Wednesday, March 31, 2010

April Fools

Good morning to all you lovely people out there in Blogland.  The rain has stopped and finally a glimpse of the sun.  I heard on the news this morning that this has been the rainiest March in New York City history.  So, today is the last day of March.  Can you believe it?  How fast time is flying by!  Soon my eldest will be 34; it seems like yesterday that I was pushing him about in his carriage.  Last night my son and I were talking, and I told him about his first day of school.  I brought him to the classroom, and as I was about to leave, he threw himself into a major temper tantrum.  It was awful.  The teacher, who knew exactly how to handle it, told me, "Leave.  Just leave. He will be okay."  So, despite my trepidation, I left, and by the time I got out the front door and peeked into the window, he was sitting in his chair as calm as could be.  

"The first of April is the day we remember what we are the other 364 days of the year."  Mark Twain

So, tomorrow is April Fools' Day.  Last year I walked into my bosses office and told him "I quit".  If you could have seen the look on his face.  Then I said, "April Fools".  If you could have seen the look on his face!  But how did April Fools' Day originate, anyway?  Actually, you can say, it is an unsolved mystery. 

There are some who say it began in many different parts of the world at the same time as a way of livening up the spring equinox celebration. Others argue that it was the result of the adoption of Gregorian calendar.  It seems that in ancient times, the New Year began on March 25th followed by 8 days of festivities and ending on April 1st.  Then, when the new calendar came about, New Years' Day was moved to January 1st.  This was confusing to many who refused to accept the new date. And, it also must be taken into account that communication traveled slowly in those days; thus, some people only learned of the change several years later. So, for whatever reason, it took several years before the January 1st date was accepted. 

And then we come to those people who refused, under any circumstances, to acknowledge this date change and continued to celebrate on April 1st.  The general population labeled these people 'fools' and began to ridicule them by sending them on 'fool errands' such as extending invitations to non-existent parties or by playing other practical jokes on them.  This continued over time and eventually became the April Fools' Day we know today.  

Some April Fools' Day tidbits:

In Scotland, the day is dedicated to spoofs involving the buttocks and is know as "Taily Day".  The origins of the "Kick Me" sign can be traced back to this observance.

In Rome, the day is called the "Festival of Hilaria".  It is the culmination of the observance of the god, Attis, which occurred on March 25th.  

In England tricks are played on each other only in the morning for it was considered bad luck to play a practical joke on someone after the noon hour.  

What is one of your most infamous April Fools' Day tricks?   

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Worm Moon in Libra


Good morning all from a very rainy and windy Manhattan.  I almost took the day off, but decided since I was up already, but I tell you, this is the kind of day you love to stay snuggled up in your bed.  The wind was howling and the rain was beating against my window pane. But, once was up and showered, I figured I might as well go,use the sick day another time.  I did almost change my mind once I stepped outdoors, but, heck, a little rain is not going to melt me.  Hope you all are staying warm and dry. 

Moonrise

And who has seen the moon, who has not seen
Her rise from out of the chamber of the deep,
Flushed and grand and naked, as from he chamber
Of finished bridegroom, seen her rise and throw
Confession of delight upon the wave,
Littering the waves with her own superscription
Of bliss, till all her lambent beauty shakes toward us
Spread out and known at last, and we are sure
That beauty is a thing beyond the grave,
That perfect, bright experience never falls
To nothingness, and time will dim the moon
Sooner than our full consummation here
In this odd life will tarnish and pass away.

D.H. Lawrence 
This months full moon is called the Full Worm or Seed Moon.  It heralds the beginning of the growing season, and as the temperature begins to rise and the ground begins to thaw new life appears as the Earth bursts into blossoming beauty.  The Northern tribes called this moon the Full Crow Moon because, to them, the cawing of the crows signified the end of winter.  To the settlers in American, it was also known as the Lenten Moon and was considered to be the last full Moon of the winter.

According to mythology, Demeter has been roaming the Earth in search of her daughter, Persephone,  who was abducted by Hades and carried off into the Underworld.  And, during the winter months, as Demeter neglected Her duties as the Earth Goddess, the seeds didn't sprout, the trees were bare, and a famine hung over the land. Zeus, seeing the world so barren and cold, ordered Hades to let Persephone return, but She had already eaten six pomegranate seeds which meant she could not return to Her mother permanently, but would spend six months in the Underworld with Hades and six months with Her mother.  So, when Persephone is with Hades, Demeter grieves, and we have winter; then, when Persephone returns to Her mother, Spring arrives and the world once again comes to life.

Spring brings with it a special kind of energy, and when this energy arrives, the last thing you want to do is sit still.  Spring Fever sets in and we begin to work in our gardens, give our homes a good cleaning and airing out.  This is a good time to write down ideas, make plans, start new projects.  It is a good time to bless the seeds.  Wear green in honor of the sprouting earth.  Cover your altar with green fabric and decorate it with wildflowers.  With full moon occurring in Libra, it is also a good time to look at issues of balance and harmony in your life.  Consider invoking a goddess of justice and balance such as Ma'at.

May you all have a blessed and joyful day.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Rainy Days and Mondays



Good afternoon.  It's a rainy Monday here in the city...a very rainy Monday.  Sure has been a rainy season so far.  Lots of flooding.  I wonder if all this rain didn't have something to do with the manhole explosions.  Well, it's over now.  All is back to normal. It seems that the underground wires are covered with rubber, and as they get old, they begin to emit a gas...nothing related to the gas in our homes, but a gas nonetheless.  And, as more and more gas builds up underneath, all it takes is a small spark and hence, an explosion.  At least that is the way it was explained to me.

Finally got my new cable box late afternoon yesterday, and all is back as it was.  Except now I get up and I find out about the suicide bombers in Russia. Doesn't mean that it's going to happen here, but it's eerie to see all the police around again.  However, I have learned to live with this and realize that now it will be a part of my life.  There was once a time that I would get so scared that I would get off the train and wait for the next one because someone looked suspicious, but the fact is, I cannot...I will nor allow fear to rule my life. Of course, I am cautious, but I will not allow someone that much power over me.

What really bothers me over these suicide bombers is that they are done in the name of religion.  Isn't it ironic that something that is supposed to comfort us has been used as a means of control and to instill fear.  However, often religion is used...or misused...to perpetrate conflicts which have nothing to do with religion.  Those who actively perpetrate these acts of violence have little or no knowledge of the tenets of the faith in the name of which they commit heinous acts of violence and destruction.  But, it's not my purpose here today to bash religion.  I believe that each religion has its good points; it's what people interpret about it and how they utilize what they interpret. 

Here in the city, we're a hardy bunch.  Violence is all around us every day, everywhere.  Even in some of the safest neighborhoods, violence happens.  So, we can either cower in fear and and hide out in our homes, or get out there and live our lives.  I choose the latter. One day I hope to get out of the city, but for now I am stuck here. Life goes on, and I plan on living mine as well as I possibly can.


Sunday, March 28, 2010

Amost Back to Normal

Good afternoon, all, and thanks so much for the concern yesterday.  The nightmare appears to be over...although they have been working out there all night...and are still working. Hubby and I kept the music on all night just so we could get a little sleep. I'm waiting now for my new cable box...and then my household should be back to normal.


Yes, what a weekend it has been.  Reminded me of something I learned a long time ago..."Always expect the unexpected."  I also realized that I may cry and tremble, but I do have what it takes to handle an emergency.  I was able to keep a clear enough head to gather what was important in case of evacuation.  In a small way, yesterday brought me back to 9/11.  Oh, I don't mean that I am comparing the two, because there is NO comparison whatsoever between the two incidents...but, the feelings were somewhat similar in the effect of not knowing what is going to happen next. It's the 'not knowing' that is the most frightening. The feelings I had yesterday were much the same as those I had on that fateful day.  Back then, I was staying strong for the 46 people in the halfway house who depended on me to stay strong.  Yesterday, I stayed strong because there was nothing else to do...but stay strong.  Fortunately, no one was hurt yesterday, but they could have been.  First, one manhole exploded, and then another, and yet another...all the way down the block and out of each flames were shooting up.  It really could have been much worse.


Have to share this one with you.  The ignorance of some people!!!  At one point, I looked out, and there was a woman with a child in the stroller and about 5 other children ranging from age 2 to about 7. And there she stood, stroller and all, no more than 3 feet away from one of the manholes that had exploded...and she was letting her children, toddler's mind you, lean over to get a better look.  She made no effort to move until the police chased her away.  Now, is that moronic or not?  And, that wasn't an isolated experience.  It was happening all day.  And when the men were trying to do their work, all the children of the neighborhood...and there are a lot...were all hovering around in their way.  This after we had all been told to stay indoors.  I just don't get it.  To me, human life is far more important than 'getting a good view of the action'.  (I actually heard one mother say that her children didn't want to miss any of the action).  


Oh, well, we can never know what makes some people tick.  We don't know how they think, what they think.  I'll never understand why supposedly loving parents can allow their children to be around such obvious danger.  Let's face it.  My son is in his 30's and yesterday he went to the store for us...just before the car blew up...and I was a nervous wreck, so worried about him.  Yet, these mother's don't seem to care.  Is this another sign of the times?

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Finally over....I hope


Well, in my earlier post I had thought that things were on the mend, and after a nap I'd be up and about. But before I could say 'good night', the power went out.  It's now 8:55, and it just came back on.  They're still out there working...Verizon, Con Ed, some enormous truck with a giant-sized vacuum.  We're all so hungry, I immediately put the food on to warm up...(had no gas either).  So, I just wanted to let you all know that we're all right.  Got an awful headache from all the stress, and my body is completely worn down.  You know how it is after that adrenaline rush wears down.  

I just wanted to share something that happened today with our 911 system.  Now, just before the car blew up, I had looked out the window and saw all the smoke.  My neighbor upstairs came down and said the car was going to explode, and they tried to call the fire department back,  but their phone service had been affected. Why the fire department left, I will never know because flames were shooting up out of the man holes.  So, I dial 911 from my phone which, by the way, is in the bedroom.  My neighbor is watching the car out the front door, and he's saying "Oh, the flames are on the roof now".  "The tires are blowing". "The hood is melting."  In the meantime, my bedroom is too close for comfort.  So, I when the operator pick up, I tell her what is happening, give her the address, and tell her to have the fire department hurry.  She tells me, "Now, hold on, I'm going to transfer you to the fire department so you can give them the info."  

I tell her that the car is right outside my window and ready to blow, that I have to get out of the room.  My neighbor's screaming, "Hang up."  But, still she tells me to wait.  Then, I get the fire department, and they're asking me all the same info...address, borough, cross streets.  By now, I am hysterical and telling her that all I want to do is get out of the room...and now SHE is telling me to hold on.  I'm screaming, "It's gonna blow.  I don't want to get hurt."  And the last thing I heard as I was hanging up was 'hold on.'  And, as I ran through the bedroom door, the room shook as the car exploded.  Thankfully, my windows didn't bust out...but I sure am gonna write the news about this one.

Thanks all of you for your concern.  Gonna go eat now, and just climb into bed.  Love ya all. 

I'm Back

I'm back, but not for long.  Been one heck of a day, and I really need a little rest.  Started when my cat decided at 6 am this morning that I had slept long enough.  I try to remember that she is getting old, but sometimes it is just so difficult because I am, too.  LOL!!!  Working full-time, I so look forward to sleeping in on the weekends, but when you have a rather spoiled fur baby, it doesn't always work out that way.  

Then, when my son got up we got to work on this computer.  I'd printed out all kinds of information on getting rid of those nasty bugs...and we discovered a product called Hitman Pro 3.5...got rid of it right a way and was free for the first 30 days.  Turned out I had a Trojan and a nasty little bugger called a Rootkit.  Now, mind you, not too long ago I had just paid Norton top dollar to have a good antiviral system...so you'd best bet they got a nasty little email from me.  All Norton's been picking up is Cookies.  I just ran Norton two nights ago and it said found and took care of a cookie...meanwhile, these rather nasty little critters were lurking on my computer.  Don't think I will renew Norton again, but I do plan on getting the Hitman.  

Now, picture me now, all happy that I can get back on my computer, and all the lights start flickering.  Oh, no, the power's going...but it turned out to be far worse than a power failure.  One of the manholes on the street blew up and there was smoke and gas all over.  I'm thinking now...evacuation.  Then, a second manhole goes up and now there are flames...and the fire department and the police are there.  It seemed as if everything was calming down, and I was lying there on the bed...just resting...when I start hearing strange noises outside.  I look out and there is lots of smoke coming from a car parked outside my house...only about 10 feet from my bedroom window.  It's time to move on out of the room and as I had for the door, there is a loud boom as it blew up.  I ran out of the bedroom and closed the door behind me.

By now, I'm starting to shake.  In the beginning, my neighbor had said it shouldn't get any worse, but it was beginning to look like a war zone on my block.  Now, I discovered that, although I don't panic, panic...I do tend to get rather emotional during emergencies like that.  I was downright scared. Sirens, explosions, flames, smoke, people running all over the place.  I won't forget this Saturday for a long, long time.

And so, now it is all calmed down.  Luckily, we turned the computer and the bedroom television off in time, but my living room television was our only casualty...the cable box is completely blown. So, right now I am gonna go climb into my bed and close my eyes and try to get a little rest. These past 4 hours have really gotten the best of me...and I am totally worn down.    

Friday, March 26, 2010

Looks Like a Sad Weekend Ahead

Good morning on a cold day in Manhattan.  Winter has returned...but only for a day or two.  That's not why the tears this morning.  Actually, I am feeling sad because I may not be able to talk to any of you until Monday.  It seems my computer has picked up the Google virus.  I don't know how it happened because I pay for the top antivirus program from Norton, but somehow it got through, and as a result, I cannot open my blogs...and any search I type in goes into re-direct.  I am devastated.  That computer means the world to me.  You all know that I am a couch potato, pretty much a loner.  You all are my friends, and it is really going to hurt not to be able to talk to any of you over the weekend. It bugs the heck out of me that there is such evil out their...evil that gets kicks out of hurting innocent strangers.  Has anyone here been hit with this bug?  I've downloaded some info here at work about getting rid of it so hopefully we can take care of it without taking the computer to the 'doctor'.

That being said, I was riding to work this morning and two young girls got on the train. They couldn't even have been in high school...maybe 12...13 at the most...but they were both dressed in very tight clothing, grownup style boots with heels, and both had their hair done and make up...lipstick, eye makeup.  One still had braces on her teeth.  And it got to me.  Why be in such a hurry to grow up?  Don't they know that this time will never come again?    When I was that age, I was still playing with dolls and paper dolls. My money went on toys and gadgets to have fun with, not make up to make myself look like an adult.  I wonder, do their parents know?  Do they allow this?  Or, do these girls sneak and do this?  

 The fact is, with parents working long hours away from the home, many youngsters are leaving for school from an empty house after eating breakfast alone...and many pick up fast food or a frozen meal for supper. And, this loss of family life expands the power of the peer group.  Teens are getting sexually active earlier and experimenting with drugs and alcohol at very young ages.  I was a latchkey kid, too, but times were different.  Not only was I still a child at 12, but my parents kept track of what I wore and how I looked.  I remember one time...I guess I was 14....I had a pair of skin tight black pants.  I loved them and wore them as often as I could...but then, I got caught wearing them and was told in no uncertain terms to go change.  My dad, despite my tears and pleas, took the pants outdoors and proceeded to burn them.  


Well, my dear friends, in case you don't hear from me until Monday, I wish you all a wonderful, wonderful weekend. Luckily Yahoo still works, but you guys and gals are my friends...and believe me when I say this...even one weekend away will hurt.

 

Thursday, March 25, 2010

A Reason, A Season, A Lifetime

Good morning from New York City.  Odd, I am sitting here at work listening to the sound of bagpipes coming from somewhere outside.  There is no parade, so evidently someone has it playing on their radio.  Whoever it is, they are giving me a lot of peace this morning for I love the sound of bagpipes.


Hey, I have to share this.  Hubby got a call from a couple people at his old job.  It seems that they are laying everyone off and closing down the program.  They say that December, January, and February have been the slowest months ever...no money coming in.  Hmm!!!  Seems to coincide with hubby's release from the place, and we both knew it was going to happen.  Each month they would give an award to the person who saw the most clients and hubby won it every month...except for those months he took vacation time.  I'm sad that so many are losing their jobs, but now we are looking at hubby's release differently.  I am a firm believer in 'everything happens for a reason', and the way I see it is, the job he has now would not have been available now...and with all of those people out of work, the job market will be slimmer at this time.


Last night I reread my past life chart, and was thinking about all of the people who have crossed my path during this lifetime.  There is a wonderful poem which I am sure all of you have read, but I would love to post it anyway.

People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.  When you figure out which one it is, you will know what to do for each person.

When someone comes in your life for a REASON it is usually to meet a need you have expressed.  They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally, or spiritually.  They may seem like a godsend, for they are!  They are there for a reason you need them to be. Then, without any wrongdoing on your part, or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.  

Sometimes they die.
Sometimes they walk away.
Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.
What we must realize that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled, their work is done.  The prayer you sent up has been answered, and now it is time to move on.

 
(As I wrote the above, tears came to my eyes for, although I know there are many who have come into my life for a Reason, only one stands out clearly to me today.  As many of you know, my parents had been terribly strict with me and had me grounded throughout most of my teenage years. I realize now that, because of this, when I reached 18,  I not only lacked appropriate socialization skills, but I was spiraling out of control. My favorite song was "Wild Thing."  Life was nothing but one big party.  Hang out all night, every night.  Party, party, party.  Lose a job, find another one. You get my drift?  It was then that a handsome young man came into my life.  Bobby was a mature 21, I was a childlike 18; he was so, so handsome. And he was interested in me.  My entire life turned around in an instant; I was so much in love.  All of my nightly running around stopped, and I settled down to work and doing all the right things.  Went and got my GED, and started looking into vocational schools...but then, he was gone from my life as quickly as he had entered.  Bobby had driven his car off the road and died.  They say he did it deliberately, but I could never believe that. What would life had been like had he not died?  I'll never know, but I can wonder.)



Then people come into your life for a SEASON,  Because your turn has come to share, grow, and learn.  They bring you an experience of peace, or make you laugh.  They may teach you something you have never done.  They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.  Believe it!  It is real!  But, only for a season.

(Hubby's mother came into my life for a SEASON, and during that short time, she taught me what it was like to have a mother...for she thought and treated me as one of her own.  We spoke two different languages there, but we understood each other...for love is a language that we all understand.)

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons; things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation.  Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person, and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.  It is said that love is blind, but friendship is clairvoyant.

(Thank you, hubby, for coming into my life and teaching me the most valuable lesson of all...of learning to love myself.)

How much of the poem can you relate to?


(Gosh, I didn't mean to be so sentimental.  I think that, although the above may be sad, it also shows that no matter what, there will always be some special people in our lives and we must cherish them while we still can)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Past Life Astrology

Good afternoon, everyone.  Thanks for all your well wishes on my birthday.  It really meant a lot to me.  Well, the birthday is over, and I am back to work.  Yukky!!!  I have more time to take...about three weeks...but I like to take time off when I can get something accomplished, and this weather has not been conducive to do very much.  I did drag out some bags of spring clothes, but once out on the line, they just don't seem to dry.  Today is a 'very' windy day.  I do hope they are still there when I get home.

I had mentioned the other day that I found my past life chart.  I'd been searching and searching for such a long time.  I tend to put things someplace and then forget where they are. Then, as I was going through a box of papers the other day, there it was.  I'd had it done many years ago.  I will still with my abusive ex...as a matter of fact.  Parts of it were so accurate, it was eerie.  If you don't mind, I would love to share briefly some parts with you.

"Listen!  There is a song for every soul that plays like a fountain at the heart of every life.  Listen to your own life song.  Be ever sensitive to her calling.  When you are caught in the storms of life, her sweet silver sound will lead you home."
             --D. Trinidad Hunt

Moon inharmoniously aspects Neptune
Neptune is the dreamy planet of spirituality and mysticism.  When adversely aspected with the Moon's emotional forces, there is a tendency to be misled by others, and  you will likely face personal challenges as a result...largely due to your insecurity and inferiority feelings. (For many years I was so insecure with my life.  I felt I didn't match up to others.  It wasn't until I met current hubby that, with his help, I learned to become the person I am today...strong, independent, and proud of my accomplishments in life.)

While you are not fully conscious of these feelings, strange, unusual and mysterious people from previous lives may be attracted to you.(To this day, I continue to draw the strange and mysterious. Hubby tends to make a joke about how they all seem to find me.) You attract souls in this lifetime who may simply take advantage of your vulnerability. (The story of my life until 20 years ago.)

And your parents, especially your mother, are likely to be souls from previous lifetimes who may bring you, for instance through some form of separation, particularly emotional challenges, at times. (I've mentioned several times how my mom was not only physically absent most of the time, but also emotionally distant.  Growing up, my mom offered me my biggest emotional challenges as I tried everything to gain her love and approval.)

Mars inharmonious with Uranus
By choosing a day when Uranus and Mars were in an adverse aspect to your birth, you called upon the akashic ledger a pattern of attracting people from past lives into situations which will test you, especially by challenging your need for freedom and independence.  One of these prior lifetimes was likely to have been during the height of the Roman Empire.  Whether a roman or as one closely involved with the ancient Roman culture, you often faced conflict and confrontation.  You are are likely to have someone in your "immediate vicinity"  today who has a quick temper. (Ex hubby)  He or she will test your need to learn always to react with patience and forgiveness. 

Sun in the Pisces Decanate
Of interest to you in the present--mysticism, spirituality, mysteries of life and nature...including dreams and mystical kids of music and art.  These interests and urges are intensified from lifetimes where the sea and large bodies of water played a large role. (Perhaps this is where my love of the ocean comes from?  Perhaps this is why I feel as if I have come home when I go there?)

And just a few  odds and ends: 


Sun harmonious to Saturn: From several past lives you have developed a powerful drive to succeed through trying fresh angles and new beginnings.  You have considerable capacity for endurance of changes in this life experience. (No one has endured more life changes and had more no beginnings than I have in this lifetime, but I have always endured.)

Moon harmonious to Uranus:  Talks about talents and concepts from lifetime in Atlantis; Ability to heal others through counsel and teaching.  (Just look at my profession).

Mercury conjoined with Mars:  Past life as an astrologer or soothsayer or a powerful priest in ancient times...perhaps in Persia or Egypt. (I've always been attracted to astrology and became one in this lifetime.)

There's more, but these are the most important.  I've also had a lifetime in the hills around Galilee during the birth and ministry of Christ, was a celibate nun or monk of a leading religious order during a later period.  





 


 

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Growing Older

Greetings from Brooklyn, New York.  The weather doesn't know what it wants to do today...one minute it's sunny, the next clouded over.  Had quite a scare a little while ago.  Couldn't get my computer to open.  Actually, it was MSN, my home page.  Once I finally got in,..after about an hour of trying... I put Firefox on as the new homepage.  We have it at work, and it is pretty speedy.  I have to say, I was already going through withdrawals.  How did I ever survive this long without a computer?

Well, my friends, today is my birthday.  I'm 63. My sons both gave me wonderful gifts--Barnes @ Noble cards.  They know how much I love my books.  Already spent a hundred.   It seems like only yesterday I was dreading the big five-O.  I've grown so much since then.  I've come to terms with aging and feel at peace with myself.  After I turned 45, I discovered that when I looked in the mirror, my mother's face was looking back at me.  Much of my youth had been wasted (or so I thought at the time), and I wasn't ready to let go...so began the process of fighting off the effects of time...jars of face creams, makeup, lying about my age. 

"Youth is a gift of nature, but age is a work of art."--Garson Kanin


We are inundated with negative messages from the media, from other people, from writings.  While there are many societies that embrace aging, sadly, ours is not one of them.  Ours is a society obsessed with youth.  But, while we dwell on our double or triple chins, the deepset wrinkles about our eyes, our sagging skin, the extra poundage...we tend to ignore the fact that 'youth' is an attitude, a state of mind.  What we think about aging determines how we feel about it.  Embracing our age rather than deny it give us the courage to move through any fears we may have about aging.  Who remembers when the 'over the hill greeting card' line began to poke  fun of people who hit 50?   Today, 60 is the new forty...and who knows...in the future it might be 70 or 80. 

"I like Spring, but it is too young.  I like summer, but it is too proud.  So I like best of all Autumn, because its tone is mellower, its colors are richer, and it is tinged with a little sorrow.  Its golden richness speaks not of the innocence of Spring, nor the power of Summer, but the mellowness and kindly wisdom of approaching age.  It knows the limitations of life and is content."--Lin Yu Tang

My turn-around came when I learned how to focus more on what I had gained than what I had lost.  I learned to appreciate both the lessons I had learned and the wounds that I have healed.  I began to welcome the fact that people sought my wisdom for that meant that I had had a life well lived.  Oh, there are still times when a pretty young woman gets on the train and I whisper, "What if?" while I feel that wee twinge of envy, but the difference now is that I can let it go and appreciate my life where it is.

Let's face it....Aging is relative.  There will always be someone who is older or younger than us. Energy flows where the attention goes...and we are in charge of what we pay attention to.  If we choose to focus on the negatives about aging, our energy will flow in that direction, but, when we courageously choose to concentrate on the positves, our energy will be expanded.  We can all choose where we focus our attention, and that will determine how we feel as our birthdays roll by.   

Monday, March 22, 2010

Rainy Tuesday Musings

Good afternoon.  It's a rainy day here in Brooklyn...glad I went out yesterday.  It's been a great morning to stay indoors, and I got so much accomplished. Packed away some heavy winter clothes and got out some of the spring stuff.  Rinsed my spring jacket. I've been cleaning and sorting of what goes and what stays...and lo and behold...I found a copy of my past life chart which I had had done by the A.R.E.  Do you know how long I have been looking for that?  I also found the following thought provoking item that that I had saved a long, long time ago.

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you.
And though they are with you yet they do not belong to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house ther bodies, but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot
visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you,
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
     --Kahil Gibran "The Prophet"

My boys were both small when I first read the above, and it served as a model for the way I raised my boys.  Although I steered them in the right direction, there are many directions, and the one I chose to follow, may not be the one that was right for them.  Personally, I never wished that they be like me; I didn't really like 'me' very much at that time.  During that period of my life, I was still searching, still hitting those detours, not knowing which way to go.  My parents had never given me guidelines, so when I first ventured forth as an adult, I didn't know how to make choices...and because of this, many times, I made the wrong one...but with suffering and pain comes growth...and perhaps these were needed lessons for me to learn during this lifetime.  Sometimes I wonder what life would have been like had they been there for me, but life goes not backward. 

So, my boys are men now, men who have been guided through life, but not forced to live life on 'my' terms.  They may not have had as many detours as I did...because I was always there to steer them, but I never did the driving.  We all make mistakes in life; it's part of the learning process.  But, my boys didn't have to KEEP making mistakes for as many years as I did...and for that I am truly blessed.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

A Day at the Beach

Good afternoon.  I had the most amazing day.   I slept until about 8 am, had my coffee, and then did something I hadn't done in a long time.  I went out.  Yes, I finally left the house on a weekend for something other than food shopping.  The weather is warm, a little cooler than yesterday, but warm nonetheles.  I'm off work tomorrow on a vacation day and have Tuesday off for my birthday, so I had it planned to get out to the beach on Monday.  But, I heard the weather and rain is predicted, so this would be a perfect day for me to venture out.  I refused to allow myself to talk me out of it.  I can not only be my biggest critic, but also can talk myself out of doing things as fast as you can snap your fingers. I can come up with all kinds of excuses to get out of going places...my back hurts, my knees, oh, I am too tired...oh, the weather's not so great.  But, there was none of that today.  I have become far too sedentary along with my poor eating habits...so it's no wonder I've put on so much weight.

The beach is one of my favorite places...for both magical and mundane reasons. The energy there is strong.  I used to go every Sunday...and no matter what was going on in my life, a trip to the ocean always made me feel better. My Sunday outings stopped when they began doing weekend trackwork...and even though I am about 20 minutes away on the train, the trip soon became a hastle  and remained that way for about a year....what with transfers, and shuttle buses...so I just stopped going; that was the beginning of the rut I find myself in.  I grew to dislike getting dressed on weekends and spent all of my time with Nature in my backyard.


The ocean is an excellent place for meditation...the sound of the waves lashing against the shore are very usedful to me in inducing a meditative state.  Sometimes I just close my eyes and I can visualize the way it used to be, another time...I can see and hear the ghosts of the past..frolicking and laughing while they play in the sand.  Will their laughter die out now?...I wonder...when the Coney Island that they knew and loved is no longer there...when it has become just another super amusement park?  To me, Coney has always been the land that time forgot...but now it seems it has finally caught up.  At other times, I find myself gazing over the seemingly never-ending expanse of the ocean...and I can visualize my ancestors who braved the treacherous waters to begin new lives in the strange and wondrous country.  The following is a simple meditation I enjoy using when working with the ocean.

Clear your mind of distractions.  Close your eyes and breathe deeply; listen to the gentle waves.  Feel the calmness within you.  See how the sunlight glints and plays across the waves; now, look as far out over the sea as the horizon will take you.  

Feel the breeze and let it inside with a deep breath.  Allow the ocean's power inside--breathe deeply and time with the waves.  See the white curl on the crest of the wave...as you breathe with the ocean.  Feel its force and its gentleness as one.  The waves rhythmic lull fill your senses.

You are calmed and rested.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

New Beginnings

Good afternoon to all of you out there in the wonderful world of blogland.  'Tis a wonderful day indeed.  Spring will be here in about 16 minutes although you might as well say it is here already.  It's a gorgeous day outdoors.  I did my food shopping this morning, and it felt good not to have to bundle up in the hats, and skarves, and heavy coats, and stopping every once in awhile to allow the sunlight fall on my face.  Life sure feels wonderful on a day like this. 

Spring is a special time of the year, a time of new beginnings, new life, wonder and joy.  And, I have decided it is definitely time for a new beginning as far as my health is concerned.  On July 4, 2009, I celebrated two Independence Days...one with everyone else and a personal day as I lay down my cigarettes for good.  For a few months, I felt wondeful...running up the stairs for the train...not breathless anymore.  I was up there on that pink cloud...that time when an addict experiences a reprieve from the struggles associated with early recovery.  But, when I reached my third month, the breathlessness came back, my back and my knees began and still are hurting me more than ever before...so badly that on more than one occasion I mentioned retirement.  Why?  What is this?  When you quit smoking you are supposed to feel better, not worse.  The doctor says I am fine...so why is it that I have to stop and rest at least 3 times on my way up the subway stairs?

And, it wasn't until the spring weather arrived that I realized what had gone wrong.  I could barely close my spring jacket...and and pants that once fit me won't go up past the thighs.  I've gained a minimum of 25 pounds, maybe more. It's the extra weight that's been weighing heavily (no pun intended) on me. I'd quit with the help of an online support group and continue to be active there to help out the newbies, but I haven't been following my own advice. Most women...and men...worry about the extra poundage when they quit smoking so my advice to the newbies has been not to worry for the first couple weeks, just get over the hurdle of what we call "hell week"; then start watching what you eat...But, the trouble is, I never started watching.  

  The first thing to go is the daily 12 ounce pepsi cola.  Addicts tend to switch addictions and that became my new one and soda can really put on the pounds.  But, what to do?  I need my caffeine...so now, it's going to be iced tea...and not sweet tea, either.  If I don't have sugar in my coffee, why should I have it in my tea?  And as far as today's shopping?....gone are the chips, the cakes, the cookies...and added are the veggies and the fruits and the yogurts...and the low calorie puddings.  I'm not saying this is going to be easy on me.  I'm so used to eating whatever I want when I want...in my smoking days I didn't gain...but this is a time of new beginnings, new starts in life, and I'll be 63 on Tuesday.  I'd say it's about time, wouldn't you?

So, Spring has come and is now about 30 minutes old.  The wonders of new lives ..the magic of rebirth.  May you all have a blessed day.

Friday, March 19, 2010

There is a Magic in the Air

Good morning out there in blogland...on this beautiful day before the first day of Spring.  There's a magic in the air as the world starts to come alive once again.  The birds are singing and the trees are finally beginning to bud.  There's a noticeable glow on the faces you see, and everyone just seems so much happier.  It is truly a magical day. 

"We have what we seek.  It is there all the time, and if we give it time, it will make itself known to us."--Thomas Merton

 Even the most ordinary day can be filled with moments of magic if we just take notice in the world us, but many of us are so preoccupied that many of these moments slip by unnoticed. And there are many who have totally forgotten what the awe of wonder and magic.  Oh, yes, there are the miraculous moments of our lives that fill us with joy and wonder such as the birth of a child...the beginning of a new life. There is nothing more magical than that.  


 And now, as we enter the time of new beginnings, magic is all around us...if we would only take the time to notice.  Magic is the changing of the seasons, a daffodil pushing up through the frozen ground...the crackling of the autumn leaves beneath our feet and the uniqueness of every snowflake. It is the first hint of yellow on the forsythia tree.  Magic occurs in those moments we spend in quiet reflection as we sit under a tree...in bathing in the moonlight or the sunshine filtering through a row of trees. And all we have to do to experience the magic is to see with the eyes of innocence...to grow young...which opens up a vista of external and internal beauty that we easily might have missed if our thoughts are always set in the grown-up grindstone.  

So, take some time out of your busy day to sit quietly and take notice of the world around you...the beauty of a world which is full of life...full of magic...a world of wonder and joy.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Goddess Worship is Alive and Well in Queens, New York

Good morning, everyone.  It's such a beautiful day out.  Too bad I am going to be stuck in this office until 7:30 tonight.  Spring has finally sprung.  I got a kick out of the weatherman this morning.  He was saying that it was going to get colder by the beginning of next week...and then announced the temperature would be about 50.  Well, that is not cold to me.  I can deal with that. 

I really must apologize to everyone.  I've gotten awards from many of you and have not complied with the rules...but the fact is, I honestly don't know who to pass them onto.  It's seems they have made their way across Blogland.  Please forgive me...but I do want to take this opportunity to thank each of you from the bottom of my heart.  It means a lot.  

Last night just as I was readying for bed, my sister-in-law called, and during our conversation, she told me a story about something that had happened on Tuesday night...Now, just a little background for ya here.  My sister-in-law is a devout Catholic...In fact, you really can't get much more devout than her.  Not only does she attend church multiple times during the week and teach Bible study to the young ones, but she also went through some extensive training to have a high position in the church,(I think a deaconess) as high as a woman can get within the church.  I know if they would let her, she would be a priest, but, of course, women are considered tainted and inferior...but I am not getting into that today.  Just gets me too darned mad.

Now, as Catholic as my sister-in-law may be, she is also a Pagan, but don't tell her that. You see, for as long as I can remember, my sister-in-law has carried the statue on Tuesdays..the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  On this night, she and the Blessed Virgin travel around to the homes of those in need of healing where prayers are recited in honor of the Blessed Virgin...not to God or Jesus...but to the Virgin, the Catholic Goddess, but is She also our Pagan Goddess?  I believe She is. The ladies at my sister-in-law's church venerate the Blessed Virgin.  They pray to Her to guide their loved ones to heaven when they have passed on.  When their children are born, they pray to her for the health of their children.  Her statue stands on an altar in each of their homes where they worship her on a daily basis.


The Virgin shares many attributes with the Goddess.  For example, in some representations we find the Blessed Virgin where She wears a mantle of stars, and some where She is either sitting or standing upon the Crescent Moon...the best known symbol of the Goddess.  The Goddess is crowned and enthroned as the ruler of all because it is She who creates everything.  The Blessed Virgin is also depicted as crowned and enthroned...signifying Her rule over heaven.  And, at times the Goddess, Isis, for example, is seen holding Horus on Her lap while  the Blessed Virgin holding Jesus on Her lap.  Both the Goddess and the Blessed Virgin are associated with the Moon and both are associated with time, eternity, and the cycles of the season.  Both are often also worshipped in triple form--the Maiden, Mother, and Crone--and--Eternal Virgin, Mother of God, and the Crone who mourns Jesus.  

More on the Blessed Virgin upcoming on my Goddess Blog.



Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day


And a top o' the morning to all.  It's a gorgeous day for a parade.  The sun is shining brightly, and the temperature is rising. St. Paddy's Day is a special day for everyone, and you don't have to be Irish to enjoy it.  And, I caught a glimpse of some yellow buds on the forsythia tree...my first tangible evidence that spring is finally arriving. Soon the parade will be in full swing.  Gosh, and I do have a confession...actually two confessions.  First, I've lived in the city where they hold the largest parade in the world, and I have never attended.  Just don't like the crowds.  And secondly, I cannot stand corned beef and cabbage.  The cabbage and potatoes I'll eat, but corned beef?  Take it or leave it.  I prefer to have a nice Irish Stew with soda bread on the side.

Irish culture has such a rich tradition of legends and myths, and tales have been passed down from one generation to the next...and with each generation, the tale has been embellished some so that now, when we come to St. Patrick's Day traditions, it's hard to draw a line between what is fact and what is fiction.


The Shamrock is Ireland's national emblem...and the symbol of St. Patrick's Day.  As the story goes, St. Patrick used the three-leaf clover to explain how the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit exist as three elements in one entity.  The shamrock was a sacred plant for the Druids and three was a mystical number in their tradition so it is most probable that he knew of the significance of using the shamrock to illustrate his religious metaphor.  There is also a legend that tells of Saint Patrick as standing in a field of shamrocks when he drove the snakes out of Ireland.  Of course, there were no snakes in Ireland.  This tale also a metaphor, most likely symbolizes the putting to an end of the pagan practice.

One of the most enduring of the Irish tales is that of the Leprechauns and the Pot of Gold at the end of the rainbow.  Ireland is rich in faery lore, and the Leprechaun has become the best loved of all of Ireland's little creatures.  The Blarney Stone in the famous Blarney Castle also has a legend attached to it.  Accordingly, the Lord of Blarney was set to make a plea to Queen Elizabeth who was trying to influence him to English rule, and it seems that the poor man did not know what to say.  So, a wise woman told him to kiss the Blarney Stone, and he succeeded in in making his plea before the Queen.

The wearing of the color green is another rich St. Patrick's Day tradition. There is nothing mystical about this one.  Ireland is a beautiful country, known for its lush green landscape.  This is why it is called "The Emerald Isle."  Green is actually Ireland's national color.  However, there is also a legend that says that the green honors the farmers who burnt green leaves and spread the ask over their fields while others say that green is a celebration of the coming of spring after the long, cruel Irish winter months.  


One of the biggest customs identified with St. Patrick's Day is drinking and hangovers.  You may not know this, but there is a reason that drinking has become so enmeshed with this day.  It seems that Saint Patrick had stopped at an inn where he served a cup of whiskey that was a lot less than full. He decided then to use this as an opportunity to teach the innkeeper a lesson in generosity.  So, he told the innkeeper that there was a devil living in the basement...and that this devil was feeding off of the owner's dishonesty...and if the man ever hoped to banish this devil, he would have to change his ways.  From then onward, the innkeeper filled his patron's glasses to overflowing. 


And with that...may you all have a wonderful Saint Patrick's Day.



Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tagged

Tis a beautiful morning, to be sure.  Finally some sunshine and with it, hopefully, a brightening of the spirit.  So many of us here in the city have been so downhearted with the destruction we have endured since Saturday.  I've been blessed, though; I never lost my power, and my tree is still standing.  Sadly, though, I heard the newscaster say that a Brooklyn Park has become a cemetery for trees; that's how many we lost...and, in this concrete jungle, every tree has meaning.  Every tree is needed. 

So, I have been tagged by Kat , AnastasiaInannasstar, and Julia.   To be honest, I wasn't sure what to do.  I have so few personal photos in my blog albums.  I really do have to get a camera...personal birthday wish.  And I didn't want to just ignore the fun, so I went to my genealogy photo album...and here is what I found.  Actually, I this is number nine and ten.  

The rules are:  Open your first photo album.
                Scroll to the 10th photo
                Post the photo and tell the story behind it
                Tag five more people

 This is my great grandmother, Constance Mary Hazel.  She was born in Stalham, Norfolk, England on December 10, 1880.  I think I met her only once in my life.  Because my mom forbid my dad from including his family in our lives, he used to take me on 'sneak' visits here and there.  I remember going to a house and being introduced to two little old ladies...and one who said her name was Grandma Vough.  It wasn't until I started working on my genealogy that I discovered that Constance had married twice.  My great grandfather had died leaving her with four children to raise...one child had died at the age of 10.  Constance had lost her father when she was 3 months old; her first husband in 1918; and her second husband, in 1938.  Constance died in 1956. I had no photos of Constance until I met a cousin online.  She was good enough to make copies and send them to me.  I've always felt a strong connection to her. 

 Now, because I was unable to participate as the rest of you, I have included picture number 9 as well.  Someone had mentioned that they would like to see something more personal.  Well, there is nothing more personal than this.  This picture was taken about 11 years ago.  My hair was darker then, a reddish auburn.  It was on my birthday and we were preparing for a party.  My sister-in-law and I have the same birthday so each year it was a big get-together for the families.  All that's kind of ended now that we have grown older.  

 And now it's time for me to do the tagging.  Drum roll please....

Bogaman  I love his blog.  He tells such moving stories from a masculine slant.  

Sobeit  If it weren't for Sobeit, I never would have discovered blogging.  I didn't even know what it was about until she posted about her blog on our Yahoo group.

Ra  Always a kind word and a great blog to boot.  Check it out.

Wendy  A beautiful lady. An inspiration for us all.

Vicki  A great lady with family tales of the past which will leave you at the edge of your chair.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Beware of the Ides of March

Good morning, everyone, on this back to work Monday.  The rain's pretty much stopped, but it's still pretty windy out there.  Lot's of damage in the metropolitan area.  I noticed this morning  neighborhood was pretty much unscathed; the trees are all still standing, just a few little branches on the ground...and lots of garbage that blew around.  

"The ides of March are come"--William Shakespeare, 'Julius Caesar'

It was William Shakespeare who made the phrase 'Beware of the ides of March' famous, but exactly what is the Ides of March and why do some people believe it means impending danger?  Why has it become a day to be feared.  Many people have no idea what it actually mean.

Well, in Roman times, March was considered to be an especially powerful month; it was named after Mars, the God of War. In fact, it was once a festive day dedicated to Mars, and a military parade was held.  The word 'ides' comes from the Latin phrase halfway and marked the halfway point in the Roman months.  The ides is simply the middle of the month. 

It actually wasn't until 44 BC that dark clouds began to form around the middle of March with the assassination of Julius Caesar; a group of conspirators in the Roman Senate had decided that Caesar held far too much power.  The group of about 50 to 60 surrounded him as he read a petition in a room inside of the Theater of Pompey and began stabbing him.  Furthermore, historians say it is most likely that a seer had warned Caesar that danger would occur on the Ides of March.


The Ides of March isn't what we would consider a holiday, but it is still an occasion that might make some want to throw a spontaneous party.  The following are some ideas on how to make this a festive or special day.

Since the Ides of March has a Roman history, serve anything typically Italian or from Roman cuisine of ancient Rome--bread, cheese, salami, olive oil, wine, grapes, figs apples.

Eat a Caesar Salad.

Have guests wear bed sheet togas.

Watch a Roman movie--Ben Hur, Gladiator, Cleopatra, Roman Holiday.

Read Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar"

Bake a Roman cake.

Learn some facts about the Romans. 

 

Sunday, March 14, 2010

After the Storm

And a Happy Sunday afternoon to all.  Happy Mother's Day to all who celebrate today.  When I read through the blogs I follow and saw several wishing a "Happy Mother's Day" I had to run to the calendar to check it out.  Did I miss something...or, should I say, did my son's miss something?  But, no, they're off the hook.  We have a couple months to go.

Well, the storm is pretty much over, and it sure was a doozy.  They're saying at some points we hit winds of over 70 miles an hour.  Many beautiful trees were down, including an 80 year old Oak out on Staten Island that was pulled out of the ground from it's roots, and many today are without power.  I'm blessed that my tree is still standing...and my power on.  And, my family all made it home safely. 

Tomorrow is the dark moon, and if you don't mind too much, I'd love to share a favorite Cherokee tale about the Sun and the Moon, the Moon's waning, and its darkness. Hope you all enjoy it as much as I did. 

SUN AND MOON

There was a young man who was called Sun; he lived in the East. And in the distant West, there lived a young woman called Moon.  Now, Sun was special and he was revered by all ; he who is the Creator's young apprentice and  a fearless traveler who walked the sky in search of a magic lake that was said to have great healing powers.  The legend said that when the Creator shaped the world, the Great One became so moved at its beauty that tears began to flow...tears which formed a magic lake, a sacred place of healing and comfort for those in need.  It was said that those who sought out the waters of this magical lake and gazed upon their own reflection on its surface would receive their  vision and come into the Medicine.

Now, it just so happens that ever since he was a young man, Sun had intended to become a Medicine Man;  he dreamed of offering himself as a helper to those in need.  He knew that in order to be a part of Medicine, he had to walk in harmony and balance.  But, Sun was a young man, and as such, he was curious...so, he often wandered the sky appreciating all the beautiful thins ehre were to see.  Sometimes he got so caught up in things, he actually forgot his purpose.  He was just so happy to be alive that during the day he would walk on the wind and at night, he spent time in his medicine lodge.  There was just so much beauty in this journey of life and so much to learn.

Moon was a beautiful young woman who appeared to glow in the dim light of the West, becoming brighter as the darkness increased.  Everyone respected her for she was kind, gentle, and compassionate.  She moved through the sky calmly and peacefully, always offering her comforting presence to those around her.  But, she was also very shy. Moon was in love with Sun and secretly wished to be with him.  She would admire him from a distance, but whenever he was around.  And Sun never really paid much attention to her.  He was always too busy searching for his Medicine to notice this quiet and unassuming young woman who loved him so much.

It just so happened that Sun had a lover who would come to him every month at the dark time of the moon...and since this darkness was supposed to be a sacred time for prayer and reflection, the two lovers always met in secrecy.  Sun never saw his lover's face, and she never told him her name.  She came to him during the night and before daybreak, she would be gone.  Sun would get very excited each month when he knew they would soon be together, and before he realized what had happened, he had falled deeply in love with this mysterious woman who made him feel like no one else could.  

Eventually, though, curiousity got the best of him, and he devised a plan to find out his secret lover's identity.  So, when the time came again, Sun sat quietly in prayer in the sacred darkness, and his secret lover came to him as she always did. Then, as they were sitting together, Sun reached into the ashes of the fire pit and rubbed some of the blackness onto her face...without her knowing it.  The evening passed by quickly and before long, she once again slipped quietly away.  

The next night, Sun watched intently from his hiding place behind the horizon,searching the sky for some sign of the one he loved.  And then Moon came up in the sky, and her face was covered with ashy spots.  Sun realized now that she was his secret lover and jumped out from his hiding spot.  Moon knew that she had been caught; she was so embarrassed that she went as far away from the Sun as she could and stayed on the other side of the sky all nght. 

And ever since that time, Moon always tries to stay a long way behind Sun.  And when she sometimes has to come close to him, she makes herself as thin as a ribbon so that she can be hardly seen.  Yet, out of her deep love for Sun...and in remembrance of the time when he touched her face, she has never wiped away the ashy spots that he left upon her glowing face.  And, if you look close enough, you can still see them. 

And so, each day Sun continues to search for his lover, and Moon remains on the other side of the horizon.  And all is well.  The world remains in harmony and balance.  And no matter what happens to us in our lifetime, we always have room for love for in loving others and in being loved, we are reminded that people are the important elements of our lives.  Love balances our lives and helps us to keep sight of our values and priorities.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

An Authentic Life


Hope everyone is having a wonderful Saturday afternoon.  I'm having a quiet one.  We've got some serious wind and rain outdoors, and I am just loving sitting here at the computer...hearing the howling of the wind...the rain pounding against the window pane...and knowing that I don't have to go out in it.  I do feel bad for hubby who just left to visit his son...and for my son who has to prepare a catering job today.  So, here I am...alone...but not lonely.  Loving every minute of it.  That last line sounded kind of selfish, didn't it? 


When I was a young woman just coming into my own in the 60's, I had been under the impression that young ladies of the past were prim and proper. That's what I had always been told, and perhaps many were prim and proper...but each generation has its rebels, the so-called "bad girl" and it seems that many of them found their way into my family line.  Now, I don't like calling them 'bad'.  To me, they were merely women who lived before their time; women who had been born too soon...women who lived an authentic life.  Margaret Stuyvesant was such a woman.

"Be faithful to that which exists nowhere but in yourself."--Andre Gide

My 9th Great Uncle was Peter Stuyvesant who was born in Amsterdam, Netherlands.  He came to America on 27 May 1647 and became acting governor of what was then called New Amsterdam.  It was he who eventually surrended the town and fort to the English.  New Amsterdam then became New York City.  Peter then spent the remainder of his life on his farm which was called "Bouwarie" from which the present Bowery in New York City takes is name.  Now, this tale is not about Peter, but it was such an interesting tale I figured I would share it.


Margaret was Peter's sister; she is my 9th great grandmother. She was a very notable character and as they say very mixed in her marriage relations.  Her husband, Jacob Backer, was quite a wealthy merchant in New York City.  They resided on the East Side near what now is called Broad Street.  In 1660, he traveled to Holland and left his business in the hands of his wife, Margaret.  He returned only occasionally to visit his wife and their children so it makes one wonder what was really up with their marriage. After the English conquest, he returned once to Holland and was never seen or heard from again.  It was reported that he died in the East Indies.

His property had been heavily mortaged and was foreclosed in 1670.  It was then that Balthazar De Hart, a wealthy merchant who lived on Pearl Street, purchased the property at a public sale.  And, as the story goes, he became quite intimate with the widow Backer.  He died in 1672 and having never married, left his entire estate to his three brothers--Daniel, Matthias, and Jacob...having first made a provision for his natural son, Matthias. (mother unknown)...and bequeathed to his Natural Son, my 8th great grandfather, Daniel De Hart, procreated by Margaret Stuyvesant, the house and lot occupied by him, all of which his mother, Margaret, to whom he was engaged, was to have use of until Daniel came of age.

Mrs. Backer then became a resident of Elizabethtown, New Jersey, mainly on account of a settlement she made with the executor of Balthazar's estate as he had acquired considerable land there before his death.  Later, Margaret, purchased about 224 acres of land, then remarried, but, through Dutch law, always kept her maiden name...Stuyvesant.  Rumor has it that all of her children were born out of wedlock. 

One of the greatest risks we can take, one which may also be painful, requires great courage to relate to others from the position of who we really are and not who others want us to be.  Each risk we take, each pain we experience, widens the path to freedom for others to follow and gives us increased confidence in our ability to live an authentic life.  Margaret lived an authentic life.  Although her father was a Reverend, she chose to live her life as a rebel against society's rules. I am sure that more than was she became the brunt of his angry words, but still she chose to live her life as she saw fit.   She was flamboyant and genuine.  She lived courageously and by doing so, encouraged others to be who they genuinely are.  She was a woman who lived before her time.