"No service is too small when given
mindfully, with good intention and an open heart."
I DO THIS: I can’t say that I have chosen to be with
those challenged by terminal illness or catastrophic disability.
. . Those blessings find me, present themselves insistently, even
when I try to hide. In the beginning, most of us are reluctant
and unsure—what will we say, how will we know what to do.
We fear becoming too entangled, trapped. And always, through the
grace and dignity of those amazing spirits trapped in failing
disabled bodies, through some mysterious but ever present help
from somewhere, when I give in and give up and just accept that
I am invited to witness this other person, the questions and uncertainties
dissipate. Each time I surrender to that invitation with faith
and trust, my own spirit grows and I am nurtured. I am strengthened.
My faith deepens. My hope increases. Through these bravehearts
I gain courage. More is gained always, than is given.
DEAR NEIGHBORCARE FRIENDS: If, in
the midst of all this glory that is summer, you observe a person or
a creature who is lonely or in pain—cast blessings, then tell
others what you did. If they’re not already doing the same, maybe
Recently on my way home to Stonington, I saw a horse alone in a muddy
field on a day that was gray as she was, and cold. She did look well
fed. A protective coat had been carefully draped around her. But there
she stood, still as stone and staring.
Think of a time when you felt alone in all the world. Imagine.
If you were lonely, how wonderful if folks you hardly knew were blessing
you. These unseen graces do more than we know. In any case, disregarding
loneliness and pain adds an invisible—and excruciating—dimension.
Here’s the first draft of a letter to the editor that Deer
Isle/Stonington NEIGHBORCARE contact, Anne Williams and I are writing
together: “On Deer Isle or off, many of our neighbors suffer cancer,
congestive heart failure, near blindness and more. To survive they must
get to Bangor. MUST. Sometimes once in a while. Sometimes regularly.
Sometimes daily. For nearly eleven years, NEIGHBORCARE
and others have helped provide these rides. However, the need is growing.
We are in a state of emergency (particularly deep on the island, where
the ride to Bangor is even more of a trip).
I who like you have no time hereby add my name to the ONE-Ride-A-Month-To-Bangor
list. Anne and other dear ones have been on this list long before it
had a name. Thank you for gladly adding your name. Our island/peninsula
neighbors deserve no less than our wholehearted support.
Having the list is crucial because then we will know we have WILLING,
COMMITTED DRIVERS we can count on, even if every once in a while
one of us is ill or out of town and truly can’t make it, even
if some months we’re not called.
While you’re thinking of it, contact Anne for DI/Stonington 367-5823
—maggie, for the rest of the peninsula. 266-7673. firstname.lastname@example.org
SUMMER VISITORS/RESIDENTS ARE MORE THAN
WELCOME TO JOIN IN. *We’re happy to help with gas money
if this is what you need to be able to
If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten
we belong to each other. —Mother Teresa
FOR PONDERING With all respect to
those of you who serve so kindly and so often, please take a moment.
I want to revisit THE ISSUE OF CONFIDENTIALITY,
which if respect ruled unceasingly we would scarcely need a word for.
Think of something about yourself you would not want to be mentioned
to others in a offhand manner—or at all, to anyone.
This might be something you told someone in confidence, sparked by a
burst of feeling you could not contain. Thinking deeply, we realize
it is another’s prerogative—not ours—to tell his or
her secrets, to speak of his or her circumstances and frailties. We
know this, but sometimes we forget. Despite our good intention toward
those we serve, despite all we do to ease their lives, despite how well
we think we know them, (and this includes the animals we care for),
those we care for are not ours to chat about.
Observing a fast from words has greater transformative
power than a fast from food, for to restrain our tongue, especially
from gossip, tale-bearing, or frivolous speech, is to offer up a blessing,
itself a form of “silent speaking. “ Such silence of the
tongue . . . opens a way for empathy. In silence one can now hear the
pain of others, the pain of the world. Silence is a hammer that breaks
our heart of stone and then replaces it with a heart of flesh—a
heart that understands what flesh is, a heart that may be pierced by
the suffering of others, and that is open to Divinity. —Geoffrey
FOR THE VOICELESS
Here are precautions recently submitted to a local newspaper:
Protect pets from the summer heat.
Five or ten minutes in a hot car can kill them, even if the windows
are down halfway. Don’t think they’re safe if you park in
the shade. The sun keeps moving and could be beating down on your car
in no time. Rainy days, the weather can turn hot and sunny. Even on
cloudy days, your car can heat up. Leave your dogs home on warm/hot
days, or take them to doggy daycare, which is available on Deer Isle
(348-9303) to residents and visitors.
If your dog’s penned or on a run (no tying dogs up in the state
of Maine) make sure shade is plentiful—don’t assume your
pet will go looking for it. You can put latticework over your pens.
That way, there will be dappled shade all day long, plus air flow. Make
sure your animals have water. Like people, they get dehydrated. Placing
a rock in water bowls and water buckets helps prevent them from being
tipped over. If you see, animals (babies, children) left in cars in
the heat of summer, don’t hesitate.
Call for help right away.
senators and representatives have disabled their (e)mailboxes. Go directly
to their websites to contact them regarding your concerns.
to avoid the following heartcrunchers: 1) looking away when someone
is talking to you, to scan the room for someone more inviting. 2) not
facing folks directly when they speak to you, as if your running shoes
were on and you were off to something more important.
FROM THE NOT-A-DOCTOR
For a soothing essential oil blend, mix high quality (not cosmetic
quality) oils of lavender, jasmine, geranium, ylang-ylang and bergamot.
The blend can be used by any of the following methods: diffuser/aroma
lamp, hot bath (six drops or so)—to disperse, stir gently, massage
oil—add ten drops of the blend to one ounce of carrier oil such
as almond or olive oil. OR add some drops to a handkerchief and sniff!
external use only
STORY WITH A MORE-THAN-HAPPY ENDING
Earlier this month a friend told me a whale story she’d
read in Reader’s Digest. I’ve
been moved to share the story often. When I told it at a workshop I
was presenting, you could have heard a pin drop. Here’s my best
understanding of what happened. I have shortened the account for the
A fisherman came upon a humpback whale off the NW coast of the United
States. The whale was pinned by heavy metal and mesh crab traps, her
blow hole just above water, her tail weighed down, her baleen crisscrossed
and gouged with ropes. Experienced divers who were called had little
hope of saving her. They tried, however, at one and the same time fearing
for the whale whom they would have to cut to release the ropes that
were binding her and for themselves who could be in danger if the whale
thrashed her fins or head or tail. But she seemed to understand they
were trying to help her. And while they continued she remained still,
observing them with her fist-sized, infinitely wise eye. When she was
free, at last, instead of bolting for the open sea, she swam around
the rescuers for minutes on end, then approached them, nudging each
one in turn gently over the heart. This experience, according to each
of the rescuers, was “one of the most fantastic moments”
of their lives. Certainly, speaking of it proclaims what is possible
in this beleaguered world.
Please tell this story. It can offset,
dramatically, the effect of much we read and are exposed to that shrivels
The whole thing, the most difficult thing, is
to wake the heart. Somehow one has to learn to be able to live in the
heart, to judge from the heart, as ordinarily as we live in mechanical
mind and judge from that. It is shifting the center of attention in
oneself. For the movements of the heart are so quick that only if one
can learn to live there for some time, is it possible to catch them
as they pass and obey them. This also means that we have to learn to
feed the heart, taking emotional impressions directly there, just as
we now take knowledge directly into the mind. —Rodney Collin
FROM THE KITCHEN
Serve deviled eggs for breakfast, dinner, supper or snack. I’m
glad to report the following recipe has been well received: Mash the
yolks of hardboiled eggs with Nasoya (or Miracle Whip, not mayo), black
pepper, garlic granules, Braggs (or a wee bit of salt), horseradish
mustard, sweet relish, the tiniest bit of cayenne added in and/or sprinkled
on top. Add a touch of curry power during the mashing if you’d
like, and/or crabmeat or mashed canned salmon.
It is important to remember that for each person struck by disease
or loss, the experience is new. AND WHO
KNOWS? Your complete presence might help convert pain to good.
Maybe the generous soul sitting with a mother whose son was killed at
the Trade Center was the presence that inspired her to fly to Afghanistan
to meet with mothers in that country who also had lost children to bombing—this,
so she could come home and change the hearts of the American people,
NEIGHBORCARE MANY HANDS MAKE LIGHT WORK POTLUCK
took place in Jeanne Gaudette and Peter Diemond’s
home on Tuesday, June 27th.
Several of us shared fine food and talk and addressed NEIGHBORCARE
We’ll continue to move the potluck to various peninsula
Not necessarily the same people will be gathering each time.
PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF YOUD
LIKE TO JOIN IN, IN SEPTEMBER.
—Breton Fisherman Prayer
Blessings all around youthis summer
and in every season,
maggie davis, for NEIGHBORCARE
Neighborcare Newsletters Main
PO Box 370, Blue Hill, ME 04614-0370
Copyright © 1998 - 2018 maggie davis. All Rights Reserved.