March, like the wind, has roared in with much turmoil. While we're still mourning the loss of our dog Scotty, a health scare looms over our family. My father, Henry, went in for a heart test this week, hoping it would be no more serious than getting a stent, but was told he needed open heart surgery due to major blockages. He needed a five bypass. His surgery went well, and after two days in intensive care, he will be off to a rehab center for possibly up to a week, or back at home with a home nurse three days a week. Recovery will take at least six weeks.
I don't know if you have a real gratitude for healthcare professionals until such serious care is needed. After it was done, I wanted to thank every doctor and nurse I passed by in the hall. Just thank you for being a healer. I even wanted to thank the guy delivering food and the security guard.
Before we left, my mom and I stopped by the hospital chapel to say a prayer. A Muslim man was in there kneeling in prayer. I thought about how universal all of our wishes really are no matter who the higher being is: Jesus, Allah, a nature deity. I think now of Mary's words in the Celia Rees' Sorceress about the Native Americans, "Both groups believed in dreams and portents...The scalplock moon shone down on all alike, and they would have looked back with equal disquiet. A time of trial approached, and both would look to great spirit for guidance and blessing. Be it God or Manitou, what did the naming of him matter."
I've been listening to a lot of Tori Amos, which is nothing unusual for me since she's one of my favorite sonic artists and I've always considered her "lyrics" more poetry. I'm drawn to her songs about nature lately and I've been listening to The Beekeeper, a concept album where she divided her songs into different gardens (desert garden, rock garden, roses and thorns and such). The title song is one of my favorites, and it's one which she wrote when she nearly lost own mother who had a heart condition to a health scare. She goes to see the Beekeeper to ask her to spare her mother's life, and the Beekeeper tells her,
"Do you know who I am? I'm the one who taps you on the shoulder when it's your time.
Do not be afraid I promise that she will awake tomorrow somewhere."
Tori said, "In the song The Beekeeper, I travel to see the master beekeeper who is really sort of the master shaman keeping everything together within the gardens, making sure that everything's pollinated, making sure that there's life, making sure that when and if there's disease that is extricated from the garden. I wasn't guaranteed my mother would survive but the master beekeeper explained that of course she will awake. Don't you believe in infinity? Don't you believe in the shape of infinity? That's the bees dance. That's what the worker bees do....because wherever she awakes she's still your mother, even if it's not on this plane. She will always be your mother."
In the end of the song, the Beekeeper says to Tori that she's passing her by this time, but "Don't be confused, one day I'll be coming for you." Events like this are always a reminder of how sacred and short our time is on this plane. Sometimes we're given second chances to appreciate our loved ones and our own lives, sometimes fate plays out differently. Here's to making the most of second chances.
"Flaxen hair blowing in the breeze
It is time for the geese to head south
I have come with my mustard seed
I cannot accept that she will be taken from me
"Do you know who I am" she said
"I'm the one who taps you on the shoulder when it's your time
Don't be afraid I promise that she will awake
Wrap yourself around
The tree of life and the dance of the infinity
Of the hive
Take this message to Michael
I will comb myself into chains
In between the tap dance clan
And your ballerina gang
I have come for the beekeeper
I know you want my
You want my queen
Anything but this
Can you use me instead?
In your gown with your breathing mask
Plugged into a heart machine
As if you ever needed one
I must see the beekeeper I must see if she'll keep her alive
Call Engine 49 I have come with my mustard seed
Maybe I'm passing you by
Just passing you by girl
I'm passing you by
On my way
On my way
I'm just passing you by
But don't be confused
One day I'll be coming for you...
I must see the beekeeper
I must see the beekeeper"