there is a forest where each tree will greet us like a dear old friend who delights in seeing us again. we know we are home here. we know that the body has come from this moist, rich soil & has brought hidden greetings from ancient veiled beings. we know that home is here. there is a forest where the boulders speak of the time when they were temples. they now innocently confess that they are still temples, sheltered by the forest for the sincere seeker of the sacred. we will feel peace here, wholeness & the tingle of awakening deep inside, invisible to the loud crowd of pressing people pacing to the measured steps of the socially required motions. there is a forest that bathes us in cool deep green serenity. when we touch the tender new ferns & vines with our bare fingertips they tell us that we are welcome here, now & forever at home in this quietly breathing forest graced by slow shifting sunbeams. "you were born here before," the trees tell us, "& we remember you." we know this is true because the body responds eagerly to the dim cellular memory. we have never felt more at home than when we are communing with trees, stones & plants in the depths of the leafy living forest where the birds can be heard rejoicing in their wings & songs. "sing freely," cry the birds, "that's what voices are for!" so we dare to sing & we know that goodness is at the root of everything & that the forest is made of the same stuff as the human body & we are close kin, sharing genes & molecules, breathing together to sustain life. "we are holy through & through, every atom holy & blessed," say the trees, "nothing is left out." Shiva, You made them thus to be our teachers. we are all blessed from the very beginning, for every atom is made of blessings. the trees know this & they have been teaching us for millennia. when we go into the forest we can hear them murmuring truth into the wind. Shiva, You urge us to listen, for You are their Lord & Protector. they tell us to live in deeply respectful harmony & devotion: Shiva, help us to be more like trees!
i know now that You never did turn away from me but gave the opportunity to heal deep-seated karmic tendencies that needed focus over time. for that i wandered through the lonely hinterland of suffering & refinement of receptivity. though always the memory of Your presence & grace would warm me like the sweet gentle sunshine of springtime, like a soft generous rain soaking into the earth, like the sun patiently pulling the life from the seed into the down-pouring soft radiant grace of You. Shiva, we are fused in purpose & intent to bless. gone are the days of raw youthful naive ignorance. now i see compassionately through mature vision how You persistently, continually touched me, shaped me, held me, healed me & how, in the final view, You auspiciously emerged from Your hidden home deep within my heart's most intimate & sacred chamber. You wear me today like a consecrated garment as i am borne by You through this long incarnation which i celebrate like a glad global holiday. i am soaked through & through with Your divine love & grace & i cannot stop these words that pour forth rejoicing, rejoicing like a tree in the warm springtime sunshine!
we are the ones who keep the windows & doors of the world open to new realities asking to enter & be acknowledged. we are Shiva's followers, His devotees who have been dismissed from the orderly world of known borders & allowed actions. we are the outliers, the explorers & the outrageous ones who will not be contained within the rulebook of society. we are the ones who keep the windows & doors of the world open for the mysterious divine beings who, like us, cannot be contained within common limits, hence we are Shiva's acolytes. He has given us a place of honor within His sacred life, unlike the earthly, worldly realm of organized reality, to demonstrate that no one is rejected or abandoned or forgotten. all beings who seek truth & the real are welcome to Shiva's band of followers & companions of deep mystery. the abode of truth is so vast that nothing is left out & none is ever really a solitary wandering being, for we all travel in a vast reciprocal companionship of interconnected life. Shiva, Your attendants salute You! we are the ones who keep the windows & doors of the world open, allowing free circulation of all the mixed blessings of life.
You sent me out into the woods at twilight to sing to devas in the blue ridge mountains of my dreamtime. i consecrated leafy temples to the divine as You urged me deeper into the green-fingered trees. You led me on intense quest after quest. i trusted You to guide me on my way & You have blessed me, made a thing of beauty of my long stumbling life-journey. You urged me close so that i could take refuge in You. You are my true reality in this comedy of posturing, this rowdy parade of cosmic clowns. You have ordered this woman's life to sacred song which is imprinted deeply in my heart's memory: "i mean no harm. i am passing through. i celebrate all existence." & i do, regularly, daily. truly, seeking refuge in You takes me to the heart where all experience is rendered luminous, pure, with sacred secret messages of Your loving care, that holy trust that has me singing of You, Shiva!