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Remembering Those We Love


In the past two years I've lost a lot of people I've loved.  During my healing, I've spent time doing what I term 'soulful wandering'.  I pick a place on a map and drive there and walk around with no intention other than to explore and lose myself in a new energy.  Somehow Spirit always finds me there.


On one such trip, Spirit led me to a place called Calistoga, California

I had a meeting in Berkeley that day and half-way through felt called to cut-loose and left for the rest of the day.  I drove until I found myself in Calistoga and parked and walked.  Now Calistoga has a reputation as a spa town.  Being in Napa Valley, it’s understandable, yet for me, that day, Spirit led me there for a much different reason…


I came upon a group of potted trees made by the community.  The one I noticed first was called a Remembrances Tree.  It was a place where people could put a memory of someone they loved.  There were small paper tags and pens at the base of the tree and people had written messages to loved one's and hung them in remembrance and, I believe, for others to read.  I stood there and read the stories of parents that lost children, lovers that lost their beloved, children who had lost parents and friends who had lost each other.  It was a humbling and human experience to be in the presence of such a gift.  I was truly awed as I saw the hundreds of messages posted and thought of all of the lives who were given expression here.


The tree next to this one was the Gratitude Tree where people posted things they were grateful for.  There were several trees there, for several reasons, and one thing I noticed in all of them, was the underlying truth, that while we sometimes feel alone in the world, we all walk the same course.  We may choose different jobs, have different people in our lives, find different uses for our money and our time, yet ultimately, the greatest gifts as humans are those people and experiences that remind us of who we are and open our hearts to the connections to one another.


When I left Calistoga, I felt the depth of the experience of being with these trees and it stayed with me as the constant reminder that while death is a part of life, no one can take from our hearts the memories of what another meant for us.  And with those trees I was reminded of how important it is not only to remember someone, but to share our stories with others for in those memories, we honor the history of those who've given us so much.


Many blessings to you and all those you love.



Copyright © 2000 |  Jenifer Shapiro and The Empowerment Centre, LLC

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