Sweet and sunny today and I finally cleared the back porch of a stack of holiday stuff, carried it all up to the garage -- my studio-in-progress, meanwhile still our storage unit -- and found my old bentwood rocker in the process. A favorite chair. I bought it 20 years ago at Pier I, my friend Renda and I loading it into the back seat of her Mustang convertible and driving it to whatever home I was living in at the time. (Was it the Burbank apartment? Yes, I think it was.)
Last night I woke up in the wee hours and lay awake pondering the idea of sound waves and light waves and vibration -- the universal throb and hum. I've felt it a lot lately, that hum.
In my last post I wrote of having been reborn at least three times in this life. One of those times was in a mountain forest near Mount of the Holy Cross in the Colorado Rockies. This was even longer ago than that Burbank apartment, when I lived in Boulder.
I'd been camping with a group of friends, and had wandered off in search of a more humble trek while they took on the Mount. I remember feeling a bit lost. I ended up deep in that forest, surrounded by towering trees with lichen- and moss-covered trunks, the ground beneath my feet a mattress of leaf mold and humus. And I heard it: that hum, that universal vibration that is everywhere present, but only audible -- sensible? -- when the drone of civilization is far, far away.
I went to a tree and leaned into it, wrapped my arms around it and felt something enter me, felt myself engulfed in the essence of that tree, that forest, that community. It was a life-altering moment. It is with me still.
That was rebirth number two... number one had happened seven years prior to that, number three seven years after. (Do you detect a pattern?)
I worry too much about how to be more of this and less of that, more compassionate, for example, less harsh with myself and others. More mindful. Less distracted. But in that forest, it wasn't mindfulness I experienced. It was something outside of mind, outside of my petty yearnings for truth and meaning. What I felt was the fullness of being alive. And if those are the moments I recall when I wake in the middle of the night, I know I'll be okay in this life. And probably even in the next.