Sunday Services
9:30am Meditation
10:00am Inspiration
14 Hillary Lane, Chico, CA 95973

DST, March 13, 2011

With so much on my mind, heart and calendar page, I could not come up with a pithy or poignant title for today’s post. I just knew I wanted to write and connect even if only a handful of folk read this.

What a potent time it has been for the world around us, in our own little spiritual community and in my own life, too.

I arrived back from the important Centers for Spiritual Living Integration Conference in San Diego all awhirl with insight and inspiration. That Saturday, March 5th was also the day I learned that our own beloved member, Dale Miller had died of a sudden heart attack. My whirling of joy turned into reeling from shock (The grief didn’t set in till later). Included in this week, were two very dear and close friends having major surgeries; another dear friend whose mother passed away; and I must include the collective grief and shock surrounding the devastation in Japan.

To quote a mystic from our generation: “There has been a disturbance in The Force, Luke.”

From my humble purview, it has not felt like Spring burgeoning with new life. There are signs of new life and new hope popping up and I am training my eye towards those buds instead.

Yet, last night, I allowed myself to feel and express the grief that has been building all week. Real grief as in the loss of a dear friend and tragedy around the world; and the perceived grief of what could have happened or might still happen or the “what if’s?” that can wreak havoc with oneself.

It was after the memorial service for our congregant and late into the evening that I sat in deep reflection and contemplation about life and death. The service for Dale Miller was probably the best memorial/celebration of life service I had ever seen or served. The service was truly filled with joy and so authentic about a man so well-loved and respected, that all were uplifted even in the midst of much sadness. I believe that if a stranger had wandered into our Center and sat in on the service, by the end of the day, they, would feel that they knew Dale and feel bereft that they didn’t get to meet and spend time with him. The weather cooperated with a glorious day. Our Choir sang their hearts out as I have never heard them before. Many members showed up to be of service and support and created quite a space of beauty, respect and love. It was almost SRO and I was glad that we could give Dale such a glorious send-off in a place of beauty that he so appreciated.

(BTW, before the service began there was an errant (?) bird flying throughout the building. This bird chose to stay throughout the entire service despite open doors allowing him to leave. We all watched in amazement as the bird flew around throughout the service and in particular, gravitated to the risers where the Choir stood to sing, and during the second song, did a grand swoop over everyone’s head! Just as Rev. Karen concluded the meditation before we all stood to sing “Let There Be Peace On Earth”, the bird flew out the back door. We knew it was Dale sending us a sign of his presence and his approval).

It is raining here in Chico. Storm clouds hover and Spring weather is not yet ready to appear. I used to love rainy days the best. Today, it feels as if the rain and overcast sky is adding to the gloom or malaise I feel. I know the drill, so no doubt, I will pull myself up by my proverbial bootstraps to engage in spiritual principle and practice and rally to the new, to the now.

Peace to all.