Pleasant Dreams

I bought a white peach yesterday at a roadside market. Unlike the ones I get at the supermarket, this one smelled like a peach. It tasted like a peach. It was luscious. The corn I bought came from a farm just down the road from where I was standing. I got some kale and string beans. I rode home in my little Mustang with the top down. The weather was perfect – warm, sunny, no humidity to speak of. I turned into my little lane. The river was sparkling and blue.

I had noticed that a gray car seemed to be following me. Sure enough, it turned into my lane, right behind me. I pulled into my driveway and got out, a little curious, a little apprehensive. An elderly man climbed slowly out of the car and said, “Miss, you have two tail lights out. I thought you’d rather hear it from me than from a policeman.” I thanked him and stood there as he backed out, thoroughly amazed at the kindness of a stranger.

It was that kind of day. Today was pretty much the same. I noticed that the pounding in my ear has gotten a little gentler, so maybe the nasal spray is working. I got an appointment with the master acupuncturist for next week. I’m going to put my ear in his hands, so to speak, for the final resolution. I found the right bulbs for my taillights on the first try and some great guys who put them in – knowledgeable, confident, friendly guys right here in my own little town who told me they could fix another problem (I’ve had it for some time) for much less than the dealer’s quote. Again, it was warm, sunny, and gorgeous. And again, I drove home with the top down. For some strange reason, I took a nap.

And now, as I am writing this, I can see the full moon through my window. It’s a beautiful, cool night.  Dorian is out, playing with crickets in the moonlight. This weekend, the moon is the first of this year’s supermoons. A supermoon is a full moon near perigee, or near its closest point to Earth for the month. It’s dazzling.

There are times when everything just falls into place, when the trials and tribulations of life seem lost in the past, as they should be. I know that things are still happening out there in the world. I know that I don’t know what tomorrow will bring. But for the past few days, it seems to me that the Universe has been saying, Stop. Take a deep breath. Look around. It’s a wonderful world. And there are times when I have the good sense to stop, take a deep breath, and say Thank You. Good night, dear friends. Pleasant dreams.


Hanta Yo



Hanta Yo is a Lakota Sioux term that means “clear the way.” It indicates the intention of drawing on the Great Spirit to clear the way while you do your part with faith.


According to a book I am reading written by a master acupuncturist, when physical pain is relieved, underlying emotional pain often rises to the top, and takes its place.

My physical pain was in my neck and shoulders. Neuromuscular therapy eliminated a lot, but the therapist told me there was more stress to be addressed.  I can feel it. Am I stressed? Yes. My house has been on the market for two years. I’ve had three offers that did not go to settlement. Strangers are still roaming through my rooms and peering into my closets. It’s a pain in the neck.

And then, there was my heart, beating through my ear. I saw an ENT physician, who identified the throbbing as a blockage in the Eustachian tube. He  has prescribed a nasal spray.  Was my heart trying to speak to me? Was it whispering in my ear?

The center beam under my house has come up in two home inspections. According to the inspectors, it should be bolted to two parallel joists and they need to be reinforced. And I’ve been resisting it. Early on, Bill and I decided to deal with it (it was like that when we moved in) by installing steel beams and later, I installed new joists all over. The house is, without a doubt, structurally sound. But the home inspectors see it and note it. It freaked the second buyer out. It’s like a sore thumb. Or a pain in the neck. In the last few months, I’ve grudgingly made some needed repairs – I replaced two windows, took care of a plumbing problem, and re-painted the deck and the porch. But I have stubbornly refused to have my house jacked up again (my granite counter top cracked last time) to fix that *###** beam. Not to mention the money.

Yesterday, I had it fixed. I surrendered.  And as the acupuncturist predicted, when I took care of the physical pain in the house and in myself, the emotional pain surfaced.

It came upon me as I was walking the river road. (For those of you who have read my book, there is a river road here, too.) It came upon me because I realized that this house was mine and Bill’s. This is where we sat on so many precious mornings at the kitchen table, talking about everything in the world. It’s where we celebrated Christmas, birthdays, Mother’s Days, Father’s Days. It’s where we watched the fireworks on our river on the Fourth of July. It’s where we fed our children, our grandchildren, and our friends. It’s where we laughed. And cried. On those last few days before he took to his bed, Bill would sit on the back porch and look at the trees and the garden I had made as if it were the most beautiful thing in the world. And I was glad, because I had created it for him. And finally, on that day in August six years ago, Bill passed into spirit here. In his bed, in his home. In our home. In our house.

Tears blinded me as I made my way back. My house would not sell as long as I would not let it go. Perhaps I am letting it go now. Finally. Perhaps I am drawing on the Great Spirit to clear the way while I do my part with faith.


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Helen Delaney’s book, The Messenger: The Improbable Story of a Grieving Mother and a Spirit Guide, is available on Amazon. You may find it by clicking on the link below.

Another Move to Master

I started this blog because I wrote a book and I wanted my friends to know about it. The Messenger is the account of a spiritual journey that started with my son’s death. I still refer to it here, but my Sunday messages have become more about what I’m learning while trying to live each day in harmony with spiritual principles.  I never lack for material.


My son had a sensei who taught him the martial art of Aikido. He once told me this: “Just when I’m sure Eddie has mastered a move, I knock him down again.” I think this is exactly what the Universe does. Just when you think you’ve mastered something, BAM. You’re down. At least, that’s how it works for me. This is not cruel. It is to bring you to higher levels.

For example: About four days ago, I started hearing my heart beat through my right ear. Believe me, this is disconcerting and frightening. And so, I did what people do nowadays. I went onto the Internet, looking for anything that would tell me I wasn’t crazy. As it turns out, this condition is not uncommon and actually has a name: pulsatile tinnitus. It may have an underlying cause, such as plaque in the carotid artery. On top of that, I was having pain and stiffness in my neck and headaches, something very rare for me. I did the next logical thing. I tried to make an appointment with my GP – who is unavailable until the end of September. The next thing I did was to make an appointment with an ENT physician. He’ll see me next week. You have to start somewhere. He will probably refer me to a cardiologist.

What I didn’t mention was that right before my heart starting coming through my ear, I’d had an unpleasant encounter (on paper, thank goodness) with a difficult person who made an offer on my house, then demanded so much, I couldn’t accept it. This was a guy with a lot of money – it wasn’t about that. It was about dominance. He just wanted a place to sleep on weekends while he kayaked in the river. He also intended to sell it down the road for a profit. Unlike him, my house, which is just a cottage (albeit a pretty one), is all I have. It’s my one big asset – my old age savings account. And as all readers of my blog know, I am selling it to move to Sedona, the place I feel I belong, to live a simple life.

This is my third deal gone wrong. I’ve been living in a fish bowl for two years, swimming upstream against a depressed market and encountering a community of buyers who are the most demanding that have ever lived in history.  My friends who have houses for sale will bear me out. The point of all this is – I thought I was handling things pretty well – even this last disappointment – until the ear thing. I was wrong. Stress had finally caught up with me. Spiritual me.

Again, I did the next logical thing. I went to see a beautiful lady who teaches yoga and is a gifted neuromuscular therapist. She can find things in your muscles you never knew you had. At least she could deal with the neck and headaches. She is also a very spiritual person. We speak the same language. She worked on me for two and a half hours, finding pain I never knew I had. But what she told me was that I still have stress in my neck and in my spine that is very old. Eventually, I’ll see a chiropractor she’s recommended. But the question is, how old can stress be and stay embedded in your body? Apparently, very old. There is something I haven’t dealt with.

I live what I think is a pretty healthy lifestyle. I don’t eat meat. I don’t drink or smoke. I avoid sugar and flour. I’m active. I meditate regularly. I’m generally a happy, healthy person. So what is this all about? I’m reading a book written by another spiritual person, an acupuncturist, a former Buddhist monk. He says symptoms are messages. I get it. I’m getting messages from my body that I’ve just got to let up. I’ve got to Let Go and Let God. I’ve got to stop trying to control things – like the future. It’s not that I don’t believe in letting go. I do. I’ve spent over thirty years of my life letting go. But the Universe never lets me stop learning. It is sending me a message – that I must trust the Great Spirit that looks after me and stop trying to make things happen. AGAIN. The spiritual path is work. Constant work. Constant learning.

And so, while the doctors and therapists are doing their work, I have to go back to Square One and stop creating stress. I have to find out what old karma is lurking in my spine. In November, I will go out to Sedona for some work on my spirit with some very wise people.

I’ve been knocked down. But I’m struggling to my feet. Evidently, there is another move to master.


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Look for The Messenger: The Improbable Story of a Grieving Mother and a Spirit Guide by Helen Delaney on




A Whole New Light

It’s August, and I start my days on the back porch with a cup of coffee. It’s quiet in the early morning; the only sound is of cicadas and birds singing. I love listening to them. I love summer. In the last few days, though, I’ve noticed a subtle change in the air. Fall is coming and I can feel it. Crickets rule the night, a sure sign of the end of summer, and I feel a little melancholy.

My husband Bill passed six years ago this week. I felt it this year, more than usual. His sister passed in a year ago in July. I miss them.

The earth’s axle is tilting the Northern Hemisphere away from the sun, and I’m not looking forward to staring winter in the face. I thought I’d be in Sedona by now, where winter is gentler and bathed in sunlight, where snow on red rocks looks like powdered sugar. I keep my house shipshape, whether I feel like it or not. Realtors bring people through again and again. I’m living in a fish bowl, but no buyer has shown up. As I said, I’m feeling a little melancholy, and I know why. It’s not because summer is ending. It’s not because I miss Bill. It’s not because I can’t move out of the house we lived in together. It’s because I am not living in the Now. I am not, as Eckhart Tolle says, “saying yes to what is.” I am letting the past and the future rob me of whatever joy there is in today. The thing is, I know better. I just can’t seem to snap out of it.

So tonight, as I was writing this, I decided to forgive myself for not being present. And a miracle happened. I became immediately present. This small act of kindness toward my own soul came with a reward: Gratitude. I remembered the parents I met two Sundays ago, when I signed books at the Arlington Metaphysical Chapel, parents who had lost their children, the father with tears in his eyes who told me his son’s name, and how I wrote In memory of Matt, in his copy. I remembered how my daughter Michaela and my granddaughter Elenni came all the way from New York to be with me, how my daughter Niki brought her friends to meet me. I remembered the notes of love and pride from my daughter Debbie and granddaughter Celine who live in California. Sean, my stepson, Shari, my daughter-in-law, and her daughters Maggie, Katie, and Abigail came to be with me – Bill’s children and grandchildren. I remembered seeing dear friends I hadn’t seen for a long time.  I was surrounded by love.

me and Anne Banville

And I remembered that as the earth’s axle tilts my part of the world away from the sun, it tilts those in the other half of the world toward it. The Southern Hemisphere is heading into spring and summer, and I am headed into fall and winter. And it is all right. We will revolve around the same sun, and we will go around it again, and again, and again, sometimes tilting toward it, sometimes tilting away from it. And it will be all right.

Finally, I end this day with another gift. Instead of going out for the night as he usually does around this time, Dorian has curled up in the chair by my desk, to keep me company. It is possible that he dreams of winter in a whole new light.

Dorian on Porch



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Get The Messenger: The Improbable Story of a Grieving Mother and a Spirit Guide by Helen Delaney at







The Music Behind the Notes


Vladimir Horowitz 1986 by Roland Gerrits

Vladimir Horowitz, arguably the greatest pianist of our time, was quoted as saying that the music was behind the notes, and that the performance was your search for it.

These may be the most important words uttered by the world’s greatest piano teacher (yes, he had a few students). I studied the piano in college, and my professor tried to teach me that great, mystical truth – that the music was behind the notes, that the music was more than the notes. But I was also a single working mother, tired most of the time, and try as I might, practice as I did, I could only find the music in rare moments.  When they did come, they were moments of pure, unadulterated joy.

Ah, but the Maestro! His search for the music was so intense, so deep, that when he played, it sounded like God.

Death, grief, and despair forced me to look behind life as I knew it. At the time, the notes alone were not enough to sustain life. The Messenger is my journey behind things physical, beyond things apparent.

None of us is Horowitz. But I believe that all of us, every one of us, can sense the Presence that is behind all things – a Spirit, silent, loving and alive. We may sense it when we look closely at a flower, we may see it in the smile of a newborn, or feel it when an inspiration or the memory of a loved one suddenly washes over us. Call it what you wish. Call it the music behind the notes. But it is there.


A loving thank you to all who came to the book signing at the Arlington Metaphysical Church last Sunday, especially my family.

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The Messenger: The Improbable Story of a Grieving Mother and a Spirit Guide is available on Amazon.