My maternal grandmother, Mary, once told me that prayer's more than just a request for help, an expression of thanks, a worship service, or an earnest hope or wish. Prayer's action.
As if in a waking dream, she's sitting across the table from me. A paradoxical combination of impishness and seriousness illuminates her blue-green eyes as she leans over her afternoon libation, which, most likely, is tea laced with a hint of whiskey.
"Prayer's living your life, my wild selkie," she declares before taking a small sip.
She suddenly fixes her gaze just above my head. She speaks to me, but there's obviously an unseen someone, or something, present in the room with us.
"By living life, you're prayer in action," she affirms in a matter-of-fact manner. "In doing so, you share yourself with those around you, especially the next generation. Continue to be, continue to walk your path, continue to give and receive unconditional love in all its many forms, continue to give wholeheartedly. These gifts are the ultimate legacy. So simple, yet so profound, they're worth more than money, status, and power."
We sit in silence for awhile, her love wrapping itself around me — a hug from the other side. And then, she fades away. But I hear her whisper: "Continue to be, continue to walk your path, continue to give and receive unconditional love in all its many forms, continue to give wholeheartedly."
I say this daily prayer for all, especially my amazing significant other, who loves me completely; my four awesome stepkids, who are the greatest teachers in my life and always in my heart; their mother, who intuitively trusts and respects others no strings attached; my parents and brother for being there; and lastly, Mary, who was, and still is, a mentor just beyond the hearth.