During my grandmother’s lifetime (1911-2008), she never owned a yoga mat or experienced a guided visualization led by a shaman at an Ontario spa. Nevertheless, Grandma was with me last May when the shaman asked me to close my eyes and descend deep into the earth, deep within deep, down to the cave of the grandmothers.
Drawn by the firelight and the chance to see Grandma Raine again, I went into the cave. Grandma gave me a heavy object wrapped in a gray cloth. Resting inside the cloth was a stained glass ornament that used to hang from her apartment window. When it caught the bright Missouri sunlight, it released streams of green, lavender, red, and blue. I used to love looking at those ribbons of light, and when my niece Emma saw them as a baby, she loved them too.
I took the gift reverently and gave thanks for its rainbow message, the loving command to let myself shine. It called me to allow the light to both pass through me and beam from within me. It called from a cave as deep as the grandmothers’ mythical one, but just as real and powerful.
The gift was a verb. Shine. Be the stained glass. Transform clear light into personal pigment. Manifest the light into words, art, kindnesses, movement, and love. Don’t be opaque. Be clearly colorful, openly bright, unabashedly shiny, embody the light.
The gift and its invocation have come at the perfect time to help me fight the dark grief shadows that cover, shield, withdraw, and dim. Grandmother Raine’s present encourages me to flood my being with light, to surrender to radiance, to shine, shine, shine, and shine.