Friday, December 23, 2005


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Wash away my troubles, wash away my pain - With the rain in Shambala
Wash away my sorrow, wash away my shame - With the rain of Shambala
Ah, ooh, yeah - yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Ah, ooh, yeah - yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

Everyone is helpful, everyone is kind on the road to Shambala

Everyone is lucky, everyone is so kind on the road to Shambala
Ah, ooh, yeah - yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Ah, ooh, yeah - yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

How does your light shine, in the halls of Shambala?
How does your light shine, in the halls of Shambala?

I can tell my sister by the flowers in her eyes on the road to Shambala
I can tell my brother by the flowers in his eyes on the road to Shambala
Ah, ooh, yeah - yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Ah, ooh, yeah - yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

How does your light shine, in the halls of Shambala?
Tell me how does your light shine, in the halls of Shambala?
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Remember that song? A 1973 Top Ten hit by 3 Dog Night. A song that’s on my list of songs you simply cannot listen to without it putting you into a better mood.

Incrediboy loves music – and to his father’s and my delight, has a particular taste for classic rock. While on a recent road trip, I had a notion to put in my 3 Dog Night with intent of playing “Joy to the World” - because what kid doesn’t love Jeremiah the Bullfrog, right? But I first stopped off at “Shambala”, by favorite 3DN song.

At the first strum, Incrediboy’s face lit up. He began bobbing his head in his car seat, and as the uplifting music proceeded, so did his chair dancing, big smile on his dimply face all the while, and each time the chorus rolled around, he'd chime in – “Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah …”

I couldn’t help but laugh out loud as I watched him in my visor mirror.

When “Shambala” concluded, I flipped to “Joy to the World”. But would you believe? Incrediboy wanted nothing to do with that. He griped in protest, shaking his head and insisting it was all wrong. I scanned back to “Shambala” – and all was right with the world once more. Dancing, grinning, singing. We listened to it 4 or 5 times before concluding that car ride. Good thing it’s my favorite too!

Shambala is often used synonymously with Paradise, but is actually a term from Buddhism, meaning “the source of happiness”. As the traditional season of change and setting resolutions is just round the bend, I was thinking this morning (as we enjoyed another round of this shared favorite) about the pinnacle sources of Shambala in my little world. I have not been the recipient of a charmed life at all times. But that is no cause to not be happy – to seek happiness and seek the company of others seeking happiness.

I believe, because it has been proven to me within my own life, that we are constantly surrounded by many travel companions who are heading along our way with us - but every so often one in particular will separate from the crowd and you will somehow become a singular unit. Our merciful Lord understands that it’s difficult to handle some things “alone” – so He will guide us to special people, that can help us and we can in turn also help.

The Hub and I met in the darkest days of our lives, for both of us. We were pallid, broken refugees with little faith or energy left to get up and walk on. But we had a vision of what our futures should and could be – and one step at a time traveled a road to our blessed life as it is now. Not only have we been approaching Paradise together, but the road we have traveled thus far – the trials by fire, the rising from ashes - is indeed our Shambala.

Many years ago now we lost several children to miscarriage. The Hub was my haven – we grieved together and kept each other from falling apart. As wonderful as he was, I felt a void in me from having no accessible women in my life who knew my pain firsthand. Through a seemingly random course of events I came in contact with another grieving mother – we connected instantly and the salve we provided each other both specifically and abstractly was just the ticket. Years later we both have been blessed with beautiful sons as well as a friendship of a lifetime. The journey of loss, grief, anger, and fear we have traveled together too, in hindsight, is Shambala.

Incrediboy turned 2 last month. It’s been the longest 2 years of my life, and also the shortest. He’s come so far – from a helpless little creature not even able to hold his own head up to a lively, brilliant, energetic clown of a little boy. Just like that. He frustrates us at times. Sometimes I even cry from the weighty challenges of parenting, and he’s only 2! But I know these days are fleeting. Soon our sweet boy will be a snot nosed teen and then we’ll really have challenges! But for those times and these, God has a tender loving way of making the tough times fade so that mostly joyous, loving images remain. We are well aware that soon these days will be gone forever and our baby will be a man. We do our best to make these days last. To enjoy the scenery in all its glory and the pitfalls in all their challenge, with this Shambala.

2005 is almost over, can you believe that? It’s not been an easy year for me. Yet I am so blessed. I have made so many beautiful memories with my family, and have made some wonderful new friends whom I treasure. Still I find myself feeling stressed a lot of the time, and terribly lonely for those I’ve lost this year. I’ve caught myself being cross with my most treasured travel companion, my wonderful husband, more times than I can count and often for no good reason. Why?

I’ve been thinking about why I seem to lose my joy so quickly, and I think it’s due to forgetting to love the journey. I forget to not sweat the small stuff. I forget the flowers in my eyes.

This weekend, like all of you, I will be enjoying my Christmas with loved ones. I’ll focus on remembering what makes the journey beautiful. Next week I will be thinking about the dreaded “New Year’s Resolutions”. Which this year translates into defining the clutter I can remove so that I can return to a state of Shambala in my heart. How does my light shine?

Wash away my troubles, wash away my pain - With the rain in Shambala
Wash away my sorrow, wash away my shame - With the rain of Shambala

Shambala is here and now. Thank You, Lord, every day. Thank You for all of it.


Martie said...

Speaking of "snot-nosed-teens"....that is why God gives you babies...cause if he gave you a teen, you would give it back. HE starts you out with a baby to love, sorta like a puppy, and when you fall madly in love with it, no matter what it does you love it anyway!

Beautiful post and once again you have said what so many of us have felt or feel but are unable to put into words.

Thinking of you, hub and Incrediboy this holiday season and wishing you were here. Much love to all! MBD too!

Kodijack said...

Thank you for this post. It was a good reminder for this weekend and what I should be doing rather than what I have taught myself to do.

Michelle said...

:*( SNIFF! What a beautiful post! As always!

I wish we could be spending the holiday together, sis! Love ya!

bigwhitehat said...

Merry Christmas and happy tunes. bigwhitehat

jakalof said...

As luck would have it I saw 3 dogs one night in Anchorage Alaska at West High School in about 1980 or thereabouts. I'll be back for your Buckeyes later. Happy Holidays and I'll see you in Shambala!

Anonymous said...

A truly beautiful post. I wish you and your family a genuinely wonderful Christmas.

Lori said...

I loved this, clew and I will be hoping for a better year filled with many blessings for you and your family.

I see your light shining through your words and through your love. Keep doing what you're doing, and we will all be here, loving you.

Merry Christmas!


Cheryl said...

What a wonderful story! And now I know part of the reason you and naive-no-more are so close. God does send us amazing people--earthly angels--to help us when we need them.

A warm and merry Christmas to you and your family! God bless you all.


Nelly said...

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! Have a wonderful Christmas!

Mike said...

Well written post Clew...seems your son has good taste in music already. Sorry about your losses by miscarriages.

Merry Christmas

Gayle said...

It's a beautiful post and a wonderful blog. Thanks for the recipes! I've never been here before. I especially enjoyed that post about why Mona Lisa is smiling... Ha! Too funny. Wish I could get a government grant to do a study like that. What a racket!

Merry Christmas to you and yours Clew, and a blessed New Year as well!

Anonymous said...

I hope you have a great holiday season. OH! The name " Shambala" sounds like a girl that my older brother used to date. I think she was an exotic dancer. lol

*** said...

What a great piece to post. I am now desiring to listen to Shambala. And I am inspired to think through my journey thusfar in life and be happy.