On an icy winter day I step out of the bank and stop fast. There in front of me shuffles my mother. I see her glossy, silver hair, red wool coat and body hunched over a walker. My heart thuds in my chest. It’s an apparition, a ghost!
My mother passed away more than a year ago.
I’m performing the last personal task linked to her life—closing out her safe-deposit box. I have postponed this because in the box are more memories—her older jewelry, my deceased sister’s Navy flight wings, and some silver cutlery. When my mother first passed, my brother and I quickly perused these items, then locked the box away. But if I don’t take the contents home today I will pay another year’s rent.
Tugging on my shoulder I feel the weight of the bag carrying these one-upon-a-time treasures. So far I have been steady through the process of signing the forms, entering into the vault and transferring the goods to a large purse. But now. . .
The woman in the red coat turns, revealing an angular jaw and prominent nose. Clearly she is not my mother. My heart settles, though with a bit of disappointment. I come alongside the woman and say, “You remind me of my mother.”
She laughs, “At least you didn’t say I remind you of your grandmother.”
“No. My mother had your same silvery hair and red coat, and the same air of elegance.”
She beams. “You just made my day!”
I smile, as lumpy tears well in my eyes. I escape, striding fast along the sidewalk to the parking lot, where I climb in my car and close the door before the waterfall starts. I sob from deep in my belly, a weeping that feels good, cathartic. All the while I hold the Beloved’s hand.
These are just emotions, I tell myself, and that soothes me. I can let them wash over me. As the crying abates and I calm down, I see what a set up this was.
The Beloved knew I would try to shrug off the emotional part of this duty; I would deny any feelings, when really, though simple, the task has many layers. And so the Divine Power brought me that moment to remember walking behind the beautiful soul I was graced to enjoy for a half century. Thus I am able to wash away yet more of the feelings of loss.
Once home, I make my way through the box’s contents. I note that, just like that image of my mother that so brought her to life, each item is a whole universe. A sapphire ring conjures the Christmas morning my stepfather presented it to my mother, and a whole rush of feelings of anticipation and joy as the ten-year-old me watched. My sister’s gold Naval wings conjure the day in Florida when she had completed her training as a jet pilot and received them in a ceremony, which our whole family attended, a twenty-one-year-old me awash with feelings of happiness and jealousy.
With each item, I observe the images and feelings that arise. Each image is a moment poised on the brink. It can take me down or up. With the Beloved I have a choice; I can dive down into the universe of memories and wallow, or I can stay in the love and watch the images pass. Today I choose to stay in the fresh love of the pure now, and I easily make my way through the box.
I have this choice with every experience that arises in my days. I choose either the dead or the live. The sorrow or the joy.
The loving Image takes me Home.
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99 Hugs, Lesley!
Each for a different reason.
What a beautiful tale, Lesley, and I love the imagery of the butterfly — it gives pause to consider the humble beginnings and glorious endings of us all. Your take on emotions is inspiring and also interesting. I will have to contemplate their place — not denying them their say, but watching them, staying in the precious moment, and seeing them through the veil of the Master’s Love. It’s a lovely and deeply honest story and a great addition to the upcoming coffee table book. Thank you for sharing.
Thank you, Rudy. I must say I am deeply in the learning phase of quite how to handle or live with or gently and detachedly love the emotions. This was a beautiful teaching for me around that, as it seemed I had little choice in the matter so I was led blindly to a new understanding. And isn’t that the Way!
Your arrow always hits that universal place in each of us, but of course your pin is dipped in Shabda…. Thank you!
Lesley, Thanks for sharing such a beautiful stroll down expression *way*. As feelings give vitality to thought so too does love give vitality to each and every experience. Isn’t it surreal in how when measured through the Beloved’s Presence…EVERY single *moment* is simply overflowing with grace and purpose and value and so much more! The past is given closure and the future is already lovingly fulfilled…all through the *attentive* matrix of reciprocating through accountability in the moment of now. It’s truly liberating to simply recognize just how and why we tend to hold on to certain imagery (emotional/subconscious baggage and mental/unconscious attenuations)…let alone to acknowledge the timely and tender manner in which the Master has orchestrated the entire allowance to serve our salvation. Glory, Glory, Glory…
I am so glad you raised this point, Bobby. It was very central in my consciousness throughout this experience: the perfection of all. I had a hit during this that every atom in the universe is cheering us on, even the ones that seem to want to thwart us. Everything, absolutely everything is yelling “Go, you can do it!” All with the purpose of unveiling our true Selves.
Thank you for sharing this moving experience Lesley! I love how in your writing, the reader is brought into the intimacy of your experience. It is easier for us to close doors than to feel, but in being completely present in the moment with all of our being, love makes it possible to embrace all things and it opens our eyes to the beauty, even in the pain. What a beautiful glimpse of remembrance you were given that spawned deep gratitude and love. In the height of your experience, you were able to let that love flow through you and be a channel for the Shabda. All are served when we serve our Master with our attention and surrender. Our blessed Master loves us so, and He is with us in all things if we only open up to Him. Moment by moment we move closer to our perfect union. Thank you for this beautiful gift that has touched my heart.
Wow, Jamie, what you say here is beautiful. I have closed so many doors that remaining open is definitely a new experience. We truly can, as you say “embrace all things in order to open our eyes to the beauty.” That surrender gets deeper and deeper and with it pours more Love from His great pitcher.
The ever present Master, orchestrating the dance and being our dance partner! Such a perfect example of His love in action. Thank you for sharing your awareness of IT.
The lady in the red coat what a vibrant image of the Master in disguise!
And I am especially appreciative of the lesson that being in the now isn’t exc
lusive of past memories, as memories and the love they can engeder are all part the now as well if we bring them into the Shabda with attention. Nothing of true value is ever lost, and in everything of seeming lesser value the Shabda can be discovered.
What a great truth, Sheila, the red coat woman as the Master. Love it! And what you say is so true. The Beloved uses everything to teach us when we are open to learn.
Oh, my……how beautifully written……writing certainly is your priceless gift…..sharing your seva. Thank you…. You share an experience from beginning to end….with nothing left out in the middle. It is a perfect reflection of how the Master teaches to deal with experiences. Not fighting …even the emotions….allowing them to be….with the Beloved encircling…..an example we can all learn from….in different ways …at different levels. Blessings to you …..and your Mother…..on the journey of soul.. Much love….
Thank you, Susan. That notion of “not fighting” really is coming home to me these days. Truly it is the key to surrender.
“With the Beloved I have a choice; I can dive down into the universe of memories and wallow, or I can stay in the love and watch the images pass” this is such a powerful phrase and Masterful in the way it provided a visual. Thank you for being the channel you are thru your way with words! love always.. Laurie
Thank you for reminding me that it’s okay to cry, that The Beloved is with us through it all. <3
Thank you for sharing, Lesley. Sweet and bittersweet through a challenging transition, As you know, your mother’s spirit is always there for you. I am sure she is very proud of you. xo
Lesley whenever I see a writing posted by you, I immediately center myself, slow my breathing, become one with you, and then begin with much anticipation to enjoy and contemplate your story!
I know there will be many teachings channeled from the Master though you and in this blog post,”The Power of Imagery,” I saw myself in the, “Hall of Laos,” sitting there as you went through your mothers safe deposit box. I loved how you said that each item is a whole Universe and immediately conjures up so many past dead images and brings them back to life as soon as you place your attention on that particular item.
Thank you for sharing such a beautiful story about seeing the ghostly apparition of the lady in the red wool coat whose elegance reminded you of your beloved mother and brought alive so many emotions that you let wash over yourself. This experience truly shows us that the loving live image does really take us home, all we have to do in each moment is to choose and that choice will determine our reality!
Dear Lesley…You are being the most beautiful channel through your most sacred experience you are having with the Master and your mom… The Beloved has set up an experience for me where I Am and am and are going thru what you xpressed…it was the emotional check…my doctor asked me before I came to be with my daughter who fell into congestive heart failure….He said…just one more thing…how are you doing emotionally???? I jokingly said I have my breakdowns but I am ok…but the truth is….there is a lot The Master wants me to address also…How awesome to have Him…