Sunday, February 2, 2014

A Friend’s Visit

At the beginning of January, one of my forever best friends came from Oregon to Southern California to visit his mom, who is ill and may be preparing to transition. The distance makes it hard to be as available as he’d like to be, but he’s wonderful about keeping communication flowing with his dad and brothers and family. I pray for his mother and the family, that they all be blessed with grace and peace during this sacred time.

This friend, Paul, is a deeply spiritual soul, connected to earth, the elements and Divine in a wonderful way. I treasure his friendship and I treasure the easy way we can talk with one another. We’ve been friends for over 35 years and spent much of our 20s seeing each other nearly every day, forming a very close bond with our small group of friends. When we’re young and still forming, those deep friendships we make during that time became part of our formation. Who I am is partly due to his and our other friends’ influence. We all vacationed together, celebrated together, grew together, shared a whole lot of time and laughter together. It was an amazing time we shared!

During his visit, Paul couch-surfed a couple of nights at my place. It was wonderful to have him here! Since he’s like family, it felt very comfortable to just let him do whatever he needed to do while I went to yoga, church and to my company holiday party. (I did feel kind of bad, though, that I was in the midst of a bad fibro flare, hurting pretty badly.)

Paul is an artist, too, and teacher. He’s studied shamanism extensively and creates beautiful smudge fans, rattles and other instruments to use in ceremony. (You can see some of his original handcrafted work at his website: He also takes custom orders.)

smudge fan sage sweetgrassWhile he was here, he had his stuff neatly set aside out of the way, except for a silver box that sat on the island. I didn’t want to be nosy, so I never peeked in the box, until the 2nd day when he asked me if I’d opened it yet. It was a gift for me! So exciting! He’s always amazingly thoughtful with his gifts; previously I’ve received a turtle rattle, owl feathers, sage, a mix CD, hawk feathers and other thoughtful, caring gifts. I opened the box and pulled back the red cloth inside. Paul had made a CD for me and had brought me a DVD (The Big Kahuna). But I especially loved these gifts: an abalone shell to be used for smudging, various sages, sweet grass and resin incenses. He also made an amazing smudge fan! It has owl feathers, peacock feathers, leathers and amethyst stones. Amethyst is my birthstone (February) and amethyst is also known as a healing crystal, which was great, too, since I was in pain. It’s a piece that I will treasure all my llife!

His work as an artist is just so amazing; Paul puts in so much detail, energy, love and blessing into every piece he does. I’m hugely honored with these gifts. The fan is sitting on a shelf in my living space where I can enjoy it and think of our friendship. Love you, Paul!

smudge fan detail

The feathers are so beautiful.  

smudge fan amethysts

The end of the handle holds another large piece of amethyst surrounded by smaller stones.