I receive a phone call and the news on the other end takes me by surprise. I know what to do. I know that staying present is what I need. I listen deeply. I feel my fears begin to show and yet listening brings me deeper inside. I watch my mind dive into the past. I hear a voice that begins to worry about the future. I breathe and listen to the moment. How easy it is to slip away into the mind that seems to keep me a prisoner of the past! The conversation was cut short and I was left in worry. It just doesn't feel good to obsess in that mind that thinks it knows what I need to do.
I set the phone down and I feel myself. Slowly I walk outside. The touch of a summer breeze gently brings me back to the moment as I take my walk outside to my lanai. I pray for peace and clarity as my eyes gaze in front of me and there is the largest butterfly spread against the screen. I am reminded that this world is being used by God to bring healing. I feel the quiet come over me like the hand of God just lifted me up into a sweet embrace. I stared at this gift that spoke to me of transformation. I felt touched by this love from the heavens that filled me with hope.
In the moment of this stillness, I remembered a time when I was filled with confusion about a major life decision. I had been on a retreat at Mt. Shasta, California. A week of introspection and transformation. After the week of intense letting go, a few of us decided to go camping for a couple of days before heading back home.
I woke up that morning with a high fever and flu-like symptoms. My head was pounding and I knew that I couldn't join the group of friends that were going to hike up the mountain. After everyone left I decided to walk down the path to a stream. It was a hot summer day and with the way I was feeling, I needed to get out of the heat. I could hear the sound of water rushing over rocks in the distance. It was like music calling me and guiding me to come. As I got closer, I could feel the summer breeze that gently moved over the meadow. I couldn't wait to slip into the stream. I slowly made my way into the freezing cold water that was flowing from further up the mountain. Surely there was snow way up high where my friends were hiking.
I fully lowered myself into the icy water and laid there until I couldn't stay any longer. I made my way to the river bank and sat cross legged. It was so quiet and peaceful. I began to stare at the little bush in front of me. As I focused my attention on the leaves I saw this bush was filled with bees. So many bees were sitting on the leaves and branches, buzzing around. I thought of St. Francis of Assisi who would be a magnet for all kinds of wild life. He would be so still and allow the energy of all beings to come close. Birds would sit on him as if he were branches of a tree. Animals of all kind would never be intimidated by his presence.
I closed my eyes and without fear of being stung I knew that in my own stillness I was filled with peace. I breathed into the moment, communing with the lovely bees that were on the branches and leaves before me. Then I slowly felt guided to open my eyes and now all those bees were sitting on me. I was covered with them and some were buzzing around me. I continued to breathe in and out calmly and settled more deeply inside. It felt like their presence on my skin moved me deeply into my body. I had no busy or aggressive mind hindering my receptivity. I was overflowing with a profound joy. I wanted to laugh out loud but I didn't want to move. I felt a calm so deep within me that the experience was so full of life. Then slowly the bees lifted off like they were helicopters taking flight. One by one, I watched these insects leave as they went on their merry way.
I was in gratitude of what happened, as obstacles that might have been in me before were now dissolved. I got up and walked back to the camp site and I felt well. My fever was gone and my energy was back. It was as if these bees were pulling out my sickness with their presence.
Sometimes a gentle touch is all we need. We just want to be touched because it heals us. We carry a whole world full of experience as we walk through the streets of our ordinary lives. As we brush up against each other, we are touched by a gaze, a smile, a thought or words. Touch can be the language of love for another and in giving we are receiving.
When life brings me to my knees as I watch my children on their own climb up the mountain top, I can listen. It is the language of the heart that speaks from this unending stream of consciousness where I can become still and wait. The truth of my own deepest being is touching me and guiding my way back to love.
BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM LOVE
BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM LOVE
All my love,