A Day at Belmead

by Aug 30, 20130 comments

What a day this has been! First, it has been a joy not to be moving along the highway – staying still and resting has been delightful. And even more delightful has been exploring the improvements to the building and the grounds since John, Denise and I were here three years ago. It is wonderful to experience the aliveness of this place and the many offerings being developed with and for the surrounding community.

The sign at the entrance to Belmead describes well what is happening here because a small group of women are gently and wisely caring for this precious piece of Earth and the story it holds. I feel sure that John is amazed also. He spent many weeks helping here over the years and believed this to be a special place. Be sure to check out their website at: http://www.francisemma.org

The day had a few “adventures” that make it clear that I am about tribute making as well as enjoying the great hospitality of the Sisters. I spent a couple of hours this morning searching for my car keys. I looked off and on in a peaceful way – eating breakfast, checking in my suitcase and other bags, writing in my journal, looking in the trunk of the car. No panic – Denise was helping and we had another set – no problem. I was very aware that I was grieving. Losing important belongings mirrors the loss I am feeling deep inside. So I continued to breathe, asked John for help, and found them where I had put them the night before.

John’s photos, drying out after my mishap

The afternoon excitement came as I was doing a final sorting of the photos from John’s many albums. Most of the pictures were neatly stacked on the desk where I was working. I reached for a glass of water – thankfully almost empty – knocked it over – and fifteen minutes later the floor was a vast array of scenes from John’s life. I had often thought of doing that as an easy way of sorting. I just hadn’t intended for them to be wet! Creating a tribute means dealing the messes that have been part of a relationship. I don’t need to understand how, but all the feelings that have been part of this day are leading me to the core of this tribute – our ritual tomorrow: Remembering John.

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