Monday, July 27, 2009

A Meditation

Carrying my Mexican blanket, worn soft from years of use, I walk the path that leads from our campsite in the national forest. I move slowly, touching the ground gently with each step. My breathing, too, is slow, each inhale and every exhale felt fully in the rise and fall of chest and belly.

Pine needles and various green growing plants cover the ground, with flowers of a delicate lavender rising here and there under the deep shade of the canopy. The trilling of birdsong punctuates the steady thrum of the rushing waters of the Conejos River.

And I want to miss none of it. I want to fully experience the gift of being here.

The path carries me up to a tiny alpine meadow. Its wildflowers are an orangey~yellow, magicians who have transmuted to physical form the golden sunlight streaming from above.

I wend my way to the meadow’s western rim, step over its edge and down into the shade of trees spanning the distance to the tumbling river below. I place my folded blanket in an indentation fashioned by the roots of an old spruce.

And I sit. And I breathe. My body quiets further as it settles into this spot of earth.

I gaze into the river below, watch water spilling over submerged rock, doubling back on itself, spray flying.

A hummingbird appears to my right, hangs in mid~air not three feet away, trying to place the colors of my shirt into her vast store of flora knowledge. She drops briefly onto a needle~bare pine branch before flying on.

The soft breeze whips suddenly to a frenzy, and I turn my head to greet it. Skin cools, hair blows, shirt ruffles. And the smells of this hillside become my breath, fill my lungs, and radiate throughout my body by capillary splendor.

As the breeze softens again, my eye drops to filtered sunlight brushing the pine needles at the edge of my blanket. My vision moves to my left, skipping from one patch of light to another and another.

Varying shades of green walk me to the top of an adjacent mountain until I touch the sky. I reverse my course, eye flowing from blue to green and green and green, until I arrive back at my blanket’s edge.

The forest suddenly darkens~~a cloud conversing with the sun, no doubt. Though the breeze remains light, it seems to draw moisture from the river below. On this day in mid~summer, I am chilled.

Mentally, I begin stringing words like beads, wanting to describe this for you to read. But I call myself back~~to my body on this blanket, to lungs filling with clean mountain air, to the bird now singing from a tree branch above me.

Sunlight returns to the high mountaintop to my left. Light sweeps down that hillside and up my own, returning a dappled light to these woods once more.

And through it all, the river dances and laughs and careens ever downward.

Today, this is my church, my temple, my mosque. The forest, with the river below and azure vastness above, my Sacred Circle. My unwavering attention, my Sun Dance.

Edges blur. Nothing stands distinct, separate. A deep unity hums.

All is holy. And if all is holy here, is not all holy everywhere? Surely it is simply easier for me to perceive it amid such beauty.

I stand, lean down, retrieve my blanket, and begin the walk back to camp.


Blessings of all that is holy to each of you, this week and always,

Loanne Marie

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