It started around one in the morning, this rain, and continued for close to twelve hours. Steady and strong, the rain gauge already reads over an inch and a quarter with no sign of stopping. Water flows across the gravel drive, a mini-torrent pushing pebbles and twigs down to the wash. The mountain fog languished heavily for most of the morning but has now dissipated to mist allowing me to catch a glimpse of silver waterfalls. I treasure this rain. It is more than the much needed moisture; it is a day of self-restoration and full sensations. The storm arrived without fanfare: no smell of ozone in the air, no bursts of lightening or thunder, no slashing wind to cut the night. So I fling the windows open the better to hear the cadence of raindrops. The diversity of its music catches me by surprise: a heavy rhythm on the concrete, tin music on the cars and softer splashes on the leaves. Tom pulls on heavy boots and a poncho and I listen to him stomp through the water to retrieve his Wall Street Journal. The dogs run in bringing in the damp on their glistening fur, shaking and sending an arc of water across the tiles already wet with their prints. A rainbow appears on the floor, a trail of towels and rags to soak up the wet, and I decide to leave it there in anticipation of future doggy excursions. The air is so fresh and cold, I inhale deeply and welcome the opportunity to stop and wrap myself in a blanket and lay kindling in the fireplace to ward off the afternoon gloom. The warmth of a cup of hot tea soothes my hands; its amber liquid calms my heart. A day to go nowhere but into myself, a place I have not been for awhile. And then I received the news.
Sally transitioned after battling cancer for fourteen months. I learned this on Facebook, of all places. Her family posted the message on her account, a good thing I suppose, for otherwise I would not have known. We were not close friends but we were kindred spirits, or at least she saw the potential in me, the desire for more, or simply that I was a lost soul searching for something. Pulling out my blue binder of certificates, I looked up the date: the course on Quantum Touch completed in February 2008. Eager to explore the world of energy work, I drove six hours on a rainy weekend from Chicago to The Christine Center in northern Wisconsin. A dozen or so people attended the weekend course, folks ranging from massage therapists (like me) to a dentist, some nurses and one or two seekers looking for a magic healing bullet. At dinner that night, I filled my plate and pulled out a chair at a solitary table. Others seemed to have come in pairs or threes, sharing the drive and the expense of lodging. As I bent to taste my bowl of vegetarian soup, a voice with a light Irish lilt sang out, may I join you? I looked up into a face soft with wrinkles, hair like spun sugar and blue eyes filled with kindness. With that, our friendship began.
There are people who cross your path for only a short time, yet it could be a lifetime, the impact is that great. For some time I had moused around the edges of energy work, quietly exploring, curious but reluctant, believing but uncertain. Sally brought Reiki and energy work firmly into my life. She was thirty years my senior, older than my mother, yet when we sat and talked over dinner that night it was like dining with family or, better yet, that dearest friend who knows everything about you and loves you anyway. With her encouragement, I pursued my interest in Reiki and kept her abreast of my progress. My first encounter with the Akashic Records was with Sally and, as she walked through my previous lives to help me understand the current one, I remember her words, you can do this, too, you know. Her confidence fueled me forward.
A few months before I left Chicago, I went to Sally’s home for lunch. Her two story white farmhouse was set back from the road, a leftover of rural times in a suburban setting. Flowers spilled over the walkway and widely bordered the house leaving precious little room for a lawn. A giant oak shaded the yard. Inside, Sally’s personality filled every corner. Quilts and needlework graced the walls, antique furniture smelled like lemon, and lilacs in a vase graced the table. Pointing up she told me the story of how she and her husband planned to install a new drop ceiling until they discovered the secret hidden above the old. Her husband was long gone and she was a widow now, but the fine oak beams that they refinished together still gleamed. The center island in the kitchen held jars and jars of herbs and oils, the old fashioned porcelain sink that stood on iron legs had a checkered blue and white skirt, and wonderful smells emanated from the old gas stove in the corner. We shared a simple meal of brown rice and caramelized onions topped with black beans that afternoon. Comfort food shared with a comfortable friend. At the end of our afternoon, we promised to get together again in the next few months. We promised to do a better job of keeping in touch. It never happened, though, for I soon found myself on the way to Arizona and Facebook became the only thread connecting us.
As I sit here at my laptop and write these words, I know she is laughing at me. Grief is not her style and I can hear her say “I’m still here!” Even as I know she is right and that I can call on her when I wish, I still miss her. Much like today’s rain, I treasure the time Sally and I spent together.