There's some magic that happens when a seed is planted. The seed I am referring to here is a creative project in its earliest of stages. This magic happened so vividly for me last weekend that I wanted to share it with you. As the Day of the Dead approaches, I began considering who I would like to pay tribute to this year by building a shrine in their honor. I wondered what departed loved one holds an enchanted characteristic that I want to feel a surge of in my life right now. I decided on my beloved hound dog, Zora, who died about 7 years ago.
I went directly to my grandmother's old trunk where the photos who have never heard the word "digital" are stored. As I went through a myriad of photos, eras, and landscapes, I also went through a myriad of emotions. There were generations of laughter and loss in that trunk. I ended the foraging with a small stack of Zora photos and tears in my eyes. My life misses her unique goofiness and innocent joy.
Then I went to an old glass spice jar on a shelf next to sentimental treasures. In the jar is a lock of Zora's hair, part black and part white. These things I had collected would all be perfect to represent WHAT she was to us. But I knew there was more to include in her shrine that would express WHO she was to us.
So I sat down, open to any inspiration. I wondered what was the missing ingredient. I felt my heart was the nutrient-rich soil where the seed was germinating. And I trusted that the magic was happening.
The magic is in the connection to this seed. Its where you can talk to each other and listen to what the other has to communicate. Its where it is possible to hear what is inaudible.
In the case of Zora's shrine, the message I received was not inaudible. That should not surprise anyone who ever heard Zora and her hound dog bark. Everyone in the house muted their devices when they heard the far off inklings of it. Through our open windows came the honkings of what sounded like a hundred geese flying overhead. Geese are always Zora's messengers to us. They remind us of her charm with their long lanky necks and goofy sounds. Yet it was before she was in the spirit world sending geese messengers that we saw the commonalities between her and them. In fact, we often joked that she was 1/2 horse and 1/2 goose. (The horse stories are for another post.)
That night after the geese made our family laugh and we enjoyed our memories of Zora, I found two pictures to include in her shrine~ one of a horse & one of a goose. That's who Zora was to us.
Before you even sit down to create a shrine, the seed has been planted. When you consider who or what or where to honor, you are reinforcing your connection to that being or thing or place. This is a great time to dialogue about what this shrine will hold, physically and intentionally. Don't overthink the process or expect information to come in a preconceived form. Remain curious and open and patient. This process answers to its own clock. See what you notice, when you just consider that the magic is doing its thing.