The Past Prologue and The Fulfillment Ahead

4

January 1, 2021

The year just passed has given us a few gifts, as well as having taken some treasures from us. Chief among the gifts is the ability to conduct mass meetings online. This will ease active participation in Baha’i activities, regardless of where I happen to be.

It is a poorly-kept secret that, if it be the will of God (and the creek stays within its banks), I will be back on the road, and in the air, for a fair portion of the next four years. Prescott will remain Home Base, at least for this year. There is much for me to do here, and in the Southwest at large, between now and the middle of May. The stage was set, as it were, by callings I received and followed in the 2010s.

So 2021, any larger issues notwithstanding, is looking like this:

January– The agenda set by response to the pandemic will probably find me continuing to help out in the schools on a fair number of days. Involvement with a regional sustainability group will also be a priority. Then, there is a little group that meets each Wednesday at 1 p.m. (MST), and which has my heart’s attention. I will be on the trail, looking at a couple of extensions of Black Canyon Trail, northward from the original trailhead, outside Mayer; finishing Limekiln Trail, with the Sedona segments; and spending time in Scottsdale’s McDowell Mountain Desert Preserve. There is also the homefront downsizing: Paper-shredding and discarding of unnecessary belongings will begin this month and extend into next.

February- It’s likely that COVID-19 will factor into this month as well, in terms of being asked to help out in the schools. I already have agreed to a four-day stint, in mid-month. Hiking will take me to the Hualapai Mountains, of northwest Arizona and to Picketpost Mountain, outside Superior. Ayyam-i-Ha, the Baha’i Intercalary Days, will find me preparing hand-made gifts, for the first time since I made a bird house in Grade 8. These won’t be that elaborate, but will be done carefully, and from the heart.

March- It will have been ten years, since Penny passed on, March 5. I will invite other friends to join me at graveside, on that day. This is also the month of the Baha’i Nineteen Day Fast, and although I am no longer required ot abstain from food and drink during daylight hours, having reached the age of 70, my thoughts and actions will be in support of those who are abstaining. I will also make a road trip to Texas, in the middle of the month. Hiking will include a first visit to Phoenix’s South Mountain Park.

April- The Festival of Ridvan marks the twelve days of Baha’u’llah’s preparation for His second exile-from Baghdad to Istanbul (then called Constantinople) and His Declaration of Mission, during that twelve-day period. It also ends a Five-Year Plan we have been following, and begins a twelve-month celebration of the life of ‘Abdu’l-Baha, as November will mark the Centenary of His Ascension. Much of my activity, this month, will revolve around these events. Hiking will take in the Hermit’s Rest area of the Grand Canyon’s South Rim and parts of Sycamore Canyon, which runs south of Flagstaff and east of Sedona.

May- Preparations for the summer and autumn will occupy much of this month. Hopefully, New Mexico will re-open itself to us Arizonans, and I will spend a few days at Chaco Culture Historical Park. If California is open, and safe, by then, a visit to the coast will be in order,

June- If Bellemont Baha’i School is open for in-person groups, I will devote this month to that endeavour. If not, then I will make an early drive northwest-to my soul families in Nevada and Oregon, as well as to Vancouver Island, Haida Gwai’i (The one place Penny wanted to visit together, that has not happened yet) and British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast-north of the City of Vancouver.

July- The Plan B for June will fall into this month, if Bellemont is open. Otherwise, I will head east through Canada, and visit as many family members and friends, en route to and around Boston, as have time.

August– Atlantic Canada will take up part of this month, then it’s back southward and westward, again visiting family and friends along the way.

September and October– Take care of some necessary business in Arizona, spend quality time with Texas family and then off to Europe, with Iceland a first stop. This journey will also be oriented towards the ancestral home of my mother’s family, in what is now western Poland, with other stops in Germany, Czech Republic, Croatia, Romania, northern Italy and France. A few stops in the British Isles are also possible.

November- This month will be devoted to specific community and regional celebrations, in Arizona, of Abdu’l-Baha’s life.

December- This will be whatever my family wants it to be.

These plans are what my meditations have told me, as of today. Recalling that last January, I was fully intending to do a cross-Canada journey in the summer, I will simply accomplish as much as reality on the ground allows.

May all have a Happier 2021!

Surprises

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April 21, 2020-

Today,

the second day of Ridvan,

produced these:

I experienced a higher

than usual

level of energy

and positivity,

upon rising,

this morning;

A video,

not made by a Baha’i,

which affirms several

basic teachings

of Baha’u’llah,

regarding the future

of humanity;

I had an easier time

doing the exercises

in my online yoga class;

It rained, a fair amount,

this morning and afternoon,

despite a forecast of sunshine.

I was able to complete

the first module

of an online course in

Humanitarian Assistance.

(I am, at the age of 69, unlikely to be called to serve in any real capacity, by humanitarian agencies, but it helps to gain this perspective, in case of any unforeseen emergencies, even in this country.)

 

 

 

Paradise and Change

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April 20, 2020-

As I bid farewell to my Baha’i friends, after the Zoom call that commemorated the First Day of Ridvan, I found a message, essentially telling me I was part of a greater problem, for having attended the Holy Day observance.

Ridvan is Persian for “paradise”.  The Garden of Ridvan was a salubrious place, just outside Baghdad.  In 1863, Baha’u’llah and His family were preparing to obey the edict of the Ottoman Empire’s Sultan, and depart Baghdad for Constantinople (Istanbul).  They camped in Ridvan Garden for twelve days, April 21-May 2. As we use a lunar calendar, called the Badi Calendar, to reckon our Holy Days, the actual dates may fluctuate, as they have this year. So, today is the Festival’s first day and May 1, the twelfth day.  In between, there is a commemoration of the ninth day, during which Baha’u’llah revealed His Station, as Messenger of God, to His family and camp followers. We Baha’is commemorate all three days, as sacred.

No one who knows me really thinks I sit around and am content to merely observe ritual or tradition.  At the same time, observing special occasions with friends is NOT wrong, nor is it wasteful.  There are those, however, who feel it their duty to savage people, for whatever reason they have cooked up in their minds.  My inclination is to not let their diatribes turn me aside from what I know to be my spiritual path.  One of my spiritual advisers urges me to stay on my path, and I’m sure that. were I to consult the others, they would agree.

There will, no doubt, be many changes coming our way, in the immediate future and throughout this decade.  The 24/7 nature of our news and communications have many people in an uproar. Some will make risky choices and suffer for them, possibly taking others down with them.  Others will want to make choices FOR others, offering to take control of many lives-“in the name of scientific progress”.   I will, as I’ve said recently, make my own choices and they will take both my needs, and those of the multitude whom I love, into consideration.  For that matter, I will consider the safety and well-being of those who attack me, as well.  God created them, too, even if they don’t see it.

This has been a year of meticulously taking one day at a time-and it will continue as such, well after COVID19 has subsided.

In Honour Of….

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April 28, 2016, Prescott- I took today off from work, as we Baha’is are so advised, on Holy Days such as this- the Ninth Day of the Ridvan Festival; the Day when, 163 years ago, Baha’u’llah revealed His Station to family and closest associates, while preparing to follow lawful orders and proceed overland, from Baghdad to Constantinople (Istanbul).  Their departure would begin in earnest, three days later.

We will gather as a community and celebrate the Anniversary, 1 1/2 hours from now, with sacred readings, contemplation and a fine meal.  Baha’u’llah and His entourage, by contrast, frequently had scant food and drink- especially when on the dusty path, northward from Iraq and across Anatolia.  The Messengers of God always take on suffering, if only to show us that it can be overcome, in the end.

Ours is not a Faith of asceticism, nor is it favourable towards  over-indulgence.  We do well, He says, to share good fortune, and not lose heart, in times of scarcity.  The former is largely the result of dispassionate hard work. The latter is a reminder that this is a life meant for character building, which can best be achieved in the face of trials.  So, at least, is my understanding of it all.

He came to bring unity to mankind- and gave us a blueprint, slowly being understood, and accepted, by more people.  It must, however, be done willingly by each individual.  The days of forced conversion are being seen for what they were, and will not be repeated.

 

Twelve Days

4

April 19, 2016, Prescott-

This evening, we Baha’is began the twelve days of the Ridvan Festival, a time commemorating Baha’u’llah’s announcement of His station and mission, to His family and closest companions.

An honourarium:

Twelve days in the most bountiful garden,

exuding the most divine of fragrances

even as all inhaled the beautiful scents of nature.

Ridvan, in the midst of the Tigris,

 

an island that sent the Lord of the Age

forth to western Asia’s greatest city.

Yet, during these twelve days,

all was about summoning a new race of men.

 

The Road to 65, Mile 143: The Veil

2

April 20, 2015, Prescott- Several people with whom I am either close or am at least aware, are approaching the spirit life.  One passed this morning, in Missouri.  A young lady lost her dog, in a street accident.  Several others are very close to passing.  A dear young woman in another city was severely beaten, and will be scarred for a long time to come.

This is a very cruel time, between April 15-20.  We’ve endured three national tragedies during this time period, in years passed, and today saw the comfort of the peaceful Boston Marathon, five days after the second anniversary of its date with tragedy.  We will not know the extent of the casualties in the refugee ship sinking, off Lampedusa, for some time- but it was an enormous loss for mankind.

I have had many communications with beings on “the other side”. I loved them as people, and still feel they are guiding me, day by day. When I get flustered with demanding, or emotionally needy, people on this side of the veil, gentle thought waves encourage me to be patient.  I also get guidance regarding my small and big decisions, as I have mentioned before.

This evening began the twelve day Ridvan Festival, during which we mark the Proclamation by Baha’u’llah, of His Mission on Earth.  This took place in April, 1863, so it was an auspicious time for Baghdad, where the event took place, and for all the planet, in energy waves which it may well take most people a long time to ascertain.  There is much communication back and forth between us and those who are in the Spirit Realm, at this time, just as there is during the Day of the Dead, on November 2. That which we sometimes call the Veil, is then more like a mirror.