instead of a warm breeze on the first day of spring in the ripe
countryside, we receive a new world fully gift-wrapped in thick
soft heavy snow. i stand beneath my meditation tree, a
full mature hemlock whose thick branches protectively extend
all the way to the ground. they guard the inner holy chamber
here in the temple of the green sun in safe shelter valley.
most of the trees in these thick woods have already leafed out, so
when the surprise snowstorm rushes silently in during the
predawn hours, all the various trees & bushes are transformed
into strange creatures from another realm, frozen in mid-step.
but the most mesmerizing thing i notice is the sound that
the wind makes as it gusts through the trees. i have never before
heard such a sighing, murmuring whisper rushing from the play
of the wind in the snow-covered leafy branches of the trees!
i stand entranced by the untimely swirling flakes. i bask
in the sweet aloneness, soothed by the temple of the green sun.
all sound is softened, blended into the continued soughing
of the wind in the boughs of the trees. this is the time to go
deep within, to plumb down beneath the surface of the mundane
in a rare inner archeology to reveal the heart.
this is when the world pauses & i'm standing on the edge of
everything i have known, poised to take that next step forward. all
around me the white cloaked trees stand as dignified sentinels.
the wind links us in a shared meditation, giving voice
to the trees in a mystic dialect of OM seldom heard.
ah Shiva! thank You for the precious gems of memory that
we share from Your akashic records. that rare magical spring
equinox under the calm quiet cover of snow always
soothes & uplifts when i visit it. this is a sweet healing.
is that You, Shiva, whispering in my ear? or the soughing
of the wind in the snow-laden branches? or perhaps they are
really much the same thing, upon deeper reflection. You are
always guiding me towards seeing the wholeness that includes
all the parts. guide me now, Shiva, please guide me from deep within.
it is the dark of the moon in january. crystalline stars arc radiant overhead.
virgin snow at deep midnight folds over the hills & valleys of the mountain countryside.
i am wrapped & layered well in a long down coat, my full winter cocoon for stargazing.
i carry a folding lawn chair out to the winter-bare field & place it at the center
of my known universe, open to the arcane communication of stars, open to
the mysteries teasing at the edge of awareness. silence softly & thickly enfolds
like an invitation to transcend the human story & its demands & exclusions.
i am at the still-point of all that i can know of the embodied world, suspended beneath
the witnessing sky in my reclining lawn chair. great shining beings cluster around me.
some of them are stars drawn here by my beseeching heart: others but touch the edge of vision.
all creation is breathing with me in the cold of the gleaming night as the stars reach down.
the sky is alive & dancing. i am part of it, for only the body is of earth.
i spread my fingers & stir the still, cold air. the stars stir something deep within, preparing
me for You, Shiva, laying me open beyond all concern. an ageless destiny has
called me forth into this night of shining snow crystals & stars to commune with these elders.
the rolling silent land, the clustered trees & the old bones of the mountain hold me while the
great glowing sky of stars enters me & fills me with quiet yearning. Shiva, You call me.
i respond to Your call to go beyond the human realm, for this place is not my true home.
i find my home in You, Shiva. this world is my domain of service & these words are one
form it takes. they are like stars calling to be seen, alluring, shining forth even in the
desolation of deep winter snow in the dark of the moon. they are the fixed stars of my
inner space, spelling out Your holy name, emblazing "Shiva" to light the sky in blessing.