My time volunteering in hospice is usually the highlight of my week. I never know just who or what I might experience when I go, but I know for sure it is going to always be a great lesson. Sometimes the lesson is within me and my inner reserves of courage and grace, and other times is it a direct lesson from the teacher themselves.
Yesterday was the latter.
When I entered her room, she was standing at the window overlooking the amazing view. Her eyes were locked on the majestic mountain Pikes Peak. She stood with a giant smile on her face, and said “would you look at that?”. I offered her a seat and she kept her small eyes on the view. Her voice was weak and her skin was old and paper-thin. And yet, her spirit radiated such vibrancy and such light. She told me she was 90 years old and had lived here her whole life. She shared that she had two daughters who have died and that her wishes was that she will be buried near her father. As she looked out the window, it was evident that her mind was flooded with time on the trails. She explained to me certain hidden trails that veered off the common Barr Trail. She looked me in the eyes and told me “those trees have my memories…..my soul lives on that mountain…..when I am on the mountain, I am free…..the trees speak to me…..” My breath became shallow and I fought back tears. I listened as she guided me as to the best places on the trail to see the world and the rocks that were best to stop and just be. She shared that her wish was to take one more drive into the canyons and see the trees. When I got ready to leave, she held my hands and told me, “you get out there okay?”. I paused before I left her room. I hoped that I was looking at my older self. Though she was facing the end of her journey, she was so appreciative of life—all forms of life. It was so inspiring.
The next patient I saw was a man who seemed anxious and tense. He had never had a hand massage and was unsure if it was something he would enjoy, but decided to go ahead with it. I sensed as his energy shifted to an ease and he became relaxed through the touch. After about fifteen minutes, he asked me if there was something more than the oils that caused the sense of well-being. I told him that to me, it is energy. An exchange of energy and a lot of love. He closed his eyes and smiled. A few minutes later he shared with me that he has a book that is about to be published about his observations while spending time at a pond on his property. He said he watched as the cycles of birds would come and go each season. He said he wrote about the sacredness of the birds and the messages that they offer. As I finished up, he asked “how can it be that one day you are living your dream, and the next you are here”.
Words cannot be expressed easily about the genuine presence that I experienced. The vulnerability and grace. The truth.
The greatest teachers come to me in Divine timing. I learned to live with appreciation for all that is. I learned to observe and be present. I learned that life is fragile and should be never taken for granted. And for that I am eternally grateful.