The Golden Rule

Do to others as you would have them do to you.

The Golden Rule.

I love you even though you may not love me.

I take care of you even though you may despise me.

Allow me to enter the gate.

While you have slandered my name in public,

and, told me you hate me to my face,

I fear not.

I love you.

When people chose idle gossip,

to ruminate about my choices

as a distraction to their own life.

I love you.

Allow me to enter the gate.

When you cast me aside as a friend

when I am no longer

needed or necessary to you.

I love you.

Do to others as you would have them do to you.

I forgive you.

The Golden Rule.

Open the gate.

I am home

My being exists

inside and beyond.

Your being exists

inside and beyond.

The being intermingles

in a web of trust and


Wrought by time and richness.

Spirits flow in unity.

Held in beauty and light.

Awakening to the eye.

Beyond time and definition.

In eternal and ancient union.

One comes home.

I have arrived.

You have arrived.

Exist no longer.


“May my soul smile in the embrace of my anam cara” — John O’Donahue, A Blessing for Death.

After urging from my friend Lisa (thank you!) to read Anam Cara by John O’Donahue, I finished it cover to cover last night.  The wisdom of the Celtic Spiritual tradition just left me with such deep inner peace and knowing.  It is making me rethink my decision not to go to Ireland this fall again.

This is my final reflection on the whole of my readings of Anam Cara and a morning offering to guide your day.


My one day, my one hour

You walk with me.

You walk near me.

But, yet I turn my eye to you.

Every step that I take,

I know not the hour that you come.

But one day, one hour,

you will come.

And, in that hour,

nothing will be the same.

You are a daily companion,

I do not want to travel with.

But, yet, I do.

I know your bittersweet taste.

When you have knocked on my door

and visited

nothing has remained the same.

The emptiness,

the loss,

the intense desolation.

I know you well.

Too well.

My dear friend,

we walk silently as partners all 



May your lesson

allow me to live fully,


Let me take what comes tomorrow

before you come

at my one day,

my one hour.

The great giver and the great thief.

“Linger awhile, for you are so beautiful.”

Stay with me

in this moment.

Don’t let it pass

so quickly.

Time is the great giver

and the great


On such a day,

I want it to float on and on,


But, surely

as day marches into the night,

it doesn’t.

Time is the great giver

and the great


All comes to end

as surely as the sun

rises and sets.

For this moment,

let me languish in the present

for it is beautiful here.

Let me linger for a while,

until the light edges from the sky.

You are so beautiful.

The great thief comes

as daylight ebbs into twilight.

Releasing me from this one perfect, beautiful





Faust – “Stay for a while, for you are so beautiful.”


Fast, faster.

Things move fast, faster.

Expectations abound.

What can we get done in the minutes that we have today?

Fast, faster.

Time keeps ticking.

How effective and efficient can you be?

What can you do in the time you have in between the next thing?

Fast, faster.

I grow weary of all that I must accomplish

in the time I have been given.

Fast, faster.

I can’t seem to keep up with the demands of today

yet, I am expected to.

Fast, faster.

Where is the wonder, the questioning,

the growth?

Time, I don’t have time for that.

The second-hand keeps moving.

Fast, faster.

I don’t have time even for my own self.

I am drowning in a sea of time

with an undercurrent set by modern


Fast, faster.

Awake dear soul! Awake!

You are so known you are forgotten.

Complacency and familiarity.

I see you but yet I do not see you.

The hummingbird flies outside the window

but yet I cannot stop to see.


Awake dear soul!  Awake!


I see the surface but yet not what lies below.

My soul, your soul, our soul

is covered by a cloak of time.


Awake dear soul!  Awake!


Numbing and distance.

Deep below lies a landscape unknown.

But complacency and familiarity have

numbed me to its excavation.


Awake dear soul!  Awake!


You grab my hand but I pull away.

The mystery forgotten

lost in a quiet death

not seeing for myself any longer

living in my numbed complacent life.


Awake dear soul!  Awake!


Lead me away from this deadened life to

the mystery and magic,

blessing and possibility

that lie deep below.


Awake dear soul!  Awake!


Come, let’s excavate the soul.

You let us do the driving

For my work, I get to catalog the stories of those that I sometimes help indirectly through my efforts.  This story comes from a very special place. You see once upon a time, I worked as an employee at this retirement community.  And, I loved every minute of it.  So, I got to meet Charlie first hand. In fact, I saw Charlie every day.

Now as a consultant helping them out, they asked me to write a story about Charlie for their annual report that I am putting together.

So, here begins the story of Charlie…

You let us do the driving.

“You all grew on me.”

It was thirty years ago when Charlie Domina’s daughter-in-law Val set her sights on Charlie’s impeccable driving skills. Val was UMEC’s Activity Director at the time, and she just knew that Charlie would be the perfect person with his newly acquired retirement for a position that she had in mind.

And, Charlie gave in. Soon, he found himself taking residents shopping, driving to local restaurants and other outing destinations, transporting residents to appointments, and Charlie copydoing whatever else he was called on to do.

He was having so much fun and saw how everyone living at Winslow Gardens just loved it there that in 2002 he decided to move in himself and began driving even more. In fact, Charlie drove that van for the next twenty years, all with a clean driving record to boot.

Then in 2007, Charlie decided it was time to give up his van “job,” but that wasn’t the end of Charlie helping out. He felt a need to give back to the community he had grown to love. And, so he began helping out at the Country Store.

Over the past thirty years, Charlie has given an incredible 5,867 hours of service. And, now he is finally ready to really retire.

For the past twenty of those thirty years, Charlie has called UMEC home and says that the care and supports that everyone provides there are done with such love, that he just couldn’t think of calling any other place home.

And, today at 92, Charlie who has given so much to so many over the years, is now himself being well taken care of in the place that he loves.

Most importantly though, he agrees, “It is finally time for me to retire and let UMEC do the driving!” And, after all he has done, we couldn’t agree more.