Gratitude Day 4: Fathers

On this 4th Day of Gratitude, I give thanks for my father, and all the fathers in the world.

Every day I walk by two places where my father’s watchful gaze is seen. Though he isn’t with us any longer, my memories are strong and inform my every interaction.

The Yang to Mother’s Yin

When I think of Dad, my memories are filled with how he showed up in the world – at home, at work, in the community, in organizations. Whether in public or in private quarters, my dad showed me how to interact one-on-one with whatever was in front of me.

Gratitude Day 4 Father by Baylan Megino

Gratitude Day 4 Father by Baylan Megino

Dads do that. They show us how to DO things – how to observe, analyze, plan and implement so that we can get the result we want.

They teach us how to think about our part in the whole. Sometimes we have to think of what is in the best interest of the greater good, and choose between our individual desires and what will be best “for all concerned.”

They show us the individual attitude needed to persevere in difficult times, as well as the way to step back and be part of a team while maintaining our individuality.

They also show us when to step aside.

It’s hard for me to write about being a dad.
I’ve never been a dad and never will be.

I can only share some of the images that I am grateful for that are indelibly etched in my memory:

  1. Watching Dad make a kite out of bamboo strips, then flying it in the Knights of Columbus kite-flying contest
  2. Fishing in the Ozarks and catching lots of bluegills
  3. His erect stance, with head slightly tilted, a smile curling up the edges of his mouth.
  4. His / My hands
  5. The way he called me “Girl” – only a handful of times
  6. Standing alone with him behind the church entry doors as the Love Theme from “Superman” began to play, he touched my arm, slightly raised his eyebrows, and gently asked, “Are you ready, girl?”
  7. His gentle touch
  8. His anger at injustice
  9. Playing chess after work with my aunt
  10. Wearing plumed hat, satin cape, and sword as Grand Knight and part of the Knights of Columbus Color Guard
  11. Dancing with all the widows and older single women, but Mom always had the last dance
  12. Baiting the hook and fishing at Berkeley Pier
  13. Smoking Kent cigarettes, the stick pursed between lips and tilted up so the ashes wouldn’t fall
  14. The glow of his cigarette in the dark as the trash mound burned
  15. Carrying Mom’s big camera case wherever they traveled
  16. Michelin Man
  17. Bowling with community groups
  18. Singing in the church choir
  19. Connecting with the land and its cycles at the almond orchard
  20. Planting green beans and tending to the garden every evening
  21. Opening envelopes by tearing off the end
  22. His joy on our first visit to the Philippines and pride in sharing his family
  23. Putting on the Igorot hat, squatting on the hillside and looking into the distance, cigarette held between his lips
  24. Fishing at Ocean Beach with the long ocean fishing poles
  25. Fishing derbies at Lake Chabot
  26. Dad with my cousin and his young male friends
  27. His willingness to try anything
  28. His mischievousness – climbing the statue at the St. Louis FANHS Convention
  29. Fixing the car
  30. Figuring out how to DO things
  31. Being

Like many, my relationship with my father was up and down. We were much alike, so eventually gave each other wide berth when needed. In those times, as now, those many memories gathered over the years kept us connected.

I am so very grateful for those memories. And for the man who made them and me possible.

Thank you, Dad.

Today, give thanks for your father. If you can, tell him. Even better, show him.

Blessings and peace,

Baylan

 

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Gratitude Day 3: Mother

On this third day of Gratitude, I give thanks for my Mother, and for all mothers in the world.

This morning as I woke up, sunlight was just peeking through the window. The house sildent, I heard my mother moving slowly in the next room.

Gratitude Day 3 Mother by Baylan Megino

Gratitude Day 3 Mother by Baylan Megino

How many times as an infant, I wondered, did I listen to her move through the rooms, the speed of her gait and volume of her sound communicating her feelings?

That is what mothers do. They are always present, whether physically or in our minds. They birth us, feed us, dress us, discipline us, tend to our every need. They teach us how to view and approach life, based on traditions, their experiences, and observations of the world. They shape our mental world and expectations, and guide our responses, defining right and wrong.

Even when we can provide for ourselves, mothers often still attempt to guide our thoughts.

It’s hard to stop being Mom.

Becoming a mother is a process sometimes eased by the shared wisdom from your own. It is in preparing to welcome your child that you understand the commitment required of a mother, a commitment made to ensure the continuation of life beyond our years.

A mother must give over her body to another being — for up to nine months she shares her breath, her blood, and her cells so that the baby can grow.,

She risks her health and her life in order that her child can come into the world. And once arrived, she must put many of her needs aside in order to focus on ensuring her child grows healthy, strong, and able to face the world in their own way.

As adults, our challenge is to remember to
keep in touch with our mothers,
even when life gets busy.

Especially when life gets busy.

As I get older, I’ve found that my mother has honed an uncanny intuition. Was she reading my mind before I even knew my thoughts?

At some point, the tables will turn, and children become caregivers for their parents. It is then that we must remember — EVERYTHING Mother did so that we could live, so we could thrive, so we could choose the path to walk and the life to live.

And in the toughest times, remember that someday, receiving care is where we shall each be. Hope that the care is given by someone who truly cares.

Giving gratitude for Mothers, and especially for My Mother. Thank you, Mom 🙂

Blessings, light and peace,

Baylan

 

 

 

Gratitude Day 2: Connection to Spirit

On this second day of Gratitude, I am grateful for my Connection to Spirit. It is my everlasting lifeline.

Gratitude Day 2 Connection to Spirit by Baylan Megino

Gratitude Day 2 Connection to Spirit by Baylan Megino

In this life, I’ve found there are some things that don’t make sense in the moment, but in hindsight make absolute sense for the journey.

In difficult times, when there didn’t seem to be any light in the dark, the only thing that got me through was my focus and belief in something with higher intelligence and knowedge of the big picture. Invisible, unknown things don’t make sense to me any other way.

I also believe each of us has loving beings in the spirit world who help us. They comfort us when we’re sad, cheer for us when we need encouragement, congratulate us when we achieve something.

They nudge us in the right direction, give us guiding signs, and generally help us get through the daily ups and downs of life. And they stand by as we navigate each moment, ready to help as soon as we ask.

Raised as a Catholic, in the 7th and 8th grades my mother dropped me off early at school. If it was dark, cold, or rainy,I slipped into the church to escape the elements and classmates.

Almost daily this allowed me to attend morning mass. The church was a quiet, warm, cavernous space, populated by only a handful of seniors and me. Tucked into the shadows in the back rows, it was the perfect place to observe the sunlight move across the stained glass windows.

As I’ve gotten older, I explored other religions and spiritual practices so I could understand other perspectives. Understanding the what and why of different practices has enriched my own spiritual practices.

Over time, rituals and routines for the daily round gave me touchstones for peace of mind. Though sometimes I only have a few minutes to stop and connect, often that’s enough.

Connection to Spirit for me is a regular flow of communication. I ask questions or for help, ook for signs, listen to my inner knowing and to the sounds and words around me. I trust that I will be heard, and that the answer is on its way.

So today I am grateful for my Connection to Spirit – through it I give thanks, and receive an abundance of information and loving care. No matter what.

Today let’s be open to experiencing our Connection to Spirit. Ask for something simple – a sign, a message, a parking space – and look and listen for the answer 🙂

Blessings, light and peace,

Baylan

Gratitude Day 1: Breath of Life

On this first Gratitude Day, I am grateful for that first breath taken at birth, the Breath of Life, and for every breath since then.

Gratitude Day 1 Breath by Baylan Megino

Gratitude Day 1 Breath by Baylan Megino

In the very first moment of life, we take a breath for the first time and struggle to fill our lungs with air. Taking this foreign element into our water-nourished bodies is our first physical struggle outside the womb.

With each succeeding inhalation, we infuse our cells, our muscles, and all our tissues, and we are able to become more alive in this outer world as a result. Then we exhale, only to take in the next breath.

Like a bellows, we fill and empty our lungs. Oxygen is distributed to all the right places. The lungs fill, the heart fills, and cells are alerted,

“Life Will Continue.”

Without that rhythmic inhale-exhale-inhale-exhale song, there would be no life. There would be no BE.

How we know to take that first breath, and to continue breathing — is a mystery.

When we take that first breath outside mother’s womb, we begin on the path of our own life — individual, private, alone. Yet the planet is surrounded with an abundance of air to breathe, an abundance of food to eat, materials for clothing, and places for shelter.

We could live this life alone, but we do not remain alone. At least in the beginning, we need others to feed us, to clothe us, to shelter us, and to show us how to BE in this world. That is the journey.

What compels us to take that first breath? And the second and the third and the four-hundred-millionth?

Perhaps it is an innate knowing that there is something out there. Perhaps it is an innate curiousity that leads us from moment to moment as we experience this physical realm.

Inhale. Exhale.
Inhale. Exhale.
Inhale. Exhale.

Before we know it, decades have passed and we are still standing, still breathing, still listening to our heart beat, however faintly.

So today let’s be grateful for the very basic and irreplaceable Breath of Life. It allows us to explore this adventure called Life as we create our own stories along the inhale-exhale journey. May it contine as long as our heart desires.

Blessings of light, abundance, and peace to you,

Baylan Megino

 

30 Days Begin and End in Gratitude

30 Days of Gratitude: It is the first New Moon of 2016, and the last new moon of the Asian Lunar Year. Whether you are beginning your year, or ending it, this time I would like to begin and end in Gratitude.

"Heart of Hearts" partial FB by Baylan Megino

“Heart of Hearts” partial FB by Baylan Megino

So every day for 30 days until the next new moon on February 8th, I will celebrate and give gratitude. I’ll post first on my blog here and follow on my Facebook Page (http://www.facebook.com/baylansworld). Won’t you join me?