Four children leap in a forest.

Photo by Robert Collins on Unsplash

Seeing even a technically small number of those we love can expand us into a soaring feeling of connection. Then it’s like we’ve seen everyone we care about, even though only a handful were there. From small to large, handful to eons, grains of sand to a vast ocean, all centered around a heart that’s filled with grateful happiness.

I baked a gluten-free almond four carrot cake* with cream cheese frosting and invited my parents over to finally exchange our Christmas gifts at Easter. I also invited our dear friend D to come a bit later so she could exchange just the tea and company.

Ah, almost 2 ½ hours outside in the sunshine sipping tea, laughing, savoring cake! What joy. If I hadn’t planned any of it, I reckon that Christopher and I would have been hard at work, even were it making music or something wonderful. We need appointments to receive, relax, and laugh.

We’ve taken to scheduling what we dub “balcony days” once a month. On these Saturday afternoons, nothing makes the agenda other than what Christopher calls “f-ing off.” If we suddenly feel like writing a song, or just start to do so spontaneously, that’s great. During this time, however, there is no planned productivity of any sort, even the creative kind. Yet certain assumptions are made: We will be outside if the weather is nice. We will listen to music. And we will dance. Possibly some gentle substance shall be involved.

It’s like that vacation some families are so good at making happen. I’ve never been one of those families. I’m not sure whether it’s anxiety or lack of funds or what, but I rarely put my foot down for travel the way I ought to.

Balcony day is just another way, a free way generally, to enjoy the same kind of energy as a vacation on a regular basis. You shall rest. You shall play. We receive and enjoy our own ministrations with gratitude, thankful someone around here has at last recognized a deep need and offered a cup to fulfill our deepest thirst. Thank you.

Photo by Joe Pizzio on Unsplash

This month, our band Radiant Deep is doing a show on Saturday, April 30th at the Boulder Elks Club, and then the Colorado Foundation for Universal Health Care, where I work, is helping One Payer States host a conference on May 20-21 in Denver. With all that going on, we have chosen two days—Sunday and Monday—of Memorial Day weekend for a double balcony day. I get all happy just thinking of it. I sip my Earl Gray and smile.

Over the past few years, we’ve all but given up on edging our yard. Thick wads of grass border our lawn. This year, I’ve decided to use a shovel to dig a trench along the back fence and plant flowers. Thinking about our balcony days in May inspires me to see if I can finish this task before then. After all, we enjoy kind of a short growing season here in Colorado. Technically, by tax time would have been better to have these flowers planted. Yet I learn to be kind to myself in stages the way I learn everything else. I must ensure my arms and hands can handle the work plus bass playing without pain or injury. I must find extra strength—something that seems a bit more scarce since I began my 5th decade. Never you mind. It will all work out. Where there’s a will, and Nature’s magic as my co-creative gardening partner, all is possible. I discover every day the love available to me and to us all from both our Source, Father-Mother God, and Nature Intelligence. Yes, our divine friends want us to find all the courage we can to work for the good of all life as soon as we can. What we do and don’t do matter, and we must rise.

And, at the same time, they love us tenderly and wish our balance, our joy, our peace, our health and happiness. We’re each special and unique. Together, we’re varied and precious. Each one of us is priceless. The tapestry of all life together is a miracle that proceeds and supersedes our understanding. And it’s okay. It’s okay to allow it to roll over us like the ocean’s giant waves. It’s okay to be that grain of sand, tossed and turned, moved wildly beyond anything we can grasp. And to flow and trust it’s okay because we’re part of this whole.

The tea’s gone low and cold. I’m supposed to run. I long for a bit more warmth and sun, as the temperature reads 29 degrees. Can I balk at my own plan and hide out a little longer here in this world of fleece pants and a whirring furnace? Maybe I won’t force this run until I feel it naturally. In that case, I shall heat this tea up. I will warm these last dregs that fill my cup.

Thank you, God and Nature, for all your help this morning and always. I appreciate you and even me more than I can say. Thank you for all these brothers and sisters in the human race. We awaken to our shared oneness in individual timing, and for some, it seems later than others. Wherever I be on that journey, I dive into the ocean with my grainy self, surrender, and swim.

*Note: This amazing carrot cake comes from Elana Amsterdam of Boulder’s Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook