I have discovered a thread, a singular flow of subtlety throughout my life. I realized I had been weaving pieces of experience that perfectly connected into a beautiful tapestry allowing me to discover meaning or at least a path merging my experiences, letting me view them as moments of stillness that allowed deep insight.
During each of these situations, I experienced a moment of deep peace and connection indescribable in its overall suchness. Each awakening contained a seed of insight perfectly aligned with where I was on my path, allowing a glimpse into the authentic nature of being. Although I cannot describe the experience, I can detail the lessons and shift of consciousness along the path.
The catalyst for this series of recollections was brought about shortly after reorienting myself with the symbol of the wind horse, allowing me to view my life, regardless of struggles or challenges, as good fortune on my dharmic path. I happened to be at my parents’ house cleaning out some old papers and other items I had left behind when moving out some 20-plus years ago. Most were tossed in the garbage, recycled, or gathered for donations; however, I kept some stories, poetry, and half-written essays. Later that evening, I read through the musings of my younger self, most written in the late 80s to early 90s while still in school; I realized certain moments profoundly affected my view of existence.
I am still the young woman in college with her whole life ahead of her. She thrust herself into the geology field to better understand mother earth and her processes, thereby discovering her place in such a complex system. In college, she worked as a research assistant on a project for NASA entitled “The Origins of Life.” She held in her hand glass spherules which were created billions of years ago as meteors and asteroids impacted the moon, melting the surface and throwing up clouds of dust, rock, and molten material which would then rest untouched until July of 1969, when Apollo 11, consisting of Commander Neil Armstrong, Command Module Pilot Michael Collins, and Lunar Module Pilot Edwin Aldrin made certain history. Armstrong and Aldrin set out on the lunar on July 19, 1969, collecting the samples that some bright-eyed 21-year-old would study precisely 30 years later, gifting her with a moment of such connectedness yet smallness as the view of the spherules through the microscope allow a glimpse into the heart of existence.
I see glimpses of the teenager who, in 10th grade, wrote about the deplorable conditions of our oceans, sea life threatened with extinction, and plastic and other garbage trapping sea turtles and ocean birds. She repeatedly explains the dangers of particular containers and how the plastic from six-pack soda cans should be cut, so animals do not get trapped. She expounds on the dangers of our view of separation from the natural world after realizing that all of nature is integral to existence.
The girl in 8th grade who contemplated how much garbage the middle school created each day and attempted a science fair project to measure said waste is still within me. She was devastated by the understanding of the misguided selfishness of humans, even when having the best intentions.
I still feel the emotion of the elementary school student who, upon hearing about the boy, Ryan White, and how he contracted the AIDS Virus at age 13 from a blood transfusion. Ryan was then banned from attending school due to his diagnosis. The second-grade girl who watched the newscast about a boy who just wanted to go to school was heartbroken for him. The little girl went to school the next day and requested permission to start a fundraiser for Ryan, who lived 750 miles away. This girl was heartbroken again six years later when hearing that Ryan had succumbed to the disease. She learned that childhood innocence does not protect one from suffering or death.
I still seek the stillness that a 5-year-old discovered one day after taking out the garbage for her mother. A bright sunny summer morning where the sun feels like it was meant only for you and the grass is an airy delight on bare feet. The urge to sit, almost plop down in the sultry sun with eyes closed, is overwhelming. She sits crossed-legged in the grass with a gentle smile on her lips. The world rolls away, and there is only her and the sun for a while. Stillness. The spell is broken by Mom yelling out the window, “What are you doing out there?” Sitting, just sitting. “Get back in here; you have chores before playing around.” If only that little girl realized then chores are also a form of play.
The almost 46-year-old woman she has grown into knows it most of the time. Throughout this fool’s journey, I have learned that there is sweet stillness even in movement and chaos. What I have been seeking most of my life has always been there, quietly holding space for awareness to blossom, and it is in the seeking that it is lost.
Each moment of my life has been carefully orchestrated by some unknown force, an intuition of what should naturally arise to learn what knowledge is needed for the next steps of my journey. It is a process, a series of awakenings, an unfolding of nuance and texture, meandering through pain and love, death and life, all connected by a single thread woven into the tapestry of the Universe.