Thursday, September 27, 2012

In the Beginning . . . .

Tonight I read an essay of mine that was published in a collection of essays written by women, titled "Spring."  The reading was at Beaverdale Books in Des Moines, Iowa.  My good friends, the three Ds came along and showered me with words of praise and adulation that I probably do not deserve, but for which I am thankful.  At our celebratory dinner at the Drake Diner, my friends shared with the waitress that she was in the presence of a published author.  I am not sure if the young woman who served us was impressed or if she felt that the accomplishment was not so special given our dress, our ages, and the place chosen for celebration.  Whatever she thought, she was a good sport and rewarded me with a free slice of devil's food cake.  These simple gifts - friends and cake - have made me decide to continue in my pursuit of writing great stories.  Here is the one I read tonight:


Spring has been abundant in my life.    There is the planet’s spring every year when all of life is renewed, and my internal spring when wisdom I’ve ignored or forgotten sprouts up, infusing me with renewed life. 

One profound spring was when I was trying to understand my three-year-old son’s fear, rather terror, of dogs.  I could remember no incident in my son’s life as a genesis of this terror.   To get to the source of the fear I asked my son about it.  Holding him I asked, “Honey, can you tell me why you’re so frightened of dogs?  Did one ever bite you?

My son’s eyes widened in disbelief.  His breathing told me the question was more that startling to him.  Slowly, as if to assure I was paying attention, he reached out his arms, took my cheeks in his chubby little hands and asked calmly and quietly, “Don’t you remember?” 

“No, I don’t,” I replied.  I assumed he was referring to something in his three-year old life.  I encouraged him, “Can you tell mommy what happened?  Who was with you?”

His wide eyes filled with tears.  “You were with me mamma.  Remember?” he whispered.

My brain did not remember.   “Oh honey,” came my standard mommy platitude, “Mama would never let a anything hurt you.” 

The next thing my son said changed my world forever.  Still holding my cheeks and shaking his head he said softly, “but you weren’t the mom then.”   Hearing his words, I knew that he had access to something that I did not.  Despite my doubt, I was led to listen with belief to his story.  His detailed story of the two of us, children at the time and left in an unsafe place, unfolded.  Mean dogs hurt us so bad we couldn’t wake up.  That is, we could not wake up in that place anymore. His older sister was there, but she did wake up, she stayed in that place.  Later, I asked him if he could remind me why he was afraid of dogs.  He repeated the story, verbatim. 

My entire being was changed with his story.  Despite teachings of heaven and hell when growing up, hearing this concept of reincarnation from my toddler seemed very real.  His words rang honest and sure as he spoke, just as true and sacred as the scripture I learned as a child.

As I listened to his story, my body was flooded with warmth and bliss.  It was as if my senses, my heart, my mind – all the parts of me that that were becoming frozen by adulthood and my evolving fears relating to life, death, and especially the unknown - was thawed by a joy that transcends words.  I felt seeds of wisdom inherent in humanness begin to sprout.  I claimed an understanding that diverse explorations of life’s questions and mysteries is not turning away from God, but rather seeking ways to define and experience God.  In this seeking, I have found an omnipresent spring in my heart.

Lori Allen  ©   2012    This is the book -

September 20th, 2012
The new Tending Your Inner Garden book, Spring: Inspiration for the Season of  Hope and New Beginnings,releases Thursday, Sept. 27. We’re delighted to introduce this second in our series of four seasonal books, all made possible thanks to the submissions of essays and poems from around the country and other parts of the world.

This is a book to keep by your bedside or your favorite chair–and to pick up and savor whenever you feel the stirrings of new possibilities in your life.
It includes stories about finding your own space, transforming your life, moving into new stages of motherhood, accepting unexpected transitions, growing on a soul level and so much more. And it provides just the right hope and inspiration when you’re nurturing new beginnings in your life.
Transformational author and change agent Margaret Wheatley offers this endorsement of the book:
“Each offering invites you into the mind and heart of the writer, promising a rich, reflective experience that both stays with you and moves you forward.”
In the central Iowa area? Join us for a book-signing Thursday, Sept. 27 at Beaverdale Books from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Or pre-order your copy now at a special price: