In a simple but exquisitely crafted book, The Book of Cranes by Clare Cooley you can learn about the cranes of the world. Here is an excerpt:
As with all cranes, whooping cranes mate for life. These cranes return to the same area each year to build their nests. Male and female crane parents lavish attention on their young: one stands guard while the other incubates the egg.
The psalms in the Bible are full of profound statement of a several words that can serve as mirrors of who we truly are:
You are gods, children of the Most High, all of you . . . (Psalm 82:6)
Reflecting on my first Holy Communion got me pondering the mysteries of life and the amazing beauty which can be missed of we get caught up in the pace of life. My Communion experience was filled with awe. From the white patent leather shoes, ankle socks, gloves, dress, shoulder-length veil, oh, and the Bible. Fourteen 7- year-old girls representing the essence of beauty and purity, innocently stepped into a process of spiritual growth. For weeks we rehearsed, and memorized prayers and answers to questions, we never questioned.
Finally, when the day arrived, the unusually long ceremony was both celebratory and solemn. Before the closing procession, the presiding bishop went to each communicant and held our faces. He said to me, “purity of thoughts.” I don’t know what he said to anyone else, but that is what I remembered and we processed out of the church, a new group of initiates. Initiated to something we knew not of, guided by adults and supposedly holy men.
Despite of the mystery or because of it the impact was life-changing. That was a long time ago and yet I can bring it into my memory like yesterday.
Some things stay with you, like childhood highlights, the above scripture, and this one:
You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. (Matthew 5:14)
When we are young we are indoctrinated into amazing mysteries of the one Mystery and spend the rest of our lives sorting everything out it seems.
Recently an insight that came to me is how often the influences of the sacred feminine are brushed aside or not given equal value and reverence. These beautiful and mysterious verses are an example:
Although she is but one, she can do all things, and while remaining in herself, she renews all things; in every generation she passes into holy souls and makes them friends of God, and prophets; for God loves nothing so much as the person who lives with wisdom. She is more beautiful than the sun, and excels every constellation of the stars. Compared with the light she is found to be superior, for it is succeeded by the night, but against wisdom evil does not prevail. (Wisdom 7: 26-30)
And yet, we live in a world of constant wars, any number of oppressive and discriminatory practices, an assortment of addictions, hunger and starvation. If we are so powerful and filled with light what has gone awry? I’ll venture a guess, that we have simply forgotten our true nature.
What if we remembered our uniqueness, our personal and collective greatness, and every day stepped into the beauty and wonder of that possibility? What if we were to charge our lives with joy and then go about our daily activities in that state? It’s another one of those queries to which people respond, “life can’t be that easy.” But what if (sometimes) it is?
It’s that whole idea of uncertainty and doing our small part to manifest Beauty and Goodness in our own way. An excerpt from a poem, Glosa a lo Divino of John of the Cross translated by Mirabai Starr speaks to me of that profound trust of mystery and my longing to be there more often:
There is only one thing for which I would risk everything: an I-don't-know-what that lies hidden in the heart of Mystery.
Whether it’s a starlit night, a handwritten note from a friend, or a piece of music to which I am moved to tears: these are my infrequent bouts of feeling totally connected to Mystery and I am standing in awe. I express gratitude for the moments of grace and suspended stillness.
I hope you take some time today to find your moments of being awed!