One of my neighbors told me about a destination further along one of the paths I like to hike. Excited to have a reason for extend my time in these woods that feel so good, I set out with Nora with the intention of spending the afternoon in exploration. We came to the place where we usually turn right to loop back home or turn around and backtrack. According to my neighbor, the path I wanted would continue straight ahead. But there was also the indication of a clear path to my left as well. Four clear directions from where I was standing…
We continued straight ahead. Nora sensed the change of being in new territory and kept looking back at me. The path wasn’t as prominent as I thought it would be, but discernible enough to keep going. More of the stone walls and large boulders that seem to mark this dramatically sloping landscape. Not too far along, the path finally just fizzled and I was faced with multiple directions to consider. This must not be it, I thought, while turning around to head back to the other path. And found myself facing a most open and grand space. I had just walked through it, had felt something, but motivation to reach a new destination had kept my focus one directional and I didn’t ‘see’ it. Habit had me reaching for my camera. But this wasn’t a picture-taking scene. This was being caught in the reverence of standing in the center of a cathedral and immobilized, every pore open to what was contained here. I imagine this area had been cleared at one time, boulders co-existing with man-made stone walls,
tall trees defining edges, gentle but dramatic slopes of green converging in ground designed for rest.
I tried to capture the essence of this place but it was too big. Everything seen was a just a detail. I absorbed as much as I could in stillness and carried this big away with me.
Now I began following the other path. But the same thing happened! All of a sudden I was standing in yet another space, every direction for movement a possibility, sun filtering through the canopy of leaves above highlighting where I was standing, ground covered in a carpet of tiny green plants, interlacing branches at the forest edge circling around and forming a kind of enclosure.
Immobilized once again, I honored the different feeling of this room by standing very still, in rest. And waited for the inspiration to move in one direction or another.
Walking home was a meditative affair of considering what it means to actually stop and rest. To encounter a room or a space so compelling, so powerful, so seductive as to stop you in your tracks. I thought, and actually smiled, this is architecture! And felt myself back in a sacred place in me that felt the passion as a young woman, to find this kind of space..
Early the next morning I was sitting in my office looking out the front window. A beautiful vine with the most compelling blossoms is growing there.
Just as I was focusing on the tangled web of these vines and the blossom that nestled there, a hummingbird appeared. It hovered for a moment right in the center of my view and then to my surprise, actually rested on the vine below it. Was this an illusion? Time stopped as I considered this motionless creature, one designed to carry the vibration of joy in any direction. Like the day before, there was no capturing the fullness of this moment on camera. In the blink of an eye, the hummingbird was gone, its brief respite just a reminder now of the joy felt in stillness and potentiality of sacred space, inspiration hovering close by just around the corner…