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Solstice

RainbowThis past weekend I spent time in a place of enormous beauty. The room was created for a group to enter into prayer and healing together for several days. I realize its beauty is more than appearance–the beauty is true–it reflects truth. Human beings came together, in the goodness of their hearts, and prepared a space. It was created with a depth of vision born out of and in relationship to the imaginal. Through that effortless patience, beauty and truth were revealed as one. Something unseen became known within me, the moment I walked into it. Interconnections were illuminated, pulsing and alive in the blood; between worlds, yes. And in the cells between us–the room, myself, and the other people gathered there.

Several days before, I had the first dream I remembered in many months:

I walk in to the room, openmouthed. There is a sparkling silence in the air, things have yet to begin, but the space is prepared, waiting. There are places for the musicians, where the music will come through. Children are there, others are coming. The beauty comes into me and fills my being unencumbered. The channel through my mouth completely open to what is there. It is like drinking liquid gold, drinking in the beauty, nothing is in the way of it pouring in. The beauty is true.

The dream spoke directly to the experience, even though it happened in my psyche before I walked into the space in my waking life. This is not so surprising, because when a connection is true it is continuous across the boundaries of space and time. There was a conversation taking place, one that is ongoing still, between and across those boundaries of life, both seen and unseen. The lived experience in the dream informed me while I was in the room, and my experience in the room informed my dream, and that was just one tiny thread of connection among a multitude of connections that have been and are taking place around this one thing: this particular moment in time where magnificent truth was reflected in beauty, visible by way of a human creation.

With precision and care, the people who created the space train their ears to hear, their eyes to see, their mouths to speak from the heart. It is a practice they have given their lives to. An alignment with truth, beauty and goodness. When we are able to attune, reality becomes ‘visible’ in its relationships, patterns, rhythms. In the continuous unfolding of itself like the petals of a rose opening or Saint Teresa’s many rooms. The manifold levels of a thing are revealed. Like jumping into the river, we are carried on its currents deeper into its being, its particularity. It is the language of the heart, and we recognize it. With great care and humility, we are capable of listening, speaking, manifesting out of that dynamic reciprocity.

FrostyTreesThis time of year the artic colors are often present in the sky where I live. The changing of the light, from night to day and day to night is particularly luminous. There is an online service that offers times of first light, last light, nautical light, the many shades of light and dark coming and going, wherever you are. In the north, where we have already had snow cover for weeks (early this year) and darkness comes so soon, these gradations of air are significant. They breathe me through a daily relationship with the turning that is piercingly present. If I stop for a moment this time of year, it is the air, the quality of the light-dark, that I notice. I search the subtlety in land and sky, even in skin, and watch for what glows from within. Is the light hard or soft, what is revealed? Now my being accepts the shapes of the bones of the trees without surprise; leaves and brush gone, I look further in easily. Funny how the crystalline nature of winter is wrapped in a particular softness that is like no other season.

It is as if the inner life of things becomes more alive, palpable. Even the empty sound of a room sparkles. Let alone the sound of the quiet of life silenced by deep snow.

SwirlThis time of year, let us create beauty. Join forces with what shines from within. Notice how truth becomes visible. In the little things. Land in the goodness, plant our feet there. My granddaughter is two and more fun that I can say. She is living beauty, beauty in motion, unbound goodness, pure truth. Her beingness as a human person spills out, so much bigger than the space she occupies. She experiences the world in such close connection to it; so visible, is the innocence of her existence. She is in relationship with all that is around her.

I think about the waiting I sensed in the dream and felt in the room last weekend. The waiting I felt in the beauty, the way the beauty connected me to truth. It is reminiscent of the pondering, the mysterious capacity of the human being Mary to hold all that is, the joy, the sorrow, the pain, the love. The expansive heart that she passes on to us. The belly that manifests. Deep beauty is true. The connection is made, and we participate. I talk with a friend and she reminds me of the good. Our work as partners in creation. The good, the true and the beautiful. A circle of life in motion, a trinity. The trinity.

CompassReverence. A candle generates reverence, a new arising. It is a simple act, to light a candle with purpose. We engage, in all centers, with our whole being. Remember? How it feels to pause for a moment; then feel what happens within when we strike the match, when the wick is lit. Third force.

For years we celebrated Advent with our children by marking each week, as many familiar with Waldorf schools do, with the arrival of the stuff of life. First the mineral kingdom, then the plants, then the animals, and then the child, the human. What flows from there is awe, gratitude, love. How could it not? Slowing down to witness what we blip over daily, our connection and interdependence with the mineral, plant and animal in ourselves and one another, the miracle of life, communicating and relating at every turn. One tiny way to enter in. No words necessary.

Mother and ChildIt is a movement of the heart. Call and response.

I was a hidden treasure and I longed to be known.

The above from the below, and the below from the above -the work of the miracle of the One.

The ancient Ones, the newly born, wait for us.

 

Note: Oft-quoted, the first line above comes from the Hadith, the sayings of the prophet Muhammad; and the second is a line from an Arabic version of The Emerald Tablet, translated by ‘Anonymous.’

Comments (12)

  1. Laura,
    Your writing here moves me into memories of moments when I recognized beauty in nature and when this moved into heart-felt perception of wholeness, of Grace. Thank you for sharing your experience of the imaginal.

    1. Yes, amazing isn’t it, when we notice how what we perceive moves us to a deeper experience within, beyond the initial sense of taking in the beauty, or the truth of something in the world. These connections opening the world to us ever more. Thank you for sharing your words about that.

  2. Deep gratitude, Laura, for this piece on Solstice, particularly your poignant reflection on your granddaughter. I have been mindful, as never before, of gifts that arise from observation and engagement with the very youngest amongst us.

    1. Thank you Shelly, I feel I learn so much from them too, and have been thinking quite a lot lately about those on the other side of life as well; what the truly old ones offer us. Remembering to thank them more.

    1. You are so welcome Donna, it is so interesting how deep the rest of this time, and yet we can be so surrounded by the busy. I find much peace in these long dark nights.

  3. So moving , Laura! Such a wonderful unfolding and fluidity of your days away with its premonitory dream informing you in the room and where your experience in the room informs the dream…and Reality becoming visible…and how so many inner and outer levels spontaneously arise to greet your sensitive deep awareness. Then bringing the Mother in as the waiting unfolds and resonating with her mysterious capacity to hold all that is…in her expansive heart.
    I found it to be instructive as well to remind me of being aware of each moment’s richness. As well, it brought to mind what Holy Spirit shared in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-19: ” Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit.”

    PS- As a life life long Episcopalian, I have had continuous “nudges” from Mary where she “drops into my mind”….the latest being in guiding me to help a new friend in St. Louis who needed to work with his childhood trauma, esp around his mother. Mary seemed present to give me the instruction on the visualizations and languaging to share around forgiveness of her and esp. himself. He reported it worked just right so far.

    Thanks again, Laura.

    1. Yes, I found that ‘prayer without ceasing’ and the wonder of it, arising a lot during the weekend.. the ‘Jesus, Mercy’ walking beside the ‘there is no God but God’ chant in the heart “there is nothing but God, there is only God, there is no one but God, there is only God…”

      How Mary stays, waits, is with, the immediacy… at once. Another paradox. Pondering immediacy, yet there she is, one of our most accessible doorways into the heart of hearts. Thank you Jeremy.

    1. Thank you Patricia, it is a wonder how we can connect through the heart across such distances and through words, with their limitation and potential!

  4. Ooooo Laura! Luminous Solstice piece. Thank you…from the heart.

    From Maximus the Confessor (Mystagogia)…

    “The world is one…for the spiritual world in its totality is manifested in the totality of the perceptible world, mystically expressed in symbolic pictures for those who have eyes to see. And the perceptible world in its entirety is secretly fathomable by the spiritual world in its entirety, when it has been simplified and amalgamated by means of the spiritual realities. The former is embodied in the latter through the realities; the latter in the former through the symbols. The operation of the two is one.”

    1. oh I love that: “The operation,” the operation, “of the two is one.” The thread of alchemy running through, doing its work, mending us and the world, “in its totality.” I have been reminded recently, and felt the accompanying humility, of the sacred nature of the word ‘alchemy’ and the totality, entirety and embodiment of its operative force.. like Teilhard’s faith, and maybe as human beings we move, and rest, there, between and within, fall in and out, on the wings of the good, the true and the beautiful. Blessed be. Thank you Joan.

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