Death is a journey we all must take, and the grace we offer to ourselves and to our loved ones in their process requires courage and planning. Come join our own Maggie Beaumont as she guides us through…
Dying in America-Navigating the Rapids: These days, the dying process isn’t much like what we think we know from TV, movies, family stories and social media. At a time of emotional turmoil, people are being asked to make crucial decisions based on information in unfamiliar language. What do you need to know? How does the dying process work in American hospitals today? What are the biases in the system, and how can you navigate through them to make decisions that serve you and your family well? We’ll talk about what an Advance Directive is and is not, and how to choose a Health-Care Proxy, and we’ll talk about how to make sure your wishes – or your loved one’s wishes – are actually followed. We’ll talk about questions you’ll need to ask, including a few that are surprising. We’ll also talk about supporting one another through the emotions that arise, now or later, in confronting this challenging topic.
The first snow in November tempted us to think about snow for Christmas, but this week temperatures have been 10 to 20 degrees above normal. Two days of rain last week and again this week that felt like April, but here it is half-past December. Just when I think I know what to expect, once again I’m not wearing the right coat. A truly odd season.
The lobby of my apartment building sprouted Christmas decorations the day after Thanksgiving with evergreens draped across a fictitious mantelpiece, pointsettias lining the hallway. Day by day since, they blossomed into candy canes, tiny lights on strings surrounding mirrors and picture frames, sleighbells on doors. Last week they added a Christmas tree and today there are packages beneath it. In the elevator yesterday there was talk of putting a toy train there, if they can figure out how to keep it safe from toddlers.
Meanwhile the strip mall nearby has three vacant stores where a year ago were thriving businesses. I don’t think they all moved away, but I don’t know what changed for them. Did an owner retire? Did the landlord raise the rent a little too much? Have their customers migrated to on-line shopping sites?
Read more: Yuletide in Review | Maggie Beaumont
Brigid’s Mantle (2018)
This week my work has been with Brigid / Bridgid / Brigit / Bri’id / Breed or however you want to spell her Celtic name in our peculiar American English.
She is rather insistent that I still don’t pronounce it ‘right.’
She asks me to focus on the traditions of Brigid’s Mantle, long labeled ‘superstition’ by those who came later: the idea that draping a cloak or shawl over a bush near the barn on the eve of Imbolc is explicitly asking The Lady’s blessing on the impending births of lambs, kids, calves, and babies. And that, passing by your farm at midnight, She will pause to bless that mantle and all born beneath it, and to explicitly promise that all injured parts wrapped in it will heal well.
Read more at: Brigid’s Mantle
Hail and Farewell to 2017! Hail and Welcome to 2018!
Saying goodbye to the old year
On Solstice night I drove through several neighborhoods, admiring people’s holiday lights. Some depicted the Christian story, Jesus in a manger with starlight, animals, loving parents, wise visitors bearing gifts. Some displayed Santa Claus visits, with no ‘story’ earlier than 1950 – Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer, the jolly Santa of the iconic CocaCola ad, or Snoopy wearing a red hat with a white tassel. Many were simply lights – in colors or white or clear, large bulbs or tiny, hung like icicles or just draped all over, a few mere projections.
I felt cheered by the light, quite apart from any specific ‘holiday season’ or wish.
Source: Manifesting the New Year