This morning I checked the list of celebrations for the day. Often I find inspiration in that list of little known holidays. I knew today was going to be very full and I hoped one of the national days would grab my attention.
One did, Poem on Your Pillow Day. I didn’t take the time to read through the explanation for that holiday this morning. I just tucked the thought away and let it simmer all day.
In a seemingly unrelated train of thought, my birth name kept coming to mind. Although I go by Cindy, my real name is Cynthia. I am named after my great-grandmother. Not for the first time, I wished I had adopted her nickname of Cynthi as my own. I wondered when she began using that name and laughed at the thought of her going by Cindy, as I do.
Late this evening, I returned to information about Poem on Your Pillow Day. It seemed this was how I was meant to play today. This holiday was established recently, in 2015, and seems connected to Twitter. The specifications for celebrating were simple…leave a poem on someone’s pillow…a child, a friend, a neighbor (that seems creepy!) or a lover.
I considered options. And realized the holiday is called Poem on Your Pillow Day. My pillow. Me. I thought about how my own name kept popping into my mind this morning. Cynthia…Cynthia…Cynthi…
It almost seemed like someone was calling my name.
I decided to go with it. I would leave a poem on my own pillow. The holiday site offered a variety of short poems for use. I selected one and started to copy it on a card I could lay on my pillow. But no. It wasn’t the right poem.
Turning to Google I searched for a poem. The one I immediately found was the perfect length for copying onto a notecard and the words resonated with me. Wild Moon Woman…you were not made to be tame…you are an earthquake shaking loose everything that is not soul…shake, woman, shake.
Suddenly understanding dawned. Cynthia…Cynthia… My name means “Moon”. Wild Moon Woman. Oh! Way before I knew I’d be placing a poem on my own pillow tonight, I was being both invited…and guided. Invited to express love and tenderness toward myself. Guided to a poem that captured a deeper truth.
In 2014, during my Year of Firsts, I wrote a Love Letter to myself. Now it seems it was time for a poem. In the last three years the oh so crucial relationship that I have fostered with myself has deepened. I have come to know myself in ways I never dreamed possible. I have lovingly filled in some of the gaps within, parenting the frightened child, encouraging my inner artist, becoming a lover of my heart, soul and body, shaking loose everything that is not soul.
The journey of loving myself, at deeper and more intimate levels, continues. I am taking this relationship as deep as I can. Tonight I left a reminder of that knee shaking, soul stirring, heart opening love on my pillow.
Today was Valentine’s Day, a time traditionally set aside to express love to the sweethearts in our lives. My theme for this day was about being love. I thought about the ways that I care for myself, which I’ll share another time. Primarily I expressed love and joy to my family today.
I created Valentine’s Day gift bags for the grandkids, and presented the adult kids with bags of peanut brittle, made with love from Papa Bob’s recipe. Yes, peanut brittle is typically considered a Christmas treat, however, I’m anything but typical. I declared it a Valentine candy.
Greg joined me in making deliveries to each household. We had a fun afternoon chatting as we drove, appreciating our remarkable kids and our adorable grandchildren, finding much to be grateful for. I am thankful for Greg, and his willingness to help out and to chauffeur me around.
First stop was to see granddaughter Aubrey, who was with her mommy and little brother AJ this weekend. The kids immediately swapped stuffed animals, which was perfectly fine, especially since they were in agreement about the trade! AJ calls me Yaya too, which I adore, and this cute little boy makes me laugh with his charming ways! Brittany and the kids very sweetly gave Greg and me boxes of candy to take with us.
I appreciate Brittany and the connection we continue to share. She keeps me updated about events going on when Aubrey is with her and let’s me know how she and the kids are doing. Caring for one another is so much bigger than how relationships are defined. Brittany and AJ will always be family. Off we went, to continue deliveries, after hugs and “I love you’s”.
Next on the list of stops was daughter Adriel and her fiancé Nate. Adriel worked last night and had not been up for long. She and Nate were preparing to get outside for a bit, while the temps were in the 50’s and the sun was shining. We visited briefly and I loved on the “granddogs” and “grandcats”, who are all as sweet as can be.
I appreciate these two animal loving, hard working, soulful young adults who plan to marry this fall. They care for one another and for others. They care for themselves too, being mindful of their health and fitness. After hugs and “I love you’s”, off we went to Carl Junction.
Daughter Elissa, son-in-law Josh and grandson Jonathan were having a relaxing day at home, enjoying hot drinks and playing games. Elissa was also perusing Pinterest for inspiration. We had a running joke all day with Elissa about the winter storm. It never materialized, in spite of a winter weather advisory. That didn’t deter us in the least from talking as if it had. Imagination is a wonderful thing, and my family and I are blessed with an abundance of it.
I appreciate Elissa’s and Josh’s quick wits and obvious enjoyment of each other and life. Jonathan and Dayan, who was with his dad this weekend, possess the same keen sense of humor and love of fun. After laughter and playful teasing, hugs and “I love you’s”, we headed to Carthage.
Son Nate was still working, so we stopped by the house to catch grandsons Joey and Oliver before they left to go to their dad’s. I got to chat with them as they sorted through their gift bags and look at the clever M&M’s they received from their mom and Nate this morning. The candies, in their favorite colors, have the kids’ names on them and expressions of love. Aubrey’s stash is waiting for her in her room. Such a creative idea!
We met Nate at the police station, where Megan joined us after dropping the boys off. I got to see my son’s new office. We enjoyed chatting and hearing more about Nate’s recent birthday celebrations. I appreciate Nate and Megan as they parent their active, growing kids well and carve out time from their busy schedules to spend quality time together. I’ve seen them navigate through challenging situations, beyond their control, with grace and a deep love for each other that sustains them. After a time of catching up, watching the kids’ birthday video for Nate, hugs and “I love you’s”, we headed back toward Joplin.
I missed getting to see Dayan this afternoon, after having the opportunity to see everyone else. We communicated by text earlier in the day, since he’s with his dad, stepmom, and younger siblings all weekend.
Greg made the suggestion that Dayan and I use the FaceTime feature on our iPhones to have a chat. That was a great idea! In a few moments, Dayan was visible on my phone, showing us the homework he was working on and making us laugh with a view of the lamp he was using in his room, a replica of the leg lamp from Christmas Story. Papa told a joke and I filled Dayan in on our afternoon and evening of deliveries. I appreciate Dayan’s flexibility and that he took time from his studies to talk. It brought joy to my heart to see him and talk to him face to face, and made the day feel complete.
What a wonderful day, celebrating with my family, being love, and being loved on. I am so deeply grateful for each person, and the gifts of themselves that they bring to our family and to the world.
“Every one of us has inside of us the innate power to heal and help another through the impact of our love.” Deeya
It was movie night, primarily because I was expecting stormy weather. The weather never worsened beyond partly cloudy, wind and a few sprinkles of rain, thankfully. I picked up a DVD any way. I missed this film while it was playing in the theater and took the opportunity to watch it. It is not a Best Picture nominated movie. I viewed it for the pure joy of watching and being entertained, and pondering.
Interstellar stars Matthey McConaughey, John Lithgow, Anne Hathaway, Matt Damon, Michael Caine, Mackenzie Foy, Jessica Chastain, Ellen Burstyn, Timothee Chalamet, and Casey Affleck. It was directed by Christopher Nolan, and is based on the screenplay by Christopher and Jonathan Nolan. This sci-fi/adventure is rated PG-13 for intense action and very brief language and has a run time of 2 hours and 49 minutes.
Set in the near future, the earth is slowly dying, devastated by drought and famine. The crops are failing, mankind’s existence is threatened and everywhere, there is choking dust. The remaining population focuses on growing food and surviving. Coop (McConaughey), once an engineer and astronaut with NASA now farms and hopes for a better future for his children, Tom (Chalamet) and Murphy (Foy). A bright, inquisitive child who is bored in school, Murphy is being visited by an entity she calls her “ghost”. Skeptical at first, Coop tells Murphy to rely on science. Yet he too becomes convinced something is trying to communicate, using gravity and an old form of relaying messages….morse code.
Given coordinates by this mysterious force, Coop and Murphy discover a secret base, where it turns out NASA has not only survived, in a world where technology is no longer supported by humans, but is seeking a way to save mankind. Coop and Murphy meet Professor Brand (Caine), Coop’s former colleague, and his daughter Amelia (Hathaway). NASA has become aware of an anomaly in space, near Saturn, that appears to be a worm hole. Passing through the wormhole, explorers find themselves in an unknown galaxy. The team headed up by Prof. Brand has been sending missions through the anomaly for a decade, seeking a planet to relocate the people of earth to. Three planets have been identified as possible candidates for colonization. That’s Plan A. Plan B is to populate one of the planets with hundreds of frozen human embryos, starting anew.
Coop is asked to head up the crucial mission of visiting the planets to determine suitability. The trip is dangerous, yet it’s the only hope for saving the people of earth. And it may take years. Coop is torn. He wants to stay with his children, who are 10 and 15 years old at this time. Yet it is possible a successful mission will give his children a future, for their generation will be the last to inhabit earth, as the crops continue to fail and the drought continues.
Against his daughter’s wishes, Coop agrees to go. Murphy begs him to stay, telling him she’s figured out the message from the ghost in her room. The word is STAY, written in morse code. Heartbroken to leave his children, especially his daughter, Cooper gives Murphy a promise to return, and a watch that is identical to his so that when he returns, they can compare the time. Leaving his son and daughter with his father-in-law (Lithgow), Coop joins the team, heading up the mission into space.
The mission is long and fraught with difficult situations and deep disappointments. It would appear that the three planets were not as promising as hoped. The first planet is nothing but water. Amelia Brand, who is with Cooper on the mission, wants to head to the planet that was explored by a man she loves. Coop wants to go where the data is better. They only have enough fuel for one more visit. Amelia proposes that love is a guiding force, as important or perhaps even more important, than data. Cooper makes the decision, relying on science. The discover that the data on Dr. Mann’s (Damon) planet has been falsified. The fear of dying alone drove Dr. Mann to deception. The team has wasted their last attempt to find a habitable planet.
Time is passing on earth, much faster than it is for the team members in space. Cooper’s daughter, Murphy (now played by Chastain) is the age he was when he left earth. She works diligently with Professor Brand, looking for solutions to save the planet. Occasionally, she and her brother, (now played by Affleck) transmit messages into space to their father, who can receive them but not respond. They assume their father is dead, but send messages anyway. One such message, directed to Brand, tells her that her father has passed away, and with his dying breath, he confessed that there is no hope for earth. They are all going to die. Murphy asks, through her tears, if Amelia and Cooper knew that. Did he leave his children behind to starve and suffocate?
Coop decides to return to earth. He is foiled by Dr. Mann. With only himself and Amelia surviving on the team, and knowing that years are passing on earth, he decides to slingshot around the black hole that is in this strange galaxy and use the last of their fuel to go to the third planet. At the last moment, Coop jettison’s himself away in a shuttle, leaving Amelia to go on without him, to carry out Plan B on the planet. Cooper enters the black hole, and rather than dying, he finds himself in a multi-dimensional place. He can see his daughter’s bedroom, from the time she was young to the present, all at once as time is overlapping here. Love drew him there, and he realizes that he was the ghost that came to his daughter to send a message. When the word STAY doesn’t keep his younger self from leaving on the mission, he downloads data to the watch that he gave his daughter, using morse code and the second hand on the watch. His daughter as an adult figures out the message and realizes that her dad returned to leave it.
Cooper passes out….and awakens in a hospital on a space station near Saturn. Much time has passed on earth, but he still looks to be middle aged. His message worked. The people of earth were saved with most of them living now on space stations. He has an emotional reunion with his daughter, (lastly played by Burstyn) who is now elderly, and dying. She sends her father to join Amelia, who is carrying out her mission on the third planet, alone.
I enjoyed this movie. I love science fiction, and especially one that has a time travel theme. This one not only explored anomalies in space, it explored big themes such as honesty, humor, survival, love and the connection between a parent and a child. Love was at the heart of this movie. Everything Cooper did was inspired by his love for his children, and the deep desire to see them survive and thrive. Love instinctively led him where he needed to go. Amelia tells Cooper, “Love is the one thing we’re capable of perceiving that transcends time and space.” I agree. Love is the constant, the fabric of the universe. I am still discovering its depth and its power to transcend.
Valentine’s Day, the day of celebrating love, is not a happy day for everyone. For some it is a painful or lonely holiday. This is also Random Acts of Kindness Week. My desire for today’s first was to combine the two events by handing out roses to people. What happened was that the first became much more intentional, rather than random! It was a sweet experience.
A busy day kept me from doing my first until this evening. By the time I headed out to buy flowers and give them away, the sun was setting and a beautiful full moon was rising. It seemed appropriate, somehow. And it influenced my choice of roses. I had envisioned buying yellow roses, for friendship. What I selected were gorgeous roses as white as the moon that was shining brightly in the velvet sky.
I asked to be guided to people who could use a smile and a reminder that someone cares about them. And the fun began. The first recipient was the cashier at the store where I made my purchase. She admired the roses as I dug in my purse for money. The look on her face as I handed her one, and wished her a Happy Valentine’s Day, was priceless. My focus became people who were working this evening, while others were out on special dates. The girl who handed me my tea at Sonic got a rose as did the young lady behind the counter in McDonalds.
I enjoyed my stroll through this fast food restaurant. McDonald’s isn’t a common destination for Valentine’s dinner. There were four men present, each sitting alone, engrossed in their computers or cell phones. I walked by each one and dropped a rose on their tables, wishing them a happy day. The three older men gave me startled looks, smiled and thanked me. As I walked toward the last guy, a considerably younger man who had been listening to music, he removed his earbuds and looked at me with a hopeful expression. I laughed as I gave him his rose. He beamed.
My last stop was to one of my favorite places in Joplin, Cupcakes by Liz, on Main Street. I knew Liz, Jim and their staff had put in a very long and busy day. I gave my last roses to the ladies working so diligently in the kitchen, baking and boxing up beautiful edible creations. I left feeling really good about making a dozen people smile tonight, and hopefully, feel appreciated. I didn’t leave Cupcakes by Liz empty handed though. Happy Valentine’s Day to me!