Random “Moose-ings”

It doesn’t happen every time I’m in Colorado because we’re both busy chicks, but sometimes the stars align and my good friend, Susan, and I manage to finagle a free morning together to go for a hike. I call it a hike, anyway. Susan calls it walking her dog. Ha!

I’ve actually written about a hike with Susan before.

I no longer live at 10,000 feet altitude full time, have had my fair share of bad habits (which are dwindling!) over the years, and am not as physically fit as Susan, so we have a mutually agreed upon conversational cadence where I fill her in on my life as we stroll downhill and she catches me up on her life when we’re uphill.

It’s lovely. It flows. Like our friendship.

On this morning’s stroll, about half-way through, Susan stopped mid-sentence and asked, hushed, “What was that?” I couldn’t hear a thing over the sound of my sucking wind, but happily stopped under the guise of listening a little more intently so I could catch my breath.

Grunt-yell-click!

Maybe it wasn’t a click. But it was something like…something like I can’t type phonetically. And I’m creative and shit.

I had even less of an idea what the sound was coming from though.

“That’s a moose. I’ve never heard one make that sound before.”

Of course Susan knew.

We both peered off in the direction the sound was coming from, which was a wooded area a little ways uphill across the dirt road. Before long, unsurprisingly at this point, a moose emerged walking directly toward us. Walking directly toward us a bit too determinedly for my liking.

Turns out she was walking a bit too determinedly towards us for Susan’s liking as well.

“I don’t like that sound. Let’s get back in these trees!”

We traversed the ditch on the side of the road, slowly but likely as determinedly as the impending moose, and retreated into a cluster of trees.

I want to describe this because it’s part of the hilarity of this story. There just so happened to be two trees in this cluster that appeared to be growing from the same root, and we each grabbed one. Susan grabbed the one facing the road, and I grabbed the one facing downhill, as we were also on a steep incline. This happened to put us butt to butt, hugging trees. Holding one another in place, because slipping down the incline was not outside of the realm of possibility.

It was as though the Universe had put those two trees there for just this occasion.

We were one with these trees. However un-zen-like it felt.

I don’t know how long this all took, but momentarily I heard Susan say, “Oh Teresa, there’s another one! Do you see it?”

I told her I did not see it. I did not tell her my inability to see the second moose was because my eyes were closed and my face was buried in bark.

And maybe I was talking to Larry. My Spirit Guide.

“Dude! I’m freaking spiritual? These are God’s creatures! Why am I a scared fucking moron right now? Larry? LARRY?”

Ahem.

The pronouncement of a second moose did encourage me to at least lay my eyes on it so I could see for myself that there was, in fact, a second moose. And there was. Off to the other side.

I’d like you to imagine, two ladies clinging to trees on the side of a dirt road, one furnished with a leash attached to a whimpering dog eager to play Chase the Moose (I bet at least a few of you forgot that while I’m hiking, Susan is walking her dog, Tia), a female moose to the right about a McDonald’s-store-sized distance away (laugh if you must but I suck at guesstimating distance and that was the first thing to pop into my head!), and a male to the left, at about the same distance.

Engrossed as I was with the tree bark before me, I had not ascertained the respective genitalia of our moose onlookers, but I think Susan must moonlight as a damn zoologist or something. Maybe she hadn’t had time to fill me in on that endeavor in our previous walks. Perhaps we should walk uphill more. Clearly I’m out of the loop.

Invisible in this scene, yet still massively present, were the thoughts running through my head…what exactly would death by moose be like? Surely moose don’t eat people? Do they bite? Would we be memorialized on the front page of the Summit Daily? What would the headline be? What on Earth would my friends in Texas think? Jersey? Mississippi?

These thoughts were interrupted only by Susan whispering loudly, and a little too eagerly than was appropriate given the current circumstances, “Oh my goodness, Teresa! We’ve interrupted a moose date! They’re rutting!”

I’d never heard the word ‘rutting’ before, but I’m darn good at extrapolating meaning.

Anyway, after contemplating us for a moment (probably a shorter moment than it felt) the female snarfed and scampered off into the valley below us. You know, nevermind. I think bunnies scamper. Moose don’t scamper. She galloped. Yes. Galloped is more like it.

Her suitor, remembering what it was he’d been getting on about before being so rudely interrupted by a couple of noisy talking white trees, followed in lusty pursuit.

Shaken but alive, we climbed out of the ditch on the side of the road, dusted ourselves off, waved at the truck who had missed the whole thing but slowed down because we must have looked a bit disheveled, and continued walking and laughing.

We walked the remainder of our hike uneventfully. Arriving back at Susan’s house I admit, I breathed a bit easier and not only because our hike at 10,000 feet altitude had come an end.

On the drive home I remembered the morning Susan was to take me to the airport to fly to Mississippi for rehab. The morning I encountered a mama moose and her two babies just past the driveway. I remembered how significant that felt.

I looked up the spiritual symbolism of moose when I got home and laughed a bit when I saw confidence.

I’m going to sit with that for a while. Confidence has been a lifelong quest, and I might’ve strayed from that path a bit.

Thank you, Universe, for the reminder.

Namaste.

It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s a…Gift from the Universe!

I journal just about every day. There is no literary genius in this daily journal. In fact if anyone were to find it and read it after I’m gone, I’d be posthumously embarrassed, if there’s such a possibility. Not because there’s anything nefarious in it, but because it’s mostly positive self-pep-talk and gratitude for stuff and things that have yet to manifest.

Journaling keeps me sane and grateful. Sometimes, especially when I’m down, I ask for signs from the Universe.

I’m mindful not to ask for those too much. It’s not even that I don’t want to be greedy, I just tend to get plenty of those without asking.

Yesterday, though, I was feeling absolutely buoyant, for no particular reason. Actually, for lots of little reasons would be more accurate, just not one big one in particular.

While I was journaling I realized I rarely ask the Universe for anything when I’m feeling good. So I did.

And then I forgot all about it. Which is how I roll. That’s basically the key to manifesting, difficult as it may be to master.

Last night I was at the high school football game three hours away watching Cora Jane in marching band and wondering why I still remember the jersey numbers of the kids on the football team when I was a cheerleader in high school.

I’m going to rewind for a minute to tell a story within a story because none of this will make sense unless I do.

A week after Keenan was born, I gathered up two-year-old Cora and her new baby brother and we all took the two hour sojourn to the airport to pick up my Mom.

As we neared the airport, Keenan was sleeping soundly, as newborns tend to do, and Cora was beginning to get bored, as two-year-olds tend to do. I was getting flustered, as new Moms tend to do.

I took advantage of the airplanes that started appearing.

“Ooh, Cora, look at the airplane!”

She quietly observed each plane I pointed out.

After about the fourth one she sighed and soberly remarked (to herself mostly), “Wow. My Mom really likes airplanes.” Absolutely nonplussed. Deadpan.

You guys, I was hormonal and frazzled, as any week out mother on a two hour solo journey with two kids would be, and I cannot describe to you how funny this was. I’d been schooled by my two-year-old.

I was like, “I don’t like airplanes! I don’t give a shit about airplanes! You’re two! I’m pointing at the airplanes because TWO-YEAR-OLDS like airplanes!”

In my head of course. Also, in my head, I wished another adult was around to share how absolutely hilarious my two-year-old was.

I tell my kids stories about when they were little all the time. If I didn’t, I don’t know that they’d remember the good stuff about us together and there was so much of it. I worry sometimes that my storytelling is annoying, but they always prompt me to ‘tell it again’ when I stop midway because I’ve already told this one. Which warms my heart. More than you can imagine.

Cora loves this story in particular. Especially because she’s older and can see it from my point of view.

As a joke I text her videos and photos of airplanes accompanied with, “Look, a boring airplane.”

Ahem, anyway. Circling back to last night.

We’re in the stands at the stadium and there is a *dull roar behind us. As the rumble gets louder, a very low-flying plane approaching the nearby airport emerges from directly behind us and every head in the stands turns upward.

(*see what I did there? Dull roar…I can almost hear the dull roar of your laughter…)

I swear to you, time slowed down.

I looked to my left and damn near every kid in the marching band was pointing at the plane and saying, “Ooooooh! A plane!”

Except for my kid. My kid was looking at me incredulously with the biggest grin ever on her face.

I nearly froze with joy. Momentarily I gained my composure and mouthed, “Did you see the plane?”

She nodded and we both threw our heads back laughing.

On the three hour drive home I mostly meditated. Or had a meditative time observing how fucking fast Texans drive.

When suddenly I realized. The airplane. That unexpected perfect moment.

I’d received my gift.

I’m so glad I asked for it.

Have a blessed day.

Shhhhhhh…

In spite of all my spiritual bullshit, as someone not so fond of me once called it, I’m very human and very flawed. I’m also very okay with that and some folks don’t think that’s so spiritual. Which is fine, too.

I remember hearing Pema Chodron on a YouTube video once sharing her personal experience with meditation and she joked about what a terrible meditator she is and that people tend to assume that since she’s, like, an actual monk, it’s something she is good at. But, apparently she has a busy mind.

I heard this at a time when I was beginning my meditation journey and it was perfect and timely because I was a terrible meditator as well. Especially in the beginning. I simply decided not to care. I told myself it didn’t matter how shittily I meditated, I was going to SIT for the designated time NO MATTER WHAT.

As I practiced there began to be spaces amidst the perpetual streams of thoughts. Mostly when I didn’t criticize or judge myself for the thoughts showing up.

My mind is still busy sometimes when I meditate, but there is quite a bit more space, and sometimes some pretty cool shit happens. That’s just bonus and never my intention when I sit. Interestingly, as cool shit started visiting, my mind grabbed hold once again and attempted to make meditation about cool shit happening.

So I let go again.

It’s a process, I suppose is all I’m saying.

While I’m stringent about my ‘meditation time’ I’m rather loosey-goosey with how it goes.

I’m ‘off’ when I miss it, which happens now and again. But I never skip it.

I meditate twenty minutes a day. Sometimes that length is a struggle, but it’s where I’ve settled in over the past almost four years.

Something has happened, though, in the past few weeks. I have been, hmmm, called into silence? Beckoned? Dragged, with requisite kicking and screaming?

Actually, and honestly, perhaps I’ve voluntarily jumped, head first?

My meditation time has become one hour. I’m floored by this. In fact, a month ago one hour would have seemed absolutely arduous and even counterproductive. But…

The thing I love about at least giving my mind the opportunity for silence is that ideas have space to pop in. I pay attention. There are quieter voices in my head that aren’t heard above the din of the rest but if I make the time to listen, I catch them.

It was in this way that I heard the whisper to meditate longer. And so I did, no matter the protestations of the other, rowdier voices.

I’ve also become increasingly…bothered? Resistant? Averse? Whatever. I can’t quite put my finger on it, exactly. But…noise…no thanks. I’m preferring no noise. Hmmm…that’s not quite true, either. I don’t mind the day to day conversations in the background, clinks and clangs, or hums and honks that are a part of life. But as someone who, while I don’t watch television, enjoys watching YouTube and reading to occupy my brain, I’m losing interest in those things.

This feels…important for some reason.

I share it, also, because I’ve heard it echoed by others.

Zeke said to me yesterday, “It’s weird but I haven’t been playing the radio lately.” You guys, sometimes I’ll walk through the house and between the garage and the bedroom I’ll be met with no less than three radios and one television. All on! This is a rather drastic change for him.

Are you becoming still? I’d love to hear of others’ experiences.

This shift seems significant and appropriate and lovely.

Well, That Answers That

I was driving along running errands and, as I am wont to do, I decided to have a little chat with my Spirit Team.

I powered off the radio, took a deep breath, and said some thing like this…

“All right you guys, I’m really happy. Like really happy. I just feel a little…I don’t know, aimless. That’s fine. It really is. I’m okay with aimless. That doesn’t mean I’m not busy, happily busy as a matter of fact. I’m just not really sure if, well, if there’s something else I’m supposed to be doing. I’m busy without direction. I’m digging it, honestly. But…anyway, I’m pretty dense when it comes to messages that are nuanced, so if you guys could give me a solid shout out that I’m headed in the right direction, if there even is a right direction, I’d really appreciate it. Eternally grateful for your love and all that.”

I remained silent for just a minute, enjoying the view of Lake Dillon as Colorado tag after Colorado tag sped by me. It’s funny, I get the sense that Colorado people, one of whom I happen to be, don’t like driving behind vehicles that have Texas tags, ha ha! They’re always passing me and then driving just as fast, or even slower, than I am. It’s okay though, I used to be one of those Colorado people.

As I turned the radio back on, I looked down at the trip odometer which I hadn’t reset since I drove up from Texas last week and it said, 1234.5 miles.

I smiled. That felt like a pretty immediate response. All things in divine order. One step at a time. Chop wood, carry water.

After a few minutes, I arrived at my destination. I pulled into a parking space, turned off the car, and got out. As I walked past the car I had parked next to this license plate caught my eye. Believe it or not, I’ve outgrown looking for signs, for the most part anyway. So it’s not like I’m always looking at license plates, but for some reason this one jumped out; it was damn near glowing.

Here’s the thing, I don’t share stuff like this because I’m so awesome and I want everyone to know or anything like that. I mean I am awesome but so is everybody else and I want everyone else to know they’re as awesome as me. We’re awesome!!! I share things like this because once upon a time I didn’t feel I was special enough to receive messages from my Spirit Team. But I am. And you are. We all have a Spirit Team and they have messages for us.

We just have to ask. And then listen. Sometimes with your eyes.

After my errands were done and I got back into the car, I wanted to double check the meaning of abide. The immediate intuited message I got was to keep on keeping on. I did a little search on Google and the archaic definition made my neck shiver.

That’s how I know things.

Yup. Exactly.

Namaste, and beautiful people. Abide.

I Don’t Care

A couple of years ago I worked at a restaurant as a server a few times a month. It was a second job and my coworkers were all approximately two and a half decades younger than me.

One day we had a gentleman who came in and was decidedly unsatisfied with everything about his experience (specifically I’m talking about his dining experience but I wonder about the rest of it as well). He was so rude that he made the girl serving him cry. I don’t like stuff like that.

See, I have a lot of mothering bubbling under the surface with no convenient outlet, so if you happen to be two and a half decades younger than me, my maternal instincts will leak all over you. None of the unwitting recipients of my Mama Bear have complained thus far because I don’t sMother.

Which is kind of the way I had hoped to parent my own kids.

Where was I? Oh…I offered to take over the table for her. Through tears she said, “Are you sure? He’s really mean.” To which I replied, “Girl, you have NO IDEA the things I have been called. And I lost my kids. Seriously, try to hurt my feelings.” She laughed.

I make people laugh about hard things. I don’t know if it’s exactly a gift, but it feels like it.

Humor is holy.

Here’s the thing. I cared about the guy’s steak. But he wasn’t upset about his steak. People aren’t mean to people because steaks aren’t cooked to their specifications. I didn’t know exactly what the guy was mad about, but I knew enough to know that even if he called me a dumb cunt, it wasn’t about me.

I’m telling you, if you really want to get some shadow work accomplished, get yourself some enemies. Someone with an agenda intended to expose you. I’ve been called things that would suck all of the moisture out of a dog terd. For real.

The guy was a dick, but I didn’t care, which deflated him a little. I cared about his service but I didn’t care about his anger or nastiness. He wasn’t any more satisfied with his steak when we made him a brand new one, but his display of ugliness deescalated a bit.

This is sort of a magic trick I’ve learned.

Recently, all up close and personal, I was criticized for not standing up for myself because ‘You have to fight fire with fire!”

Guess what? I didn’t care. About being criticized, I mean. And I didn’t ‘not care’ in an asshole way. I just kind of shrugged. “Eh, maybe.”

I’m sure after the exchange they pitied me an idiot.

But it did get me thinking. What AM I doing?

I try not to let my mind THINK real hard about stuff because then I end up caring about it too much and believe it or not, that makes me feel less compassionate. Weird, right?

But you can also mitigate fire by depriving it of oxygen. And that feels more resonant to me. I don’t fight fire with fire. I simply deprive it of oxygen.