On a quest for magic in plain sight, I embarked upon an informal little experiment to explore the relationship between presence and perspective.
I began with an intention to notice when I am present (and when I'm not) and to record at least one daily experience of presence.
I have several weeks worth of words and images to represent these moments within which I experienced the Divine. As the days went on it was more difficult, because there were so many sacred moments from which to choose.
The more deeply I peered into places I’d only glanced before, the more I noticed finite details that seemed to grow and expand to fill the space of my witnessing. I began to realize how much I miss when I'm peering through the lens of the mind. Everywhere I looked, I saw evidence of Spirit’s enchanting, seductive presence in every corner of my world. I'll share a few...
One Saturday afternoon, my friend and I meandered through a tag sale at local farm, perusing antiques and sipping cups of soda infused with lavender; served by the farmer who had grown it. The air was thick with dusty nostalgia. I recognized the dandelion pattern on an pitcher like the one my aunt poured from during childhood visits; blue Ball jars just like the ones my ma used to store flour and sugar; and delicate embroidered doilies like the ones draped over the arms of thread-bare chairs at my grandparent’s house.
I picked up a bell jar and carried it around for awhile, cradling it in my arms like an ghostly baby doll. I realized that my attention had slipped into the past. On my way to return the jar I spotted the Sacred Heart of Jesus in statue form, draped with an antique rosary and nestled among other religious trinkets in the yard. The owner, having noticed my interest, explained that an old lady down the road had died and this was the last of her statuary collection. “You must be Catholic?” I explained that I'm a collector of hearts.
That sacred heart statue now stands guard among the fir and fern in my little front yard forest, greeting visitors with a message of love for humanity... and evokes a smile every time I pass. As did the dandelion seed "wish" that landed in my hand on another recent day, and the visit to my beloved childhood cottonwood tree, where my little girl spent many a dreamy hour observing the antics of crow and squirrel and occasionally joining in their games.
I reveled in the metaphors that appeared at every turn; the perfect Mandala of the artichoke, razor-sharp petals forming a geometrical fortress of walls within walls to shield the delicate, delicious heart hidden at her center. And ivy, weaving her path of destructive beauty around the trunk of a tall fir, warns of the dangers of entanglement. The intensity of her attachment, if the connection is not broken, will eventually kill her host and leave her homeless.
In these moments of presence, I noticed myself taking in slow, deep breaths to fully experience the earthy aromas and gentle messages of Spirit.
One evening, whilst snuggled in against my favorite fir, a waxing crescent moon hung high on the dusky horizon; playing tricks on my eyes as celestial goddesses danced nearby. I said a prayer of gratitude for Luna and her luminous cradle of creativity. The next morning, upon discovering a brilliant blue feather and two empty nut shells atop a stone adorned with moss, I wondered if Jay and Squirrel had arranged their sacraments by the light of that Goddess moon.