Saturday, December 27, 2008

A Voice In The Modern Wilderness

I received an email last night from my first Greensburg friend, Eileen, who was the across-the-street neighbor when Michael and I moved here. Not knowing anything of the area and what to be looking for, we considered several rentals that allowed dogs. Meggie and Yoki were 15 and 16 at that time. In good health, but you can imagine, not all that active. Not much chance of them eating a house or digging up a yard. Still, not many places would allow us to have pets.

We the settled on the quaint, Cape Cod because it is in a quiet, tree-lined neighborhood with lawns and character. And, mostly because it reminded me of my beloved home in The Long Green Valley. The necessary backyard was what closed the deal. A couple of days after moving in, and yes, I was crying, wondering what the hell I'd done by moving away from 'home'- a knock came on the front door. I opened it to a smiling lady holding flowers, "Hi, I'm Eileen and I live just across from you. Welcome to the neighborhood. These are from my yard." How nice was that?

Eileen and I became neighbor/friends. I met hubby, Joel, and daughter, Jean. Joel and Eileen are avid gardeners and love to share the wealth of produce they squeeze out of a small plot in the corner of their backyard. It's amazing how much great tasting stuff they get from their diligence. And, I was very happy to have everything that came across the street to my kitchen.

Hosta and day-lilies are part of Eileen's gardening delights. She was very excited when I told her how much I loved them and how sad I was to have left my favorites back in my Maryland gardens. When we moved to Eton Drive, Eileen shared many wonderful plants from her garden to help me get started here. Every time I'm out working in them, I feel Eileen close. She's a major part of my, 'Friends Garden' where I have placed all the plants that have been shared with me.

She suggested stores, physicians, other services in the area. Eileen tuned me on to the best place to buy artist's supplies. She shared her vast collection of stamps and paper; she is a fabulous card maker! And, she sparked my interest once again for card fabrication. I joined her for card making classes every now and again. These classes are Eileen's treat to herself and give her a night out on a regular basis.

Eileen and Joel are dedicated parents to Jean who has special needs. Jean is 30ish and has the most rich, luxuriant, sable hair. She has pretty eyes and when she smiles, her whole face lights up. She adores her mom and dad who make her world. She likes to volunteer with Eileen and help at a couple of sites where they are a dynamic team doing good works.

Jean is very possessive of Joel and Eileen which is understandable. She's also not very comfortable with new people so it took awhile until she was used to me visiting or talking with Eileen. Some days she was fine with it, some days not.

Jean is an adolescent in an adult's body. I wonder that she doesn't become frustrated because she is a woman but will never be treated as such. She is generally overlooked or misunderstood by most, who treat her like a child without a brain in her head. That's a huge mistake because Jean is quite smart. How does she not become completely annoyed with people who don't recognize that? She doesn't lack intelligence! It's that she can't always express what's going on in that bright brain of hers. I wish people would treat her with respect instead of condescension.

Jean says some remarkable things...she truly acts as Spirit's messenger on many occasions. With no disrespect to Jean, the only phrase I can think of is, "Out of the mouths of babes..." For, when Jean says these things, they are simple, concise, and absolutely awesome in their impact.

Eileen shared that, while reading the blog, she was reminded of something Jean said as they were walking to the car from church services. Jean was quiet which Eileen has come to recognize happens when she is puzzling with a thought. Following the quiet, Jean said, "You know Mom, you can’t feel or touch love but you know when it is there,"... a few more silent steps... "You can’t buy love because stores don’t sell it. It is not for sale.”

You can't feel or touch love...but you know when it's there. How incredibly true is that? It cuts to the heart of things in its simplicity making us remember. I think of Jean as a prophet- a voice that slashes through the noise to the essence of living authentically. Because she is so physically compromised, her words have all the more impact. Because she is dismissed or under-valued, you are slammed into amazement by her pronouncements.

Jean who is so underestimated can certainly tell when love is there and when it isn't. We, all of us, can tell that. We need to remember so we bring love to every encounter despite what we think we know of a person. Despite how our eyes might deceive us.

I'm sure most don't recognize Jean as Spirit's loved servant and tool. But, then again, I doubt that any prophet, in their own time, was ever recognized as such. Her parents recognize Jean for the gift that she is; I can't say for certain that it was done with intent, for how could Eileen have known when deciding on a name, how very special her baby would be? But, in French, John is spelled, Jean- as in Jean The Baptist, the the prophet whose voice rang out from the wilderness telling us to make way in our hearts for the love of Spirit... the love that is not sold in stores. The love that is not for sale.

Eileen and Jean; a wonderful team of mother and daughter. I am honored to count Eileen as a friend, and humbled by Jean's bright spirit in our midst.

Namaste' Till Next Time,


Ronda said...

Michael told me about your site and this is the first I have had time to read it. I love what you have to say. Thanks for sharing your wonderful, creative thoughts.
Love you,

chrisk said...

I know of whom you speak, and you are so right about them and their special relationship. What a beautiful tribute to Jean, and Eileen.

Anonymous said...

Jean is a lesson to many and I know of her spiritual insights. She is such an example of achievement beyond prediction. Love and disregard of low expectations have made her a light for tose blinded by the fact that she is not like everyone else. She is a child Jesus would hug should He drop by. Blessings ti that special family.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin

My Previous Musings