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Friday, June 15, 2012


Dead Sea hand products that were a gift from a vendor that I met by chance.

Dictionary.com defines Munificence as the quality of showing unusual generosity.  This is a word I know well. Recently, the Universe, that cohesive field of energy that holds the world we imagine and infinitely more together, has shown munificence toward me.  It would have been easy to think, “Ah, coincidence.”  But, I, even a person with cynical leanings such as myself, was forced to reconsider this explanation for the recent, peculiar goings-on in my life. 
Let me share just a few examples of the Universe’s gifts to me.
In the Cottage where I am staying, I have been without a tea kettle.  I went to Stop and Shop grocery store and asked if they had any. No. I went to three other stores and the price was too much for my budget. Next time I went to Stop and Shop, I asked a different person. “Ahhh, I don’t think so,” he said.  I went home and googled a tea pot. With the cost of shipping, I might as well buy one on the Island. A few days later, I had to go to Stop and Shop for milk. I did not ask again. I went to where I would have stocked tea kettles if I worked in the store. Yes, there was a tea kettle. One, wayyyy in the back on the top shelf. Triumph.  I was excited by my find.
Simultaneously, I was trying to stretch the meager budget my father gave me to spend on the house in order to replace the dated curtains in the master bedroom (so-called because at 12’ by 14’, it is larger than the other two).  I looked at cannibalizing sheets. I thought it might not look very finished.  I looked online, but with shipping, it was still three times what I could spend.  I knew the fabric, color and length. Thank you J.C. Penney.  However, I did not push the “purchase” button.  That night, I decided I would head to the Hospital Thrift Shop in the morning. When I arrived, I moved straight to the back of the store. Okay, who can guess?  There were the curtains, unused, at ....$3/panel.  I reeled, giddy with delight and gratitude. 
I drove home, arriving at a time that coincided with Senior Class Day on the Vineyard.  Hundreds of cars were parked randomly all over the road I live on and in adjoining areas.  Wait for it.  Not a single spot to be seen as I drove closer and closer to my house.  I wondered what I would do for two hours while I waited for the program to end.
There it was, an opening, one and only one opening, directly in front of my house. 
I hoped to spiff up the side yard of the Cottage. I found two containers of unusable paint in the shed.  I also found 1/4 gallon of five year old paint that had been repeatedly frozen and thawed.  It worked.
I went to Mahoney’s -- a popular garden center on the Island. My mother worked there.  I resemble her enough that people recognize me as being related to her. It was touching to meet some of her friends.  In particular, one of them has cancer and his health is spotty. I was honored to have connected with him about my mother and to hear his memories of her.  It was healing for both of us.
I was on the beach, reading. A woman on a neighboring blanket and I struck up a conversation.  It was like she had been beamed into place at just the time I needed to talk to her. She saw me reading a book by Iylana Vanzant (In the Meantime). She suggested that I stream Oprah’s Life Lessons Series.  I was amazed how relevant it is to my own experiences.  I have never followed Oprah, but for this, I make an exception.  It is important stuff.
I was trespassing on a small stretch of private beach in Edgartown. A tall, stately, older gentleman came striding purposefully toward me. With his white hair, and fit physique, he cut quite a figure. I thought he was going to ask me to leave. Instead, we stood and talked for fifteen minutes. He shared information about his home and his family dynamics and I shared some of mine.  He passed on several suggestions that he thought would put me in a financial position to buy the Cottage.  He told me under any circumstance to try to obtain it.  As I left, I turned back to him, and asked with playful curiosity, “Are you a banker?”
He smiled, shook his head and said, “A financier.” In Edgartown, that could mean a lot of things.
A couple of days later, I had worked extremely hard on yard work. It was physically more than I should have, would have done normally, but I was motivated. I kept wondering who I could see for a massage on the Island. By the end of the day, I was nearly staggering with fatigue and discomfort.  I went to check the flowers I had planted in the front then came around to the back door to stash my gloves and tools in the back shed. A colorful piece of paper fluttered in the back door.  A masseuse had come by for the brief moments that I was out front.  She was offering massages. She was available and made home calls.  I looked skyward and mouthed a silent thank you.
The day before yesterday, it poured. I was in Vineyard Haven making a few minor purchases.  When my phone rang, I had ducked into a little shop decorated in the spirit of Provence.  I was alone with the shopkeeper. I went back outside, trying to exercise proper phone etiquette. The drumming rain made it difficult to hear. However, the gist of the conversation was that my insurance would not cover the wheelchair for which I had been recently fitted because it was for outside use. My doctor recommended that I use one for big outings because I tire so quickly. She realizes how much I miss socially. I was professionally fit by an occupational therapist who specializes in helping people get mobile.  The vendor who was to have provided the wheelchair felt terrible because he could see how much it would improve the quality of my life and increase my ability to have social interactions. The entire experience showed me how much I try to be like everyone else. I am not. The fact is, we are all different. Accept it. Some days I can paint a five foot fence. Some days I barely get to the bathroom. It is a reality. It felt like such a blow because I had worked so hard to frame the use of a wheelchair in a positive light.  Then to be told, (my interpretation) “You can move independently in your house, that’s enough” was a tough pill to swallow.  The manual wheelchair would cost me over $2000 out of pocket. I pushed it out of my mind.  Yesterday, I received a call from the occupational therapist who had fit me.  I was listening to him explain how disappointed he was that my insurance was not supporting me properly and how hard it was to see. He went on to talk about a program of donations at the hospital. I just wasn’t registering what he was saying.  Finally, I caught his drift. There was a donated wheelchair of the type I needed at the hospital. The seat would be slightly too short for my height, but we could adjust that with a cushion. Was I interested. I inquired what the price was. “That’s the thing, Dawn. It would cost you nothing!  It is a donation and I would like you to have it.” Okay, now let’s talk about the munificence of the Universe.
Or maybe, it is the power of the Mind.  I am VERY careful about what I hold in my thoughts.  So goes the saying, “Be careful what you wish for, you may just get it.”

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