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 In fact, this is the second book filled with outdated stamps that I’ve received from siblings since my parents’ passing.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.


Deepening Practice

Thursday, November 26, 2020.
Good morning, Good day, it is Thanksgiving, a US holiday holding mixed views—from deep gratitude and thanks for good fortune—to harm, injustice and deceit, as history tells a different story. In deeper practices, like this one, we are called to dive into the truths that do not separate us but offer more space for all perspectives and healing connection. I feel both gratitude for the good fortune of my life and I feel sorrow and shame for the trauma embedded in this holiday. Today, as some minimize socializing or choose to gather together, we continue to navigate the strange and choppy waters of COVID-19, the presidential transition, and new market highs.
 
Acknowledging the history of Thanksgiving and the continued upheaval of present day, let’s receive nature’s unceasing gifts of wisdom and encouragement. Recognize our body holds the same power and resourcefulness of the waves shown in the one-minute water clip. With recognition and experience, we are able to feel whole and to spread that wholeness, that goodness to others.
 
Let’s go a deeper, as we give thanks to both good fortune and the truth of suffering in our world.

The Practice

If you feel defeated and heartbroken, allow these waves to boost you and give you strength and resilience.
If you feel strong and grateful, allow these waves to hone your self-sufficiency and expand gratitude.
If you feel depth, wholeness and unceasing energy, allow these waves to carry your goodness in service of the highest good for all beings.
 
Open Up!
Open your Eyes
Open your Heart
Open your Spirit
Feel the totality of your body.
 
Does your heart hurt?
Receive these waves for nourishment and support.
Breathe into your heart receiving strength and resilience.
 
Does your heart blossom?
Receive these waves as a mirror of gratitude and courage.
Breathe into your heart a nod of truth and sufficiency.
 
Does your heart expand to infinity?
Receive these waves as Love.
Breathe into space generating love for all.

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