This was an absolutely beautiful evening here where I live in Oregon. Clouds, rain, clearing, more clouds, more rain, more clearing. As the sun began moving down, the light changed into something magical and golden. I’ve never been able to resist the urge to go outside and look up whenever I see that golden light, fresh, bright green leaves bathed in it, dark gray storm behind them, brilliant double rainbow above them. I had a really nice text visit with my son. I sent him photos of my sky and he sent me ones of his; it was amazing in Portland, too.
I was teaching someone how to make a cheesecake tonight. Ultimately, it’s very little work and a lot of waiting. Mixing, chilling, baking, more mixing, more baking, more chilling. Tomorrow, we’ll get to eat that particular magical and golden with Nutella cream sauce drizzled over the top and fresh strawberries.
The recipe we made was for a 9 inch cheesecake but my spring-form pan is only 7 inches. We made the full recipe and I decided to make a tiny cheesecake in a mini pie pan with what wouldn’t fit. The graham cracker crust only went halfway up the side and I was afraid the cheesecake part would stick so I started spreading butter around the edge of the pan with my finger. My student asked, “Don’t you have a brush for that?” I told him I have a paint brush but it’s too big. He told me about the one at his place that is just about finger width… and so on… and aren’t fingers just the perfect tool sometimes. I coated the buttered edge with extra graham cracker crumbs and called it good.
Between the work, during the waiting, I sat next to the cage where my sixteen year old parakeet, Emi, lives. We recently lost his partner of 14 years. He needs a lot of attention from me now so I do a lot of things sitting next to him, talking to him, listening to music together, Sudoku. He’s survived a few close calls in his life; with nonstick cookware, midnight churro oil melting plastic utensils and a few other smoke-filled room kitchen disaster sorts of things, Fabreeze (Yes, it’s TOXIC TO BIRDS no matter what it says on the label. It was used 2 rooms away with the door closed and put both birdies on the bottom of the cage within 24 hours). Emi has scar tissue in his tiny lungs and so he gets a bit wheezy sometimes and makes sneezing noises; COPD for Budgies. He’s an otherwise healthy, and mostly happy again, little and very old, bird.
As I sat with Emi tonight, it came to me that lavender might calm him, as it does us, and then maybe his breathing would be easier. All of my lavender is blooming right now and that sky wanted me out there, too, so I grabbed my scissors and a vase and clipped a bunch. I brought it inside to trim and put in a smaller vase with water and lavender oil to place near Emi’s cage. While I was outside, my niece called and left a message asking me to call her, she wanted to talk to me about “some things she was experiencing.”
I felt in the middle of things so I put off calling her right away. The light through the window caught my attention again and I saw a rainbow being cast from outside onto the curtains behind the couch where I’ve had my most vivid dreams and onto the wall beyond them. I felt my Dannica’s presence with me and had the thought, “She really is in the light.” I whispered thanks to her for being with me and I told her, as I do many times every day, how much I love her, my Little Angel, my Baby Girl… and miss her hugs, her physical presence, terribly.
The cheesecake had 15 minutes left in the oven but it was getting late and it’s later in my niece’s time zone so I put on the headset and called and continued to trim the lavender next to Emi’s space. She answered in tears, so upset which worried me but at the same time I felt such calm…the beauty of this evening, the smell of cheesecake and lavender and loving my birdie and my Danni and my son and the sky… The Sky!
My niece proceeded to tell me of her experience of the past few hours/minutes/days. “Just in the past 10 minutes,” she sobbed, “I’m feeling like Danni is trying to tell me something for you. I keep smelling baking cakes, cupcakes, frosting, sprinkles, and Danni with you and remembering baking together. Did she paint? Paintbrush… rainbows… and flowers…. lots of flowers!”
What gifts! It was like Christmas morning in my heart. Dannica had actually spent the evening with me and found a way to let me know that almost as soon as it happened. These experiences are becoming more and more powerful for me and less surprising which makes them more and more comforting at the deepest level possible.
Life is certainly something magical and golden.