Bittersweet to Kumquat

It’s Bittersweet Symphony, sings The Verve. Can I just tell you, this song used to speak deeply to me. Especially after losing two friends—both in their 30s—within a six month span. I learned close up and personal about hurt, grieving and feeling guilty for continuing to live when my other two friends had died.

Why did I get to keep breathing when their journey ended so short?

The pain of this grief pierced my soul in a deep way that changed me profoundly.

I turned instantly from a dreamer that lived in the future to a person thrust-ed into the here and now.

Now? That really made sense to me in a new way at the age of 37. I understood that life could change instantly. So love those you love intensely, love the smaller moments of the coffee brewing as the low lavender clouds lingered in the early morning hours in a beach town called Cardiff. I wrote columns in the newspaper this time and shared openly about the pain I was experiencing and how living in each moment became my obsession. The result:

I stopped eating biscuits and gravy. I gave up drinking red wine. I stopped my cocktail hours after the newspaper biz and began using my Frog’s Gym Membership more.

I studied how to become a healthier person by in habits and with my daily eating patterns. From my life’s story looking identical to ‘Sex and the City’s,’ Carrie character, to revamping my life like A Jerry Maguire Movie.

Now, ten years later, I am here. Under the orange glow of the mango. I am here…in the now, but back to believing in dreaming of future days ahead.

My life no longer feels bittersweet or living like a vigilante for present moment. I am humming a happier tune, one like by the Romantics, “What I like about you…”

and then dancing in front of the class (another column, another day).

My heart is wide open to dreaming again with hopes of living bigger and better tomorrow. Happiness is my obsession—of course besides mangoes, coffee and big thick books that line by bedside table…oops I’m going off here—my ‘beloveds’ I love, I am a mom of a young man and dare I say it…A yoga teacher?

Yes. You heard it straight, peeps. This biscuit eating, once happy hour lover has turned into a Lycra-d out YOGI in late forties.
Is that just too cliché in some weird way? However, this is an outright miracle. Only ten years ago if you asked me why a Jeno’s pizza was unhealthy, I would have retorted, ‘Why? It’s got all four food groups,’ then you know would  know this is  more like an intervention from God and the angels whispering better thoughts into my ears (exaggerating a bit here, but not by much).


I say thank you. I say thank you, for re-writing my life midlife. I say thanks for  the Zen vision.  I say thank you for the inner knowledge of knowing this journey is meant to be lived anything like ‘A Bittersweet Symphony.’

I are going full circle here. Closing the gap, the yin & the yang. The world has flipped upside down. We are eating mangoes under Bodhi trees, while angels create miracles through whispering new clear and concise thoughts into our head. Inside the circle of this wildest dream, place and time, was a tiny desire to dream and to believe life still goes on. It’s okay to LIVE. It’s okay if ‘All Beings are Happy and Free’ (Yoga Sanskrit English translation of a popular mantra) and I can see rainbows after the rain in California…like at Sprouts Grocery Shop last week.  Or if dogs that I have seen hit the week before by a car lying in the street LIVES, and comes home one week later. Yes, that’s right. Somehow I managed to drive by on the day the white lab being returned home by a Vet in green scrubs with the same dog that I thought had died, had survived the car accident hit..I rolled down the window,

“Is that the dog that had been hit by the car last week?”

Yes, he’s fine now.

I drove off and sobbed big bulky tears of joy that shook me hard. I mean, what are the odds I witness the accident and then a week later witness the return home? You know, full circle?

I think it’s a very low odd of occurring to where I know that this was a gift from my angels. Showing me that yes, sadness and grief and death are part of life. But yes, on the other side is a joyful reunion where we meet our inner self in the middle. Where we come home to the center of the circle of self, and learn to breathe deeper, develop a meditation practice, while eating mangoes instead of  Jeno’s pizzas.
I sit here and write this, streaming my heart away. I couldn’t be happier than to finally be here again writing effortlessly without playing ‘puzzle games’ of chapters inside self-help books. I do love writing essays on life and yada yada this and that, but there is something about allowing the fingers to do the typing where you are a visitor, visiting your own writing.

But I must tell you, I am writing, teaching yoga (A minor miracle in the biscuit and gravy eating gal world) and watching dogs live after car accidents.
I am making delicious tuna salads with olive oil and sourdough bread and vinegar. Oh, I can’t forget the ‘hearts of palm.’

I only eat sweet fruit, because I have given up on singing the bittersweet symphony.

Although, I do love a good kumquat.