lifetimes ago in a much younger version of this body, feeling abandoned & alone, i trudge in despair to work, crushed by circumstances. bound to a daily routine of duties working in a natural foods store, i am sweeping the floor. dull & stiff as a wooden doll, i pushed the broom slowly through the wholesome organic rubble of the spilled grain, flour & beans. suddenly a twinkling glimmer of gold pierces through my mood & i see a perfect gleaming gold star in the dusty dregs. time pauses as i stand thoughtfully, aware of Your presence, knowing that You offer me this radiant encouragement, knowing that You remain with me even when i turn away to stumble stubbornly on my solitary lonely own. You give me a gold star, Shiva, even in the density of personal teeth-clenched hopeless human abandonment. it is but a small gold star, yet magnified by the power of Your divine presence touching me & entering my heart. i yet carry that bright gold star in the deepest pocket of memory & my heart is blessed by the sweet fragrance of You. when i have nothing at all to cling to, Shiva, that is when You catch me in Your arms as i fall & hold me to Your heart. "cling to me," You whisper in my ear, "cling to Me alone now & i will carry you safely through to the end of all time."