I met a woman at the Pagan conference who presented on a topic I happened to have a book on that I’d read but didn’t really understand. However, I knew that she would find the book of interest so I brought it and gave it to her. She’d heard me sing, and in return gave me a book she’d written about the journey of the Bard in Celtic shamanism. In the introduction of the book it suggests you might want to read one chapter at a time with a couple of weeks break in between to let it filter through and become part of your dreams and work. I’ve decided to do that.
The first chapter was about that state of being connected to the sacred through the present moment. It’s like when you look up at a tree (as I often have) and feel it fill your visual field, your heart and your mind at once. In moments like that I feel like I am as grounded as the tree, like I am at peace. Or standing by the ocean and allowing it to fill me up, exchanging my grief with the flow of the water, thinking of nothing but the ocean. Her thesis is that these moments are the door through which we connect to the divine. I think she’s right.
So today I made sure to take a few instances of being fully in the moment, in nature. It was a beautiful day and for a few breaths I was connected. Less so than I would have thought, I felt a bit guilty about taking a break from activity, or more likely a little reluctant to settle into waters that might take me deeper than I felt I had time for.
Late in the day, I found out that a friend, a woman I’ve known for about 8 years, who follows the same tradition as I do, has died suddenly of cancer. In finding out and processing my shock and grief, I was able to be present and aware. Every moment is a sacred moment. Now, I feel at peace. She would, I think have certainly wanted to live a longer life, and had lots more to do. She leaves a wife who is no doubt devastated, and who we will need to find ways to support. However, I think she was a woman who enjoys new experiences, so wherever she is, I’m honestly sure she’s having a good time.
There is a song from my spiritual tradition that I sing when someone I care about dies.
“Weaver, weaver weave her thread, whole and strong into Your web.
Healer, Healer, heal this pain. In love may she return again.
We are dark, and we are bright. We are formed of Earth and light.
On the wheel of Life we spin, from birth to death and back again.
Weaver, Weaver, weave her thread, whole and strong into your web.
Healer, Healer, heal this pain. In love may she return again. ” – Starhawk
Blessed be, my friend.