There is work for you to do today

Fred and Esther napping together...a first

Fred and Esther napping together…a first

This past Monday morning I woke up thinking about two friends. One was taking a short trip to the ocean, the other was running in the Boston Marathon. Both had asked me to join them, but because of my schedule, I wasn’t able to go. As it happened, my day opened up on Monday (and it was a gorgeous day) so I thought maybe I’d surprise my friend and meet her at the finish line of the marathon. I thought about the spot where I’d stood, in happy anticipation, the other years I’d been with her, and imagined her surprise as I called her name, but decided not to do it. “I decided” to track her progress on my phone instead, and spent the day doing necessary errands, took a little drive, and got back home about 4pm, somewhat confused that I hadn’t received her finishing time (I’d gotten her times at all the major points and the last one before the finish was the 30K mark and she was doing really well).

I made a bowl of popcorn and sat on the couch to watch the end of a movie that I’d started days ago, but before I turned on the video, the network news was showing the Boston Marathon scene.

My mind couldn’t grasp it. It was as if I was in a different world. They were showing the spot where I’d stood the previous years, the one I had visualized that morning… and an explosion?! A bomb?! Right there?! I started shaking as I thought about something that my mind could not possibly grasp…still can’t. All day yesterday, I felt my heart going out to the people gathered on that spot. I was unable to reach my friend but was confident that she was OK, and was most assuredly helping out others if they would let her….she’s that kind of person, but “How can I help?” was the question going through my mind. What came to me, late in the afternoon on Tuesday was, “You cannot figure out, or make sense of this. You are here now. You are alive, and there is work for you to do in this world.”

So today I am doing what I know to do. I am first of all, appreciating Life. I can be of no help to others if I’m down so low that they need to lift me up. I was in that space Monday night and Tuesday and I had so much loving help from those not intimately involved with the incident.

Sometimes, when a tragedy strikes, we feel that we must be in despair so we can join those despairing, but we are so depleted in that state, that we have little to give. There are those despairing today. I can “join them” in my heart by feeling and seeing a more expanded view of life. This is not saying, “buck up” or “there must be a reason” or any other trite response. For me, the most helpful prayer is when I can go within and Know that we are in bodies (and in these bodies there can be terrible suffering, terrible tragedy) but we are not our bodies,…we are essentially, beyond time and space.

We truly are all part of one “Body”, one Mind, whether we are in the physical state of being or not. And so, when I am able to, I drop into that field of awareness and pray from there. It is a wonderful thing that we are all not down at the same time. This is the way we help each other; we hold a higher vision when we can, and let others hold it for us, when we cannot.

I feel that a day of appreciation might be in order. Please share your thoughts of appreciation and thankfulness if you are moved to do so, and feel free to ask for prayer if you need it.

I am very grateful for the loving community of friends gathered here today. Thank you all.

Appreciation is the highest form of prayer, for it acknowledges the presence of good wherever you shine the light of your thankful thoughts.”  Alan Cohen

57 thoughts on “There is work for you to do today

  1. Mary, you could not have written a more meaningful post and your comment about allowing ourselves to get down to the pain of other people and it not being helpful, that we need to be stronger than that in order to help and pass on our strength, I hope is how you’ve meant to write it. It’s what I’ve taken from your message this morning. The Boston Marathon, the Twin Towers, the massacre at Sandy Hook, whatever God there may be must be weeping for humankind. We pollute and kill our own. I am grieving with all the devastation that is happening in our world. It is unknown to me how people could have so little regard for human life that I have no idea where to put my grief. Thank you for this morning’s post.
    SandyP in Canada

    • Thank you Sandy. When I am not feeling strong, I ask for help from those who are…I’ve learned to be honest with myself (not to be falsely strong or falsely needy) and I try to stay out of my questioning mind, get clear and say, “what, if anything, am I to do? How can I help?” If no answer comes then I know to get calm inside and imagine light spreading out from my heart (and I find it helps to hug a cat!)

      • Mary, thanks for the link. I’ve bookmarked it. It’s odd how, growing up as an only child (with lots of wonderful relatives around me) I never felt the need to be responsible for another person other than, I guess, myself. Then, my two children came along and bang, something happened….a mother bear with her cubs, a feeling that I had to be very responsible for these children. My husband died when they were four and six and that feeling became all the more intense. When something happened, I had to ‘do’ something about it. It’s marked my life since. It’s never occured to be to ‘do’ nothing and now, here I am learning this from the philosophy of you and others. Asking myself if I need to do anything is a great relief. Why didn’t I think of this myself…!! I think it could have saved me a lot of grief over the years.
        I also thought of the fact that you were not at the race when you mentioned going. Sometimes we are in the right place at the right time and sometimes we are in the wrong place at the wrong time. You were lucky, this time, Mary. Not so, others.
        Sandy P in Canada

  2. Dear Mary, thank you for your beautiful thoughts and prayers. I appreciate this blog, all those who follow it and comment, and the loving attitudes that are spread around as a result.

  3. I am choosing to focus on the light and the many many light workers who responded ……. In big and small ways but contributed to the whole …the gentleman who said, “he stayed with and helped “only” one young man ” but to that young man he was everything…..in that moment in time. One thought, one person, one day at a time…. Small steps = big changes “be the change you wish to see in the world” Ghandi Thanks, Mary….I have baby steps to do today…and I am grateful for the opportunity wherever, whenever they present themselves.

    • I heard that man too Sandy and had the same feeling of gratitude for him …that he was there and he gave what he had; himself…just like we are doing here, in thought, and in our hearts,. Sending warm and loving thoughts to you tonight, Mary

  4. Hope your friend is ok. You are right. You werent supposed to be there. God does have a greater plan for us all. Today should be a Day of Appreciation.

    • It didn’t hit me until later that I wasn’t supposed to be there Joanne, you are right. At the time it felt like I made a decision (based on rational thought..I actually thought I was being sort of selfish for not going)…later I knew I was being guided. Thank you for your lovely thoughts, and I send thoughts of love and peace to you tonight, Mary

  5. I have chosen to shut out all the fear coming from the talking heads, and center my thoughts on man’s goodness. I’m thankful that even in the face of unspeakable tragedy, people are still good, willing to do whatever it takes to help one another, to reach out a helping hand. Unfortunately, there is evil in this world but good will always prevail. I believe in humanity as we bask in the light of God’s love!

    • I really agree with you that people are good Mitzi…thank you for your words and i can feel thh light of God’s love tonight and send blessings of peace and calm to you, Mary

  6. Mary – I am thankful that you “decided” to stay at home Monday and I pray that your friend was not injured. Another senseless tragedy….
    I’d like to ask for prayers. I recently applied to become a volunteer at Niagara Hospice with my certified therapy dog and hope to do visits at Hospice House and in individuals’ homes. I just “discovered” Monday night that there is a weekend camp one mile from my house that Hospice offers to grieving children. This feels so right to me and I’m praying that Kora and I will be accepted into both programs.

    • I am joining with you in mind and spirit Pam for the perfect unfolding of this sacred desire. Thank you so much for sharing it. I can imagine you and Kora doing this work, God’s work, together…uplifting our world, one wagging tail at a time!

  7. There are no words Mary, and yet you found some to offer hope. Pray without ceasing ~ it’s really all we can do in the face of such tragedy. I too hope you hear from your friend that all is well.

  8. Oh Mary, I am so very grateful that the choices you made on Monday have afforded us your continued uplifting words. My heart has been so heavy with the news of the bombing and the suffering it has caused. I don’t understand why we hurt one another, but I do know this, out of such tragedy always comes the light of many loving, caring people. Reaching out and lending a hand and heart to those affected. It does give me hope for peace one day, that God still loves us and continues to show us that love through the acts of kindness and mercy we witness after something like this happens. I think I sound a little naive, in saying this, but it is the only thing that makes sense to me. There is a Hebrew saying: ” Tikkun Olam”, ” Heal the World”. May it be so for all of us. Love to you and your family Mary and to our family here at White Feather Farm. Prayers for the many lives affected by these tragedies that tear at our hearts.

    • Oh Terri, I don’t think you sound naive at all! – it is the single act of kindness that sends ripples into the world, wherever we are, we can “bloom where you are planted” (wish I knew whose quote that is) – Mary, we will keep appreciation in our hearts all the day long, the best “app” there is. And prayers for your friend that she may be well. And so much gratitude that our Mary is well and sharing her wisdom with us today. I loved your line about living in these bodies, but also being so much more than that, beyond time and space. That’s where we meet here – in spirit, at White Feather Farm. Love to all. Susan

  9. As I sat staring out the window yesterday, remembering, feeling such a wide range and complexity of emotions, my light came in the form of an early arriving hummingbird. Weeks early, it flew right up to the window where the feeder usually hangs, hovered, inches from my face through the glass, and flew off (to be back again soon I am sure). Those few seconds reminded me to focus on all that is right with our world. I am thankful for all of the compassionate souls who help others heal every day by shining their light, sharing their smile, renewing their faith…and for the overwhelming hope and pure honor that I feel from being connected.

    • Thank you Kathye…I can see your beautiful little hummingbird, full of life and light. It is a peaceful image to go to sleep with tonight. Sending you blessings of peace and love, Mary

  10. Thank you, Mary… for putting this perspective on such a senseless tragedy. Being outraged, sad, depressed, and scared offers nothing to ourselves or others. Appreciating that there was “no tragedy here today” is the way to go.
    Thank you also for posting Susan’s blog. It was also inspiring!

  11. I am in no way trying to discount what happened in Boston but cant help thinking about all the Afghan and Iraqi people that go thru this on a daily basis as well as our military that never know when they get in their humvees if they are going to return at night. Yet we get perhaps 1 or2 lines in the news.

    I think that only when all of us learn that what we sow, we shall reap, willmthe killing stop.

    • Smithharia, I also had similar thoughts about daily bombings which are a mind boggling reality in other places of this world. And I heard in my head Marvin Gaye’s What’s Goin’ On album, which he wrote in 1972!, and is just as relevant today. (Barry Gordy told him he was crazy to depart from his Motown ‘recipe’, but this album said it all) “War is not the answer, only love can conquer hate. . ” Mercy, mercy, me – – – indeed. RIP Marvin.

      • I’ve been thinking a similar thought Susan…I am in a position (emotionally and mentally) today to send love to all, including the very disturbed person or people who did this. I know that (or at least I think that) I wouldn’t be able to do this if I had been closer. ..it would have taken me more time. But I can do it tonight, and I am grateful for that. Thank you, …loving thoughts for a deeply peaceful evening to you, Mary

  12. Great advice, to tend the beauty around us. Blessings to all who need solace. Blessings to all who are mindful of the beauty in their lives. Strength, courage and faith to us all.

  13. Well said. Thank you so much for this reminder. I am going to write down that final quote and look at it often.

  14. What a beautiful post. I ask for prayers for a young preschool teacher who, along with her sister, had traveled from our city to be at the finish line to watch their mom complete the marathon. The young teacher had one of her legs amputated this morning, and the sister has two broken legs. The teacher is a colleague of a friend. Life can certainly change in an instant.

  15. Dearest Mary,
    I so very appreciate your thoughtful comforting posts especially the ones with pictures of your furry friends at the White Feather Farm!
    I am so grateful that you and your friend are safe and well, and wish you and all your readers the best for our future.
    Love from Fran

    • And I so appreciate you telling me this Fran…it is such a lovely thought to me that my thoughts and pictures of my animal friends are comforting. Warm and loving thoughts to you this evening.

  16. Dear Mary,

    So good to know that you and your friend are both ok. Thoughts and prayers for all the victims and their families.

  17. Thank you, Mary, for the ‘work’ you do.
    Blessings and gratitude for all my fellow travelers who meet here everyday to replenish our hearts and vision. There is no sense to be made of the senseless; only sorrow for the wound to our collective psyche. As for the people directly affected by this tragedy, there are no words—but together we embrace them in our prayers of healing.

    When I first heard the news report, I remembered that you went there last year to cheer on Sister Madonna Buder, an inspiration in my memory. How glad I am to hear that you both are safe and lifting our spirits when we need to find the light in our darkest hours.
    Namaste.

    • Thank you so much for your thoughts tonight Cheryl..it seems like we have been travelling this road together for a while now doesn’t it?! Sending you a hug across the miles this evening, Love,
      Mary

  18. love and light to all ….

    ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”
    this quote from Fred Rogers – helps me… I reread his book-
    The World According to Mister Rogers: Important Things to Remember
    after Sandy Hook – it helped me embrace some peace ….

  19. Dear Mary, What a wonderful post. I immediately contacted my son-in-law and his girl to check their safety, the kids and my grand-daughter’s too. My family is fine, thank-you God . I pray for all including the sick human/s who are responsible for this.
    Peace and love, Cindy

    • Thank you Cindy…I am so grateful that your family is fine…I felt that way when (after the intial shock) I began calling those who I thought might have been at the race and heard them answer their phones…I loved the sound of their voices and have been radiating that energy from my heart to connect to those I don’t know . Blessings to you this evening

  20. Hi, Mary–

    A sad, sad day. Yet how inspiring that your angels were watching out for you and that you were tuned into them, consciously or not. I am reminded of that old saw (typically said half in jest), “If my work here were done, then I wouldn’t still be here.” Your work here is not done yet and the powers-that-be were insuring that you are still here to continue it.

    Others have sacrificed their lives, and there can be no greater way to honor them and their memories than to focus lovingly at every chance on what a blessing, and how beautiful, life is. We should value every second of what they have lost. That is the best way we can insure that their spirits live on and that what they gave up was not in vain.

    Appreciation is the right approach. Your experience has reminded so many of us of that today, and that in itself is a gift, as well as being yet more proof of the value of your work, Mary. Madeleine L’Engle writes beautifully of “the butterfly effect” in some of her literature (one stroke of a butterfly wing can affect the disposition of an entire universe) and this is one of those situations. Thank you for sharing your experience with us. I join with the rest of your community in sending you hugs, prayers, and blessings.

    Anne M.

    • Anne, thank you for your words. They are healing words. The devastation of what is happening in the United States (and to a lesser degree, Canada where I am from) is casting a huge pall over many lives. When I looked at the carnage on Monday on the television coverage, of the buildings, the people, I was reminded how people in the Middle East face this devastation as a matter of course in their lives and how lucky we are in the western world to have a much lesser exposure to this carnage. Your words and the words of others help place a balm on the horrible events of earlier this week. SandyP in Canada

    • Thank you for your beautiful thoughts and words Anne…I love the image of the butterfly effect and will hold that in my heart as I think of others tonight. Sending you “a flutter” of peaceful and warm thoughts tonight! Mary

  21. Sandy, thanks for sharing your response. Your own words will go on to help someone else and that’s how the healing spreads–we just keep paying it forward.

    Best,
    Anne

  22. Mary, I’m running late for something and no time to read all the above. So is your friend OK?

    • Thank you Helen, yes she is. She is quite an amazing woman…her name is Sister Madonna Buder and in addition to being 82 years old, she holds the world record in the 80+ division of the Ironman. All she is thinking about though is how to help everyone around her cope.

  23. It’s Thursday, and I’m so glad I went back to check out the link that Mary shared with us, sent to her by Sally B. Wow, is all I can say. She expressed so well what I have felt for a long time – since 9/11 really. And what fun it was to recognize familiar names from “OUR” White Feather Family commenting on Susan McElroy’s blog. Birds of a feather!

  24. I ought to be ashamed of myself when I think of your friend Sister Madonna Buder! The Ironman. WOW! I have two Ironman competitors in my little family. They’re 39 and 43! (I grumble dragging the two trashcans to the end of our little lane.) What an inspiration she is.
    Cindy

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