We stand at a doorway of new beginnings, both in year and in decade. We discern what to carry forward through the door and what to leave behind as we walk through the archway. It is a blend of conscious discernment and unknowing. It is a blend of setting intentions and trusting that the intentions will become reality, while also letting go of the specific how’s to allow abundant possibilities.
Five years ago, on the day before New Year’s Eve, grief started to walk out the door as hope entered gently and with uncertainty. Hope entered from only one intention this house is no longer home, the hearts within bare and empty. Hope entered in the form of fur and four pawed feet. Hope entered with the name of Ginger, or as I am proud to also say aka: thief. A thief of hearts, when she whispered it is me you need.
As I stand at this doorway today in reflection of this past decade, I am grateful for the gift of hindsight to better see. Oh, how the puzzle pieces reveal themselves to show our life’s beautiful tapestry, a picture of affirmation that as we flow with life, life flows to us the answers we seek. I read the following words out of a book What’s your Decision? How to Make Choices with Confidence and Clarity. The words of wisdom were these:
Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and like books that are written in a very foreign tongue. Do not seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer” (p. 21).
And the point is to live everything. To live every moment whole-heartedly. To live the joys and to live the grief. To live the fears and to live the leaps of faith. To live with intentionality and to live the surprises along the way. To live in gratitude for clarity and to live in gratitude when you cannot yet see. To live appreciating the foundation you have built thus far and to live relishing the adventure of discovery.
A question I had been seeking answers to was how to integrate death into life, for I do not believe that death is a permanent goodbye. If you have read To the Moon and Back to Me: What I Learned from Four Running Feet, you will know that from my vantage point those no longer on Earth are still within our reach. Five years later and Roo continues to be my guide. Even better is that she rallies others to be my support from time to time.
What I didn’t realize until more recently was that Ginger and I weren’t completely fulfilling our co-destiny. We were living, but we hadn’t taken a final needed leap. We, each other’s solace as our heart’s healed now needed to become a teaching team. It was time for Ginger to no longer be little sister, but to be her own beautiful wise, oh, so wise, soul to help me in my messaging.
It has not only been Gonzaga University, Roo, or Peppi to lead me to the next book, Hope Has a Cold Nose. Right beside me for the past five years has been my greatest teacher of listening, healing, unconditional compassion, and hope. As I stand at the doorway of a new year setting intentions for 2020, I now recognize how much more I can learn about the art of listening from the one who walks, runs, and rests beside me.
Ginger is now wise sage and big sister to a little sister who is a German Shorthair Pointer like dear Roo, and Hans too. Yet Kutana is no comparison, her own individuality shining through. I had befriended death and grief in such a way that I found beauty and gifts that both bring. Yet, I hadn’t fully integrated death into life still holding tightly to certain memories. In the wise words said to me that hold meaning applicable to how we can choose to approach life – if we hold so tightly to what was, we may miss out on the joy we can find. It isn’t about looking for our previous two GSP’s to find happiness in an addition to our family. It is about the joy of having a German Shorthair Pointer that we would gain by expanding from a home of three.
Ginger has a heart full of love to give and so much to teach. It is time for Ginger to grow into all she is meant to be. Both Ginger and I will also step into 2020 learning another intention – the art of discovery. Kutana brings to us her innocence and curiosity. Her exploration through the unknown will remind Ginger and I the power of child-like wonderment and the fun of learning new things – or seeing old things with new eyes. Dear grief, Ginger and I, with thankful hearts for the healing journey, are now saying goodbye. Hello joy, here let us help you walk in further – our arms open wide!