The Heart of Love

Prayers, Poetry, Divine Inspiration by Gail Swanson


Hurricane Irma and the Sacred Jacaranda


We left Sarasota Florida on Saturday the day before Hurricane Irma hit. I had been getting the strong message to go since Monday. Finally the whole family felt the same and we made the decision to pack up and go. It is a very strange feeling to be leaving your home not knowing what you will find when you return. The main feeling of course is that everyone is safe and out of harms way. We had my grandchildren and all our animals to consider.

I said my prayers and asked the guardians of my home and yard for protection. We have enormous trees surrounding one side of the house. My beloved Jacaranda, my beautiful friend and comforter stands tall and majestic in the corner of the yard. I prayed I would find her still standing when I returned.

We drove for 17 hours and arrived at 5am In Georgia. We slept a few hours and continued on to North Carolina with 3 cars, 2 children, 4 dogs and a cat. My Petey is old and blind and I worried about how he would take all the upheaval. There is so much to this story but today this is the story I want to tell.

After we settled in our hotel in NC and the storm had passed Sarasota we asked a friend to stop by the house and see if there was any major damage. He reported that the house was ok but the tree in the corner of the yard was uprooted. I was so relieved to hear the trees had not crashed through our home and at the same time my heart sank for my beautiful friend would be no more.

As I sat there absorbing the news I gave thanks for all the divine protection we had along the way on such a strange and stressful trip and that we were all together safe and sound. I prayed for everyone who was experiencing the effects of the storm whether they chose to stay or to go. I was deeply grateful for everything.

The next day as I thought about my beautiful tree who had been my beloved companion from the day I moved into my home I thought too about all the altars I had placed beneath her and all the ceremonies, secrets and magic we had shared.




I thought about how I had taught my grandchildren to honor and love and give thanks to the trees and how much she has meant to them too.



I had been holding back my grief for her because of all the loss that people were suffering all over, such terrible unbearable losses. This was a tree, not a person or a home or any precious irreplaceable thing that people were losing in the aftermath of these terrible storms. I was aware that this was nothing in comparison and I should get on with it and continue my prayers and thankfulness and I did but then out of nowhere the tears came.

The tears were for everyone and everything and I let them flow and I let myself feel it all. I do believe that we are all walking around holding in so much. Times like these when you feel the suffering of others it merges with all the suffering and this is how we connect with everything and everyone. It wakes us and shakes us out of our own little worlds and prayers fill the heavens. We will never know the beauty that is happening above all the chaos and destruction we are experiencing here on earth. Each prayer is a saving grace for someone somewhere, this I know.

After all the praying and the crying I received a text from another friend who offered to go check my home and take pictures and send them to me. And this is my little miracle … the uprooted tree was the tree before the Jacaranda and it was so huge you couldn’t see past it.


So the first friend went no further and described the uprooted tree as the tree in the corner but just beyond that uprooted tree stood my sacred Jacaranda!

When I arrived home I made my way past the uprooted tree leaning on the house and there she was with many gigantic branches lost but still standing strong and majestic. I got my camera, started taking pictures and I asked the guardians to show me how she and my home had been protected and again I gave thanks.

This was the answer.

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Still She Stands



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In Honor of My Beautiful Mother


My mother was beautiful inside and out. I was blessed to be her daughter. As Mothers Day approaches I happened to find something I wrote after she passed a few years ago. I miss her so and I always will.


Dreaming of my beautiful mother all night long. Trying to process what has taken place over these past weeks and days from the moment I open my eyes each morning and all through dreamtime. Our journey together has been long and intense. Our love for one another has been extraordinary.

I was a very sensitive child, I felt everything so deeply, more than my friends, more than anyone is the way it felt. My mother made me feel that I was unlike anyone, special and unique. She showered her love upon me and this was the saving grace that carried me through. She adored being a mother and she was great at it. She was sweet and kind and funny and listened to everything I had to say. She guided me with an incredible insight into who I was and what I needed and she did it without any frame of reference from her own mother.

Her mother was the unimaginable kind of mother who was sorry her children were ever born. She told my mother this on a constant basis but my mother had an inner happiness that could not be killed. Her light shined so bright that it illuminated her way without the love of her own mother. She was always thankful that she had other women close to her that loved her and made her know that she was wonderful and special. Her aunt and her grandmother became everything to her and when she was seventeen she moved in with her beloved aunt. She told me it was the happiest day of her life.

I called my great aunt Auntie and she became the replacement for the grandmother that meant nothing to me except to be the person that always made my mother cry. I learned so much through witnessing these relationships in my mother’s life. Because of my own sensitivity and ability to see into people even then, I could feel that something was very, very wrong with this whole picture.

So as I child I would try to counsel my mother that this relationship to her mother was harmful to her and that her mother not only didn’t deserve the attention my mother was still giving her, but that her mother didn’t care about anything my mother did for her at all. There was no pleasing, no satisfying a person whose only pleasure in life was to make someone else feel miserable.   It only supplied her with more ammunition.

When I think back on this time in my childhood I realize that most children think that what goes on in their family is the norm. I did not. I was super aware of everything and everyone and I knew that it was ridiculous to have been sold the notion that because someone is related to you, you owe them some sort of obligation because all that turns into is returning for more and more abuse. Even as a child I understood that my mother was participating in this for reasons of her own.

I was very sure of many things as I watched all these scenarios played out. I was aware of who was genuine and loving and made you feel happy and good and who did just the opposite. My mother was loving. My mother was a wonderful daughter to someone whose mission in life was to try to destroy her own child. I learned well what I would surround myself with in my life no matter the relationship.

My mother has always said that you are responsible for your own happiness. She lived this way all of her life. Even when she was dealing with her mother she found countless ways to fill herself with love and joy and she felt the thing she was best at was being a mother. This was true and so unusual for as I know and have seen over and over in other’s lives it is almost impossible to not repeat that kind of abuse.

My mother’s incredible light saved her and it saved me. She taught me well by all she did do and what she didn’t do. She was selfless and gave her heart and her soul to everyone who loved her. She was my best friend. I felt honored to be the one to care for her in her last years. The hours we spent together were precious to us both. We were in full awareness of every moment together. She was a joy and she was and is the great love of my life. I will miss her more than I can ever express.

God speed Mommy. You are my inspiration and my heart.