SPIRITUAL FRIDAY: Change… & The Kitchen Stool

I’ve been thinking about change, of course– most of us are– as this New Year begins.

Who can resist the fresh start, the clean slate? 

So appealing….

Yet, I’ve also been thinking about the changes  that I don’t welcome.  For me those changes come mostly with age. And yes, I can complain about the wrinkles and having to color my hair more often but those aren’t the changes that I’m really talking about.

I’m talking about the things that always were, that are now starting to fade away.

Like the kitchen stool in Trish’s kitchen.

I have spent countless hours on that stool, watching my best friend’s mom Trish cook, talking things over– sometimes alone, sometimes with the other women collected in that kitchen for the same comfort I sought.

And Trish delivered that comfort, my whole life.  She was always a source of wisdom and perspective. She’s 81 now and lives on her own.  She lost both her husband and daughter to cancer. And I visit her in her rambling house in Vermont whenever I can. I say it’s to help her. Really, though, it’s to help me. 

During my last visit, Trish wound up in the emergency room.  She found herself suddenly unable to walk.  Now she faces a slow recovery and uses a walker.  It is harder for her to stand in the kitchen.

So our kitchen stool days have changed.  I wonder, are they gone?

It has occurred to me that perhaps it’s my turn to set up a kitchen stool.

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I think it may be my time to be what Trish was to me, to others…. After all, I was taught by the best.

What rituals have comforted you?  What people taught you well?  Share Please.

Have a great weekend,

-Rose

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Spiritual Friday: The Sidewalks of New York

I am in New York City today — one of my favorite places in the world.  I lived here when I was in my twenties during the city’s “Desperately Seeking Susan” years.  My old neighborhood, the lower east side, was full of Ukranian food, Indian food, Italian food and some of the best dive bars I’ve ever had the pleasure of patronizing.  The years fall away for me.

As I walk these streets, visiting the familiar Christmas highlights – entire stores decorated in bows, the tree at Rockefeller Center, the enormous red Christmas ornaments floating in the fountain on 6th Avenue – I am still enchanted.

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And I feel the poignancy as I walk — heading north to THE park.

I can’t walk these streets without recalling the young woman I was…

Not quite as sure of things, not quite as peaceful.  I am overcome with memories of friends- some lost to cancer, others to the vagaries of time and the demands of adulthood.

The seas of humanity swirl as we navigate these streets- somehow together, somehow alone.  I see families holding hands to stay together as they steer through the crowds.  I see older people bent over but still carrying home their grocery bags.  I see the busy business people – determined, focused.

And I am humbled to be one among.  To be able to share in the energy and life and craziness that is this city.

What places stir the poignant memories for you?  What places bring you joy?

Share Please!

Have a joyful weekend,
Rose