when you breathe in and out.” He waited as I did so. “Now,” he said, “do that again but instead of just ‘1-2-3-4’ think ‘1-2-3-4 Jesus.’” Again he waited as I breathed. “I do this when I’m watching TV, walking, driving, any time I think of it.” (He no longer drives.) “If you do this, Jesus can be with you every moment of the day and God will bless you.” He shared that he started this practice at the age of 30, and it’s gotten him to 98 in relatively good health.
The last time my Gramps got this serious with me was when I was quite little, and he taught my cousins and me a poem about the fleeting nature of time and how we shouldn’t try to anticipate or hold onto what naturally flows. He wanted us to remember it so much, he actually paid us to recite it for him whenever we saw him. I will never forget it:
One by one the sands are falling.
One by one the moments fall.
Some are coming,
Some are going.
Do not try to grasp them all.
Yesterday felt like such a special way to enter Holy Week. I sit here in my garden today listening to all the birds with their calls and pecks (the woodpeckers are busy right now). I’m starting to work the soil to sow more seeds. It is, unbelievably, only four weeks till last frost.