Dangerous Compassions

christmas cactus

Hello, I wanted to tell you Christmas cactus has been a theme of this trip.  Almost to the point that it’s spooky.

On June 20th, at the edge of summer solstice, we left Las Vegas and traveled to the coast, to the place we thought would be our new home in California.  Two days later, we fled that place, not safe there.  We went north to stay at the house of our friends near Eugene.

Our friends’ house has a few small Christmas cactus plants.  I saw them in the dining area.  Then by the piano in the living room, there is a big one.


Then I had a dream.  In my dream, there was a big Christmas cactus plant like the one by their piano.  Ming and I were moving to a new home, and the green part of the plant broke off.  I was upset that the plant was harmed.

But then I realized that it would be easier to transport this way.  We could just move the bottom part, the container of soil and roots, and then a new plant would grow from those roots.  The roots are alive, even though we can’t see them, and we didn’t really need the top part.

This dream seems about our roots, survival, being planted, something seeming destroyed that is actually still alive and can grow again.  Disappointment turned to ease.  The appearance of danger can actually be another kind of safety.  But it requires time and faith.

How appropriate for our situation, eh?  I communicate with my dearest ones, and send out mass emails.  Many friends are praying for us and sending us ideas for home.  It’s scary to be unstable, but it’s amazing to move about and be free.  The fear and excitement take turns filling my body.  I have some understanding now, why some people prefer to be travelers.


We rested in Walla Walla, Washington for three nights.  I learned a few things there.  I saw some art that excited me.

There’s this building with a huge wall covered in these squares that depict different cultures of that area over time.  Then on the ground there’s a mini version with key, so you can know what the different things are.


This is me with the depiction of a parfleche, which is a leather satchel thing.  I love how it was painted.  Also I love this Norwegian butter dish.

butter dish


I can’t remember if there was Christmas cactus in Washington state, but once we got to our friends’ farm in Montana, there was Christmas cactus cuttings in the room we stayed in, and a larger one near their piano also!  Maybe they like the vibrations…

I didn’t take a picture of any piano-side Christmas cactus, but here’s a plant and some cuttings that were in our room at the Catholic Worker farm we stayed at in Montana.

christmas cactus

Then we moved to a different part of Montana to a permaculture farm retreat space.  Guess what?  I don’t see any Christmas cactus, but there’s a beautiful quilt art wall hanging being used as a curtain to cover a door window.

christmas cactus

All this could be a coincidence, but I see it as a sign from Mother God that we will be ok, don’t give up, keep the faith, and believe in ourselves and the love of the universe, that we will find a home again.

leaving Montana

As we left the permaculture farm we’d been staying at in Montana, Ming and I lingered a moment.  I took some pictures of the pink honeysuckle and thought about turtle, with the wisdom of slow.


Then I saw the Christmas cactus by the entrance of the barn area.

It was blooming, and I laughed with joy.  It’s not really Christmas time.  But the beautiful flower was one more sign to me–that we will be ok, and there’s always another chance to find home.

christmas cactus

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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