15.12.17

Wild

Every morning, I try to hike my version of 'wild.' Perhaps wild enough to know that we need time to be tame. 

While I imagine that I can be Cheryl Strayed or Reese Withersoon in the book or movie versions not yet having hiked alone the entire almost five miles around the entire lake, appreciating my morning can sometimes be a struggle. Sometimes it goes smoothly because I tried with every effort to be patient. Other times, I wish I hadn't become so frustrated and yelled so much at N. for fear of not walking out quickly enough and missing the schoolbus.

Some mornings are certainly wilder than others. Once N. is off to school, it's time to go on a not-so-epic hike. A not-so-into-the-wild one. 

A time to be gentle with myself. 

Even with the bunyan-esque trees swaying in the wind that whips just a bit on chilling days, this manageble time -- even in the wilderness of Burke Lake -- is delicious. 

I am completely alone. The trail is big enough that other hikers, runners or walkers are space out enough that we don't bother each other. It's quiet time to clear my mind or just spend time with those whom I miss terribly -- my Dad, my dearest friend -- especially with the holidays approaching. 


On the coldest days, the shallowest parts of the lake have the thinnest sheet of ice as geese and ducks glide along the edge.

And I imagine that I am just as fancy-free to go about my day.

Wishing you some delicious time to yourself before the holidays swoop us into the wild. 

26.11.17

Life changing breaths

o sweet silence 
that speaks when there are no words
i try . . . to breathe in 
-- acceptance
i breathe out -- 
i try . . . to embrace transition and impermanence
o sweet silence
that allows the best to come through me 
at any moment


This past weekend, I was grateful to have attended my monthly all-day meditation sangha. It has been tremendously comforting as I continue to mourn the loss of my dear friend and celebrate in memories too. [Also thankful that my enthusiastic N. is inspired to meditate for an entire two minutes, which can certainly be challenging for a 5yo!]

5.11.17

Meet me where the sky touches the lake

I've been putting off writing about my best friend's sudden death. Not wanting it to be true. 

Ethel died. She's gone. 

Now that I see it in writing, it's much too raw, too real. 

We met at such a pivotal time of burgeoning adolescence in our lives. Our deep connection carried us into young adulthood. Even with different careers and adult friends, we have always managed to get together and stay caught up. 

Ethel and I saw each other through our crushes, dating trials and relationships, and she has been an amazing long distance tita, always thoughtful in sending the coolest presents to my daughter since she was born. 

Funny enough Ethel is 20 years older than Devyn, her daughter, my goddaughter. I am 40 years older than my daughter, Nayla; and (Ate) Devyn is 20 years older than Nayla. The magic of our intimate wisdom circle is exquisite. 

This past week and a half, so many memories engulfed me in my quiet moments, especially during my walk/runs along the lake . . . 

* Ethel and I first met at the Academy of St. Aloysius Higher Efficiency (HEP) prorgram. It's amazing how the universe works. Out of all the participating 12-year-olds, the universe brought us together as friends. 

* We spent a summer posting flyers on cars in the parking lot of Hudson Mall to promote (her dad's) Tito Nards' Bayonne-based business. 

* We auditioned for plays together at St. Peter's Prep. 

* After spending a weekend visit with me in college at Rutgers (New Brunswick), she called to tell me that she was pregnant. At first, I thought she was once again testing my gullibility. (Admittedly, she shared, apparently being sick, on the pill and taking antibiotics were not a good mix.)

* In our twenties, our celebratory birthday and casual meetup dinners steered us toward Cafe Espanol in The Village, where we feasted on seafood paella and drank the evening away with a pitcher of sangria and found ourselves sitting on the bathroom floor laughing hysterically because we were oh so drunk (with love for each other too!) and still had to make our way home back on the PATH. 

I am so grateful that Ethel, Dev, Nayla and I have shared in a couple of soirees together. I will forever celebrate Ethel's creative light, her impeccable style whether it's fashion, music, or interior design. She has never stopped following her ever enhancing desires and dreams. Most recently, she was studying reiki energy healing. 

Her (and Justin's) most remarkable blessing shines so radiantly. It is an honor to know Devyn, who inspires me with her courage and passion for all that she does around the arts, social justice, and for her friend and family circles. 

I will miss you terribly, my dearest Ethel. No more fanciful notes in the mail, no more facetime calls. As I mourn and learn to embrace impermanence, I drink to your extraordinary and brilliant (as Ethel's brother Rey put it) light. My heart is aglow with wonderful memories of you. 

Let there be no doubt, my memory is long and wide, sister of mine. 

So twisted it is that you should die in the autumn when fall bursts with its last beauty, and nature saves up for the grand finale. With every walk in the dying leaves, I will remember your brilliance.

Meet me where the sky touches the lake, my dearest friend.