Adios 2008 & Hola 2009

Carmen, Beth Hemmila: faceted rubies, fine and sterling silver

Almost 10 years ago, I spent my holidays in the Southwest, and made a momentous decision to move West. What was drawing me out of my Midwest life and propelling me towards the West Coast?

Milagro Cross

What drew me West was the quality of light, and by light, I don't just mean the intensity of the sun. A quality of lightness that can only be found in one's contact with the Magnificent Heart -- an intense inner joy.

This desire emerged when I became reacquainted with milagros -- wonderful little religious folk charms that promote healing.

San Xavier del Bac Mission, Arizona

I first saw milagros at work when I visited the San Xavier del Bac Mission ("The White Dove of the Desert") and stood in line with a stream of pilgrims waiting to make requests and thanksgivings. When I got up to the front I saw that many these prayers were offered in the form of a little metal charm. This spiritual devotion to the yearnings of the heart seemed to magnify that missing element of color and joyousness in my life.

I became infatuated with Spanish/Mexican American culture and their exuberance for life. It was this kind of light I hoped to discover, and what drove me out to San Diego where I would eventually learn Spanish and teach art to Latin American kids, living only 15 minutes from the border.

After moving north, somehow I lost my sense of direction and connection to the spirit of seeking lightness. My Spanish was reduced to "hola" and "gracias," overcast skies replaced the sparkling light of the south, and "what if's" seemed to permeate my life.

For me 2008, will always be remembered as a circling back to the Magnificent Heart and rediscovering how to play with lightness. I am so grateful for the past year, where I have been given the opportunity to rediscover the roots of my creativity and a small niche in cyber space to celebrate the lightness of others.

My wish for 2009 is to reconnect with my seed spirit that envisioned the Flaming Heart Milagro charm pictured above and with joyful intention weave this remembering into all my relationships.


  1. Happy New Year! ¡Feliz Año Nuevo!

    May the new year bring you back to the lightness which led you away from your Midwest existence and inspire much magic and many miracles.

  2. Gracias, Andrew! I wish the same for you too :)

  3. I just love the images of flaming hearts- your charm is especially lovely!

    San Xavier is one of my favorite missions... such a stunning structure in the middle of the desert.

  4. Melissa, I'm so glad you connected with the flaming heart. I too haven't been able to get San Xavier out of my head. It is almost surreal :)


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