One of the things my mother loved most was chocolate donuts. It was us, the animals and then it was chocolate donuts. I think it was for over 20 years that it was her preferred breakfast.
Along side a white ceramic mug of black tea often wrapped with the image of a flower
Or at lunch accompanied by a glass of Pepsi with a couple cubes of ice.
There was a moment after she passed that I promised my mother that every time I saw a chocolate donut I would get it and make it as lavish as I can in the moment.
Heating it up
Sautéed fruit as a dip
Cinnimon, Cardamon, Nutmeg
Sprinkled coffee grounds
or a small scoop of some form of ice cream
Or perhaps nothing at all.
Either way it was a moment of presence.
With a donut
And my mother.
As I sit down and indulge with every sense in every bite.
Remembering and enjoying the essence and love of her.
Taking time to catch her up on my life.
For so much of my life I didn’t share with her what she had created.
She created me.
Yet for most of my life I have kept my creations, experiences and expressions,
Mostly to myself, in a box or at the very least from her.
I underestimated my mother
I didn’t think she would understand, really care or relate. Then again perhaps those were all excuses designed to protect me.
Fearing I would feel my own pain, anger or frustration again of the disconnection from my family.
My inability to ask for what I wanted
While I perpetuated It myself.
Keeping myself from those I cared about the most and fearing the separation I continued to play a part in creating as I really attempt to relay them to her
thinking they could only be understood through experience.
Yes and . . . there is always more to the story
An unseen perspective
Until love finally unveils itself
And with tears in hand
It washes away all the other stories that we thought were true.
I have always wanted to be with family on Christmas.
In the mountains
In the snow
By the fire
and telling stories of the heart
While we inspire one another reminding each other again why are all put here together on this plain.
The smell of evergreen permeating the air
Infecting our lungs with the nostalgia of nature, home, peace and presence.
It reminds me of a famous and beautiful tale that took place during WW2 when opposing forces, ended up converging at a cabin nestled in the middle of the woods on Christmas Day.
They decided to hold a truce
and eat together.
To be nourished and while they felt and shared their own hearts they experienced and shared the hearts of their perceived enemies
Of other souls
Of other son’s of mothers and fathers
Of other children
Of other expressions of love
Just like them
It feels like a mirror reflecting our own hearts. That those opposing forces are inside of me as I sit at this table alone listening to Jason Marz’s Halfway Home
Wondering what is happening to me
What happened to me
And where I am going
All the while part of me not caring, another terrified yet willing and another trusting and loving every step and breath of the journey with tremendous gratitude.
Yet I have kept these inside of me
all of these parts of me have been mostly silent for years.
As they seek to become one
To speak its truth and allow the shift of an old paradigm to discover, allow and marry into a new one
Dripping into my bloodstream like an IV.
A valve that I have opened in, a times, violent spurts and then kept close to my heart
Yet the pressure is upon it because stories and hearts were never meant to be kept secrets.
Everything wants to be discovered.
And right now I am discovering myself.
Unknown to even me.
Or is that just another excuse.
that lies in all of us is inherent in everything that we touch.
Can we hear it.
Or perhaps more appropriately
Can we allow it.
Feeling her deeply
I wanted to connect with my mother today.
So I grabbed a bike that was generously offered to me and began peddling down the street.
A kind man politely directed me to a nearby bakery.
When I arrived a lovely woman
who was a waitress there
Informed me that I needed a mask to enter.
A foreign concept to me yet I don’t mind playing and respect those that desire them.
She was kind
And went to retrieve me one so I could discover the baked goods.
I placed it on my face and walked over to one of many different display cases.
Christmas lights draped over the main pillar of the mostly wooden shop
That held a hip vibe
As I moved through the space I could hear my mother’s voice telling me to just get that I want.
As a medium I have been given many gifts most of which I have only used for others
Perhaps I was feeling unworthy to use them for myself. Perhaps. Ever since she was in Hospice I have been able to hear her all the time.
Like she is with me.
In me now.
A part of me as I help shift the stories and paradigms of my ancestors as much as my own.
We truly are the ones we have been waiting for.
Whatever the case, on these moments in particular I hear her clearly.
It is because it is on these days that I can feel my heart most.
"Get what you like Rich.”
Half sobbing, “I want a chocolate donut, mom.”
“You don’t have to. Get what you want.”
“I know I don’t. I am.”
“Are you sure you wouldn’t like something else.”
I scour the display cases taking everything in with the idea that perhaps I do want something else
Or it’s time to get something else and let go
Or that there are no chocolate donuts so its a sign to get something else.
As I run through them they all fade away.
“No mom. I want a chocolate donut. It reminds me of you and I love that.”
A few moments later I discover two breeds of chocolate donuts in the upper left hand corner of the main display case. One in particular I named Chocolate euphoria. Glazed Chocolate fudge with green red and white Christmas sprinkles covered with a mountain of Brownies pieces. It’s moments like these that remind me that mom is here with me and always will be.
I wait behind the only other customer at the counter.
For a brief moment the thought came across my mind that she would purchase the two chocolate donuts.
And she does.
My inner kid is completely crushed and I begin to fall apart.
I scour the display case for more chocolate donuts and ask the lady behind the counter if there are any others. She sweetly says no they are out.
Through tears I try to explain my situation and if there is ay way that she can help me. While my heart broke open I tried to understand what this was trying to teach me. I later found out that it wasn’t trying to teach me as much as give me more space to feel alive and a sense of love and connection to my heart and mother. To break me even more open as the woman who had the donuts,
who was on her cell phone
waiting for a cappuccino
relaxing in a cushy chair on the side of the restaurant
Generously donated one of the donuts to me.
I had decided I was going to go ask her though
The lady behind the display case already had
She told her my story she invited me over to join her.
A wonderful Costa Rican woman named Patricia (said with a Spanish Accent) who grew up in New Jersey,
She has lived here for three years and is happily employed as a teacher
Working with youth in the arts.
She loves painting and apparently chocolate donuts.
My mom and her would get along great.
I was overwhelmed with gratitude as tears poured down my face and into my mask
Reminding me again that my mother was there
that people are, designed to feel, love and share their hearts, resources and gifts with one another to help our hearts and imaginations expand further and further.
Christmas has been, for a long time about separation for me. That’s the story I’ve been writing anyway. I’m not sure why. I know I am part of the creation. On this day though I am remembering how extraordinary my mother was and has always been. Celebrating her as she always did and continues to do her best. When I was young my mother was amazing at Christmas. My dad too. I know he had a lot of struggles and challenges many of which I may never know though he always did his best. They both did.
On special days like birthdays and Christmas in particular I always celebrate my mother in particular with a chocolate donut whenever possible. I made a promise to her that whenever I see a chocolate donut on my travels I will purchase it, heat it up if possible and slowly, joyously sit down and celebrate her while I smell, touch, taste and experience my mother and share with her one of her loves.
Placing the last piece into the Earth for her.
I’m adding that I am doing a blog post as well with each donut.
I’ll call it the Chocolate Donut Diaries
For my inner kid.
Years ago I used to judge her for it. Now I see that, in her life, is was one of the things that brought her the most joy.
And now it is one of the things that brings me the most in mine.
Merry Christmas Mom. I love you.
I am currently on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. Having just finished a 28 day fast and a 200-hour Yoga Teacher training, I am in the process of integrating my body, mind and soul into a new spaciousness. The past two months I have experienced new depths of love through grief, anger, and gratitude as my emotional energy has flowed through my pen, tears and heart into my food, my writings, my computer, the cloth and bedding that has held me, my voice my newly awakened inner child. Through all of it the hearts at Korrigan Lodge and Punta Mona, Holly Barber, Iara Luz, Emily Clary, Aliza Rivka, Kristin Cauldwell, Luis Navarrete, Molly Sue, Scott Stevens, Lorenzo Leighton, Brina Steinhelfer, Cindy Love, Ana Gonzales, Kula Collective, and others that has held and moved me consistently on this journey. The fast was a 28-days Half Master Cleanse / Half Water Cleanse. It came to be one of the most intense and powerful experiences of my life. The day after I finished I shifted over to a 200-hour Yoga Certification course on the heart of a beautiful land and loving community known as Punta Mona for 24 days. We finished yesterday and tomorrow I head for Nosara on the Pacific Coast following the call of the unknown as my heart longs to write, read and share my gifts with the world and unravel all that has been built up inside of me for what feels like lifetimes. In truth I don’t know anything and I don’t know what I am doing. All I know is that I have so many stories that are waiting to fall out of me, mine and others, and that my cup has been full for a long time. That it is time to stop, feel, play, create and share all that has been stored up inside of me.
So tomorrow I walk into the unknown again.
I love you mom. Thank you for helping me remember to enjoy the sweetness of life.
I miss you.