The Universe hardly ever moves in a straight line. At least it doesn’t for me. Consider for instance, the long and winding road I traveled to find a place to live in Sedona (two posts ago). Even though I am called there, and even though I know I am meant to be there, I still have to get there on a merry-go-round. I still have to encounter obstacles. My faith is invariably pushed to its limit, and just when it seems that all is lost, Pow! Everything falls into place. This has happened to me so often that I recognize it now for what it is – a pattern. Not that knowing this makes the process any easier – it doesn’t. I just know deep down that the Universe is working for me and that everything is going to turn out all right. It’s the faith that comes from seeing a process repeated over and over. My faith isn’t blind, believe me. It’s the result of experience. And I give into it. Completely. I’ll go the long and winding road.
But every once in a while…the Universe comes shining through in a brilliant split second. If I’d had my eyes open, I would have seen it from the beginning. I had to go through the whole process before I realized the Universe had given me the “go ahead,” the “thumbs up,” the “I’ve got your back, kiddo.” I missed the sign. And it was a big one.
I said in a prior post that I had vowed never to live in a subdivision. Well, my new place is in a subdivision, and it’s beautiful. I barely noticed that it had a name: Nepenthe. Somewhere in the back of my head, I said to myself, “I wonder what that means?” But I was busy. Too busy to look it up. Then, on my lovely drive up the Pacific Coast with my daughter, I saw it again. Twice. As the name of a restaurant. And an inn.
A couple of days ago, weary and dizzy from packing, (Moving is exhausting!) I took a break and looked it up. Sorry, my literate, academic friends, I found it on Wikipedia. I did check it against other sources, just to make sure. And here it is:
The word nepenthe first appears in the fourth book of Homer’s Odyssey:
Then Helen, daughter of Zeus, took other counsel.
Straightway she cast into the wine of which they were drinking a drug
to quiet all pain and strife, and bring forgetfulness of every ill.
Figuratively, nepenthe means “that which chases away sorrow.” Literally it means ‘not-sorrow’ or ‘anti-sorrow’: Penthos, from the Greek, means “grief, sorrow, or mourning”. In the Odyssey, in the passage quoted above, nepenthes pharmakon is a magical potion given to Helen by Polydamna, the wife of the noble Egyptian Thon; it quells all sorrows with forgetfulness.
For those of you who do not know me, my name is Helen. I have had a life that has been rich in grief. And I have a karmic connection to Egypt (see my book, below).
I need say no more. Except thank you, thank you, thank you.