Ancestral energy lives in the stars above us, the stones beneath us. Their memory gathers in oceans, rivers and seas. It hums its silent wisdom within the body of every tree.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

A Ritual of Endings

I have a friend that I see once a year, on top of a mountain for a week. She's a beautiful friend with a beautiful soul and she was one of my first teachers along this crazy spiritual journey.

These last few years, at the end of the gathering, she has taken a moment to hold my shoulders and look me in the eye. She holds my gaze and tries to say everything through them that can't pass her lips. And I nod to her, keeping my face steady, even though I want to brush her off.

That discomfort is a place of resistance and magic lives on the other side of it. So I push through it.

"In case I don't see you in the morning, I guess I'd better say goodbye. Bye," she says.

There is more unspoken in her words and I hope I understand them right. She's older, about an age where it's possible she won't return. I want to brush her off. Of course she'll be back. We all live forever, don't we? But I know we don't. So I nod and hold the sacred exchange.

The moment is not about me. I can deal with my emotions around it later. The moment is about how she feels about me, about us. So I smile soberly, still staring with her into that space where our lives intersect.

"I love you," I added this year, my own mortality ringing in my ears. I didn't have the courage to say it last time, but I didn't want to let the moment pass. We held that space and she nodded before walking away, disappearing into a celebratory crowd.

This year we had a second exchange in the morning as everyone dispersed. She came right for me and hugged me, reminding me again how grateful she was I survived the fire to return this year, and telling me she wished nothing but the best for my life and my future, weighting every word with a lifetime of thoughtfulness, just in case...

As a teacher myself now, I knew the best thing I could do was give her that last moment, in case it was. The least I could do for her was let her play out the ritual.

"I love you," I said again. She held my gaze, her hands on my shoulders, connecting us. And she took a deep breath.

"I love you, too," she answered, before walking away.

1 comment:

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.