I've just had one of those delightful googling experiences in which one click led to another...and suddenly I was enthralled. Images of dramatically lit caves, with rivers flowing through, filled many minutes of my morning. Google “Demanovska Caves” and you'll see ancient sculpted rock rising from floor and descending from craggy ceiling, and subterranean streams pooling green or frosted into eerily shaped ice formations.
And from these haunting caverns in northern Slovakia, a metaphor arises and wings its way nearly 9,000 miles to find a home among these words.
We all have an outer life, one visible to others and easily available for scrutiny. Each of us also has areas deep within, hidden and awaiting discovery. These inner grottos, though, are not easily accessible. We must seek them out, burrowing into darkness to find them. And darkness can be unnerving, as moving through it requires a different type of vision and several dollops of courage.
Fortunately, life continually nudges us to explore these inner regions. Perhaps this comes as an urge to write, or to finally take those piano lessons our parents' income didn't allow us as children. Maybe we feel a pull to meditation, or are offered a chance to travel or a work assignment that requires new skills. Or maybe anguish has burst onto the scene, through the loss of a loved one or by the awakening of an emotional wound that clamors now for attention.
No matter the particulars, we can choose to greet what comes as the voice of Spirit leading us on, offering an invitation to dig deeply and bring forth some new facet of our being. Yet so often we allow fear to keep us from heeding the call. We avoid, we put off, we deny. We pretend these inner urges are trivial, or feel we're not worthy of our own regard.
Human nature is skittish of the unknown, inclined to remain within zones of familiarity and comfort. Yet we also have a boundless capacity for growth and healing, a desire to bring forth all that we can be. If we could interpret our yearning and our suffering as the voice of Spirit beckoning, we could more readily respond with trust and some measure of enthusiasm. And, in the process, find unforeseen riches.
As Joseph Campbell, scholar of comparative religion, puts it, “The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.” And like those elaborate cave systems wending their way beneath the surface of the Earth, one cavern invariably will lead to another, offering a never~ending process of discovery.
With this perspective, we could take our unease by its sweaty~palmed hand and walk forward together, in faith. We could become spelunkers of our inner grottos. And we could do it now. In the oft~quoted words of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, “Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!”
Many blessings on all your spelunking in this new and glorious spring~~and beyond. Happy belated Vernal Equinox!!!
To save you the task of googling, here's a link to Images for Demanovska Caves. Click on any of the photos and you'll find many more. Enjoy!