Thursday, June 28, 2018

Variations on the Melody of Love - Part 3

Lana on the deck of our cabin

See Part 1 here, see Part 2 here

I'm always learning. I listen closely to people, even strangers, and they unknowingly teach me what to do, but also what not to do. For instance (small thing): I hate doing dishes by hand. I've always had a dishwasher. There is no way a dishwasher fits into my kitchen now. Even though I've explored all possibilities, the drawer kind, the shelf kind, the box kind and even a portable is out of the question. So a blogmate recently wrote about making dish-washing a kind of meditation at the end of the day and I find this extraordinarily peaceful and think: I am so very fortunate to still be able to stand and do wishes even with my PVD as I can lean on the counter if needed, but yes, taking care of one's self involves washing dishes and leaving a welcoming clean kitchen for the morning. Thank you, Kate.

So Lana, upstairs in the cabin, made friends with this enormous tree outside of one of her windows. She'd come down in the mornings and tell me about the movements of the tree, how it was reacting to the sun (light and shadow, ever changing) and how the rustling sound of it soothed her thoughts and kept her present in the moment. The tree was speaking to her every day.

I sat outside with her and we watched this particular tree together and looked at the many colours of green and the interweaving gentle branches and how it sheltered us and we speculated how it was watching us as we were watching it. Extraordinary to take that kind of time with someone else. Normally I would read a book or knit or write. But I sat with her and did absolutely nothing.

Now, if you're ever wondering where to eat when you are travelling and if you can, try the local golf club restaurant if there is one. A tourist who stayed with me back in the B&B days passed this tip on from her father who was a world traveller. We tried our local golf club the second day of our stay and were bowled over with the quality of the food and reasonable prices and fantastic service. So we went back on the 4th day.

And it was there that Lana sat staring at me across the table for what seemed like an eternity and then put her slightly shaking hands flat on the table and taking a huge breath said:
"We go back a long way, WWW, and I'm wondering if you could answer this big question I'm going to put to you. If you can't, I'll understand but there is no one else for me to ask."

I couldn't even think of anything she would want to ask me, but I nodded: why of course.

"Have you noticed any major changes in me? I'm thinking physical, mental, emotional or spiritual?"

My heart skipped a beat. I couldn't stop the sudden rush of tears to my eyes. I took my time. Sweet Goddess help me, I thought. Truth? Fudging? Evasion?

"Yes," I whispered, "Yes, yes I have, Lana."

And then our real conversations began.

See Part 4 here.


  1. What a brave woman your Lana is!

  2. I still have to read one and two but loved this. Advancing age, I think, makes us more comfortable with truths we may have shied away from in earlier years. Your comments about washing dishes reminded me of "Peace Is Every Step" by Thich Nhat Hanh. He says exactly that. Give the task your whole attention and it becomes a meditation.

  3. I loved reading this even as my heart was breaking for you both. She shows great courage in asking this question as do you for telling her the truth. And, you are right about the meditative nature of tasks. Thanks again for the lovely postcard.

  4. Thank you for bringing us into this conversation between you and Lana. And between you both and the tree! -Kate

  5. So much to take in and learn from in this post. Truly seems you two were meant to take this trip together, and I mean that in more ways than one. Thank you for sharing and blessings to both of you. Kim in PA

  6. I don't think, she would ask you , if she didn't really want to know.
    I am sure you made the right decision because you know all the circumstances and her.

    1. My mother was asked this question by the daughter of a friend( the daughter wanted to know mom's opinion of HER mother).
      She told her she wasn't qualified to make that kind of decision. It really took my mom by surprise.
      I do think we all needed to hear this conversation and thank you so much for sharing and looking forward to the rest of the story, your opinion and actions soothe me.

  7. I've been washing dishes for 50 years, sometimes with dishwasher, sometimes without -- doesn't make much difference to me. I love the warm soapy water, the clanking of the plates, the satisfaction you get when it's all done, and the appreciation you get from everyone, esp. the cook. Love ur touching account of Lana.


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