When we are confronted with that which is amazing and wonderous and profound, too often our first response is to reduce that experience with mundane explanations, even if in doing so, we are compelled to distort and forget that which we knew, if even for a brief moment, to be true.

These are the wonderous stories of the Heart Family.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Getting back to it

GH and LH

It has been many years now since all four of these wonderful beings came together with me as a family, joined later by another two legged. The six of us make a cohesive family unit, each bringing their own special gifts, and each having unique and ever evolving relationships with the others.

We are growing older now, health issues arising among humans and cats from time to time. We weather them well enough and the family goes on.

I have been struggling lately, struggling hard against all the toxicity of my "outside" world, the world outside the safe borders of my home. At the end of each day what I long for most is to just get home, close the door to the outside, and be here in the middle of this Heart Family. My most favorite time of the day is going to bed at night, even as I have to negotiate my own bit of real estate on the bed. With a dozen cat beds lying around and other additional soft padded surfaces for them to sleep on, they choose instead to climb in bed with us at night, the whole family coming together. There is a tenderness to this that I have rarely seen in human-human interaction.

I have many fears in life, one of the biggest being that I will never grow to the person I am supposed to be within this lifetime. I have lost the dreams I may have had at one time, replaced only with the efforts to get through the day, pay the bills, and hope nothing bad will happen beyond my resources to cope.

My cats have frequently been and continue to be my main teachers and my guides, always giving advice and encouragement, patient with me beyond reason as I fail to live up to who I could and should be. When I have completely lost my way, when I have lost all sense of worthiness, I am reminded that I must be someone of value to have a family like this around me - this family of gentle giant spirits.

I jokingly say that I used to think of myself as a person living with four cats, and while saying this, I hold my hands out low to the ground, indicating four cats around me. And now I say I am a person living with four cats and I raise my hands above my head as far as I can reach, to indicate the magnitude of the giant spirits I have come to know these cats to be. While once I considered myself their caretaker, I fully know now they have come to support me, and I am the one in need of care taking.

If I could I would freeze this moment in time with all of us, stop the aging process and the physical passing of time, and whisk us all away to a quiet lovely place where we could simply live peacefully together. No human-centric religion has proposed a "heaven" that could be any better than just this family together.

In every fire ceremony I ask first for health and safety for the family. Everything else is secondary to that.

It is time I get back to this journal, get back to telling their stories. I need to do this for them, to honor them, and for me, to remember better all the life lessons they brought to me, and perhaps in the remembering, I will take one step further along in actually realizing the person in me they believe me to be.

It is time, but not tonight, because my bed calls, my partner already asleep and the cats watching me, waiting for me to crawl into bed so they can settle in around us.

Hang on everyone, I'm coming . . .