Monday, May 16, 2011


Everyone in the world deserves to have a Mary.

My dear friend and spiritual companion Mary Ownby is turning eighty this week, and I am as gleeful as a kid at Christmas time as I celebrate her rich and wondrous incarnation. I reflect back over the thirteen plus years since first we met, and I am more certain than ever that ours is a Divine appointment that we were both born to keep. Not that it was our sole purpose or appointment; certainly not. Yet it is a Soulful union that has enriched my days in ways immeasurable with words.
Mary grew up in a strongly Catholic home and education, and entered into the Adrian Dominican Order right out of Academy. While she left the Order several years ago, the archetype of Sister is in so many ways the lens through which she sees the world. She serves humanity as a way of being, and is always leading with her loving and compassionate presence. She embraces life and lives it with a gusto that is compelling and contagious. She is rigorously generous, and is a constant champion to those of lesser esteem and minimal resources. To be around Mary is to feel uplifted. Her laugher is free and full, and her wisdom rooted and profound. In these eight decades Mary has not only made a huge contribution to the planet and its inhabitants, she IS a contribution of the highest vibration.

And that being said; everyone in the world deserves a Mary.

I speak to my dear friend Mary almost every day. We share in a long time personal tradition of touching base at noon daily to connect in a prayerful presencing for the upliftment of the world. She is religious in this in the best sense of the word. Her devotion to Truth and her dedication to practice are unwavering. Though she calls me her spiritual director she continues to constantly inspire me with her chosen way of being. Her love for me is relentless, and I am aware that I am always living in the Light of her affirmation, admiration, and unconditional acceptance. In her vision I can do no wrong, and it is a daunting containment in which to dwell. Her boundless embrace continually calls me to step up to the highest Self expression that I am currently capable of. In her uncompromising encouragement my own courage is strengthened. I reach to be the me that she seems to see even when I don’t. She is a human rock on which I may stand, and though I know it is my own inner atmosphere that determines the quality of my life experience, she sets a standard of love that is a beacon for my own emergence. Because Mary is in my life, my life is better. I have become better. I have become more of who I truly am. I am eternally grateful for the gift of Mary in my heart and in my life, and she is and will remain one of the great loves of this incarnation.

Everyone in the world deserves a Mary.

And so I celebrate my precious friend not by showering her with material gifts, but by looking for opportunities to be the Mary in someone else’s life this day. I open to embrace those in my own circumference with the same uncompromising acceptance and affirmation that I have enjoyed with Mary. I expand my own sense of service to the world, and pray to recognize the opportunities to help, to uplift, to give to all those who enter my sphere. I freely and generously share of my laughter, my insight, and recourses, and my love. For you see I know experientially that everyone in the world deserves a Mary, and that everyone will benefit from basking in the kind of unconditional loving embrace that Mary provides. I am paying her forward in honor of her birthday, and embodying and giving the qualities of my friend that I so greatly admire and respect. The world is sweeter because Mary has lived. I am richer because Mary has loved. The world is blessed because Mary has been given. Everyone in this world deserves a Mary. Will you allow me to be yours?

Happy Birthday, Haily.