Andrew Milne, Victoria Regional Meeting.
Where to begin?
I think at the point of my dear and much loved wife, Jill, being diagnosed with breast cancer in May, 2012. From that moment, a great deal of care and love flowed toward us…to an almost overwhelming extent at times. We were, and have been, enriched, sustained and humbled by this abundant stream of love.
And so, following two lots of surgery, and a time of physical healing, Jill undertook four weeks of radiotherapy at the “Andrew Love Cancer Centre” Geelong.
Midway through this time, during her morning shower; (at 10am- note the time, it’s important), Jill finds herself singing “Feed the Birds”, (from Mary Poppins ). She wondered aloud, why? Jilly knows she hasn’t sung this for decades.
Jill walked across the road to undertake her daily radiation treatment, and upon approaching the receptionist, was given her mail. It was a beautiful card and letter from our dear and treasured 82 year old friend Barbara.
Barbara’s card featured a delightful and beautiful picture of an English country home and garden with a lady “Feeding the Birds”! Barbara wrote of this beautiful action, actually expressing how reminiscent this scene was of the musical “Mary Poppins”! And so the first aspect of what we recognize as a mystical, loving connection becomes evident. Jill’s heart is warmed….she feels loved, and loving.
Meanwhile, on this same morning, at the precise time of 10am, I (husband Andrew), 240 kms away, back in Hamilton, arrive home from my morning walk with our much loved 9 year old, gentle, LARGE, intelligent and sensitive “Paddy” dog. As Paddy and I approach our little front gate, we notice a beautiful New Holland Honeyeater perched on the gate post. We then paused to watch, only 2 meters away.
I speak softly to the exquisitely beautiful little honeyeater…he didn’t move. I edged closer, and still closer, speaking softly in wonder and awe – Paddy by my side. I reached forward with my right hand, and stroked the full length of this beautiful, wild little honeyeater’s back with my index finger!
Dear Paddy inched forward at this stage; to the point where he sniffed the tail feathers of our dear friend, and then retreated back one step only. I continue to speak softly and caress him (or her) for a full minute or more. I then wonder, “Maybe the little darling can’t fly”? So I place my finger under his body. He hops on. I then gently launch him upward. He flies with perfect agility and skill, landing in our Weeping Cherry Tree, only 2 meters away, looks down at us for half a minute or so, then happily flies off!
I am left in a state of amazement and deep awe at this St Francis of Assisi experience.
Later that day, on our evening phone call catch up, Jill could hardly wait to tell me of the aforementioned “Geelong side” of this amazing experience. We shared in this marvel, and only then was I able to expand the experience even further by relating the incredible happenings from our home front.
And so, Jill, Barbara and I, three humans, our faithful sensitive Paddy, and a beautiful New Holland Honeyeater, experienced a most wonderful, loving communication and connection.
We can only feel deep awe, and give heartfelt thanks for the most wonderful privilege of this sharing in a “Loving Connection Across the Species”.
Thank you for taking the time to write this piece, Andrew, it’s a delight.
Thank you Andrew, Jill, Barbara, Paddy and the New Holland Honeyeater…it’s this deep connection with the earth and healing forces beyond words, that makes this adventure called life, so enriching!
I was interested as I too have been down the road of treatment at the Andrew Love Centre in Geelong for breast cancer, and I too had some very similar experiences that were exquisite in their connection to nature, and in their synchronicity. I have often thought of writing these but of course haven’t – really appreciate your writing of your time! May these richer moments continue to sustain you!
All the best to Jill on your recovery, and to all who love and care for you.