(3-minute read) – It had been a crazy year. She started one business and watched another fail; she’d taken up practices and delved into philosophies; sailed the heights of joy; and crawled, injured, through the darkness of despair. Frenetic.
And now as the year drew to a close, she found herself back where she started. Back in the quiet place she knew well; a place she’d always known but had put on the backburner while she cooked up a storm.
She arrived back there not by any astute navigation or intelligent design of her own. But by fluke. By an unexpected coincidence of thoughts and emotions.
“This familiar place is home,” she thought joyously. It was a welcoming enclave with stained-glass windows and a pitched roof.
A contrasting calmness came over her since she’d crossed its threshold for the first time in a while. It felt as if her presence just there, in just that moment, emerged through the grace of a generous and kind speculator. She swung back there, as if the dice was loaded in her favour.
All she could do was bask in the glow of her gratitude emerging from her deepest self, refracting and reflecting through the mysterious nature of the now… coming back to sustain her, and draw her into timeless peace.
It was the summer solstice in the southern hemisphere – the period in the western calendar for watching and waiting; a time to contemplate in the quiet of the Christmas season. To anticipate newness and regeneration. The season’s magic inebriated her and she felt herself letting go and opening.
She felt the Christmas spirit in that old familiar space. Early rays of morning sunlight streamed through the stained glass, throwing beams of colour onto the face-brick wall that bounced the altar bell sound waves at her. The spirit of Christmas – this letting go – was on those beams and those waves. The season of resting refreshed her soul.
Nuns prayed and sang in the pews in front, waiting for the child’s birth, surveyed by his adult likeness hanging over the altar. She celebrated the ritual with them to the sounds of the six-before-midday-birds and the cars of the few die hard rat-racers passing by outside.
She did not think of Jesus the same way the nuns did. Her brain processed his story differently to their cloistered minds.
But in their hearts he was exactly the same.
In their hearts there were the same instants of all-accepting, selfless love. Indescribable in words. Unknowable, but in a cloud of unknowing. A human continuum of reality: birth, death and new life. A union regardless of anything whatsoever. The same oneness proclaimed by mystics of all wisdom traditions throughout the ages, including from before his Christmas birth, and his last breaking of bread at a final supper her and the nuns commemorated in that ritual.
The merry-go-round of her frenetic year slowed down. She stepped off it as she walked mindfully towards the Eucharist. She felt the cool breeze beguiling the daisies in the playground, lifting her on the gentle swing under the oak tree. Her kinetic energy transformed into potential as the swing rose. Then stopping, at the top of its arc, she dropped again, speeding to maximum velocity… and slowing on the up again.
“Body of Christ,” he said.
“Amen,” she whispered and swung away on the wind, letting go into the archetypal meaning of a human saviour’s sacrifice.
She knelt at her pew as the wafer dissolved in her mouth, and the word permeated her soul:
“Energy is eternal on the swing. Not out there on the merry-go-round of your dizzying lives. You’ve had a crazy year. Now, I think it’s time to ride the swings a bit. Cross my threshold into the peaceful silence of your inner-most self. And there you shall meet me in you on the colourful beams and the bell-like tones. Connected, as one.”