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

 

ELEnxtZBRPuo2QjnL7mPOw

 

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)

Advertisements

“More Stars in the Sky Than Grains of Sand on Earth.”

I have read that there are more stars in the sky than grains of sand on the Earth, and it certainly seemed to be true the night Brad and I camped at Whiskeytown Shasta – Trinity National Recreation Area in northern California. The vastness of the Universe has held humanity’s attention for eons—and tonight was no exception for me. It was a rather spontaneous stop garnered by a quick internet search earlier that afternoon.  Yes, we were able to reserve a camp spot—and even pay the nominal fee over the phone with a credit card.  That was the easy part. As was our greeting by the National Park security who checked our name off the list and gave us verbal instructions and a cryptic map which designated our “C-16” spot that would be our “home” and rest spot for the night. However, by the time we reached the parking lot—complete darkness had set in—and in spite to producing two small flashlights—the layout—the paths—the markings and the darkness made the discovery of our campsite a bit of a challenge.  Was this a metaphor for us, for humanity as well?

Our persistence paid off and after about 45 minutes, our 3-4 minute walk downhill to the water and our camp site numerous times had us somewhat settled in—tent, sleeping bags and even two folding chairs—which provided the scenic views to the heavens.  We literally tailgated on the back of the pickup truck on the asphalt parking lot finishing cold chicken and fruit and by 11:00 P.M. found ourselves back down sitting in our observation chairs—sipping a glass of wine and relaxing in the fairly quiet wilderness.  (The “neighbors” kids finally began to get quiet and the dog was at last peaceful—lol—woof-woof.) So much as a break from suburbia!

As I stared out into the heavens, I wondered, what lay beyond the boundaries of our human existence?  Who were we really, behind the cloaked veil that our daily lives consumed?  And, where did we come from?  There are many who believe that we are seeded from the stars—that philosophy, when I thought about it, felt right.  Were we seeded from the Pleadians two hundred thousand years ago?  Were these light beings our divine parents from a lineage billions of years old?   Were we the “new kids” on the block? There were many indigenous and ancient peoples whose creation story linked us to the stars—and each story to each other, even though there was no means of communication between them.  These stories were etched and painted upon the caves and artifacts over the millennium.  There were sightings of lights where no electricity existed—Mt. Shasta was certainly one—Hawaii and Uluru were other places of magic. Our knowledge so limited, and our technology still primitive—gave us little understanding of the vastness and infinite makings of the multiverses and galaxies beyond our closest frontiers.

And, so it was, as I drifted off to sleep—thinking about my adventure to east Texas to reclaim my old MGB with my friend Brad and the stars that filled my imagination and my fascination.  It had been a long hot day and we had already crossed many miles when my tired body laid upon the air mattress. What did we really know?

%d bloggers like this: