…writings from the Book to be: “Gifts of Change – A Gratitude Journal for a Natural Disaster
The happy chirping of the birds outside wakes me up. A beautiful sun-filled morning knocks on my door. I get up early to spend meditation time outside in my beloved Papasan Chair in the Forest. My cat Tigerlily follows me around wherever I go and decides to sit in my lap so close to me.
Eventually I leave my inner space and get up, have a bite to eat and move into my Healing/Creative Room to check my emails.
I have a lot to do today. I am leaving to Marin for the weekend. Friends will stay at the home, so I need to do some cleaning. And Leighana is coming over. We postponed our walk in Boggs Forest as there was not enough linear time to do it all.
A knock on the door. My sweet sister arrives. I open, she enters. Her hair is back-lit, silver, and all I see are these – what feels – huge cobalt blue crystal earrings adorning her face.
“Wow, they look amazing on you,” I call out with excitement.
“You like them?” she asks mischievously.
“I love them, they look like they were made for you.”
She grins and starts touching them.
“Well then, that’s perfect, because I wanted to gift them to you.”
“I did not say what I just said to get your earrings,” I answer laughing.
“I know, Honey, you didn’t and I truly meant to gift them to you and since you like them, here they are, “ she says handing them to me with great determination wanting me to receive her gift.
She puts them into my hands where I admire them with childlike awe. I touch the dark blue crystal.
“O wow, they have dragonflies attached to them,” I call out.
“Yup” – she says, “it felt like they wanted to be yours when I put them on.”
We make some tea and decide to stay inside. It is hot outside, really hot. No change for days, weeks, months, hot weather since April with no rains.
“Did I tell you that I am going down to Marin for this CD Release tonight,” I asked.
“What’s it called?”
I chuckle myself.
“Believe it or not, it’s called Prayers for the Water, I won the tickets. I never win anything. I’d like to get a CD and bring it back. And call in a circle of all of us women singing for the water. Calling in the rain.”
“That’s wonderful,” she responds with her usual cheerful face full of expression.
Then she starts to walk over to one of my paintings from my deceased germany friend Angelica Herzel. It is an abstract painting of an altar. A red base holding a cobalt blue exquisite top. She touches the frame, admiring the painting as if she sees it for the first time.
Then she moves over to Rebecca Setareh’s pregnant Bronze Women Sculpture that ended up with me in the most mysterious way. I bought it from my grandmother’s little inheritance money at an auction in Los Angeles, a dream come true.
She strokes the texture of the medal with deep appreciation. Her finger touching the sensual shapes.
“I love your art, “ she says, “I so love your art in your home.”
“I love how much love and care you have put into this home. Everything feels like art. Everything is in the right spot. Everything is put together with such love, caring and appreciation.”
I smile receiving her sweet compliment. Indeed I also love my home. It is my art and one of my gifts creating spaces of magic. This home had become a sanctuary for myself and many others who had come through here in one of my workshops, retreats, healing circles or meditations. I simply love to play with color, form, and shapes. I love to create. Period. It could be a piece from a Thriftstore or something I find next to the road, it does not matter, I would find a way to give it new meaning.
“Ja, I agree,” I say, “I loved the process of creating this refuge. It was so much fun hanging up the art and allowing the pieces to find their perfect place! Maybe that’s when art starts to uplift, and giving a house a soul, allowing her to have a voice. Do you know what I mean?” I grin, loving our usual deep conversations.
“Yes, I do and you created magic here.”
She literally moves from one piece to the next. Caressing the photograph of my munich friend Sascha, swirling on a carousel at the Octoberfest, oozing complete ecstasy. Her brilliant husband had taken it.
Leighana touches all my many sculptures representing the divine in its male and female form.
I follow her like a puppy. Somewhat amazed and impatient. We do not have so much time today as I need to complete my home-cleaning project for my friends and I know we want to sit together and check in with each other.
“Leighana, you look at everything like you have never been to my home?” I notice.
We both laugh. She is on a mission and I cannot do anything about.
She walks into my healing and creative room.
“Who painted that?” she asks with her funny mouth open expression.
“It’s Martine, an amazing healer and body therapist at Harbin, who stayed at my home to house-sit in December 2010. She loves to paint Mandalas, “ I share.
“It’s full of hearts and spirals and so colorful.”
“Isn’t that crazy, she said to me that she saw so much color and all these hearts and spirals in my home. She must have had a premonition. And her painting helped to birth my women’s workshops. Remember all these workshops that would download through me in the following year.”
“Of course, she felt it already,” she moves her head in slow motion exuding her great wisdom.
I nod. “Yes, she definitely did. She also said that there would be a lot of healing done in this home.”
Leighana’s head bobbed up and down. “She was right!”
“She was! All the healing with the ghosts. All my healing with Marcus and our transition into expansion (divorce). All this healing around my sexual trauma. All these women circles. The women workshops. The Potential Workshops. Full moon meditations. Simply amazing.”
From time to time I would touch my new cobalt blue earrings. Every time I walk by my little mirror in the hallway I’d admire them.
At one point we start to settle down and enjoy our now cold teas. We chat for a while. I can’t really remember about what. I have to admit I got a little distracted with my upcoming travels to Marin.
Eventually it is time to part.
“Do you think these orange pillows would look good on my white sofa?” she asks pointing at my big Ikea pillows.
“You want to try it out?” I respond, handing her one. Little do I know.
We give each other a big fat squeeze like we always do.
“ I will see you next week.” She says.
“I will call you when I am back and we can go for our walk in Boggs,” I respond ushering her out to the front porch.
I stand there for awhile, watching her leave with my pillow, waving my hand to her as the car passes down Pine Summit Drive.
O, it’s a glorious day. The forest is filled with so much light. I don’t mind the heat. I see Lily settled on my friend Sequoia’s Mexican bench, resting on her purple pillow.
“ I just love living here,” I think to myself.
I walk inside and over to the mirror again. I can’t stop looking at my new dragonfly earrings. How beautiful they are! And I feel so blessed by all this love I received from my soulsister.
“What a special friend she is!” I affirm to myself. “I am so blessed to know her.”
My friend touching my art becomes a ritual of blessing all one last time. She so appreciated all artists, the artist inside of myself and my artful way of living in this home. She shared later that she wanted to bring the awareness of deep gratitude to me. She wanted to make me feel like an artist and be so grateful for the space I had created. Well, indeed, she succeeded.
She gifted me a pair of dragonflies. The dragonfly stands for transformation, I knew that. What I did not know – and my precious LA friend Ellen shared that with me a few weeks later – was that they also are a messenger for shifts of reality to come.
They literally opened the portal of new experiences and big shifts in reality I was about to face to next day when the Valley Fire hit…
And so it was.
©Text by Joya P Gallasch/The Gifts of Change