. . . . And angels attended . . . .
. . . and angels attended . . .
So, what happened for the one who thought she was not worthy of a grand vision?
She received miracle upon miracle; grace upon grace; abundance poured out and abundance received.
But the truth is, I'll likely struggle to convey this, for on the surface, it seemed like not much happened at all. I mean, how much can happen when you've committed to remain alone in a space the size of a walk-in closet for 4 days and 4 nights? With no food to gather, prepare, eat or clean up, with no trails to explore, with no book to read or journal to write in. Applying lip balm and sunscreen and re-filling my water bottle were the big events!
Over the course of the 4 days I experienced pleasant sunshine, a day of rain and even a bit of hail (thankful for rain gear and a tarp), high winds, scorching sun, seemingly eternal sunrises (when will it get warm?!) and eternal sunsets (how much longer until I can go to bed?!).
While another Quester was visited by both a javelina and a rattlesnake (both peaceful), my visitors lacked big drama. They included one brief visit each from a pinon jay, chipmunk, cottontail, and small lizard; two lingering visits from hummingbird, and frequent accompaniment from canyon wrens, hawks, and swifts.
So, what did I do? I sat, I danced, I sang, I prayed, I listened to the cascading trill of the canyon wrens, I observed the clouds and shadows on the land, I fantasized about hosting an awesome cheese party, I built a small prayer cairn for each one supporting me on this Quest. I wondered what time it was. I noticed my stomach's growling sensation and noticed, too, how quickly the sensation dissipated, except on Day 4 when I thought, "Oh, this is how it feels to die," and even taking a sip from my water bottle felt like it required too much strength. Until 3 or 4 hours later I felt fine, just weak. I got bored. I took a couple naps. I thought about the warm fire and broth and that would be waiting for me back at base camp at first light on Day 5.
Within my spirit, I experienced joy, contentment, peace and warmth for nearly the whole time, minus the edges of the day in which I noticed my impatience with the transition from night into day and day into night, and minus those hours when I thought, This is what it feels like to die and when I told the small flies that hovered around my face, Not today. If you land on me, I will squash you. Up to that point, I'd followed through on my intention of non-violence.
So, how exactly does all of this ordinariness get translated to miracle after miracle; grace upon grace; abundance poured out and abundance received?
At first light, before sunrise, on Day 5 I rose, packed up my sleeping pad, sleeping bag, extra change of clothing and small supplies, donned my backpack and hiked down and up the valley that separated my site from base camp. I moved slowly, weak but filled with gratitude to be returning to warmth and food and human company. Once there, we began a gentle process of re-introducing food and of journaling. For me, it was in the act of listing all the seemingly insignificant happenings, along with those things that held more charge (like my pride at rigging a tarp that actually kept me dry during a night of rain, or the clear sense I had of being visited by a treasured late uncle to whom I'd never said goodbye), that the bud of my Quest began to open and reveal its treasures. As I unpacked and reflected on one seemingly insignificant event after another I was awakened to the presence of Sacred Abundance, in whom we live and move and have our being. Every. Single. Day.
Soul friends, I am convinced that we are sustained and nurtured in every moment with an abundance of compassion, wisdom, and instinct beyond our wildest imaginings. I am convinced that all of Creation (the Cosmic Christ) does indeed groan and sing to deliver us, both individually and collectively, into ever increasingly expansive existence, one more spacious womb after another, nurturing the glory that will be uniquely revealed in and through us. (Romans 8: 18 ff) Our challenge is to awaken to this and to remain awake.
What happened on my Quest? The very same thing that is unfolding this very moment as I write and as you read: miracle after miracle; grace upon grace; abundance poured out and abundance received.
It's ironic how the very experience of abundance (of food, entertainment, companionship, conversation, stimulation, etc...) can both douse the fire of this awareness and stir it. I invite you to choose a space of silence, or solitude, or stillness, even if just for a few minutes today. Simply be and allow yourself to awaken. Then return to the daily and seemingly unremarkable abundance of your life, to taste it more deeply, to savor it, and be changed by it, at a cellular level.
Next post: Who comes back?
Thank you for receiving these reflections. As always, if this reflection stirs resonance, questions or new awarenesses, I'd love to hear about it. Grace and peace to you.