One Stellar Day and The Eleventh Hour

I had a stellar day.

I used to have them regularly. In fact, it was the odd day that wasn’t. But it’s been a long nine months since I’ve experienced twelve hours that were gorgeous from beginning to end.

It began with a moody sunrise.

Clouds stirred a potent stew setting the stage. Anything could happen.

My morning routine behind me, I readied my computer to tune in to Jessa’s class. My oldest daughter has created a niche for herself that nobody else can occupy simply because they haven’t walked in her shoes. This child of mine heard a different drum and listened. From an undergrad in psychology, she enrolled in the California Institute of Integral Studies for her Masters in Women’s Spirituality which took her to the Goddess Temples of Malta for ritual, dance, and music. There she experienced the archaeological remnants of pre-patriarchal culture. 

After grad school, Jessa was hired by Yeungnam University in South Korea where she taught English to English Literature majors for several years. During that time, she explored other parts of Asia. Every so often I’d get a message: I’ll be out of touch for a while Mom…I don’t want you to worry….which would instantly trigger acute anxiety and push all my fear buttons. With a local guide, she journeyed by donkey along Tiger Leaping Gorge, completely off-the-grid. That visit to the matriarchal Mosuo community on Lugu Lake near the Tibetan border in China gave me weeks of nightmares. She loved it. Leaving Mother Lake: A Girlhood at the Edge of the World, by Yang Erche Namu, is the memoir of a young Mosuo woman. If you want your eyes opened to an alternate universe, read that book.

For ninety minutes I scribbled notes as Jessa presented her class Crossing the Aquarian Threshold: The Jupiter Saturn Grand Conjunction. Forty of us Zoomed with her on a deep dive into the ramifications of the planetary alignment that will arrive on Dec 21, 2020, the Solstice. Her diverse perspectives and surprise ending gave me so much hope for the future that, as soon as she finished, I had a full-blown meltdown. I know, that doesn’t make sense. I should have been overjoyed, not unglued.

I think it was the build-up of nine months of horror, holding myself tight to maintain sanity, making daily life-and-death decisions, “Can I see this person? Am I Covid free? Are they? Should I go to the store? The restaurant? The library…?” A message of hope seemed too much for my nervous system to bear.

There’s nothing like a blubbering, cleansing cry to refresh the soul.

It took a while but eventually I collected myself and made a huge bowl of fresh mango topped with homemade granola for lunch. Ketut appeared just in time for Nescafe and gosip, a favorite pastime that isn’t really gossip. I don’t know how we got onto the subject of the Cempaka tree and its metal heart, but I learned that Cempaka heartwood is incredibly strong, like metal, and is used for temple structures and wood carvings. Ketut wanted to know if there were such trees where I come from. I said there might be one in a botanical garden inside a glass house to keep it warm, but not growing wild like Bali.

Good laughs, always good laughs with Ketut.

After sitting all morning, I needed to move my body. For several days I’d been itching for new reading material. Ubud’s Pondok Pekok is a lending library about a quarter-mile from me. It also has a section of used books for sale ranging from seventy cents to $3.50 USD. They’re not in any logical order so it’s a game of hunt ‘n’ peck. I’ve passed hours paging through musty tomes, but this time it went fast.

I found three good novels, then a splash of color caught my eye. Out of a stack of used and abused children’s books I pulled this gem.

The cover sold me. Tell me, who could resist opening this book? It was in utterly pristine condition – an enigma in the Ubud library world. Every page was a feast for the eyes.

Graeme Base is an author/illustrator, a rare bird in literature, and he’s written this story in delicious rhyme. Above are pages two and three of Hubert the elephant’s birthday party mystery entitled The Eleventh Hour.

The feeling that I’d struck gold lingered as I hurried home and rearranged furniture to prepare for the next event of this exceptional day. My table found a perfect spot under the ceiling fan – also the best location to catch cool breezes. I use the term ‘cool’ loosely as rainy season is upon us with high temperatures and 99% humidity.

Ketut had challenged two friends to a few games of Texas Mean which he always wins. But not this time! Our precocious thirteen-year-old neighbor took four out of five rounds and I got lucky with one. She was blissed! He was skunked (overwhelming defeat – check it out) but took his losses with jovial goodwill.

A few hours later, games finished, I started to return the table to its original position. But the chair and ottoman I’d moved out of the way and tucked in a corner looked so inviting I couldn’t resist a sit-down. Before me stretched the wide-open view of sky and clouds. I day-dreamed until it was too dark to see. Wholly at peace, full from heart to toes with gratitude for life, I pulled myself out of my cozy spot, showered, grabbed one of the new books, and went to bed.

What made this day special, superbly elevated above endless days before it?

  • The message of hope
  • My blubbering melt-down
  • Gosip with Ketut
  • A successful treasure hunt
  • Fun with friends
  • Cloud-dreaming

People. Learning. Variety. Challenge. Surprise. Fun. And HOPE. Hope that there will be much more of this in the weeks ahead. I don’t think I can wait nine months more for another perfect day.

If you want a peek at where else Jessa’s been and what she’s done, here’s the link to the credentials page on her website. And to all who are reading this – wherever you are – I hope you’ve had more than one stellar day. It isn’t quite enough.

P.S. A recording of Jessa’s class Crossing the Aquarian Threshold: The Jupiter Saturn Grand Conjunction is available for $35. Please include your email address so she can send you the recording. You can make your payment via PayPal or Venmo. Once she receives payment, she’ll email you the link to download the recording, along with a bounty of resources she references in her presentation.

The recording is about 90 minutes. One of the participants, Mary Foley, had this to say: “Such an amazing presentation, thank you so much! I love how much you bring from your work in somatics and racial justice. You weave a picture of hope without letting us off the hook for the tremendous amount of work we have to do!

For more information and for other offerings, you can visit Jessa’s website:

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