|Our Lady of Guadalupe -- in January|
Maybe all days can have those qualities, if we look carefully. Still, this one feels special to me somehow.
Some of you may have heard about the several nights of below-freezing weather we recently had in the Phoenix area. I know many of you live where there's snow on the ground -- but central Arizona is not that place. We're in the desert, with saguaro cacti and wildflowers galore. January is usually when others want to visit us -- golf tournaments, horse shows, fancy car auctions -- all in the Valley of the Sun.
Once the weather predictions came through, people were frantic to protect their plants and outside water pipes. Nurseries ran out of garden cloth. Those of us who were slow to alert had to rely on our wits. The neighborhood became a cacophany of bed sheets, light blankets, and anything our imaginations could muster.
One home's saguaro sported what looked like long red underwear -- on its top!
I rounded up every light fluffy covering I could find, tucked everybody in, and hoped for the best. It was 5 nights in a row of high 20's -- brrrr! The days were a little better, in the 40's. Plumbers were busy all over the Valley, repairing frozen, burst water pipes.
And in my yard, those plants coverings didn't come off until this morning.
I had been worried about the little rose bush I planted last year -- it's called "Our Lady of Guadalupe." Those of you who've attended a Ho'oponopono training know that "Our Lady of Guadalupe" is also the Identity (or Patron Saint) of Mexico. So it was perfect that it grow in my yard -- blending both the spirit of a nearby country with my love of Ho'oponopono, in a way.
The plant's roses are a gentle pink with soft, sweet fragrance. I have loved roses since childhood, when they grew beneath my window.
So now it was time to see what had happened to it -- in my yard where other things had died in the freeze. Anxiously, I lifted the rose bush's covering . . . . and the above photo shows what was beneath. Such a beautiful, welcome surprise! How those delicate flowers survived their temporarily arctic environment, I'll never know.
I have to tell you also, they're an answer to a prayer.
Even when we do our Ho'oponopono cleaning, we can forget that Divinity (or God, Spirit, Creator, or whatever other name you might want to use) is really with us, and has not forgotten us. I have difficulty with that from time to time. When not fully myself, I unconsciously feel that Divinity only cares for other people, and has left me here to struggle however I can.
As Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len teaches though, when we do our part (the cleaning) Divinity does Its part (the forgiveness and transmutation of data). It can be no other way.
So when my heart was in winter, I lifted the blanket and found sweet spring. It was needed and welcome.
Our Lady of Guadalupe is a lady of peace. In the accompanying legend, the Virgin first appeared to an Indian commoner named Juan Diego -- and spoke to him in Nahuatl, his native language. She asked him to tell the archbishop that she wanted a church built in her honor. He tried twice and failed.
And then she produced a miracle. She bade Juan Diego pick roses in a sterile spot where normally only desert plants could grow. Then she gathered the roses into the Indian's cloak, and told him to present both cloak and roses to the incredulous archbishop. When Juan Diego unfolded his cloak before the bishop, the image of the Virgin was miraculously stamped upon it. The bishop acknowledged the miracle, and ordered a shrine built where Mary had appeared to her humble servant.
The spot is now a well-visited basilica.
My roses are not as grand as a basilica . . . but they're a reminder of the aloha present all around us and in us, when we're our true selves. Thank you Dr. Hew Len, for your wisdom, teaching, and laughter. Thank you also to Divinity, for my own little miracle in the desert today.
Peace begins with me,