El Santuario de Chimayo - Palm Sunday Hope

Palm Sunday, a year ago, I was so grateful to be alive.

I had just finished chemotherapy a couple of weeks before, and was making attempts to be strong again. I had been going through daily experiences of having to find my equilibrium as new information about my health and treatments rose to the surface. I had to keep finding my balance, and adjust my heart and emotional field. I had to keep wrapping my mind around each change. I was problem solving constantly, all the while also dropping so many balls. It had been a difficult time on many levels. Money, housing, support, connections all underwent change - a lot of times uncomfortably so. I experienced pain, stress, loneliness, confusion, anxiety, - mostly related to the unknown and the isolation my health status placed upon me.

A friend took me to El Santuario de Chimayo for the Palm Sunday service and procession. It was incredibly touching - the service packed, we occupied a space along the cold adobe wall. As the service came to an end, while the priest was leaving sanctuary he paused and touched my forehead blessing me. I felt an immediate healing force as tender tears arose. The service participants followed him outside where all were handed palms. The sun pouring upon my back, I cried remembering Palm Sunday's of my youth, of seeing and being a part of this congregation, and of being so touched by life itself.

The reenactment started in the courtyard and

processed all the way around the compound concluding with another service. The joyful music as we processed, the comraderie of adults and children, the spring air, and bright yellow blossoming daffodils all gave me hope. It had been a long road already - though I didn't know it at the time, and really it was just the beginning of my healing journey. As time went on, I received bad news upon bad news. More surgery, more treatments, more healing. My end kept moving on me. The rules changed frequently and it was difficult to know what the game really was about. I became more agile as the weeks came and went.

I am experiencing the CV journey and mandates for healthy living in much the same way. Where is the end? Where do I find equalibrium? How do I adjust to today's information? How do I nourish myself in the field of so much unknown? How can i maintain connections with my loved ones? How do I find calm amidst the pain and anxiety?

Only today, unlike my mostly solo journey of the last year, we all are taking the journey, and having those questions together. We really are in this together. Please keep allowing others spaciousness and graciousness (see previous article). Today, a few weeks after a tumor-free status,

It is Palm Sunday once again. As weird as life is right now, it gives me hope as I see new life emerging, my body strengthening; and, my heart grateful for my loved ones, all the support I have, and the promise of this holy week. We will rise together.

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