Monthly Archives: September 2018

The Comb

It was a simple, ordinary, comb. The black plastic kind you get in one of those ten-pack in the drug store. But, it was no ordinary place. A hospital bed where my dear daughter lay recovering from yet another surgery, the fourth in less than two months, from Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension disease.

“Do you see my comb over there, mom?”

“Here it is. Want me to comb your hair?”

“Would you? It’s all so matted and full of knots.”

“Sure,” I said feeling a bit hesitant remembering how, as children, getting all those knots out could be a not-so-pleasant experience and didn’t want to cause her any more discomfort.

“Here, sit on the bed. I’ll turn my head,” she said as we gently worked her long hair out to the side.

As I’d done when she was little, I separated the knotted hair into small strands and, with as much care as I could muster, began to comb. Her father sat close and watched.

“This okay?” I asked.

“Yes. It feels so peaceful.”

“Oh, good,” I said a bit surprised as “peaceful” was not a word I expected to hear. But, instantly, I felt relieved. And, as I continued to comb, a couple more times she said, “It feels peaceful.”

I so get that mama bear thing. This past summer we had a number of turkeys in our yard and every morning we’d watch one mama turkey, in particular, cross our yard under the wide-open sky with her four babies. I’d always hold my breath until they had made it across safely. One morning, just as they were about to reach the trees, a hawk suddenly swooped down intent on one of those babies. In an instant, the mama flew straight up, almost vertically from the ground, to attack the hawk. I was so amazed as I’d never seen a turkey fly. Babies safe. For one more today.

What I wouldn’t give to be able to fly up, unthinking, catapulted from that instinctive place deep inside of me and attack all the pain and suffering that has descended upon my beautiful daughter. “Take me!” I’d shout to the hawk. Let her wander safe, playful and pain free, for one more day, and another, and another.

But then I remember that hawks are God’s creation too – that it is, truly, in our moments of deepest challenge, trails and suffering, that the veil between life and death becomes most thin and we are cracked open to suddenly see, ever so fleetingly, the precious fragility of life. How in such moments, we suddenly know both the joy and the sorrow. All our hopes and regrets become palpable. Our caged laughter aches to break free. Our walled-in tears yearn to flow deep. The hawk brings it all and we know.

Still, just like the mama turkey, I would fly up, in an instant, as often as it took to fight for one more day. Just one more for my baby so I could sit close once again and work all those knots out of her hair…

With that ordinary, plastic, comb.

 

 

 

 

 

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Alchemy in the Wilderness

The notion that we are each fully capable, all mighty, and contain all the power we need to manifest a life of beauty and abundance is a popular theme in new age literature. Trouble is, belief in this notion leaves us basking and playing in the lower valleys thinking we have reached the mountain top. And, for a while, all does seem idyllic as we enthusiastically go about applying the natural laws of attraction. In the book The Alchemist this phenomenon is called the principle of favorability. The Soul of the World wants to give us a taste of success. But, inevitably, when we are duly ripe, the mountain calls.

And, what is the mountain calling us to do? Surrender that very sense of self-aggrandizement we so relish to discover the deeper Truth of the Soul of the World – that we are each simply a glorious integral part of all that is and that the Soul of the World waits to guide, sustain, and carry us deep into its very essence – Love. It calls us to leave the comfort of the known in the valley to travel into the unknown to discover our Personal Legend, our true purpose, what we have been created for in this lifetime, so that all we’ve learned along the way can finally make sense. It is asking of us exactly the opposite of what we experience in the valley. How do we know this? Maktub. Maktub means it is written in the Soul of the World.

Some sleepy part of us, just beginning to waken, knows the sound of the call. We hear it in moments – moments our heart sneaks in a whisper when our mind isn’t paying attention. Moments. Listen carefully for that’s all we’ve got. Still, we pause at this juncture for we instinctively know that to make the climb requires nothing short of the ultimate sacrifice – the death of our favorability and the full surrender of any sense of control or unilateral power we may claim to have. But remember, the Soul of the World is Love and Love being the strongest force in the universe will not be denied – most lucky for us.

So, we begin the climb because not to climb becomes scarier than so-called death. Besides, “What greater way to die than in pursuit of your Personal Legend?” the alchemist tells us. Indeed! For just as Arjuna discovers in the Bhagavad Gita or Much Afraid in Hinds’ Feet on High Places or Saint Teresa of Avila in the journey into the Interior Castle, such death, brought about by nothing short of our full surrender, brings life – life unlike anything we may experience basking in the valleys below.

Moments. How quickly they can dissolve into the daily requirements of living. How we all so routinely forget that, truly, there are only so many moments left in this life experience. But, once we commit to conscious living, to the mountainous quest of truly living our Personal Legend, we begin to hear, sometimes in moments unforeseen, whispers from the Soul of the World. The immediate result is a growing and profound awareness of our interconnectedness with all that is. Suddenly, we can hear the Spirit of all things talking to us…if we have a moment…

Some of the things I heard in the wilds of Maine in response to my sharing heart…

From the Spirit of the Stream…You wind your way through the marsh until I can’t see you anymore and you are lost to me in the dense cover. Come. Follow me and I will take you into the unknown where all things are known.

From the Spirit of the Tiny Yellow & Purple Flowers…How lovely you are basking in the sun. I feel just the hint of chill in the air signaling my end of days. Like you, there’s not a moment to waste. Delight. Joy is all around.

From the Spirit of the Lake…You call me. Leave all behind and enter naked into my depths. I will baptize you in the pure sound of silence just below the water’s edge. The loons gliding on my surface will serenade you. This is how you will be born again…and again…and again…

From the Spirit of the Sun…Every morning you rise up over the ridge. So ho-hum as to be tritely dismissed, this extraordinary blessing of a new day peels my eyes awake to see right before me what I’ve gone blind to in the ordinary halls of memory. And, what will you do with this extraordinary gift?

The journey up the mountain is steep, rugged and, at every turn, will test our grit and commitment. It is, simply, the hero-heroine’s journey I spoke of in my last blog. But, I notice that as I become more and more attuned to the language of the Soul of the World I fear less and less the loss of so-called control or even death. It would not occur to me now to travel alone for I have heard the wondrous Spirit of the Earth and the voices of the angels in the Spirit of the Heavens all held in Love by the Soul of the World. I trust their guidance for they have led me to where I could have known not. And, graciously, they have called me into unity with all things so I could clearly see how my uniqueness is only one expression of all that is.

So, gladly, I leave behind the self-aggrandizing assumptions of our day. I would much rather remove my clothes, submerge myself into the water’s depth, and humbly make my way up the mountain depending only upon the markers whispered by the Soul of the World which holds all things in the Spirit of Love.

In the end, it is the destiny of all us to do so – when it is our time. How do I know?

Maktub

Pictures taken below from the wonderful Pines Lodge and wilderness sites.

Sunrise pic.JPGLake pic.JPG

Sunset Image.JPG

New site stream.JPG

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