Spirit Grooves Blogs

Published on March 14, 2014

With the return of the bitter weather here in Big Rapids, Michigan, Margaret and I got a reprieve with an invitation to visit our new Granddaughter Iris Betsy Bernard, and so yesterday we did. We had not seen young Iris since the day she was born. We were there for that.

And so we headed out around nine o'clock in the morning toward where my daughter May and her husband Seth live, out in the wilds near Traverse City, Michigan. We were also on a mission to bring them various things, in particular food, so we made several stops to shop, especially at the legendary Oryana Food Coop in Traverse City. What a great place that is!

It was a cold day, but the sun was out as we headed north. The snowpack is still deep, although we have had a couple of warmer days recently. One unscheduled stop we made was to the Om Café in Traverse City, which is run by Jason Thibodeau, the son of a good friends of ours (and fellow astrologer) Robert Thibodeau. Robert and I have known each other since the 1960s.

The Om Café (205 Lake Avenue) offers vegetarian and vegan food, plus some seafood. This was our first visit and I was delighted by the spacious and tasteful atmosphere. I have had trouble finding a restaurant in Traverse City that offers more than a couple items I really like. The Om Café had a whole menu of food that I can't wait to sample in the future. Jason Thibodeau, like ourselves, has a background in macrobiotics, so everything looked fantastic. I loved eating there and know where to go when the family meets in Traverse City.

May and Seth's house is at the end of a long driveway deep in the woods, which right now is more like a toboggan or luge run than anything else. In the early afternoon we finally slip-slidded to a stop and unloaded our packages.

And there was baby Iris, just as cute as a button. She was all wrapped up in a blanket and wearing a tiny hat. I got to hold her for a long time and she peeked out every now and then at her grandpa. Her parents looked just as great, sill somewhat in that birth zone, radiant, and so very happy to have Iris. What a life-changing event that first baby is for young parents!

Lately I have been thinking about how my expanding extended family stretches the mind and heart of this old person wider and wider, embracing more and more in an automatic reflex of responsibility and gratitude.

Being together with this young family, I was (surprisingly) reminded of one of my most favorite songs, "Diamonds and Rust" by Joan Baez, a song she wrote about her love affair with Bob Dylan. I include it here for those of you who have never heard it. It is this verse that I most love:

"Now I see you standing
With brown leaves falling around
And snow in your hair.
Now you're smiling out the window
Of that crummy hotel
Over Washington Square.
Our breath comes out white clouds
Mingles and hangs in the air
Speaking strictly for me
We both could have died then and there"


Being with Iris, Seth, Margaret, and May yesterday was one of those great moments where time could have just stopped and everything would have been enough. It was a great visit.

[Photo taken earlier, right after the birth.]