My Son to the Rescue

A few weeks ago my sweetheart moved 9 hours away to take the job of his dreams. I was very supportive of his move. I wanted for him what I have…work that is meaningful, work that changes the world.

I was sure we would shift into our long distant relationship with ease. After all, our relationship had begun with us living a plane ride apart for a year and a half. Our Skype dinner dates, email communications and phone conversations were sweetened with by-monthly in-person rendezvous. We had perfected the art of long distance relationship.

Even so, I wasn’t prepared for the grief I felt when he parted. Seeing the van filled with his belongings made the enormity of the change sink in on a very deep level.

On Sunday afternoon when my tears were flowing my 18-year-old son came to my rescue. He started by asking me a few simple questions that served as a lifeline. “What did you have for lunch”? “Who did you talk to this morning”? In answering I began to relax.

Then he asked me if I wanted to go for a walk and I gratefully accepted.

Gabe said he wanted to take me to a special place. He drove to some trails outside town where we walked and talked, watched the chickadees and listened to the gurgling water of an icy stream.

At one point he suggested we go off the trail and through a stand of trees to a clearing that was a farmers field. We stopped near a log and he took off his backpack and pulled out a blanket for us to sit on. I had no idea he’d brought a blanket!

After we sat down, he presented me with a lighter and a stick of aromatic wood that I had given him for doing his own ceremony. He said, “I brought this for you to burn Mom, and you can let its aroma take you anywhere you want to go”.

I took a deep breath. We both did. I let the gently swirling smoke remind me that I am not alone.

My son’s caring and the sweet aroma started to settle me.

He produced a pencil and a small piece of paper and he told me to write anything I wanted to on the paper and then we would burn it. I needed his clear directions and it was easy to write words that had meaning for me in that moment.

I wrote words like courage, willingness, grief and trust.

Then I rolled up the small paper and lit it on fire. I watched the flame curl it beautifully before letting it go on the snowy ground.

I took another deep breath. I felt my son’s love and I basked in his ability to comfort me.

There was a beautiful healing in that moment as my emptiness was gently filled with my willingness to receive the loving ritual my son offered me.

We hiked back to the car and with each step I could feel the earth supporting me. I felt so much better!

Ceremony can be so very simple. It’s potency rests on your clear intention and your willingness to rely on its power to transform.

When you or a love one are in pain try creating a very simple ceremony as a loving support.

Find a special place in your home or somewhere in nature.

Engage your senses.

Look at a candle.
Listen to a stream.
Touch the earth.
Taste a cool glass of water.
Smell an essential oil or some incense.

Read some inspiring words. Ask for guidance. Expect support.

In this way you can experience the transformational power of ceremony.

And…if you share the power and pleasure of ceremony with your children, know that one day they will come to your rescue.

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