Kicking the Bucket - Serendipity and Synchronicity
I thought of calling this post "Serendipity" or "Synchronicity" because those two beautiful words cropped up often during the various daily activities of September. But a friend posted this lovely picture from her early autumn garden, and another friend sent me a text recently asking, "In your studies as a death doula, are there any teachings regarding someone taking their own life?" - followed by "Don't worry, I'm not suicidal, just curious." And let's face it: the term kicking the bucket gets attention!
And it's all related- in a beneficial way, or at the very least, seems to be related even if without a cause- so serendipitous or synchronous.
As Summer gave way to Autumn last month, people crawled out of the woodwork to talk about their aging parents, their chronic or terminal illnesses, and their concerns about the future. I even sat in a friend's living room on a typical Saturday afternoon of snacking and college football viewing with "the boys," and suddenly found the conversation turning from touchdowns and scores- and which players looked like they should still be in junior high- to a discussion of parents entering nursing care, why didn't they prepare better for the end of life, and what are we all going to do- most of us not having kids of our own.
Other interesting things happened in September. I was at a holistic fair talking with a woman who had recently moved to the area temporarily and found herself feeling trapped and unable to connect with others and practice her spiritual self. Meanwhile, another woman hung around my table waiting, until the woman who was talking with me graciously offered to excuse herself. Instead, I invited the other woman into our chat, and we learned that she too had just moved to the area and was looking for connection. The ensuing conversation was spirited and spiritual, we all exchanged contact information, and I felt the day could end right there on a powerful and positive note.
A senior dog whom I had learned needed rehoming the day after my own Finnin's memorial in mid-August made his way to me a month later, and the connections made through that experience were also powerful and positive, and feel lasting.
Then toward to the end of the month I began to burn out. I had been away from home a lot, and was looking forward to working on my practice in October. It seemed the month could not arrive soon enough. With one more event on the calendar, I picked up a book off my pile to take with me in case business was slow: Wintering, given to me by a good friend for my birthday back in February. the book begins with a prologue, September, and then moves through the next months, into Winter. It was perfect!
What does any of this have to do with kicking the bucket, serendipity, synchronicity? During the past couple weeks, I have asserted repeatedly to friends the value of time. Time is precious. We all will kick the bucket someday. October is here, and I will open this book and read it in the quiet of the early morning, before the crows arrive and the sun comes up, while drinking a hot cup of coffee- or whenever I feel like it. Autumn is a time to begin to move inside- our homes and ourselves. To savor the time we have- and if we are really smart, to use a little of that time to think about and plan for the future, when we are coming to the end of having time in this life and this reality, and afterward.
And then when we kick the bucket, may we spill fresh water and flowers behind.
Photo Kathleen Cobb