Please welcome my dear friend, Mari Gayatri Stein. She's a remarkable human being—full of love, light, and laughter. Always laughter!
I "met" Mari when my husband and I were publishing Healing Garden Journal. I was looking for a cartoonist, someone who could lend a bit of whimsy to our life journeys. Since she lived in Oregon, we corresponded by e-mail. Her first e-mails were hysterical. They were full of loving "woofs" and "wags." And between the doggie language, were huge waves of love sent through the ethers. She certainly piqued my curiosity. I later learned Mari was a "dog person," at one point mommying 6 border collies.
Until Mari, I'd never experienced love through the airwaves. How was it even possible that words, heartfully penned in an e-mail, could blast open your heart? Well, it did mine. She modeled for me how to live with unconditional friendliness, openheartedness, and spaciousness—so there is room in your heart for everyone.
Mari is one of the "Holy Women" featured in Your Truest Self. She became a powerful mentor for me and many others. She represents the twelfth Transformational Truth: "I Open My Heart and Celebrate Our Oneness." I am honored to have her here with me today. I hope you enjoy this short story she's penned about hanging on and letting go ... And enjoy her drawings, too!
Be sure to make a comment, as there is a CD Giveaway happenin' here! See details below.
A HAPPY ENDING
Yesterday, while I was swimming my daily laps in the warm delicious water, I spotted a butterfly floating and flapping in my path. My heart picked up speed as I slowed my approach. I watched this magical creature glimmering yellow against the aqua liquid. With the attention of someone preparing to defuse a bomb, I cupped my hands and ever so gently managed to lift her up without damaging her wings. (I’ve tried this in the past only to end up dunking the fragile little being.) Tenderly and in slow motion, I set the tremulous body on the brown tile at the pool’s edge. (Fortunately, we were on the shallow end.) Perilously she perched there, her gauzy lemon-colored wings looked ephemeral against the brick tile. One mindless deep breath and she would tumble back into the drink. A breeze or a bird fluttering by innocently would bring her gossamery demise.
Time was suspended. I stood still, barely breathing. My lower body was ensconced in the warm womb of water; my shoulders shuddered in the thin spring sunlight. I positioned my hands underneath her. If she fell, I would be poised for the rescue, but this time I would deposit her further from danger — maybe on a bamboo leaf or a blade of zebra grass where her quivering wings would be fully exposed to the healing air. I considered trying to ease her up a little higher to stabilize her position, but knew that interference would not be to her advantage. Her wing might tear as a result of my good intentions. I have learned that trying to help is only beneficial when right effort is balanced with discrimination, patience and wise restraint, however awkward it may feel at the time. So I just stood there watching her hang on for life, while she fluttered her papery wings so subtly they seemed to brush the air with kisses. I shifted my feet and shivered but held the safety net of my hands steady.
Ten minutes passed, and again I had to resist the urge to reposition her, this time with the use of a dry bamboo leaf I spied within grasp. A short debate, and I decided in this case, less was more. I would leave it to nature. So with a pang of guilt, I resumed my laps, moving away from her before immersing.
On my return, I reluctantly lifted my head to see if she was back in the water or had flown away. I surveyed the water’s surface, submerged to my eyeballs like a crocodile to improve my line of vision. No lemon-colored wings in sight. She was free. Hurrah! A little victory bien sur. A warm swell of satisfaction flowed through me as I cut across the water picking up speed and kicking with abandon.
I was thinking: Even though letting go is the flavor of the month and the fashionable thing to do, sometimes in order to survive, we just have to hang on. The trick is to hang on while you let your wings delicately flutter and caress the breeze. Another reminder that I must continue to commit to life on a daily basis, and at the same time be secure enough in my faith to ease my grip, again and again.
Mari and I welcome your thoughts ...
Make a comment on today's post and you will be entered into a drawing to win her new CD, "Toward Wholeness." 60-minutes of guided meditation, relaxation tecniques, breathing exercises, positive energy, serene music. Read a review by Yoga Journal.
Learn more about Mari at gypsydogpress.com.
Mari Gayatri Stein's insightful words and drawings have delighted readers for over twenty years. Her whimsical illustrations and articles have been published in numerous collaborative book efforts, magazines, newspapers and journals. Seven of her highly acclaimed books were both written and illustrated by Mari. Her latest books, Unleashing Your Inner Dog: Your Best Friend's Guide to Life and The Buddha Smiles are stories about love, spirit and heart, doused with humor, irony and hope. Most recently she provided the illustrations for the children's book, Buddy's Candle, written by Dr. Bernie Siegel. Mari lives with her husband and their two canine companions on an organic farm and bamboo sanctuary in southern Oregon. She has a new line of whimsical greeting cards from Gypsy Dog Press and is currently working on a mystical memoir. Look for her new children's book Puddle Moon, soon to be released.