Lost and Found

Duke and Carolina, washing off the debris of 2020.

Early Spring 2020:  We were hugging and singing in church.  I met with couples to talk about weddings.  People ate lunch in restaurants and there was two-ply toilet paper at Trader Joe’s.

Then the pandemic.  We were sent to our room (or was it our tomb) to think about what we had done.  We learned to do church on-line.  I preached my first live-stream sermon sideways via the iPhone of a well-intentioned volunteer. 

Sideways Sermon, circa March 2020

We all remember early pandemic stories about how we couldn’t find what we needed. One day, our dog Sara skipped breakfast. I thought she was sick so I took her temperature.  She was fine, but when my husband Hugh wanted to take his temperature, I told him that our thermometer might have been up in the dog’s bottom.

He asked me to get an untainted thermometer so I went on a quest. All thermometers in every store were gone.  Amazon too.  And that’s nothing compared to what we really lost –time with loved ones, touch, safety, well-being, and certainty.  I hold my breath and wonder how did we manage?   

Now it’s a year later.  Here in Southern California, the numbers are trending in a good way.  Maybe it’s time to resurrect….and I know a thing or two about resurrection. 

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Is The Rainbow Bridge Real?

It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost 8 years since our first Vizsla-dog Stella passed away.  I’ve written about her in various posts and articles – how her presence brought me to church ministry in Ventura, how her death taught me about mingling suffering and joy

Right after Stella died, I wrote a post called Requiem for a Dog, where I mention The Rainbow Bridge. This is a well-known poem about reuniting deceased people with deceased pets. I wrote:

“I sigh and ponder the Rainbow Bridge; that tear inducing poem about pets in heaven waiting to be reunited with their earth-bound companions.  Maybe Stella’s in heaven, playing with the other dead dogs, kicking the crap out of them.   Maybe she’ll be there, poised and waiting for me when I pass over, maybe she’ll greet me, and we’ll cross the Rainbow Bridge together.  

When I die, if there’s no Rainbow Bridge, if she’s not there, I’ll hunt down the liar who wrote that poem and slap him…”

“I’ll hunt down the liar and slap him.”  Nice. 

I minister to people who lose pets.  I help people discern when it’s time to let go.  I attend euthanasias.  The pet people and I talk about the possibility of reunion.  I offer hope of the Rainbow Bridge.  And then I think about this thing I wrote and I ask, Bonnie, what do you really know about the Rainbow Bridge?  You want to believe, but is it true?   

A couple of days ago, I drove to Orange County to receive a Life Between Lives reading with former Vedic monk, author, hypnotherapist, and healer Pieter Elsen.  The experience is hard to summarize, but generally speaking, Pieter moves the client into a hypnotic state.  We visit past lives and the life between lives.  I’m still processing a lot of what was revealed. Much of it is too personal to offer on a blog post… but here’s one thing I have to share:

In my vision of a life between lives there was no Rainbow Bridge.  There was a Rainbow Acre.  Stella met me as I left my earth-bound body.  She guided me from life to afterlife.  When we arrived, every pet I ever loved was there to greet me.  There were animals I had never met in this lifetime, but perhaps had known in other incarnations.  It was a celebration.  The dogs jumped up to lick my face, the cats snaked around my legs, the guinea pigs chirped hello, Bigfoot the Bunny communicated, “It’s not your fault.”  There was joy, forgiveness, and so much love. 

The surge of eager animals is too much for a Rainbow Bridge. They need a Rainbow Acre. 

That comforts me.  It reminds me that always, there is more grace than I can imagine – everywhere, in this life and the next, in this love and the next. 

If you have lost an animal or a human, I hope this post comforts you.   

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A Guest Post – Words of Wisdom for This Presidential Election

Looks like the election was just called.  The words from a friend of a friend posted below are still relevant.  Read about the author of this post, Starla Lewis, here and here.

Introduction:  Katie Elizabeth White Boyd was born in 1880 on a plantation in Missouri and lived to be 100 years old. She lived through 21 presidencies. I [Starla] was born in 1949, in a colored hospital, during legal segregation. I desegregated a school in Missouri and a school in California. I have lived through 13 Presidencies. As I think about the election, I am moved to share words of wisdom from my Great Aunt Kate and Myself, the things that she taught me and the things that I have learned.

 

4 Years   “This too shall pass.”  Whatever the outcome of the election, whichever candidate wins, they only have 4 years to influence what happens in the United States and the World.

We the People  “No one can stop you from being anything you want to be or doing anything you want to do but you.”  We can be a government of all people, by all people and for all people when we exercise  our voice beyond voting day.

Treat All People With Respect  “How you treat people speaks volumes about who you are and nothing about who they are.”  Whether you are happy about the outcome or not, let us be an example of what you want to see in the world. The youth are watching. Teach them that we can win and lose with grace. The world is watching. Show them that we can accept the outcomes of our elections with civility.

Come Together to Heal and Celebrate  “A sorrow shared is half the sorrow. And a joy shared is twice the joy.Connect with like minded people in a safe space that allows you to express your thoughts and feelings.

Where there is breath all things are possible “It is what it is. It be what it be. And it do what it do.” Do not let the outcome of this election make you sick, violent, less human, helpless or hopeless.

Love IS  Remember that we are all BRILLIANT, POWERFUL, LIMITLESS, LOVE.  Tap into the most powerful force in the universe and see the love in you. See the love in others. Magnify love. BE Love.

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