Oh, what a day! First look out the window is dark with morning fog. Driving to the trail with headlights on and anticipating a misty adventure, we are greeted instead with bright light pushing through the fog. I get out my camera right away for a photo of luminous light purple against dark green.
Moving toward the dark of the forest but still out in the open of the wood chip path, the diffused light produces evocative scenes of middle range against middle range.
And once fully into the trail and the womb like enclosure of the forest there is a full reversal: dark tree trunks against the sun-kissed tops of corn stalks beyond.
I have been fighting a cold and it is firmly lodged in my chest right now. I can’t remember the last time sick accomplished such a successful invasion. No surprise that it is taking hold now. My dormant adolescent disappointment has not only been awakened and brought to the surface these past months, it has been challenged beyond all reason and I feel a breaking point approaching. Days of painful emotion have morphed into painful breath. To even be able to take a deep breath without coughing requires a clear conscious awareness of bringing air into the lungs slow gentle gentle slow. Like the slowing of wheels on a train that need to stop completely before the conductor throws the switch to reverse the direction of the train….
I can still sense the fog. It hovers, yielding to moments of sun burning through.
Its presence offers a layer of calm and clarity to being here now that is counter-intuitive to the character of something that typically obscures vision. Now firmly held in the embrace of my beloved trail, I am aware of a crispness of senses, of clean sheets snapping in the wind sending out a scent of fresh like no other. And we are simultaneously cocooned within an extraordinary light that seems to be contained by the fog.
As a teenager, I expected everything to be as I expected. I expected life to be fair. Simple right? For instance, I was a good driver. So why didn’t I pass my road test until the third time? I’ll never forget standing in the dining room with my mother just after receiving the notice of the second failure. She said to me, “I know it doesn’t seem like it right now, but there will come a day when you look back on this and laugh.” Oh, did I want to spit nails in response.
My relationship to disappointment during those years included everything and anything I actually wanted, from pierced ears, to being popular, to the ultimate of romantic love. Being gullible didn’t help. I became a target for all sorts of silliness but would pout or cry in reaction often not befitting the actual episode, laughable in many cases, and despite my brothers mission to show me the humor, I would just become even more serious or angry. It’s just what I did. Of course there are all sorts of reasons I could dig out of the archives if I really wanted to. But somehow the reasons don’t matter anymore. The only thing that seems to matter right now is to bring about a reversal of this painful pattern and let the first responder be laughter instead.
Moving at a steady pace I know even before hitting the halfway point that we will continue all the way up to the overlook at Mt. Orient this morning. I’m sweating and breathing hard now and yet the awkwardness of taking a full breath seems be gone. It feels really good. Everything about where we are right now actually feels good. The degree of comfort and focused light seems to be increasing with the altitude and the dramatic changes in character of the trail from one moment to the next.
I have been reciting the Ho’oponopono continuously, a simple prayer that consists of just four phrases, “I am sorry, Please forgive me, Thank you, I love you.” It is a prayer of forgiveness. Recited in repetition over and over seems to have a cleansing effect. By the time we reach the lookout, I expect to see a bright view out in sunlight after vanquished fog. But of course, that’s not what it is. Instead, the still present fog has created a bright view in. The muted blending of the treetops and sky beyond only serve to remind me that hahaha and big smile, my beloved trail has led me up here not for a view out, but for a view back in.
That’s when I feel the reversal. And the comfort of knowing I could sit here like this all day, with me, in the neutral peace of this space.
It is on the way down that my beloved shows her whole heart to me.
It is such a shock to see this beautiful blood red presented so boldly in an otherwise muted world of gray, brown and green.
It is completely unexpected. But maybe I am now wired to expect the unexpected and with good humor, can go to the light side with it….