Today a group of friends and I elebrated the coming of 2014 at Beckman Vineyards in the Santa Ynez Valley. Fine wines, good food, lots of laughs and great fun!
My friend Lillian started a non-denominational prayer group a number of years ago to hold sacred space for those in need. Living an hour away, my participation has been principally non-local — on Friday's at noon I pause in my activities to hold everyone on the prayer list in my thoughts and in my heart.
At the end of the year a fire ceremony is held to release all of the names on the prayer list in sacred ceremony. This year, we gathered at my friend's home on a bluff overlooking the Santa Barbara Channel with Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa Islands in the distance. It was a beautiful ceremony with meditation to singing bowls and some sharing of movement and inspirational readings . . . even a song that drew a pod of dolphins to play in the water below us.
Again and again this holiday season, I have been reminded of how sweetly I am held in the hearts of so many loving beings in both the seen and unseen worlds, and my availability to dance to the melodies of life!
One of the best things about getting older is so are all the young people in your life . . . Back in the mid-80s a friend of ours asked my husband and me to be the god-parents of her two girls. Childless by choice, it took no time to say "No!" Fast forward to 2007, we asked these two girls (now in their 20s) if we could be their god-parents as they'd grown up to be smart, interesting and engaged in life. Thankfully, they said "Yes."
So, tonight our oldest god-daughter Becca came for a pre-Christmas visit. After helping me re-arrange the living room furniture and spinning around the Oriental rug, we sat down with glasses of wine for a proper catch-up. Soon Peetie, who is especially besotted with Becca, was up on the couch for some cuddle time of his own . . . Merry Christmas, Peetie -- he's got a girl-friend!
It was a cold morning when we headed off to Disneyland for a day of good, wholesome fun amidst the holiday decorations. My friend Cheryl's daughter, who works at Disneyland, secured free passes for us. Yahoo-ee! ! !
Competitively, like the "kids" we are, MJ and I followed the navigation system in her car while the others followed theirs in another car. We won — and with enough time to park and go up and down the parking garage elevator three times to retrieve bits and bobs of things we'd left behind.
We began with Soarin' Over California in the California Adventure Park. Then off to see Ariel's Underwater Adventure. Trying to step out of my fearful of roller coaster self, Cheryl, Caiti and I took on California Screamin' where I lost my voice! Next we meandered over to Tower of Terror, where Caiti works, to check out the lobby. None of us wanted to be herded into an elevator to experience the 40' free-fall fall and re-experience breakfast. . . Instead, we opted for Monsters Inc. and a really wonderful lunch at the Carthay Circle Restaurant whose decor reflects the romance and glamour of Hollywood's Golden Age. It was at its namesake L.A. theatre, built in 1926, that Walt Disney premiered his first feature-length film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937.
Afterwards, we headed for the Pirates of the Caribbean, the Haunted Mansion, and my favorite . . . the Mad Tea Party. Confession time: I'd always wanted to go on this ride! Unfortunately the Indiana Jones Adventure, Splash Mountain and Space Mountain were all closed for repairs or major renovations. As the sun set, we headed to Main Street for the holiday parade . . . A fun-packed day, so much so that it was hours after returning home that I could settled enough to fall asleep around 1 AM.
I am an artist and writer who aims to live life consciously and creatively with no "Plan B." My musings include experiences from my travels as well as those who inspire me.