Farmer Gayle and Her Stamps

by | Nov 11, 2020

[Listen to Gayle reading the blog aloud.]

I write today to entertain you in the midst of an intense period. A small diversion is a welcome breath. Please join me in breath and amusement.
 
Cleaning out yet another falling-apart cardboard liquor box filled with photos from my parents’ home, I found a small album filled with stamps. In fact, this is the second book filled with outdated stamps that I’ve received from siblings since my parents’ passing.
 
“Received” is not exactly the correct word. It’s more like a version of Mikey from the old Life Cereal commercials: Let’s give it to Gayle. She takes care of everything.
 
But Gayle doesn’t take care of everything—it’s Farmer Gayle who steps in. This reliable persona has mastered the skills of make-do, use-up and wear-out, a familiar phrase for frugal northerners that totally applies to me and my late father, a consummate southerner.
 
So, I have these stamps of various shapes, colors and values. A few will send a first-class letter, but most are in denominations of $.01 to $.42. Here’s a snapshot of just some:

Because these stamps have value, Farmer Gayle perked up with an idea. Not a lot of value, as I’m guessing these stamps are worth $30, tops. But someone, my mother to be clear, paid good money for these stamps and, by goodness, they need to be used.

Let’s use them to send photos from this cardboard box to family members and friends, says Farmer Gayle, and, while we’re at it, grab a few of those 1,000s of unused greeting cards stocked in Mamma’s closet, cabinets and drawers, because, yes, Gayle takes care of it.

**

Pause here.
Step away from this story, my story.
Wonder about your own Farmer Gayle, your frugal gal or pennywise pal.
Is there a part of you taught to honor money in a certain way?
Do you have a quirky way with currency, even forms like stamps?
What thoughts and curiosity come up for you when you step into your own life?

**

I do not judge Farmer Gayle. I have come to love her and appreciate her unique qualities and capacities. Here are a few of the lessons she taught me this time around:

Pay memories forward without questioning inspiration.
The photos I have sent to family and friends have sparked big joy – for the recipient and me.

Intentions are nice. But actions are the embodied expression of love and kindness.
Photos and cards sitting on a shelf do nothing but collect dust. Connect – write, call, text, zoom – do it!

Stamp collecting may bring you satisfaction and you can always use an old stamp, but stamp collections are not a reliable appreciating investment for the future.
If you’re a stamp collector, your feathers may be ruffled. The value of stamps, like many collectibles, fluctuate depending upon the current stamp investment climate.

Thank you for connecting with me here. Until next month, engage the one-minute water sit created especially for our tumultuous times. Let nature teach us what we most want and need to learn about our life, the world around us, others, and the bodies we inhabit. Remember, we can’t think our way out of unthinkable situations.

I send peaceful, stress-free, and generous connections—imagine these wishes coming in the form of a handwritten card with a fistful of old but worthy stamps!

Dancing with my farmer,


Be Moved To Practice

Acknowledging the tumultuousness of our times, especially in the US 2020 election, let nature and these water moves, be an inspiration and guide for us to skillfully navigate the emotions, feelings, rants and rages arising.
 
Recognize the infinity power and resourcefulness of our body to receive and experience fierce, relentless, powerful waves, now and always.

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