My daughter and I walk on the beach. Early morning mist drifts across the sand, creating a luminous in- between world. We have arrived at the same beach at the exact same time, getting out of our cars, amazed to see each other. And now we walk with three dogs circling around us. We are heavy with the weight of the morning’s news. My grandson was back stage producing the show in Los Vegas when the shooting massacre occurred. I am deeply connected to this grandson whom I held at the moment of birth and nurtured through his childhood. I am feeling deeply the shock of this random violence. Suddenly it is in my back yard.
We are talking about what it must have felt like for him to witness this violence, not knowing its source, not knowing what would follow, caught in a horrific moment. We are so deeply shrouded that we are unaware even of the Beauty that surrounds us. Suddenly, we are startled aware by a flock of peeps (Sandpipers), flying in an orchestrated synchronicity. They circle us, then sharply veer off into the distance until they disappear, Darby the dog, chasing madly below them. Then they swing back, in perfect harmony and circle us again, closer this time. Suddenly we realize they are playing with us—and with Darby. And we can’t help it–we just burst out laughing. We thank the sandpipers for releasing us into a moment of Beauty and Joy.
Still it is very difficult sometimes to break through the weight of what is happening around me– to just keep the “door open” to Beauty, Love, Hope. I am reading a book called “Standing Rock,” by Pamela Eakins. It breaks my heart and yet inspires me. It flows like a river of passion, grief, love. .. In the portrait of these Native people who know what is True, there is a courage which lights the way. When I look, I see it all around me in people speaking and standing up for what they know is True; some for the first time finding their voices—because the threat is not in some abstract place, but in their own back yard.
Living in the forest, instead of on a city lot, has made me much more aware that my back yard does not have property lines—the wind, the water, the trees, the earth all move. What is done to one area affects the surrounding. And now, peaceful and beautiful as it often is in this place, I find there is no way I can simply retreat and close my mind to the larger body of the earth.
All of this I took with me into meditation later that day—what do I want in my back yard? In the meditation, I had the sense of emerging from darkness and constriction into light—golden and rose colored light. And song. Not a particular song, but the sense of music. Then I realized that this was the energetic atmosphere of happiness. As I dwelled with this, what I saw emerge was my backyard as I wanted it to be. It was a vision of people doing work they cared about; people relating to each other with kindness and caring; the earth healthy and tended with care; people and children playing, safe; laughter in the air; people walking more than driving; people celebrating life, treating forests and animals with respect.
“The task is to step into the reality you visualize,” a teacher once told me. I start with an advantage in that the coastal community where I live in many ways reflects this vision. When I bring it in more personally, I challenge myself to make each of my interactions, no matter how small, reflect kindness, love, respect; to make each situation lighter, not heavier from my presence. When I broaden my vision, I challenge myself to take action in whatever ways my gifts allow me to create this atmosphere globally.
So what this means is first of all “keeping the door open” and not falling into despair, hopelessness, and negativity. Not so easy right now. It also means shedding a lot of those nagging patterns and attitudes I keep working on—judgment, comparison and competition, FEAR—fear of loss, of scarcity, of difference, of vulnerability, of change, of my own power…. Most of all, perhaps, it means trusting that we will move through this very tight, dark place in our evolution to be born into Beauty.
“We are Anima Cosmos growing the soul of its Being” —and as the Fool, we make the journey again and again, remembering what we have forgotten, learning to love more deeply. (Eakins, Tarot of the Spirit)