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April Madness

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Spring is many things to me, but the last of those is relaxing. There is nothing relaxing to a die-hard gardener about warm, sunny weather. Warm sunny weather means weeds growing toward the sky, things needing to be planted out, things cooking slowly in the greenhouse, things needing to be watered and pulled and mulched, cleaned, mowed and trimmed. Warm sunny weather means festival season, means travel and packing. For instance, this weekend Bill is in south Texas, and I am in Whitefish Point, Michigan at the Whitefish Point Bird Observatory's 2008 Spring Fling. In a way, it will be good to get away from all this burgeoning vegetation and all this weeding and planting, and go back to early, early spring. I need a break. It's all happening too fast. Winter into summer, that's what this spring has been. 30's to 8o's.

I wish I could relax. I wish I could sleep. Both elude me. I am alternately a zombie and a weepy manic counterwiping floorwashing freak. Something about having all four of us in different places, having to arrange care for Phoebe and Liam and Chet and Charlie and Shoomie the turtle and the ancient bonsais and my teeny new tomato seedlings and all those gorgeous greenhouse goodies I've grown all winter makes me insane. Something about the end of April makes me sad. It's all coming too fast. I'm a tired bird trailing the migrating flock, trying to catch up. I can't stop it; I can't control it, so I sweep and wipe. Dirt, at least, I can control. Shila helps me. Shila is a healer. That's what she does. Here is photographic evidence. Not long ago, Chet Baker had a terrible couple of days, womitin' bad, sorr. I didn't know what he'd gotten into, but it was bad. He'd go out in the meadow and graze like a miniature Angus bull for an hour at a time, then clean himself out over and over. Shila came over, just to talk a bit and enjoy the spring and the daffodils. Chet vaulted up into her lap and turned to her with his most hangdog expression. I am sick, Shila. Maybe you can fix me. Will you try?

So Shila draped Chet over her lap and commenced gently stroking his ailing stomach. He relaxed immediately and completely, this poor dog who'd been rigid with cramps for two days. Look at his hind legs. Limp as a noodle. He snored gently. Shila and I think this picture looks like Silence of the Lambs, with a Tulumia orchid instead of a hawk moth over her mouth.I met Shila after I'd given birth to Phoebe, when I was in total shock about what having a baby really meant. It meant having this little person, this houseguest, who never planned to pack up and leave, who was here to stay, who might need anything at any hour or minute of the day, and generally did. It meant that I was suddenly in service to someone else, someone who didn't answer to a reasonable request to scale back the demands or maybe go somewhere else for dinner, give me a break once in awhile. It meant saying goodbye to the sleep patterns I'd taken for granted; it meant giving a couple of pints of my bodily essence to her nourishment every day. I quit sleeping and wandered around like a haggard zombie. Shila helped. We became friends. She's known both kids since they were babies, and she was often the only person other than Bill and me who could hold and soothe cranky Liam. I'll never forget handing him to her on New Year's Eve, when he was not even two months old. He went limp as a homemade egg noodle, from squalling like a banshee.

I watched her work her magic on Chet and marveled at the treasure that she is, at how lucky I am to call her friend and confidante. The first time she touched me in the course of craniosacral therapy, I asked sleepily, "How long have you been a healer?" There was a heat radiating from her hands, an energy and soothing power that I've never felt before.Clearly, it crosses species lines. Shila has worked on sore horses as well as infants and children and insane nursing mothers. Now she can add pukey Boston terriers to her list of the healed. He was fine from then on. When he got down from her embrace he walked over to his bowl and cleaned up yesterday's untouched dinner.

In this crazy, busy season, I wish you peace, and dear friends who know just what to say and do. Or, as in Chet's case, when to say nothing at all.Mr. Popcorn Paws, at peace.


What a nice post. What a good friend. I am so glad Bacon is better. I would help you out in a heart beat, if only I lived that next farm over. Darn it!!!

However, I will help now however you ask.

Oh and breathe, okay?

There is something insane about those first days with a first child. What a fortunate time to meet Shila. I've been so pleased to get to know her a little bit over on Flickr. Just a tiny taste of her kindness. You are blessed -- but so is she since being appreciated is such a blessing.

Oh, man, what a time you've been having. And what a time you had. And how wonderful to have found a friend like Shila. My massage therapist, Getta, is such a soul. She works magic, with her clients and family. It must be magic; her big old 17-year-old yellow dog Lacey may not get up when you leave, but, when you arrive, always manages to get up to say, "Hey, Lady, nice to see you again. Ain't my mom swell?" And indeed she is. These are magical souls, and blessed we are to have them in our lives.

lovely post.

I also like the james herriot reference. those books are like chicken soup for me.

From one who knows how to take on too much, I wish you peace.

Thanks for this wonderful post, Julie. Thanks to Shila, too. She's a gift.

Breathe deeply.

What a gift to have a friend like Shila. Treasure it always.

Nice to be reminded this morning of what really matters. Makes me commit to being a Shila for somebody else today, in whatever way I am equipped. I'm not a healer, but I can be kind.

Your words remind me of how important it is that we care for one another.

I'm so glad that Chet found peace in her of my favorite pictures, that last one...

You keep showing parts of your varied life that we never knew were there (how rich!!) -- very wonderful stuff on Shila 'the healer' -- many across the Web will just roll their eyes at such talk... but luckily many of us know better ;-)
And BTW, when do we get to meet Shoomie the Turtle??? (or did I miss him somewhere along the way).

So nice! Kat is the same way, with healing hands that radiate heat and soothe me, the kitties, the Kid, the bunneh--whoever needs it. Lucky to have those people around.

You are a healer in your own way, Zick. Thank you.

Howdy guys--sitting in the Colum bus airport, waiting for my flight to Sault St. Marie MI. It's nice to get away, but dreadful to prepare for it.Wish I could do it without falling apart. Thanks for all your good wishes.

I have never met a healer, but believe in them. You are so fortunate to have found her(Chet Baker too!). Try to have fun on your trip and leave the stress behind

So many things to love about this post.
The last photo of Chet Baker, lips akimbo; the wonderful tribute to Shila; your priceless description of how motherhood grips you when first baby is born--you are now held hostage by a wee babe.

What a rare gift Shila has - you are so lucky to treasure her as a friend. You have rare gifts, too, and isn't it nice that the world works that way? We all get by giving and using our own talents. Shila was just what Chet needed. Your book was just what I needed one day. Now if we could just figure out how to not go crazy in the process!

Nice friend :)
Nice post!

Can Shila heal hearts? And souls or spirits? If so, I think I need a road trip to SE Ohio.


I just loved this story, Julie.

Hang in there.
What a nice post about your friend and her ability. I love that last picture ... so peaceful.

You are indeed mightly blessed.

That's such a neat story about how special Shila is for you and your family, Julie. It was good to see Chet Baker smiling again.

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