For as long as I can remember Holy Week has been about connecting to worlds greater than myself from the deepest parts of my heart. When I was a little girl my father was the minister of a church in Concord, New Hampshire and Palm Sunday was the day when we children were front and center for the morning service. The sermon was directed towards the whole family and was centered around the story of Jesus riding the donkey into Jerusalem and gloriously being hailed by the crowds and we New Englanders, in the mid-50’s, would all exit the church with our own palm leaves, waving with giddy excitement in our cores, for this triumph.
Today I woke up to an orange tree outside my window, bursting with fruit and the sun shining in on my pillow. A smile on my face and in my heart knowing what day this was, ushering in this sacred week of joy and betrayal and agony and miracles and resurrection and ultimate faith. This house that I am currently sitting has come to me fully loaded with three small dogs (yes, deja vu...another three-dog night house). These pups are a pack indeed and not one of my maneuvers escapes the watchdog of the moment. My opening eyes were simultaneously met with pounces onto my face and slurpy ‘We want breakfast” greetings. The Palm Sunday spell was broken.
Two hours later I was driving down the highway to peddle my cookies in Venice. I have been given the luxury of driving the home owner’s giant SUV, which is a blessing as our faithful thirteen year old station wagon has reached the limping phase of its life and this jaunt puts a hefty strain on its engine. I usually don’t push knobs that I’m not familiar with while driving but I had been told that the music system in this car was elite and ooh lala. I breathed in the sunshine and California hills as the earlier doggy reality slipped into the background and sacred awareness re-emerged. I wanted music. My instinct said “Push the buttons!” While keeping my eyes on the road I randomly pushed. I got music of the 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, jazz, spa, Sinatra, love, Broadway tunes, symphony and then the Metropolitan Opera. I hit the motherload as Handel's Messiah was midstream. I thanked my Mom and Dad (oh thank you for choosing me to be your daughter and grow up in our household that I may know this music so well!) as an early measure of “I Know That My Redeemer Liveth” finished and I could sing the whole rest of the piece feeling God and love and light and miracles above, below and inside of me. I was having such a marvelous time that I completely missed my turn (in fact I passed several) and ended up having to come back to the planet and navigate the racetrack area of a not so nifty neighborhood while trying to figure out where on earth I was.
A few hours later as I finished up my cookie peddling on Abbot Kinney, my favorite street in Venice, a camera crew appeared out of nowhere interviewing passers by. I have never been one to be thrust into this kind of spotlight and I fully intended to walk on by, but a microphone loomed towards me with the human being behind it saying, " We're from the new Oprah Winfrey network, can we ask you a few questions?" My mouth said 'no' followed by my brain saying 'What are you thinking?????' So my mouth corrected itself and said 'alright'. There I was, microphone in the face and camera pointed at me and now the question ' Do you believe in miracles?' All I could think was 'Oh my GOD! My whole life, every second, every minute, every day is a miracle and how do I answer this?' So I stumbled around and said 'Do you have three hours?' Then MIRACULOUSLY something snapped inside of me and I stepped into my truth. I lost all self consciousness and began to connect to the passion of who and what I am about. The words raced out of me, and ran all over the place. I have no idea what I said but whatever it was, it was perfect. Towards the end of my interview the director said "Repeat after me. I want to have my own tv show on Oprah's new network" I did and I added "And I want Oprah to make all of my movies as they were born to be made and touch people". Thank you's and cookies sprinkled amongst the crew and I walked away. I was tempted to think 'Oh, I should have said this' or 'You fool! You blithered!' But no. This happened exactly as it was supposed to. No matter what happens I let'er rip on why I'm here on this planet and how I have so very much to do and say, but this little encounter exhausted me. I slipped into the next shop that appeared in desperate need of an oasis after extending myself so completely.
Here I was met by an unlikely gathering of angels. A shop where my cookies are rarely bought. A shop where a certain level of sophistication resides and so if I enter I don't linger and chat. A shop where there is usually one beautifully dressed woman behind the counter and today the whole staff was there. As I stumbled in and began to babble about what had just happened, they rallied and supported me and cheered me on and it was phenomenal. Human beings. We really are all one big family. In this year of having no home I have grown more sisters and brothers than I could ever have imagined. My truth is that the only thing that really matters is the human heart and how we share it and connect with others. These women cried when they heard my story and I promised them that if I do happen to hear from Oprah, they will be the first, after my husband and daughters, to know, as they were the ones who carried me after my grand effort. This Palm Sunday has resonated in my soul with donkeys and waving palms and giddy excitement and promise.
Thank you, God.
Thank you oranges and little dogs.
Thank you Handel and Haley.
Thank you Oprah people.
Thank you shop ladies.
Thank you Melanie.
Thank you Norman and Obie.
Good night everyone.