What if?

I am sitting under the tree that still has many leaves to shed. Those already fallen, spread around my feet, a carpet of gold.

I had to come outside. With the walls pressing in, fresh air was needed.

The temperature of the world has surely gone down this past week as the world reels in the wake of atrocities with many innocent caught in the middle.

Little ones, growing ones, parents and elders.

Easter Saturday: suspended & heightened. The liminal space we find ourselves in during this pandemic.

Easter Saturday. A day of waiting, of unknown. liminal, empty, uncertain. A day of dark, of facing death and loss. A day of grief, of resistance and perhaps gradual acceptance. A day of feeling all the losses, all the pain and sorrows, a day of not turning the other way, but simply and profoundly: being with. As hard and uncomfortable as that may be.

What is happening on this day is not visible to the eye. It is stirring beneath the surface, perhaps imperceptible to the point of nothing. But there is something happening, for even simply bearing the unknown is something. To not turn away even when we don’t know how to move forward is transformative.

To breath through whatever feelings may be coursing through our bodies, while not gasping for distraction or any kind of numbing, is piercing and is alot. We come out the other side changed and ready for Easter, for resurrection, for new life. But in order to truly come out the other side, it seems that Easter Saturday, this liminal, achy, lost, nothing-ness but alot-ness needs to happen and is part of the recipe for awakening, for spring.

As a teen I began contemplating how Easter Saturday might have felt to the friends of Jesus. They who truly didn’t know about Sunday being round the corner. Who were only feeling the loss and confusion. They who didn’t have the benefit of the future, of knowing that resurrection – as promised as it might have been – actually would come to pass. How would that day of emptiness, of coming to terms with the death of their most beloved friend and teacher have felt? Devastating we can imagine, as we all have had such moments, days, weeks and years, when that which was most dear to us, most important, was gone to our perceptions and knowledge. Gone. With no guarantee of return.

Today and these past weeks, as our whole human family faces and deals with the covid-19 pandemic, I feel we are in a long, drawn-out Easter Saturday. A time when life is suspended and heightened. When the Unknown looms larger than ever. Grief is at our finger tips and takes over in waves. Fear crawls just under the surface and explodes here and there. Hope sparks and swells, hope for a saner tomorrow. We are waiting, while our former lives are upended, up rooted in suspension.

An image that has come to me during these weeks is of autumn leaves tossed up in the air. The leaves are up there, swirling, suspended. They have not landed yet. What the collective result of this pandemic and our collective response to it will be, is not yet known. All is tossed in the air.

As my husband (and main companion in sense making around this unprecedented and historical moment) has pointed out: as we seek to understand what is really going on in the multi-layered, suspended and heightened moment we are now living, there are so many dimensions, agendas and forces at work, it can be near impossible to get a complete picture. What we can do, however, is to look back to say November of last year, and notice all the vectors already at play then. For what we do know of this moment, is that all is heightened, and each of these vectors, these agendas, is now on steroids.

All are seizing this moment is one way or another.

Those whose call it was to become a spiritual teacher or supportive coach, now have a window in which to step up with wisdom to share.

Those interested in confusing the population and disseminating false news, or simply shocking with the latest dramatic news, what a moment.

Those who have long felt our earth needs a pause, here finally a chance to reconsider our trajectory.

Those who are amongst the most decent of humans, ready to simply serve, are showing up with such fervour and courage, we can only bow in appreciation and cheer with the fullest of hearts.

Those whose deepest need was to stop, to pause, and rest, are finding an invitation to do so now.

Those who are keen on mandatory vaccination, are seeing this as their moment.

Those who have been working tirelessly for greater income equality, now their efforts are finding an opening.

Those who have been scheming for more authoritarian regime, this is their moment too.

Those who always knew that gardening was a quiet revolution, now is their time.

Those who see individual freedoms as nuisance, now have a moment to squash these.

Those who have longed for greater collaboration, it is happening.

Those who have always carried care for the whole at the centre of their beings, this too is their moment to act in a heightened way, even if just by staying home, but also in tireless research for treatment of this virus, in care for the sick, in providing essential services, in leading with integrity.

There are many many forces at work, all of their agendas, all of their vectors experiencing and making use of this heightened moment in the course of our human unfolding.

These forces — both those aiming for greater good, beauty and truth, as well as those aiming for the opposites — are on steroids at present. Heightened. Intensified.

And what the outcome will be when we consider all these vectors, all these individual and collective wills and actions, decisions and values — all these leaves thrown up in the air — is not yet decided. We don’t know what the outcome will be. We feel the intensity. We are feeling all the days of the Easter Journey — death, the in-between, and the resurrection — all at play simultaneously.

And perhaps most of all: we are feeling and experiencing the “in between” — the Easter Saturday part of the journey. We don’t know if Easter Sunday will happen. We don’t have the benefit of knowing the future and being reassured by it. We don’t have assurance. It could go either way. Collapse and constriction, or renewal into healing and care for the Whole. Or a mix of all of it.

Held in liminal space, with vectors flying in all directions, this is our moment to encourage the breeze to move those leaves in the direction of greatest goodness, truth and beauty.

This is our moment to encourage trajectories of kindness, forgiveness, sustainability, coherence building, sovereignty and dignity. This is our moment to nurture every strand of connection, insight and care.

This is the undecided, elongated moment wherein the tides could turn, as a whole, one way or the other.

And so, my dear beauty makers, goodness tenders and truth tellers, let us do our best to help the breezes blow in the direction of sanity for this humanity, this planet, and all that lives within and upon it. May resurrection happen. May we find our way to what we have been dreaming, hoping, praying and working for.

The ways to do this are as myriad as we are. For some it may be tending to their children with presence. For others it may be fervent dedicated prayer. For some, gardening. For others, thinking out of the box and helping create meta-systemic change. The paths are many. The potential of resurrection, of a next stage in our humanity to actually feel like Easter Sunday, like the most wondrous spring morning, is with us. May we show up for it.

With all my love,

Our World in Flux: Coronavirus and our Ability to Respond

CORONAVIRUS – REFLECTIONS & SUGGESTIONS on how to take personal responsibility.

After tracking COVID-19 since early February and sifting through dozens of medical and scientific, as well as public health reports and docs and, of course as so many of you, reading plenty of media, and chatting with friends and neighbors, here some reflections and suggestions:

To start – so much of what is conveyed in the media, social and otherwise, falls into one or another version of fear activation — this could be a flight reaction (avoidant, detached, downplaying), a fight reaction (panic, hoard, fret), or freeze (don’t know what to do, feel stuck and powerless). This is understandable. And each person we encounter, whatever their reaction may be, deserves to be met with respect and care (including ourselves!).

At the same time, I’d like to suggest a response that seeks to come from an educated, compassionate, courageous, and proactive stance. For this we need to hold multiple perspectives and integrate multiple feelings. 

Read more

To Let Come

To Let Come

I am not a calendar with
Straight lines etched across my self
And tidy numbers telling me
Which day and month I am
And which page I should next be turning,
Which intentions I must be setting and what should be released

Instead I lay beside the winter coat
Of the hibernating bear
And borrow her slumber for a while

Read more

Befriending the Dark – A Solstice Reflection

What is it we fear so
This dark time of year?

We cover up the dark with glitter
Lights and noise and stuff and lists
Busy days, excess plastic and wrapping
Good stuff too — food and song and sweet gifts

Evolving Traditions — Keeping the Spark Alive

Once upon a time, when my daughter was a wee lassie, I spent a few evenings bent over the sewing machine, stitching together little bags from colourful scraps. Twenty-four bags to mark the journey of Advent for her, a cherished tradition from my childhood in Switzerland that I wanted to pass on. The bags were then filled with “pretty little things” as she would call them, and sometimes a treat (dried mango, chocolate, some nuts). Oh, how she loved this daily gift and preparation toward Christmas! It suited her 4-year old self quite perfectly. Read more

She did it!

In my home country – Switzerland – on All Soul’s Day – we wander to the cemeteries, and honor the dead. The cemeteries in the small mountain villages are alive with young and old, visiting their loved ones who have travelled on.

This year my grandmother died. I spent a week with her, just before she passed. It was a holy week, I will cherish it for always.
And tonight some words arise as I sit here in Canada, visiting my grandmother on this All Soul’s Day with my thoughts, memories and the heart that knows no distance. May your loved ones who have crossed the threshold join you this season when the veil is thin, the moon just a slice.

She did it

A strong heart, beating for over 840,960,000 breaths,
A sparkle of soul, finding the glisten of humor for over a century,
A keen caring mind, ready for wit and reflection for over one thousand two hundred months,
A heart so merry and kind, pouring out generous love for over a century.

A life full of friendship, tended relations, enfolded in a hearth she helped build,
A long life, complete with grace, hardship, pain and blessings,
Choosing over and over again to surrender to what is,
To see the gift hidden in the furrows of human turmoil.

Hands soft and gentle, reaching out in caress till an hour before departure.
A person ready to leave her earthly garment, so very ready.
But how, when there is no sickness and no accident?
How do you get out of a body, an old and fading body, but one with a strong beating heart?

We ponder together. We laugh and we wonder.
A puzzlement not met before.
We wait. Chat. Sing. Touch.
We rest together in the precious lit up moments of an unknown threshold.

And then. She does it.
A nap turns into a change of breath,
A depth of slumber like no other,
Turns into a release of breath.

She did it!
The first words that come to me as I hear of her death.
She did it. She crossed the threshold, over to the other side of the veil.
She left her body behind, she climbed out and on.

Her heart, her over one hundred year old heart stopped beating,
And freed her soul to travel on.
Bless her heart. It was a grand one.
A truly grand mother was she.


My grandmother had a deep abiding love for Mother Mary. I sang this Ave Maria (by Gounod) at her funeral and share the recording here in the spirit of my grandmother and this all soul’s day.

Ave Maria – sung for my grandmother – August 2019 >>

Living and Being Lived Beyond My Self

I had a long chat with my mum this Sunday and am left with a buoyed sense of being held that lingers on into the afternoon, into the evening. As I stand at the kitchen counter, chopping veggies for supper I notice this “heldness” and my thoughts go to the many who don’t have a mama in this earthly form anymore, be this through death or other separation. They don’t have this person in their lives who has known them since little, since in-the-belly times, who has seen them and helped them grow up through the many stages, stumbles, ages, rejoices. One day I too won’t have her to call, to hear her voice any more. That time will come for all of us.

Arising from this reflection, I pour this sense of “heldness” over to those without mother, over to you. It belongs to all. It is not mine to keep, whether it flows from my mother, from our relationship, or not. This heldness is everyone’s birthright, and those of us in the blessed place and space to receive it directly, may we share it out and around so that it touches all those sons and daughters who miss their mamas, to all who don’t feel understood, supported by their parents, to all those who have left their elders far behind on a different continent or worldview. Read more

Eternal Spring Cleaning

My 99-year old grandma continues to inspire me. Ten years ago, when she was still nimble on her feet and energized in her body, she decided to close up her city apartment, sort through all her belongings and move to a home for aged people a few city blocks away. She downsized everything to fit in her new one-room abode. She wanted to do this before she had to. So that she could save someone else having to move her. So that she could take care of her accumulated stuff, clear house and deal with it all herself.

She continues to this day. On an ongoing basis, she clears her things — clothes, photos, this and that. Emptying, sifting, letting go. Emptying, emptying.

I was laughing with her today over the phone, “Soon you’ll be down to nothing!” I say. “I know”, she replies. I just don’t need this stuff anymore. You know, when you’re my age, really, when will I get round to wearing a jacket I still haven’t worn? My sense of time has changed. Now when I look ahead, I ask myself, will I wear this or need that in the next year or so? And if not, well, I really don’t need it around anymore.”

When she dies, we will have very little, if anything to deal with at the level of objects. We will be freed to feel her passing, our loss, her life, our grief, without the burden of stuff. She already gave me the wooden statue of Mary my granddad carved 20 years ago. My daughter has already received the lovely jewelry she coveted. My mum already has the photos of my grandma’s childhood, precious to her. And so on…

My grandma doesn’t wait for change. She senses it and acts. She is connected with the future, with whisperings of what is to come. I find this so refreshing. And rare. Don’t most of us wait to get shoved into our next iteration? We wait till we have to, and in the case of our death, often leave behind crazy amounts of stuff for our loved ones to pour through, sift, sort and organize?

She matches this external clearing with her internal process. In our weekly calls we chat about her death as casually as about the weather. We talk about how she’d love to die, as many of us, peacefully in her sleep. I visualize this with her. We talk about how ready she is. She finds herself gradually pulling back from daily affairs, news, books etc. And simultaneously she is so here, alert and present. She cares and is interested in the current happenings of our lives. She loves my daughter so fully and is interested in her well-being, she who lives and breaths at the other end of the life spectrum.

So, I take my grandma’s ways and let them inspire me. I share them today to inspire you. How can we listen to the future, not with angst or as an escape from our Now, but with a leaning toward and welcoming of what is to come? Carving ourselves out to make space for the new, the next. Emptying and spring cleaning for the Eternity we are all enfolded in, and on our way toward. Not leaving that job, which is each of our’s to do, to someone else.

Thank you Grandma, for your modelling of a way to age and spring clean with your eyes wide open. I gladly follow these footsteps of yours.