Life Vignettes: how precious they are.

tea and cup and notes

Vignettes: I love observing them, always have. And yesterday’s vignettes were both comforting and poignant. They reminded me—for the millionth time, I’m sure—of the tenuous nature of life.

I had facilitated a deep healing session with a client. In my shamanic work, I call upon all kinds of spiritual helpers to assist me: One of them is actually a Bear spirit. Bear is an awesome healing partner: there is an easy flow between us, and we go right to the heart—sometimes literally—of what needs to be removed from a person’s energy field and released to Great Spirit/God/Source. After such a healing, I honor Bear’s service by feeding her: Berries of some kind and salmon in any form are best.

It’s still summer, so I visited a local farmstead because they sell small pieces of delicious smoked salmon.Yum! I bought both salmon and the last of the season’s blueberries, carried them to my car parked in the shade, and was enjoying the munch when a text arrived. I was shocked to discover that a beloved client and pal had died a few days ago. The messenger had assumed I knew about this, and she wanted to commiserate and state her sadness.

I didn’t know. There were no calls, messages, texts or emails stating that this had happened. There was only a Facebook notification—and I wasn’t even aware of that. Not too long ago, I sat with her and her wonderful hubby on their deck in order to strategize what was best for her in dealing with a recent cancer diagnosis. The couple said they would keep me posted and call on me for support.

But they didn’t call, and I never noticed the post about the Hail Mary chemo treatment she was going to try, nor did I see the post about her death.

Still in shock, I drove to my next errand at the Food Co-op. In the parking lot, a pal called out to me: “How is your new place? Are you happy?” “Yes. Very happy,” said I—which for the most part is true. I love where we’ve landed.  Wandered into the store and was immediately asked by a small elderly woman with twinkly eyes to reach for some coupons on the glass of the dairy case. Tickled me to be “tall” enough to do so (not a usual request for a 5’1″‘ person). Then she went on: “It’s important to make the proper selection of yogurts. Please help me.” And so we chose the best, most proper yogurt flavors, and then she moved onto the next helper pal: “Excuse me young man, what do you know about these figs?”  I love that there are people who can easily ask for help, and in doing so, there is a sweet energy exchange in the process.

Sad tears were forming—the shock was wearing off—so I  sat down with a cup of tea in the co-op cafe. Through misty eyes, I observed: A rousing card game between a young man with Down’s and 2 women who obviously enjoyed his company and each other. At another table, a father/daughter date was happening: Tea with daddy—the young daughter chattering away, daddy smiling and engaged, both in their own world. A man walks by with a painted face, I wasn’t sure if it was a skull or an animal. Another man laughs out loud about something he saw on his computer…. The usual scenes, really. But none of it seemed usual to me.

I wandered to the mercantile section of the store where the card game fella was perusing earrings with his gal pals. He held out a hand and said” Hello to you!” I shook it and said, “You had a great card game today!” “Yes, it was so great! Life is great!”

And so it was.  And so it is. Now, I  can go on to say that life is precious—ok I guess I just said it—but what I really want to say is this: Life is great because it is life. I know that there are those of you who might not be feeling it right now: You might be recently homeless due to storms or floods, or you might have lost the love of your life. Yet life is great because life presents us with opportunities of all sorts: Healing opportunities. Grieving opportunities. Chances and choices to be be kind, to do for others, or to take care of ourselves. I see these choices and chances all around me in vivid detail right now. And in honor of a woman who lived life with kindness and warmth and compassion and feistyness and wonder, I will continue to offer what I have as a healer and as a human, but with more passion than ever.

And I’m going to make sure I feed the Bear.

Love and blessings,
I’m offering 2 days of healing sessions at special pricing and $10 goes to Direct Relief , an organization that offers supplies, foods and basic needs to residents of the Caribbean islands.

What: Energy healing sessions. $75 – $10 to Direct relief org charity.
When: Friday and Saturday, September 22 and 23, five appointment slots per day.
Schedule: via email:

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Elke Macartney

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