Friday, October 23, 2009

Saint Sophia

The pre-story:
Very soon after I moved to the farm with Rick, I awoke one morning to find this beautiful kitten sitting at my front door. I fell instantly in love with her. She had a collar with a bell and so I figured she belonged to someone. Over the next week she stayed very close to our home and followed Rick and I everywhere. I felt like she was choosing us to be her family. Every time I would hear the little bell on her collar jingle I would smile. We began to call her Sophia. I wrote this passage in my journal during that time.

August 12, 2008

I had an awakening moment with Sophia last night. I let her in the house at dusk as the coyotes were howling from the field. I fed her some dinner and I sat down to meditate. She ate a little and came over to me and rubbed up against me and then laid down on the ottoman in front of me and fell soundly asleep. I looked at her and wept. This tough kitten who has survived coyotes, bears, owls, hawks and racing cars; this tough kitten whose senses are so acute and on guard to stay alive, who is clever and wary, is resting sweetly here with me. She trusts me. And I thought: all this kitten really wants is a full belly and a safe place to sleep. Isn't that what we all need? I thought of the reptilian part of the human brain and how if these basic needs are not met, we cannot function from the higher brain, the higher states of consciousness. How many of us live life from this place of survival? When Sophia rubbed up against me and looked into my eyes I wasn't sure who was more grateful, me or her. I couldn't help but let her sleep in the house last night. I put her in the laundry room and she slept all night in a pile of socks on the dryer. I wonder if that's the first night of safety she has had in quite awhile. I love this sweet kitten.

I realized, somehow from this experience, that I have this great gift right now in partnership with Rick. I am getting to know myself and I am awakening more into this life. I couldn't do this very well until my own basic needs were met. I think to feel loved and truly seen must be among our basic needs for survival, and I don't think I have felt seen and loved for who I am until now, at least not for a very long time. This man loves me even though I am not perfect. This man loves me even though I sometimes live from this place of survival even now. This man loves me even though I am just being born into living fully. This man loves me even though I bring a whole collection of ghosts and family with me. He loved me enough to buy a farm with me in the beginning of our relationship because he thought it was our best chance at making it. He is willing to see me for who I am even more than who thinks I am. I think sometimes I am the lost kitten in our relationship that needed a safe place of refuge so that I could come home to myself. Now, with a full belly of gratitude, I can see how much I am loved. I can feel safe to "be" with myself, and to "be" present in this love. I know now that I do not need to be "worthy" of love, I just need to "be". I know I've said this before again and again…but each time the groove grows deeper and more real. And now I am starting to believe.

This morning the piece below pops up on my Google home page. The story is confirmation of all I felt last night. What a glorious moment of clarity. I think maybe there is some vision of us in this and some calling in here for me too. I believe this parallels the vision of the land we've both had and maybe calls in a little of the vision I have had for land all along. I'm not sure what that means quite yet, but I am curious. But first, I must continue saving myself.

Celebrated June 2nd
Every mother wins the "Mother of the Year" award in her own family, but if a vote were taken for the "Mother of the Thousand Years of the Byzantine Empire," the unanimous choice would be a valiant woman named Sophia who turned a personal tragedy into a triumph of the spirit. She symbolizes motherhood in the purest sense, sanctifying the role all mothers play in the daily grind of raising a family, elevating the mothers of the world to a sacred level in the eyes of God and giving them their due recognition in the divine plan of the universe. A woman acquires a spark of divine grace in bearing a child, and thereafter in caring for it she labors not only for herself but for the property of the Almighty as well, for we are the children of God.

The after story:
We did not know at that time that our Sophia carried 6 kittens in her belly. We brought her into our home and she birthed her babes in Zach’s closet. We watched them grow and we learned about mothering from her. She is an excellent mother. The kittens all found good homes. We kept one for our family. When I look at Sophia now I still feel that smile come onto my face like it did in the beginning. I love this sweet mama cat.

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