Willard

You know, every once in a while, someone comes along—and you have a hard time forgetting them. Maybe it’s a lover? A teacher? A bestie from school? Willard was none of those things, but an unforgettable pillar of strength, courage and love.

I had picked up (another) Cathy in Denver. We knew each other from the Pineal Tones choirs, and she offered to join me on the last leg of my journey home. I wanted to camp,  and being by myself in the woods—didn’t seem like such an astute idea. There was always safety in numbers, right?

So, at her suggestion, we had landed at the Loft Mountain Campground, which is part of the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, also known as The Blue Ridge Mountains. The forecast called for rain, this particular Wednesday, our first day in the park, so we ventured off to Mt. Vernon—beloved home of George Washington, and a figure near and dear to my heart. The next day, we agreed to hike down to what was called

Lower Doyles River Falls, weather cooperating. And, so it was that we set off down the trail to the falls. We were just getting started when we came upon an older gentleman standing off the path dressed appropriately in hiking boots, and wearing long hiking style khaki pants, buttoned shirt, army green fishing vest, cap and glasses on a cord hanging around his neck. We stopped to say hello, and he showed us a small acorn under his magnifying glass. He confided that he was an artist—but seemed somewhat shaken after our conversation—as we parted ways—-asking if it was alright if we gave him a hug good-bye.

I had seen him at his campsite when we slowly drove the asphalt drive into the campground, looking for the spot to we would call home for the next three days. However—somehow his apparent circumstances stood out from the “normal” RV,  family, couple or weekend hiker; he was sorting things at his picnic table, as we passed by.

After our “chance” encounter, we visited him several more times, and invited him to our campsite two nights later to enjoy the campfire. He shared his artwork, which was neatly contained in a folder. His story seems unremarkable—just a guy traveling by himself—camping—until you realize that he was 86 years old and had gotten wind that “they” were getting ready to place him in a nursing home. What, I thought? There was nothing about this man that warranted placing him in a facility for the aged or ill. He

 shared that he had lived in Vermont for 40+ years—built his home there. His wife of many years had passed several years before and he had a daughter who lived in the LA area. He had a sister that wanted him to live with her in Virginia.

Getting wind of obviously someone’s else’s plans for him, he told us that he bought a copy of Consumer Reports—found the most reliable and economical car they advised and traded in his old one. He found a close-out tent for $24.00 and collected the rest of the miscellaneous camping supplies he would need—and off he went. Arizona was where he spent last winter and felt he would be heading back that way when the weather began to turn. He knew he didn’t want to be around the inclement winters because as he said, he didn’t want to slip on the ice and break a hip.

My mind since, has reflected back to my own Mother and her circumstances and her desire to live her remaining days in her home; a wish my brother-in-law refused to honor. Things are not always as they seem. But, Willard’s story brings up many ideas about parking people in nursing homes—when they are in fact vibrant, and “not ready” to be housed in group homes. Where is the freedom to choose? And, where does that truth lie?

As we were parting good-bye, we wished him well on his journey. He wished us well too. There was a soul connection and something profound and unspoken, we all knew; we could feel it. We also knew that there would be no way to remain in contact; this was it. No email. A sister’s address for legal purposes. A flip phone with limited airtime. No text. I had the knowing it was just the way it was meant to be. As we said our good-byes, he stopped. “You know, on the trail, that first day, I was a bit shaken,” he confided. I had witnessed his welling-up but had said nothing. I saw your light, he said, and it startled me. I smiled and so did Cathy. “I am keeping this as a reminder, he softly noted looked us in the eyes and then slid the tiny acorn into his shirt pocket. I smiled again and gave him another hug. We walked away.

Ironically, the acorn, is a symbol of strength and power. That was who he was—and that was what he held in his hand. It is the same for us. No matter where our life starts—or from our own humble beginnings, we All have the ability, just like the Willard and the tiny acorn. We have the strength like the mighty oak; it’s not inside some of us. It’s inside All of us! We need only to believe. Namasté

 

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About Cathrine Silver

Cathrine Silver, HC, AADP, is a Certified Holistic Health Coach in private practice in Lauderdale by the Sea, Florida. She works collaboratively with clients on their desires regarding disease, relationships, spirituality, and loss. Suffering through her own loss in 2005, Cathrine motivates and empowers others to be the heroes in their own lives, becoming fully responsible for their own happiness, joy and well-being.

Cathrine holds a degree in Speech Communication from the University of Washington, is a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and holds certifications in Reiki, Matrix Energetics, Hypnosis, Biological Decoding and Grief Counseling. She is the author of the book, Riding the Light Beam: How Any Woman Can Find the Hero

www.Cathrinesilver.com (Website)

www.cathysilver.me (Blog)

cathysilverhealth@gmail.com (email)

Cathy Silver Holistic Healing (Facebook)

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Cindy & Chris

Cindy and Chris—two different lives—two different stories; each similar in their truth.  Today, gathering ingredients for the mango salsa, I made a trip to the newly opened Fresh Market near my home.  It is really not a grocery store, but more of a delightful shopping experience.  As, I approached the check out register, a short grey haired woman wearing glasses and dressed in the market’s trademark colors stood waiting as I approached.  Smiling she asked, “are you ready to check out?  “Yes”, I said, and continued, “this is a dangerous store with all the wonderful temptations around each turn of my shopping cart”.  She nodded, and I push the metal basket into the designated parking spot by her register.

Sometimes, short conversations ensue as customer stands—and clerk works quickly sliding bar codes over the red laser lights and typing in proper codes.  We exchanged a few words about salsa—her husband making a batch made with mangos the evening before; their tree full with bounty.

And, how are you today, I politely inquired about half way through the process.  Well, confessed, Cindy—as I read her name tag, “I am getting over a cold”.  Hum, I thought—and then spoke.  I guess your biology is catching up to your new higher vibration”.  She stopped and smiled.  “I am happy again”, she replied in earnest.  I looked  her in the eyes.  And in a few minutes she told me her story.  “I used to work at Fresh Market—the one down by Broward,” (Ave) she told me.  “Things got unbearable and I left.  I worked at a call center as a supervisor for three years and would be pacing in the hall getting yelled at. (My mind drifted and I pictured a hallway with plainly painted nondescript walls and squares of dull vinyl tiling desperately needing to be cleaned and waxed.) “I came back here when this store opened.  I am so happy—in fact all the weight I gained just fell off” and she rubbed her hand across her belly.  I was astonished for she was a rather thin woman “I believe you;  you are saying my vibration rose because I am happy—and the cold is proof.”  Yep, I said smiling.  Pretty cool, huh.  I know it’s true.  I haven’t been this happy in a long time.  We parted smiling.  I headed for home, I would be back.

My friend Chris is another story.  Another career experience.  What was being tested?  What wisdom did he gain? Offered an opportunity to work in St. Croix several months ago, he sold or gave away everything he owned, except two suitcases of basic necessities, his cat and 2000 lbs. of tools, heading to the Caribbean for what seemed to be a dream job.  Six+ weeks later, he is heading home.  “The guy doesn’t have an ounce of integrity—and I don’t ever see it changing,” he told me over the phone.  The apartment he was supposed to have wasn’t ready for several weeks after he arrived.  The job was not what he went down there to do—and his beloved companion and familiar friend, Tigger got sick.  It was then that he made the decision to come back to Florida—and start over.  “I think this is one of the toughest experiences of my life”, he said in another conversation; I could certainly hear that in his voice.   But, just like Cindy, a new job awaits him here, with a company he knows that works with honesty; a prerequisite for him and was for Cindy too.

We all seem to survive the bumps in the road.  It is part of life that we don’t really understand, but adds flavor to our ride.  I guess we could say, it might be quite boring in the other direction.  Gilda Radner once noted, “Some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end.  Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious ambiguity . . .”   Each “adventure” we take always brings choice—do we make our decision based from the standpoint of love or fear—which is it that guides our way?   Gary Zukav, well known author of the book, The Seat of the Soul,  says this, The choice that frees or imprisons us is the choice of love or fear. Love liberates. Fear imprisons.

In the end, it’s about being honest with one person—our self.  Stay strong and do your best with whatever situation you face following your instincts.  Remember, to somehow enjoy your ride, difficult as it is in the moment; temporary as the weather.  You must pick the path that’s right for you; after all it’s your own story and your truth. But do it with love because love liberates you and sets you free, especially when taking the leap into the vast unknown. We’re all stronger than we know.

“Inspired Wellness From Within”

Cathrine Silver, HC, AADP

http://www.CathrineSilver.com

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