"We began as a mineral.
We emerged into plant life
and into the animal state,
and then to being human.
And always we have forgotten
our former states,
except in early spring,
when we dimly recall
being green again."
-- Rumi, A Year with Rumi (April 13)
I came home at the end of a 10 hour journey to find some 290 emails awaiting my attention. Most were junk mail, of course, and easily discarded. But my dear blogger buddy, Kim, had sent pointers to a couple of her recent posts, with wonderful photos of birds. And whatever my original intent may have been for this morning, clearly the birds stayed on my brain. So here's a robin, remembering briefly what it was like to be green.
... which was really what my week of silence was about: remembering what it was like to be green, to be fresh, and new, and vitally alive, surrounded and held in a deep sense of being loved. Being with silence, I learned, can feel like pure intimacy; that sense of connection we long for so intensely can be felt at the deepest levels of being. To combine that with the central act of Centering Prayer -- letting go, releasing, returning -- allowed those of us who participated, some 60 seekers from British Columbia and beyond, to experience first-hand the truth of this statement, which I found in my retreat notes this morning: "Clear the space that was formerly occupied by your story, and everything you ever felt deprived of is right there."
Sitting in the chill and the damp of a cold British Columbia spring; waking to frost, and fog; stumbling through a communal shower and driving through the dark, dodging potholes and deer; clutching a ceramic mug of coffee and settling onto a hard plastic chair; pulling on an extra pair of socks and wrapping ourselves in blankets -- after all that, we settle into the space and the silence, the rhythm of the breathing, the pulse and whine of the tired refrigerator, the ticking of the heaters, and we hear, just outside the window, the morning chirp of the robins and feel the loving pull of the silence, drawing us back into that deep green peace of oneness. The stories we carry with us rise, and fall, and fade away, released again and again until at last we are wholly still, centered in the loving beat of our own devoted hearts.
It's so lovely, remembering being green.