“The garden must be prepared in the soul first or it will not flourish.” English Proverb
Three quarters of an hour into our Sunday lunch, Susan paused and smiled at me. “Why don’t you come with me to England?”, she offered. The invitation took me by surprise, and as my heart opened to receive this beautiful gift, I replied happily “Why not?”
Susan, a distance healer and one of my dearest friends, was leaving in four days to attend an energy healing conference outside London. We were having lunch together so she could ask me questions about travelling there since this was her first trip outside the U.S.
On a spring day in Albion, my plane touched down on a familiar ground, reconnecting me with my past, present, and future.
Previous time spent here had found me focused on architectural and decorative art. Now, like our Earth’s axis, my inner compass had shifted and I entered London crossing the Thames from a new perspective. The spirit of the Thames greeted me with a warm, ancient embrace which initiated the connection with her fellow Nature spirits during my sojourn on English soil.
Books find their way to me in unique ways. The book on the Thames by Peter Ackroyd I now carried with me in my luggage was found in my local grocery store. At the time I found it, it seemed a bit odd and out of place for its location. Little did I know when I purchased this book that within a fortnight I’d be in Merlin’s backyard!
The key had been dropped at my feet, and I picked it up.
With my sense of familiarity and our combined intuitions, Susan and I guided ourselves around southern England and London. In a recently renovated section of the hallowed city, we explored, making interesting discoveries about our surroundings as well as ourselves.
Susan’s husband was grateful for my presence on her inaugural flight overseas. I was grateful to be invited to accompany her and felt privileged to be part of a healing conference community of like-minded souls.
Old memories greeted me during this trip: good and bad, happy and sad. This journey was a time of reconciliation, a time of closure, and a time of healing for my heart and soul.
One recent heartache crossed the Atlantic with me. Last October, my Mom had passed away suddenly at her home. She was my best friend, and my grief was still with me.
On an overcast afternoon, Susan and I entered Westminster Cathedral amidst the throng of spring break students and their chaperones. Traversing the well-worn stones through the medieval sanctuary, resting home to kings, queen and poets, we made our way in a circuitous route. Following the footsteps of so many pilgrims before us, we stopped for a brief rest and a cup of tea in the courtyard.
As we prepared to exit the Cathedral, I paused to light a candle for my Mom. My heart ached for her presence, and I cried as we stepped out the Western door. As I turned to admire the stonework of the outside walls, a statue of a woman in a long hooded robe, holding a long stemmed flower, just above the door lintels caught my interest. I took several photos, wiped my eyes, and continued on with our walk-a-bout.
Upon returning home, I was looking at my photographs still in my camera when I saw the picture of the statue. The inscription below the stone figure read “Peace”. And the time the photograph was taken was about the same time my Mom passed away six months before.
I felt my Mom’s loving presence reach across time and space to comfort me. Seeds of hope filled my soul, and I know she is with me always.
The Life That I Have
The life that I have
Is all that I have
And the life that I have
The love that I have
Of the life that I have
Is yours, and yours, and yours.
A sleep I shall have
A rest I shall have
Yet death will be but a pause
For the peace of my years
In the long green grass
Will be yours, and yours, and yours.
Leo Marks, British Codemaker
*This story was written in April 2011 and was originally published in an online magazine that has closed. So now, dear readers, you can enjoy it on my own website. The beautiful poem by Leo Marks was found on my Mom’s desk, and I had it placed in the program for her memorial service.