Learning to fly

Maybe in a world where children can go to school, church, the movies, or even a concert and become a fatal statistic, we will need people that are fearless.  Unable to know what lies in the future, I trust that the Universe knows what will be required.  My generation was born under the influence of social change and we were many with voices we found quite early.  Among other things, we carried the torch for equal rights for all people.

We were also the first Disney generation. Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White –  all beautiful souls finding themselves in victim scenarios.  They are sweet and kind and a little bruised by life, but they are saved by the Prince who brings them their crown and nobility.  The message was clear throughout many of the stories told at that time – you have to be saved by the man.  All three Princesses, deserving of the crown, but only reaching that status when they have found their plus – one.

Many years ago, I had a mentor who would make statements about the babies being born and the differences from previous generations being noted and observed.  I came to believe through these observations with her that each generation comes in with it’s own set of skills that they will need for the world they will faceeachgeneration.

When I was growing up, I remember wishing there was a  place that could tell you everything you would ever want to know, at any given moment.  I would tell my Grandmother this and she would say ” nobody knows everything! ” That place exists in the world today – the internet! We evolve and become what we need to be for what we will face in our lifetime. One of the simplest examples of this is seen with electronics. Getting a new television, I was obviously struggling with the unfamiliar remote control, but my Grandson, less than two years old, could pass by, pick up the remote, light it up, ( which it took me weeks to discover by the way) and change it to Curious George.  That ability, I believe to be one of his inherent tools for the world he will be a part of. I know people from my generation that still refuse to be on the computer.  They may not ever have to, but that looks less and less likely. I watched television grow from the status of being owned by the elite few to as common a personal possession in our homes as our refrigerators or stoves.  The big cold storage computers I first saw at NASA have grown to be the handheld personal phones we all have.  That is a lot of change, progress and growth !  I realize the world of twenty years from now will not be the same world I live in today.

I look at the world around me. A world where we have a leader who promotes us – and them – thinking and stirs the – ism pots keeping us all angry, divided, judging one another. We educate our children in places where we send them out each day, trusting they will be protected and watched over by eyes that care as they learn the things they need to know and gain socialization skills through their interactions with peers and others. The past decade has changed that norm taking it to a place that I believe to be well represented in a recent statement by a child who was involved in a school shooting in Texas. Her name was Paige and she stated to the press : ” I always felt like eventually, it would happen here. I wasn’t surprised, I was just scared. ” She wasn’t surprised.  The weight of that statement took my breath away.

It makes sense that I enjoy social media.  Facebook represents a running tally of what interests me:  current events;  places I was going or planned to visit; random thoughts about my life; things that made me laugh, cry, reflect,  remind;  as well as a loose record of the changes in the lives of friends and family. It is a fast way to keep in touch, though not as personable as talking face – to – face, or even on the phone,  but it is a definite tool for keeping in touch that we did not have before.  Pictures and memes completed…hey look this is funny…oh isn’t this sweet …or damn can you believe this is happening?  I see it as a journal …a witness…a story .

With the birth of my Grandson in 2015, I began to notice the new generation.  At the time of his birth,  most of the people I knew who were having children or grandchildren ,were having boys and I wondered what the future held that we needed such an influx of males.  It was not just the increase of males coming in that had me thinking though, it was also the girlsKnight in shining armour adalyn.

The pictures I was seeing from media posts were not the little girls dressed as Cinderella or even Elsa. These were no tiara wearing fragile flowers; these girls were already strong individuals. They fought with their brothers announcing ”  I ain’t no stinking princess, I am the King.” They faced a world I could not dream of.  The future belongs to them and they are developing skills they will need for their journeys.  I love the spirit of these young ones, the twinkle in their eyes and a confidence about them that makes you take note. I am in awe of this generation, for they are not the same.  Sometimes even while looking at something, you are not really sure what you are seeing.

One Sunday, as I sat going through the posts of the evening and relaxing before I started out for the day, there was a picture of my cousin’s Granddaughter. She was getting ready to fly and the look on her face held me captive for several moments. Then I knew what it was about these girls that made me notice and take pride in them. They were fearless.  If they wanted to be the King, or Captain America,  there were no whispering doubts in their minds.    They just dress the part and play the role and I have no doubt, they are going to be warriors. They are going to be whoever they need and want to be and it gives me great delight to bear witness.fearlesslayla


Palm Sunday 2018

I voted
Though I knew my vote would not count.
I cried when I saw the media posts
Exposing the pulsating, dark underbelly of racism, hatred, and fear
Beneath the shiny gloss of America
I lost my hope in the angry words and name calling
The promotion once more of us and them thinking.
Watching acts of horror against the innocent again and again
In the streets…in the schools….at a concert … the theater.
I took a deep breath.
It was then I saw the children, taking themselves before adults,
Warrior hearts afire and heads held high,
Speaking out for what they too have seen.
I voted for Hope
And so glad that I see it once more.


DSC_0255 The promise of changes to come has walked closely with me since the year began. Now this week with Lent beginning, I have employed my physical body as well as spiritual and mental bodies to “cleanse” for the season. I have been considering different options and feeling almost traitorous because I realize the Hill Country is my home. Having the Gypsy stir your soul to go, explore, see it all, made me envious of a friend of mine who told the story of coming into Lexington, VA, years ago, and knowing she was home. She was right, she was home, but I did not really know that feeling until the past two years. I was talking about wanting more permanent housing because” I was home”. I spoke of the rivers, the land, the migratory pathways I witness, my grandson being close by and my daughter chimed in ” and you found an awesome drumming circle” and I laughed because I have been seeking one for almost thirty years. I think now that door has opened because I have found my own heart beat. I have lived through storms that continue to swell and ebb to this day and I have witnessed the things I did not want to see, or know, and carried them heavy behind me…my own private trail of tears, but I know who I am more than I ever have… and I can touch gently on the love I have had for those who are gone from this world … and I can and do, cry in the Walmart line and don’t give a rat’s who sees me … and all the things that we do as humans that give tapestry to the lives we are living,.. I do those things too …but it is nice to be at this place. I thank the Sisters who are present and walking their path and for the sound and fury of the drums.






The first time I did any Spirit work here in the Hill Country, outside of my own private space,  I met with a friend, on her land, under the new Moon, to tap into a Kali Ma Empowerment I had written years before.  As soon as we got seated, her horse came over to be in our circle. I don’t remember any particular ritual but I do remember the feeling of working with Spirit while a horse walked around you ,  watching with interest.  I was thrilled and honored by his presence in our work.

This past weekend, as I sat in a space I have grown to love in two visits, I saw that I would be honored by horse once more.  As soon as we began to settle into our places the horses began to draw closer. They came through the cedars, some running, some walking, some singing as loud as they could. I was at a Drumming circle and the Four directions had been summoned.  It was time to work.  I looked all around me as the herd came through and tears begin to flow. I  remembered today that Chinese astrology lessons were of horse people being adventurous, friendly and deeply emotional,  but when the herd came in, there was nothing but us and them. There were no words.

An Arabian came over and chuffed in my ear. sniffing at me while another curious female stood in the background.  She was white or gray, difficult to say without being closer but I had caught her image in the corner of my eye as I focused on the beat of the drums. She stood alone, but connected and that connection could be felt.   There was Magic around us, swirling and pulsing.  We drummed, we released, we prayed and sought Guidance and horse surrounded us saying ‘”come with me, come discover your power and freedom.” And we smiled and we laughed while we said our goodbyes and we walked so much taller than when we arrived .+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-Lisa C-+-+-+-+-+-+-+

Time to be me

I carry a tent,  lawn chairs, a change of clothes, blankets and a hammock in my car. I laugh and say ,” you never know when an impromptu camping trip may come up and you want to be prepared”. There is some truth to this but it is also curious to me how it all came about that I do carry these things with me. Having a Grandchild is a wondrous thing. Being a medical social worker for 30 years, working 10+ hours every day was the norm. Once Kesey was born, my focus changed and I turned inward in many ways, listening to an ancient call that I barely understood or acknowledged.

The year he was born I spent the entire Spring and Summer walking with him,   for about an hour almost every day. When I could talk everyone into going, I wanted him in  parks and in the river, learning to love the earth and seeing how beautiful the world we live in can be. I wanted him to know how much I loved him and how important it is to love the earth. This is what I had to share and give to him and something about having a Grandchild makes you reassess all that is your life and think more about what is important to you. What is your legacy…what do you want this person who carries your DNA and part of your name to know about you.  It makes you want to be the very best of you there is to be,  to show that child, “this is who I am! This is part of you!”

When I was not with him, I was in the state parks, I was in the river, I was kayaking and spending more time outside instead of work being my all.  I bought my own ten002t when I got a small one for my Grandson.  His Dad strung lights like the night sky in his tent in the living room.  The boy would sit in awe and wonder.  During this time, I was also building my supplies, filling my backpack, getting a hammock that could be strung up anywhere between two trees, with a spot on the Guadalupe in mind.

Spring 2017 had me visiting Boerne Lake more than I had in the past. One Saturday as I sat on the pier waiting for the SUP Yoga – Standup paddle board yoga –  class to file out before taking the kayak out, another woman about my age quietly came and sat close by.  She explained that she was there to get pictures of her Mother, who was 86, and was “out there” she said pointing to the other side of the lake where a group of ladies were paddling out for the yoga class.  Her Mom had asked her to be there on this morning to take this picture.



She said she was envious that her Mother had time to go out and do these things but also proud of her that she still could and wanted to do the things she had begun to do since moving to the Hill Country. She told me a story about how one day her Mother was on her way to Yoga class but got trapped in traffic from an accident on I 10. She was headed towards Boerne so she followed that path, though she knew she was way too late to go to class by the time she took the Boerne exit.  Instead, she went into Wal-Mart and bought a hammock. She said she wanted to make sure she had it in the car …”just in case”.   I thought about this woman and how she wanted to spend all spare time outside walking, on the water, observing the world around her, working her garden and knew we heard the same Siren call.  Maybe she too was hoping to be the best of herself,  leaving a legacy of love for the earth behind her.  It gave me much to consider and when I saw her paddle away from the class and stand on her board facing her daughter, I knew this was the shot she wanted. She wanted someone, as well as herself,  to have a memory of her , just being herself.








An unexpected Invitation or announcement can sometimdrumminges be a beginning,  a walk down a path that inspires or brings peace.   I had been looking for a drumming circle for some time. I just happened to see where one was being offered and decided I would attend. I knew no one,  but that was often the way with these type of journeys for me. Walking into the little rustic cottage the smell of a recent smudge filled my senses and at once I was at ease.  Native art covered the walls. There were drums placed on the table and blankets thrown across sofas and chairs.  Tin roofing,  hand hewn floors and walls and I thought of one of my friends and her home on North Mountain.  I stood silent , observing. When you have significant hearing loss you learn to be quiet and observe as you know you will miss half of what is said. You learn to trust what you see in body language and facial expressions.

The drumming was a gentle release of frustrations, anger and hurts that had been building daily.  What I noticed the most, as I sat in this circle in the woods, was the feeling. The sharing of spiritual lessons and growth among like minded others and though I could not hear half of what was said, I felt at ease and a part of me felt at home with these strangers who reminded me of a circle long ago. A circle that changed my life forever .

Loosing the boy

My Odin

My little Odin. He thought he was as big as the mountain. He was fearless. Here is a picture of him April 18th, three days after his final and fatal Rabies vaccination. He was almost blind because the German in him would not stop trying to round up cats. They scratched him a few times and then he kept hitting his eyes chasing the ball or the toy of the day.  I did not notice anything different until the Sunday we went to Cibolo Creek to walk and see the river. We never made it to the river though. We went to the Marsh but then Odin was panting and I felt he needed water so we headed back to the car. He was drooling, nothing unusual there, he drooled when he was hot but we had not gone that far and it was not that hot. I was concerned but he seemed alright. Then he did not eat and I noticed that evening and the next day that he was tired, when he had no reason to be. Tuesday morning, he did not stand at the shower throwing toys in while I got ready for work and I knew something was seriously wrong with him. I took him to work with me and called the vet. My vet could not see him and recommended I be seen at another walk in vet in town.  He had gone from his crazy little self to a dog who could barely walk in a manner of days. I watched him get progressively worse while he was with me at the office. It took two days and two separate rounds of blood work but it was finally clear that he had Hemolytic anemia which “sometimes happens about a month after a rabies vaccination in about 1% of dogs.”   My boy was struggling because I had been a good pet owner and kept vaccines up to date. I set him up on the futon and I slept by his side.  He ate for me , I carried him outside to go to the bathroom because he could not walk anymore, I held water to his mouth for him to drink because he had trouble standing and I stayed with him hating to leave his side for more than a few minutes at a time. He was getting treatment but we were still hoping for the best and the vet did not expect him to make it though the first night after he saw him. By Saturday, when I was hoping for good news, his red blood cell count was so low he needed a transfusion.  Without it he would die. I had to rush him to specialist in San Antonio so he could be taken for more tests and I could be presented with treatment options. They showed me the paper work and financial breakdown of the treatment with medications and shots and blood work on top of the transfusions lined out for the day and if the count did not go up they would give more transfusions until his count could stay up on it’s own.  I thought of how much I hated needles and the fact that the Dr said the transfusion could cause cardiac arrest because his blood count was so low. After any or during any of the treatments to follow he could die. He would not be able to go home until his count was up and even if he pulled through he would always be high risk for relapse and would have to be on steroid treatment for a very long time.  I thought, I can hold my boy and let him go without all this pain in his future.  I chose to let him go. To let him free himself from the mortal coil that was looking to be a pretty sick and vet filled path. I held him in my arms , his heart beating next to mine…heart to heart.. and I looked in his beautiful brown eyes until all the life was gone from them and still I held him close to me. I told him, ” you come find me now O cause I don’t think I can do this anymore without you.” The vet finally came in, took him from me,  took off his collar and handed it to me. I placed it on my arm where it stayed until I picked up his ashes that Thursday.  After he was back home with me, I could stop wearing it and fold the futon back up into a couch and stop sleeping on it. I still sleep with his favorite blanket. I miss him so much that I can barely stand to be home most of the time.

The day before….
       His last Friday with me, I drove him to the animal shelter where his friend worked.  This was a neighbor from our previous address that he had chosen to be his friend. He of course had friends that he knew because of me but this was his friend that he chose before either of us really knew her. He had good taste, I will give him that. Amelia is a dog person with a gentle spirit and he loved to see her on the street where we used to live.  I went in and told Amelia why I was there and she came out to the car to say good bye to him. She knew before I did that he was going. I heard her softly telling him you have had a good life buddy. You have been loved. I knew he felt good seeing her and he was so surprised that it was her!  He had not seen her in three years. He knew her though. He always knew his people. After that I opened the sun roof and we drove to Cibolo creek.  I parked where I could see this beautiful blooming bush from the car and opened the doors so he could see and smell the river and the park around us.  We sat and talked, resting in the afternoon sun before I felt he was tiring and wanted to be back in the cool dark house.

He loved the Guadalupe


You left me on a Saturday.  Sunday , Mother’s day, I went to church early. As the service went on I thought of how I always felt when I went to this church. Home at last…peace…comfort … and wanted as I have so many times in the past to do nothing more than curl up on the pew, right in the middle of the service, and just rest. Mother’s day and I felt like I had lost a child.  After church, I changed quickly and took off for Tai Chi class. My Southern Baptist paternal Grandmother who raised me was honored as I stood in the 1st Methodist church with a white carnation in my hand.  My biological Mother was honored while I went through my Tai Chi routine and set my intention to honor her on this day, in this way.

The rest of the day was spent at the river. I know it is good for me when I am emotional to be near the water. I was raised on the river and to the river I return whenever I get the chance. Odin loved the Guadalupe as much as I did.  At this point on the trail, coming back from the “rapids”, we would always rest together. There is a little bench on the left that you can just see the top of through the brush. We would sit there together and watch people go by, just happy to be close to the river and out in the woods.