Healing, Hope, Lyme Disease, Trauma recovery

Morning’s Rise

Dark meets light as first thin layer of dawn emerges from behind distant darkened peaks. A horizontal sliver of glowing brightness slowly claiming more of night’s sky with morning’s rise. Revealing, minute after minute, a rounded, pulsating ball of glare. Forcing me to look away.

For many years I’ve been watching these mountains. In predawn peace they appear grey black against a sky of the same color. By mid-morning the mountains have turned bright brown. Afternoon finds them dressed in light grey. Impending dusk turns them taupe, then rose pink followed by pale pink partnering with evening’s greyish blue. Night shadows the mountains against a star-studded sky, black on black.

Mornings with these mountains captivate me most. Choir of birds joining me in my morning’s reverence. Singing a new day’s canon in chirps, calls, twitters, buzzing’s, hoots, echoed responses, and sounded alarms. Mostly from my left as morning traffic sounds reflect off the mountains to my right. Bouncing off these grand giants into the pocked valleys below before climbing up the foothills to where I sit. Staring. Listening. Breathing in the sweetness of desert Spring bloom. Noticing a young jackrabbit’s entrance into the yard. A quail calling from fence’s perch. A hummingbird zipping by.

In this morning place I feel the deepness of my fatigue. The concerns I carry. The sadness filling me, always moving within me like flowing caplets through my veins. My body, in its weighted worries, rests here among birds, desertscape, and in what remains of night’s coolness amidst these mountains. A combination allowing my truth within its safety. 

The sun continues its climb, today into a cloudless, blue sky. Blanketing peaks with morning’s haze. A dry fog diffusing downward until the mountains are fully covered. Allowing my eyes to gaze their way again. Seeing their craggy skin, full of bumps, crevices, and stubs, appear more immense than the sun.

A quail couple walks along the view fence unaware of my presence as more hoots and chirps resonate around me. My breath releases. Body quivers as I embrace this act of morning sitting as self-directed, compassionate self-care. Even though it is not my day off nor am I on holiday claiming a series of days just for basking here while watching the day progress through its phases. Instead, I am, like so many now, working remotely for a brief time. Doing so affords me the chance to be with my son as he once again attempts to free himself from Lyme Disease, a co-infection, and mold growing in his body. Our days’ rhythm aligned with the tempo of healing—slow, weighted, disciplined. Combined with calls to this doctor or that hospital’s billing department—the business side of finding answers, possible medical protocols, and people who can help.

This desert, the Sonoran Desert, my son’s physical and emotional container for this time. Mine as well. Only leaving the house for necessary food or an occasional bout of discount retail therapy. Birds, lizards, and rabbits, the only visitors allowed inside the fence. Deep healing requiring solitude. “Like being a monk,” my son tells me.

Sort of like those ancient Christians choosing to live in desert caves, I think. Begin referring to this contained place and time as his monk-dom and to the work itself as monking having worn out the word healing these past eight years.

Last night, my son banged around the house waking me up. The night giving him respite while stealing mine. Once quiet, I sobbed in bed. Something I did nightly, upon a time. The first time living in New York City feeling directionless and alone at the same age of my son, twenty-five. The second, twenty-seven years later in acute traumatic stress which after a few months shifted officially into PTSD. Again, feeling alone. Pain isolating my sons and me. Home, creating a physical and emotional container reaching only as far as our home’s walls and deck. A time demanding a closing off from the world. Parameters secured with lots of therapy, and time. No mountains. Just a field stretching one direction into farmland and the other into woods. Accompanied by birds as well—just different ones with different sounds. 

It was in that solitude that I learned the difficult-to-accept realities of true healing, of becoming whole from within. One, that healing is always possible even when it seems elusive. Two, that healing takes healers (as many as needed). And three, healing demands its own time and is stubborn, sure of its own way. Its own rhythm, tempo, count.

Returning from these memories, I sit. Desert breeze comforting me. Sun sending warmth. Mountains rising in protective stance while birds’ flit around me in the light of day. Dart. Land. Preen. My morning’s only external movement in this daily ritual. Allowing pent up breath to discover an escape route. Releasing into body’s inner dance. Desertscape containing me in active witnessing to what my sleeping son’s body does in its cloak of skin and bones. Rid itself of festering disease. Return to true homeostasis breath by breath. While we exist together in illness’ quiet pause, safely in our mountainous waiting room wondering if the birds’ combined, chaotic message is really one of hope.

Image by Jollymama from Pixabay 

Grief, Healing, Trauma, Trauma recovery

Easter Grief

Each year during Holy Week and into Easter, I am reminded of how thin this time is. How tears form and fall after many months of dry eyes. How hearts fill with sadnesses assumed transformed into something resembling new life.

My therapist says these times are dips into small pockets of what once was. Not places demanding we stay or get stuck in. Just revisit. For a few hours or days. Until this small opening reseals and the present now invites us back in. Leaving us with another memory. This one, a remembrance that we loved, love, and will continue to love.

For more writings on grief, trauma recovery, and this time of year, visit my post Easter Early in Grief.

Healing meditation, Trauma, Trauma recovery



Lord, hear my prayer,
    listen to my cry for mercy;
in your faithfulness and righteousness
    come to my relief.
Do not bring your servant into judgment,
    for no one living is righteous before you.
The enemy pursues me,

    he crushes me to the ground;
he makes me dwell in the darkness
    like those long dead…

I shall be like those who go down to the pit…

Psalm 143: 1-3, 7 NRSV


The afterlife of traumatic experience wants us to feel confused, shamed, and guilty. These remains from what happened to us take over every cell in our bodies, settling in for an extended stay while we beg for relief, mercy, safety.

Healing, in the form of trauma recovery, removes this confusion, eradicates our shame, and brings guilt back down to a usable size. Healing reforms our crushed postures into expanded ones. Healing helps us see, feel, and hear God’s mercy.


God, hear my prayer. Listen to my cry for mercy. Relieve my agony. Give me courage to heal. Amen.

Healing, Healing meditation, Trauma, Trauma recovery


“…What you sow does not come to life unless it dies.” *


Fallow field. Ground still, frozen. Plowed and harrowed for future days. Covered in frost or snow. Waiting for sowing, tending, harvesting.

Dormant, but only to the unobservant. Moisture seeping, trickling down. Absorbed through minute openings in hardened ground. Causing movement beneath. Winter’s soil preparing, ripening. For springtime’s burst. Energy creating improvisations, mistakes, hidden gems, harvest, and a few weeds.

In the beginning, healing is like standing on dormant ground. Cold seeping up through soles. Life numb, standing still. Feeling like a small speck in life’s vastness. Waiting to trust the un-death of dormancy.

Healing Practice: Unseen Seeds of Hope

Keep a list today. On a small piece of paper. One you can fold up. Fit in your pocket. Carry with you for writing on. Perhaps with a stubby pencil recording the moments, even fleeting ones, in which hope settles on your heart for a second as a realization, a discovery, or an opening into what’s possible. Name these moments of unexpected joy, mercy, compassion. Gathered for sowing in future’s field.


God, witness in me this day what I cannot see. Witness the tiny seeds of healing and hope I sow in my own fallowness. Witness in me my life-force still living. Witness in me my surprise in discovering unexpected joys. Receive my thanks for what I do not know will bless me this day and tomorrow and in my own healing. Amen.  

*1 Corinthians 15:36 

Image by Gergely Meszárcsek from Pixabay

Antiracism, Healing meditation, Liturgy, Racial Justice, Trauma recovery, Violence

White Women’s Confession and Litany

As with all liturgies, this confession and litany has a life of its own. The words printed here will shift and change voicing the needs of each context. If you use this confession and litany in any form I ask that you attribute the work to me even if you add or modify the work. The attribution may look like: “Our Confession and Litany today is based on a litany and confession written by Jennifer Ohman-Rodriguez.”

Please also let me know you are using it. Thank you.

The assembly prays using these or similar words.

We, white bodied, white raised, and whiteness perpetuating women confess to God, ourselves, and to all others.

We confess we have social privileges and advantages other women do not have.

We confess we ignore other women do not have what we have.

We confess we take for granted the gifts of these advantages.

We confess we unconsciously and consciously think we deserve what we have over what other women do not have.

We confess we buy into the view that what we have is scarce and cannot feed all women.

We confess we hoard life’s bounty and in doing so allow others to suffer.

We confess there is so much we do not know and do not see.

We confess all that we leave undone each day for the unity of all human beings.

We confess we partake in communal sins of omission.

We confess to you, God ,and to all women and in doing so ask to be released from these evils imploding within us and out into the world so that we take only what we need. Making sure all are fed. Joining in the work of bringing your love-in-action into reality for all women.

We confess.

We, white bodied, white raised, and whiteness perpetuating women lament to God.

We cry out and in doing so our tears follow the tears of women kept down, aside, and under in an ongoing parade of lament before God.

We wail and in doing so tell the world we create ourselves and all others in God’s image. Not in man’s. Not others’ gender norms. Not from others’ perceptions of beauty. Not in human-made values of class structure.  Not in empire’s power. Not in colonialism’s tyranny. Not in racism, genderism, or faith-ism. We lament, cry, and wail and in doing so imagine who we can be and are not yet.

We lament and in doing so ask for courage and tenacity in bringing your kingdom to earth. We feel weak in the face of this work. We lament this untruth of our weakness allowing this lie to dissipate and disappear into the atmosphere. We seek then through you O, God, to manifest your goodness and love which can only be fully revealed when all of creation and all of creation’s people are seen, heard, valued, and healed.

We lament.

We, white bodied, white raised, and whiteness perpetuating women feel.

We feel the pings, pinches, and punches of our battered bodies.

We feel the words we have not been allowed to say screaming from our souls out into the world.

We feel compassion for ourselves and for what we have not been allowed to reveal.

We feel and embrace the heroic and lifesaving ways of our bodies.

We feel what we know, do not know, do not want to know.

We feel, holding hope for all women to heal.

We feel understanding all bodies are one. One in God.

We feel.

We, white bodied, white raised, and whiteness perpetuating women begin and continue healing.

We heal, transforming our pain, the pain perpetuating damage onto other women, into goodness.

We heal as a continuation of life itself.

We heal, health giving new birth to new life.

We heal, tending all new life as if raising our own beloved children.

We heal, each one of us healing so that healing becomes greater than hurting.

We heal, healing becoming a way of life, one eradicating the wounding of hiding, avoiding, and blinding the hurt of hurting.

We heal.

We, white bodied, white raised, and whiteness perpetuating women act.

We act by refusing to accept the story told to us from birth that we are somehow different and better than other women.

We act in ways of public compassion first feeling the sorrows and joys of all women everywhere while no longer remaining silent or still.

We act, learning day by day how to bring God’s kingdom to earth.

We act, each of us becoming justice in words, deeds, marches, votes, public service, and answering yes to where we are called to serve.

We act in prayer. Never stopping. Never ceasing. Always praying. Until all women are whole. All girls are never torn apart.

We act as love. Building love out of healing, compassion, respect, and willingness.

Together, we white bodied, white raised, and whiteness perpetuating women lift up these prayers to you O, God. Trusting in your infinite mercy, grace, and spirit-filled direction. Breathing in your transformative power. Allowing its infusion to build our courage for the work to be done in us, among us, and around us. Amen.

Image by CentrArredo from Pixabay