All I ever need …

Sometimes the muse doesn’t just find you; sometimes she follows you, haunts you, tracks your every move and invades your quiet moments, ticking away inside that clockwork brain until you know it’s just no use—she’ll never leave—not until you’ve written that story, that song, that poem … and so it goes.

So here it is, weeks after a one-liner wedged itself in my grey matter.

And the muse, this time a one-liner, is this: “All I ever need to get by in this life is … Rescue Remedy—and Jesus.

I believe that most people have a healthy respect for spirituality—given there is mutual respect and the understanding that spirituality is a personal journey—one that should not be forced upon another.

Life without free will would be nothing worth living, after all.

But lately I have found myself wondering at the many ways people cope with stress in their lives.

Top two thoughts for me: Jesus and Rescue Remedy.

Is that all that is needed to get by?

I say that with tongue in cheek, finding humour and a seed of truth in it. But upon closer inspection, bordering on “navel-gazing”, I see so much more.

“Getting by” is perhaps unkind, unwarranted and, most definitely, undesirable. But, there are times when life seems best described by those two words.

But there is so much more in life, and I consider the richness of it …

I find myself gazing at a mountain and planning a drive up to Grey Mountain, to one of my favourite lookouts.

Out walking, I inhale deeply the scent of clouds about to release life-giving rain in a Yukon spread wide with anticipation – parched, waiting …

A conversation delights me and, for hours, I enter someone’s “universe,” listening, confiding, sharing wonderment and forgetting completely about any desire for Rescue Remedy.

I look up, thinking it impossible; but then, putting one foot in front of the other—through sand—stopping occasionally to catch my breath, I find myself finally looking down and feeling thankful that I can climb to new heights, see new horizons, sweat upon my brow and ready for the next challenge.

My granddaughter, Taya Ember, laughs for the very first time and it thrills me. I laugh until the two of us are done laughing, then I gently rock her as she nurses her bottle, her eyes watching “Grammy” as I sing a lullaby: “When you’re worried and you can’t sleep, count your blessings instead of sheep and you’ll fall asleep counting your blessings.” Her eyelids fall and I can’t remember what it was I was supposed to be doing … because nothing else in the world matters at that moment.

I gaze at Orion’s belt, because I am so fond of gazing at it—even though I’ve seen it thousands of times; first, through the eyes of a child standing in a farmyard in southern Saskatchewan, in a prairie darkroom spread with starry pictures. And now, that same constellation holds as much wonder.

A friend calls: she wants me to join her for supper and then watch a movie, and I remember what it is I’ve always loved about our conversations—unconditional, reciprocal in our enduring friendship of 18 years, and I think, What did I ever do to deserve this friendship?

The arms of a son who still loves to embrace his mother, a daughter-in-law who is a delight in every way, a daughter who engages her mother in conversations that challenge the core thoughts she has held so closely—thoughts that are allowed to flower, share their fragrance and that pop up as unexpectedly as the tiny “micro-daisies” that I cannot name but cannot help but stare at as we explore Yukon trails.

Thirty years plus of marriage, of sharing another’s journey in a way that brings out the best and the worst in each, but in a way I wouldn’t trade for any other relationship on this planet.

A cliché comes to mind, “last but not least,” which describes the place of Jesus in this writing. A relationship that represents an eternity that is here and now, in my life, not just there and then … and so much more effective than any soothing herbal remedy.

Ahh …. the one-liner has captivated me. All I ever need to get by in this life is so much more than my hands could hold, than my eyes could see on any given day, than my heart or my mind could ever comprehend—more than a page could hold, for sure.

And at the end of the day, and at the end of what I thought was a one-liner about Jesus and Rescue Remedy, I find myself simply being thankful—thankful for the muse, for the thought that would not let me go until it took me on a journey.

And now it is my turn, Taya … time for your Grammy to fall asleep … counting her blessings.

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