Salutation, to Today



The Sanskrit poem, “Salutation to the Dawn”, is on my mind this morning. I have been feeling drenched in sadness and confusion the last couple of days and this is a prayer/poem which often has helped me to get through rough times and restore hope. I notice that it does not insist on smiles and a cheery façade. The happiness is brought up only as part of the reflection on yesterday, leaving time and space to get there. Anyway, to me the mention is of an all- around, well- being kind of happiness, which allows for grieving. It also probably allows for petty grievances and mistakes, because we need those to grow too.

At this point in my life I am fed up to my eyeballs in the ideas I force upon myself about “achievement”. Someone else’s opinion about me or any type of score/scale/rating system relevant in day to day society seems empty and trivial in the bigger picture. It is so very hard to dismiss these things and I find myself letting go of expectations frequently when I feel stressed. I am hoping that the ability to see past external measurement is a wisdom which grows with age. I am only a few years younger than the characters on The Golden Girls, and I look forward to being a wild and irreverent old lady.

Venus has gone retrograde. I have been reading about how astrologers see the rest of this summer as a time for depth in relationships to come to light. But isn’t that what really matters, anyway? When you do have an earthly achievement, it means nothing until you bring it home.

In hindsight, my sadness comes after a visit with a genetic counselor with my son a few days ago. Much discussion was focused on Susanna and the plight of her body, her brain. We feel her so strongly in spirit, but it has been awhile since we so directly faced her emergency and invisible, fatal condition. We dealt with some of that together and then we went to the zoo. That was a today well lived, but one that drained me a bit.

So last night, when I decided in a moment that I must give in to my urge to drop onto the couch and sob, before doing anything else, my beautiful son came and put his arms around me to comfort me. I let my tears choose words. I said to him, “I just really want you to be happy. I want to give you that”. In his brilliance and love he said, “I want you to be happy”. Then he went back to his Pokémon cartoon having blown me away with love and wisdom. No one should think children do not know anything. All children are sages.

If I can pull it off, I want to not only live and take care of things, but to become some type of happy again. Theresa Caputo describes it as “embracing life” when she delivers messages. I want to fulfill my destiny on earth and leave with both the sadness in my heart and sunshine emanating from my face. I want to show my son and anyone else who needs to see that this is possible, no matter what. And what a real achievement that will be.

By trishfreer

Mother, writer, artist and teacher grappling with grief and loss.

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