Courage

21 Nov

Well, it is November 21… my birthday… even though there is a mix up on my birth certificate that says it’s November 22.  But my mother assures me that I was born on the 21st.  She says she knows…she was there.

This birth certificate thing was actually a little area of concern for me when getting my passport to begin this journey to Europe.  I was moving quickly, planning the trip and shifting my world with just a months time to prepare.  When I first went to get my passport… the birth certificate was not valid as it did not have the official state seal on it.  So with just weeks to go I had to order a new birth certificate.  After I ordered it, I thought… oh no!  it says my birthday is November 22… and my driver’s license says my birthday is November 21!  Is that okay? Now just weeks away, I could no longer get my passport through the expedited service… but luckily there was an express center in New Orleans where you could get passports in just a matter of days… immediately if needed.  The only hitch was that you could go there no sooner than 2 weeks before your travel.  So there I was, two weeks before my travel with my mismatched birth certificate and drivers license.  And alas… it all worked!  But, they did put the date that was on my birth certificate.  So according to my passport, my birthday is November 22!

The other day I was thinking about a situation in my life that has been a bit of a challenge for me.  And the image that popped into my mind’s eye was one that I saw on the desk where I was house sitting in Hamburg back in July.  It is a picture of a little kitty looking into a mirror… and the reflection in the mirror is a lion.  That image to me speaks to the idea of … courage.  Courage when I think or feel that I am just a little kitty to see the truth of myself… the strength of the lion that is really there…  And that being said, it also reminds me of the strength card in the Tarot.  It is a picture of a lion and a maiden… The meaning of strength in this card is a little different from how may typically think of it.  It is a strength that comes from a higher power… and strength that can come from softness and surrender… balanced with the power of the lion.

This weekend was experience and an experiment for me… in courage.  Working at the Seminar Haus this weekend… we hosted a group of 50 people in a space that is typically suited for about 20-25.  Much work was demanded… of everyone!  We all had to go all out and give everything that we had… and then a little more… to make this weekend work.  Our busy four-day weekend began for me with 6:30am wake up calls… me grabbing a little bit of chanting or Reiki before I went out into the world of the kitchen.  Set up for breakfast.  Sometimes fun… sometimes a little confusion… “where are the eggs… are we out of eggs?  no worries… we can just chop up some fruit instead…” and so it goes.  With so many guests the business of breakfast bled into lunch.  Our host and chef, cook and creative extraordinaire spun us around  chopping and stirring and mixing and serving.  Learning to pay attention to the little things of chopping and the larger things like… did you get that out of the oven?  We set up two dining rooms for serving instead of our typical one as there were more guests that usual.  After lunch, the endless dishes of clean up… and then… ah dinner and clean up again.  Plus a few other surprises along the way.  Somewhere in the spinning and mixing and serving and preparing at the Seminar Haus there is a creative energy that gets stirred up.  Bleeding from one experience to the next.

So wow!  We did it!  And I did it… beyond my comfort zone and typical experience.  And today, the morning after and birthday morn, I am soaking in the quiet and comfort of my bed and some tunes from New Orleans yoga teacher and musician, Sean Johnson.  My friend Jörn just stopped in offering birthday greetings and the good spirited intention of preparing for me a little birthday breakfast egg… but alas, the kitchen is stripped and we are out of eggs.  And my lovely hosts surprised me this morning knocking at my door with a lit candle and some wonderful gifts… constantly surprising me and touching me with their generosity!

So for now, enjoying a little relaxation and comfort and a luxurious long morning to enjoy all the little things I love.  And the beginning of a new year for me.  A time of change, new experiences… and… whew, courage!

Photograph of  tree blossoming in the frost in the gardens of Wettenbostel.