Sunday, June 22, 2014

Afternoon Tea in the Garden

A few weeks ago, in a completely serendipitous way, I received a gift.  I have always been the recipient of such gifts, by the way.  Goodness and kindness and random gifts find their way to me, for no good reason at all, from perfect strangers, distant acquaintances, and of course friends and family...

Anyways, a few weeks ago I was invited to a tea party at an amazing garden no less, organized by a very small group of local women (whom I did not know before this day), to honor a writer, blogger, mother, zen Buddhist monk, and a  profound and beautiful woman that I have admired for years, Karen Maezen Miller.  To keep the event intimate, the guest list was limited and  I have no idea why I was on the list of invited.  But as I said, magic finds me, and all I have to do is say "Yes" and receive gratefully.

The short afternoon was packed full with rejuvenation and that light soulful conversation that zen followers are so gifted at (I am not zen FYI).   Since it was a small gathering, Karen had a chance to chat privately with each guest.  When she and I had our "moment" I told her of my love and gratitude for her and the work she puts out in this world, hoping in the back of my mind that I am not creeping out a perfect stranger. 

That afternoon I was fully present in my life and myself,  and took in all the joys of this life of mine.

Mr. Urban had taken the girls for the afternoon, and when I suddenly heard their little sounds approaching from somewhere behind the lavender bushes my heart overflowed with love for the three of them. 

My girls keep thriving and touching us in amazing ways, every day as they learn or experience something new... each time they smile and choose the road of flexibility... or when they show us their sweet vulnerabilities and fears.  But you know,  more times than I care to count, I get bogged down with obsessive parental worries...   And leave it to the Zen among us to remind me that the essence of parenting and all we need to teach the ones we love (and only through example) is how to breathe, how to sit, how to open our eyes and really look at the garden around us with kindness and without judgement.

*  If you are interested in learning more about Karen, you can find her writings at, or Huff post, and of course you can find any of her great books on amazon.

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