Emergence: the process of coming into being, or of becoming important; the process of coming into view or becoming exposed after being concealed.
The last few days a little bit of the peace I had gained at Progoff slowly began to erode. It makes sense. I have been traveling. I am surrounded by people. There is no rhythm to my days. And I have been sitting heavily in a deep self-reflection and growth. Exhausted.
Knowing that I must learn to navigate through the variations of life without losing my peace, I remembered the mantra I wrote for myself while at Progoff: Find Your Wisdom in the Trees. A reminder to myself that I find peace outdoors. So today, on a day that I thought I would need to be surrounded by people in order to feel safe and supported, I found myself alone in the belly of mother nature. Alone was an illusion. Instead I came to discover that I was held safely in the loving hands of the universe.
I began a hike up Sabino Canyon and was determined to clear my mind. Live in this moment. I found that I would be present for very small moments and then exit for larger moments. In and out of presence and distraction. After the second mile, I became frustrated with myself. Why can’t I just stop thinking about the past? Why am I worrying about the future? Why am I missing those who are not here? Why can’t I just see and breathe all the beauty that surrounds me right now? Right here? What is wrong with me? Between miles two and three I came to an agreement with myself that I was going to stop controlling and criticizing what was happening within me today. I knew today may be challenging and I finally conceded to allow whatever came up for me to have space. The moment I gave my feelings permission to exist, I became very aware of all other moments. Suddenly, I could feel a fullness re-enter. The conflict ended and I had returned to self-love.
I later felt an urgent pull to climb down to the creek and spend some time in meditation. I had a need to go deeper in order to restore my spiritual health. So I climbed down and around the creek looking for the perfect spot to settle in. Once there, I removed my socks and shoes, unloaded my pockets and planted myself firmly on a giant grey boulder existing as an island in the water. I made attempts to meditate but found that I still could not calm my distracted mind enough to let go. I wanted to keep my eyes open and take in all of nature’s beauty and so I did. I knew these were distractions yet I was not interested in challenging myself to go deeper with closed eyes. I watched the road runner skitter about. I watched the hummingbird nuzzle around its nest. I watched the clouds with envy wondering what they would see today. How many miles would they travel and how many people would notice their passage? Then surprisingly I saw something beside me that made my chest tighten. Something that I connected to and with. Just a few feet across the creek was a tiny tree budding up through the rocks. It was a newborn coming to life beneath the shelter of an older tree. A wisdom tree. Find Your Wisdom in the Trees.
I am a sapling seeking the wisdom and shelter of the trees. I related to this sapling’s growth and need. I am at last able to let go because I am protected. Safe. I close my eyes with the image of this perfect duo of sapling and wisdom tree filling the space of my mind and immediately I find myself in the deepest meditation I have experienced in my lifetime. With my eyes closed, suddenly I am so sharply aware of the forward movement of life all around me. I can distinctly hear where the water flows over rocks behind me, where the water begins to veer left and where the water hits my island and travels to the right. I hear the water in surround sound and I hear it as individual droplets working in teams to propel their life-giving properties forward. I hear the leaves of the trees around me. Each tree with a unique song. I hear a bird, so tiny, but powerful in voice. I feel the solidity of this piece of earth upon which I sit. It’s cold surface a connection for every one of my ten toes. I touch it with my hands and can feel its pulse. It is alive and it tells me that it is here to support me. I feel the wind as it brushes across my face. I feel it move my hair across the center of my back. I feel every shift in direction as it blows. It’s a whisper. A transporter of life. In those winds my mind visualizes the seeds of new birth. The wind carries the seeds of pollination to new homes, setting them down safely and kissing them with well wishes of abundant life. I feel the sun peek out from behind one of those traveling clouds and it sends radiant streams of light to warm my face. Glowing. And then a cloud passes by it again and my face begins to cool. I let my toes slide in to the water and beneath them I can feel the slippery surface of algae. With my toes I hug the underwater growth. A feeding station for all the life that is flowing beneath me. I am fully aware of the symbiotic relationships that surround me. Different species. One planet. One universe. All life. All supporting one another. I am feeling all of this. I am completely connected. The universe and I are dancing and it’s beautiful.
I don’t know what jolted me out of this peaceful trance but I took a deep breath in and opened my eyes. It was so bright that it took some time for my eyes to regain their role as visual sense but when they do I am so humbled to discover that on my knee there sits a stunning black and blue butterfly. I don’t know how long it’s been sitting there but immediately tears begin to flow freely and abundantly. As they do every time I begin to speak of this experience. I have been thinking of butterflies a lot lately. They signify an emergence. In spring we begin to see them frequently as they flutter about, pollinating, and living up to their best selves. Fulfilling their destiny. Beautiful and knowing. It’s my spring. I see in the butterfly what I see in me. That was the significance of having this being, this butterfly, so calmly in connection with me. It was a reflection of self. A confirmation that I have emerged.
I kindly asked the butterfly to stay as I grabbed my camera and it did the most remarkable thing, it flew to the wisdom tree and sat on the leaves nearest to me for the next 20 minutes. Out of all the places it could go. Instead of tending to the work and feeding it probably needed to do, it sat there with me in the tree that first spoke to me. My soul awakened.
I listened to my soul today and the universe cradled me in my journey. I have been soothed back to wholeness. Emerged as fully me.