Last month I helped a sister sort and pack household and personal items for a move from Phoenix area back to New Hampshire. S
She had been wanting to return to our ancestral state for a few years. November is a pleasant time to be in Arizona and this was the only opportunity to visit and help.
Overall we did well. And, she rightly observed that having a visitor is stressful and I observed that being the visitor can be stressful. It’s simply a difference in routine for each party. Add expectations and old relations from the past into the mix.
But, we both came to a relative place of settledness as we teamed to sort, discard, allow to pass items on to others and pack the remaining. While I might have chosen to do things differently – less is always more for me – I worked to honor her needs. She, too, worked to honor the fact that I took time from teaching, paid the flights and did the bulk of heavy lifting to help her with her desired move. She helped direct and at times just allowed me to move along with the project.
We did hash matters out, laugh at times and take breaks. I had the honor of meeting many of her friends in Arizona who expressed concern and appreciation for her.
At first, I was uncomfortable in the senior home watching frail folks maneuver the halls, pick up mail, sit in the lobby and gather for meals. Then, as I grounded and settled in, I came to admire the tenacity and love of life these folks have. Their humor in spite of the grimness of some of their lives. Their levity and sharing of memories. How they help each other through their transitions in life.
Much of this ability came from walking labyrinths early in the visit when we both needed space. Phoenix area has many lovely labyrinths and two are fairly close to the residence.
Circle of Peace labyrinth in Peoria, AZ, sits just to the left of the church in a large open space. Rock lined with a gravel path, this fifty-foot wide seven-circuit labyrinth is anchored in the center with a large cross. Although cars speed past on the main road, the labyrinth feels peaceful enough. And, a good posture that I took was to remind myself that in life distractions are all around. We can focus on those or be present and stay centered. Quail and doves picked at grit on the far side and flew off only when I rounded a corner and approached them.
Unity Spiritual Center in Sun City, AZ, was what I needed. A lovely entrance soothed my spirit. The surrounding flowers and shrubs added softness to the brilliant autumn sun. A bunny sat and watched as I paused, felt cares flow away and began to walk. Here is where I was able to come to centeredness and the place of remembering that I was in Arizona to help my sister open to possibilities, and more important to meet her needs as much as possible.
Time did not allow other visits to nearby labyrinths so that means a return visit to the area!
We day-tripped to Sedona, meeting friends who live there and searching out the “Snoopy” and “Lucy” rock figures and were successful in both ventures. Along the way, we took in Montezuma’s Castle where migratory birds flocked and flute music wafted through the valley. In Sedona, I took a short walk along a path and came across another labyrinth of sorts – a lichen pattern on a rock that resembled a labyrinth. Quite charming. And, the stillness. Ah, the stillness. We need more of that in our lives.
Perhaps these centerings led to a significant exchange one evening when at a low point my sister agreed to receive healing energy. What an honor. I opened to Divine Spirit asking to simply be a conduit for healing energy. The peacefulness that gently touched us was the balm needed in this time of decisions, changes and letting go.
Guided by Divine Love.