The majority of the world’s populations, living in today’s fast paced patterns, are ignoring the depth of our most valuable natural resource: each other. We often go through our days not connecting to others we hold dear to us, giving precious gifts of touch, words, and reassurance. While the mainstream population is consumed by personal environmental issues, such as family, work, and survival, we only focus on topics that touch our life paths and those people who cross our paths. We might listen to various news media, or have a conversation about the loss of our diminishing natural resources, endangered wildlife, and climate challenges. We converse about how we can better our own environment and touch others with our insights; however, we have lost our sense of the deeper connection to our humankind. Many of us have become numb, to a certain level, to survive today’s pace. Along our life path, we lose connection to each other in the process. I have found myself, as do many of us, in my own bubble of daily tasks, and only speaking with people proximal to my bubble. If we spent time really focusing on each other, widening our circle to communicate weekly with those that are not in our daily bubble, what would that look like? Perhaps we would see our connection to the extensive world and our animal and plant kin more clearly.
Yet, I have to admit, in my busy daily life, I find myself engrossed in my personal climate change, graduate studies, and teaching. My life’s fears lead me to retreat into my safe cave, alone. I have let moments, years, pass by with limited connection with those I love, or hold dear in my heart. We deny the pain our forgetfulness inflicts on others, as well as on this earth that has befriended us and given us a place to live.
As many of us, I find myself consumed in saving the environment, educating others to recycle, reclaim and reuse, but I have had my head in the sand when it come to connecting deeply to our natural resources: our friends, family, acquaintances, and the people we only read about on the internet. Many of us are missing the beauty of everyday life. I am missing the preciousness of my dog’s breathing, the ants crossing my desk with a parcel of my sandwich, or the crow outside my window trying to pry the birdseed embedded in the gravel. I miss the beauty of the fresh air against my face as I walk on the beach, bundled head to foot with down layers. I miss the seconds it takes to just hear my family and friends’ voices. I work at my desk, typing in lost hours, telling myself I will send them an email that will connect us, and then I lose their email, and put it off to another day. My family and friends want to hear my voice, see my face, converse, and I theirs. I hide behind my fears of writing, artistic incapability, and disbelief in my spiritual awareness. Again, all these feelings are a set of conditions I place onto myself and I know many others do the same, so we do not reach out to touch the people and other living beings right in front of us.
You know when you forget or fear holds you back for no reason from letting a shared moment with someone you love seep into your soul? Then when they are gone, you are only left with an empty moment of silence, the silence you could have shared watching the dogs play, the cat curled on a lap, ants, beetles, birds, thoughts, worries, past and future dreams.
Today, I woke up to learn a dear friend, Mia, had left this world. I had the pleasure of being in her life for many years, sharing our stories of when we were little lost girls, our deep seated love of art, spirituality, home, family, and of course, animals. I was in awe of her; she was a small woman in stature, with a spirit the size of the universe. Mia’s knowledge and love of art, artists, and people of all walks of life was known by many. She was a powerhouse in the art field, and a curator; she was instrumental in the well-known Seattle Art Trust Foundation, and her own larger than life Mia Art Gallery.
We had talked many times of creating art together, building a studio on her property where the dogs were playing, and geese flew into the pond. Mia and her husband gave me free license to create through my arts of interior design, Feng Shui, spiritual cleansing and placement in their new home. We talked for hours about the spirit of each item and the placement in the house or in the yard. We were all thrilled with the final results. Then, I got busy with other things in life. I lost track of Mia; really, I lost track of my time with Mia. I wanted to share so much with her and I know she did with me. Losing track of Mia was not on purpose, just life happening at different times. When I ran into Mia, she was always as warm as the sunshine beaming from her smiling eyes. I would promise to see her and then something would hold me back from making the time. I knew Mia’s health was failing more, and so was mine. The last two years, it took all my strength to go to school, walk the dog and take care of my family.
So I write to express my feelings of sadness, and the heightened awareness we receive about connecting more diligently when a loved one has passed through our lives.
The old saying “Love conquers all” is true. I am not saying love alone will fight the battle to save ourselves or the earth from pain and despair; however, awareness of our need to express our love will give us the strength to connect to each other, adapt and bond. Connection will help each of us to enjoy quality life on this planet, as long as we endure. I love you both.
I dedicate this story to Mia McEldowney and her husband Bill Mitchell.
We were connected from the moment she called me from my design ad, and we are connected in spirit now and forever.