I’ve just had a very Biblical 48 hours.
you never know exactly what the edges are or how it will feel, the first whale-naked in moonlight moment you dare exist without them, but a part of me knows enough to nudge hard enough until I listen, uproot the terrible false comfort tree, and traipse heavy and grumpy over the threshold. O-fucking-K, I’ll go. FINE. Brat huffing the first five miles until I realize the blackberries are so ripe they’re kamikazi-ing onto the path befrore my unseeing and fuss-glazed eyes. I stoop to eat one, rolled in sunwarmed mica and fine river sand and the moment my tongue crushes that berry – the veil is lifted and suddenly God is looking through my eyes and we are gaga and ravenous for everything all over again, in that brand-new way that full presence to Now reinvents.
This chapter of miracles began on the top of a mountain, bushwhacking with two small children in the complete moonless dark to a small primitive gathering we know no one at but feel strangely drawn to attend.
That day we’d each reached critical meltdown where I had almost freaked out and derailed the whole train. But instead of picking up both children and trying to sprint home in the dark, as my worried mind was telling me to, I turned downstream, took my foot off the gas, and went to calm down and perspective up at an air conditioned playland where ice coffee and internet flow like manna from on high.
While I judged myself for this, (you’re supposed to be NATURING it RIGHT NOW, Natalie, and you are literally doing the opposite.) I let myself and the children calm down there and got to a usable state (where I am calm enough again to hear inner urges and take action on them.)
We left, all dramatic cycles unwound and drove an hour into the mountains to greet, and then to cross, the threshold of adventure. I hadn’t thought it through. I mean, I really hadn’t thought it through. The weight we needed to carry for the three of us was almost unbearable, and certainly not sustainable for an hour-long hike in the utter dark over uneven ground. We had no good lights and I really didn’t see how the little girl would make it, because she was saying she couldn’t carry anything and refused to put on shoes, but I’d heard the Call and if my experience as an adventuress has taught me anything, it’s that my mind NEVER understands what a buzz is about. It never explains itself, simply feels warm and alluring at first. The truth of that buzz will reveal itself to me only if I listen, stay in range of it by staying curious, by reframing whenever fear or despair tries to shut me down, and by being a good steward of the buzz by lovingly following it as it deepens and wends and asks me to grow big enough to stay with it.
An intuitive buzz is the first glimpse of the soul’s evocative nature trying to break through into your daily life, to whittle its knowing of your inherent effervescence into your way of being, which has forgotten the champagne nature of your Being, and by this I mean, ever rising.
As I waddled on the trail, stalwartly doing my Best and feeling downtrodden and trying to just stay with it, I realized that we’d been walking for 20 minutes and had barely made it 50 feet. I decided to crumple to the ground under my massive weight and rest while the little girl, who refused to wear shoes, in the dark, kept making her way. If anything, I was honestly pleased we weren’t going backward, and as I laid on the ground and looked up at the moonless sky, I realized I was so much closer to the stars than usual, and that was worth a small internal fist-pump.
Just as I began to haul myself up for another 15 foot marathon, I heard what can only be described as a troubadour singing out, somewhere, behind us in the dark. Being a woman with a fairly rich drug history I will occasionally feel the need to verify that I am not, in fact. tripping balls again. When I asked the children if they heard that, they assured me they did. Then, from the woodsy blackness, an unencumbered, spritely man named Sebastian came upon me struggling to pull myself, and at least 100 lbs. of supplies for the three of us up, and sang out, “Do I see a damsel in distress?”
He told me he’d felt particularly inspired that night to pack lightly so he could be of greater service to the Universe. In a flash, he’d taken all the little girl’s burden and at least half mine, and gleefully lit the path, all the while continuing to regale us with tales and songs.
If I were a swooning woman, I might have swooned. Instead I let myself be full to the brim with gratitude, I giggled with Sebastian, setting up tents at midnight, and quoting Rumi at each other.
Twenty four hours later I left camp to go coach people, and buy more butter, when my motorcycle died in the parking lot and I realized I had no key to the battery. The day was hot and I felt myself sinking like a damp loaf of bread into that mental trench where I get small, overwhelmed and shut myself out of the Fun and Infinite Lightness that comes from being in God’s Forever Circus – all riot of grace and perspective.
So I didn’t force it. I went and did the things I needed to do at internet and I also calmed myself and relaxed by watching a show and changing my energy a bit. My mind would occasionally try and drag me over to the place where I figure out how to get my dead motorcycle out of a flat and incredibly crowded parking lot. My mind presented the facts in a snowbally way, making a big impossible to deal with jumble from what it had experienced at this level of hopeless/hard/embarrassedness. BEcause that is its job. And it is fantastic at it. What it could not present to me as a viable option was the future and unforeseen miracle because it hadn’t yet experienced it. I gingerly kept reminding my mind that I was trying to elevate my shit back up to where magic is possible and it wasn’t helping at all.
When I first left the bike I knew for damn sure that I didn’t have enough raw energy or presence to get myself into an energetic state to receive the clarity and help that was possible. That was magical wisdom right there. It is no small feat to celebrate that I often know when I am in an activated state and when I’m not. And I freaking hate when I’m not but I’m working on loving the whole damn dance.
I don’t want to rush past that feeling of readiness because it’s crucial and when I read a lot of energy changing magic your life books, they often talk in broad strokes that don’t help you activate the miracle nature. It can make you feel like you’re uniquely not suited to good things and make you more hopeless. Of all the things I hope this book might do for you, plunge you into hopelessness isn’t on any of the lists.
Ready isn’t a total state. The total state is when the miracle has already happened. Ready is when you’re ready to play with it and are fairly sure you’re not going to crumple if the path deepens by having another challenge appear. Ready is you recovering your willingness to stay in the dance long enough for it to carry you back into Listening range of the deeper Music.
I was ready. I also still felt pretty close to vulnerable but I didn’t mind it. Life is raw, and riding a motorcycle everywhere puts you always in the wind and storm. I’d galvanized my readiness to just go do my best.
For those of you who don’t know that you can jumpstart a motorcycle by rolling fast down a hill and popping it into gear with the clutch, now you know. However, the parking lot was Kansas prairie flat and bustling grocery store busy. I tried to exclude those details from my now energy and popped my little helmet on my head, got onto the Vulcan 500 (heavy and big for a gal my size) looked for the most downish looking direction and started paddling with my feet like a maniac, then frantically popped the clutch, with it sputtering to life for a fraction of a second giving me hope so that my efforts became nearly manic ,only to have it sputter and die. I did this for about ten minutes until I was drenched with sweat and my crotch was sore. I ran out of length to run on and I ran out of hope or strength of leg. I sat there sweating, with my helmet leaning on my steering wheeling looking exactly as dejected as I felt, trying not to think, because all the thoughts were frantically hopeless, I simply focused gathering myself. A thought of relief appeared: perhaps there was some possibility I was missing. I breathed into the relief until my breath became normal. and then a voice behind me said: “can I help?”
I asked him if he wanted to push, or to steer while I pushed and he laughed the laugh of a man who could pick up my bike and set it on his. Then without another word he hopped behind me and started pushing hard and fast while I flung the kickstand up and tried to steer through the video game parking lot of carts and cars and elderly people with canes. He didn’t give a fig and hauled ass through it all. Suddenly I heard “now”and released the clutch and she roared to life. Me and my Vulcan pony leapt wildly forward out of his wonderfully hero helping hands. I turned to him as I sailed away and we air high fived each other because he is my brother and I Am his sister and life brought us together to be inside a miracle together.
I felt a little weepy on the drive up into the mountains. Feeling how wonderful it is to be so in a state of harmony and to allow life to flow and be so extraordinary and fresh and connected. My weepiness came when I remembered all the times I forgot all about that state of connection and for all the people I knew who hurt daily trying to live outside of it, for lack of remembrance of it, or for lack of knowledge for how to exist successfully within it.
It occurred to me that my gas tank wasn’t as full as one might like. And then five minutes later the bike died. I tried to do the flop around and jumpstart her thing but that got old, REAL QUICK as people were zooming past on the Blue Ridge Parkway and me dillydick dallying out on the road put me in mortal peril. I was cruising to the side of the road, remembering that I had a new Rumi book and a fresh notebook and dang it maybe I would just watch the sunset and read poetry and forget all this getting back to the children shenanigans.
As I cruised into the grass a van stopped behind me. A little weary and vulnerable I tried to wave it on, but the woman shook her head at me and they pulled up to me and asked, “little darlin’ can we help?” First of all, you had me at “little darlin’” Second, I looked at the couple who were trying to look at me but were so drenched in love for each other that all they could do was freaking twinkle into each other’s eyes and grin. My mind said it would be rude to interrupt said grinny twinkling. My mind wanted me to shoo them on and to be an island of Do It Yerselfedness. My heart fucking hated this island and was sick to fuck of being stranded there so said quickly said, “yes, you can but I believe gas is far away.” They smiled and shook their heads and said, “not for us” and told me to hang tight.
I nodded to no one as they drove off. My head just decided to start bobbing. I Felt close to tears and completely undone by this absolute proximity to miracle, like, I just couldn’t miss. I somehow had found my way back into Flow and Allowing and I had missed the fun of being who I really am.
I decided to memorize Rumi poems and pick up trash while I waited for them to return. The sun was settling into the hundreds of mountains all in varying shades of blue, making her way to the other side of the world. Someone stopped and gave me a box of wine. I don’t know how it gets this way when you give yourself fully over, it just does.
Full with gas and a thousand twinkly love grins the couple gifted me, I made my final ascent up the steep mountain in total dark later that night. Half way up I nearly careened off a sharp turn because, in the other lane, a lone boy was skateboarding down a 5000 foot mountain, crouched into a total abyss, absolutely given over to the motion of life. He was absolutely flying. A truck with headlights followed behind lighting his way. He had to be going at least forty five miles when we passed and headed for a turn that made me drop it into first gear. I grinned because I knew where he was in his mind. I knew why he was doing it. I just knew. And I loved him completely in his wildness. He was my wild brother and I was his wild sister and we were holding the doors open for grace as best we could.
When I returned to camp that night I found myself rumbling with eagerness to put these together – I wanted to say it outloud – I longed for an even closer and more stable and relaxed union with Miracle energy, with the raw grace of Happening, with god’s starry twinkling through me. I know it takes some retraining of the mind to gracefully and daily accomodate a holy perspective. Mystic and trickster Pam Grout talks about patiently and lovingly taking the naughty puppy of your wandering mind outside, over and over again, no matter how many time it pees in your shoes via worry, gossip and mental addictions to naysaying and hopelessness.
As I arrived at the trailhead, A large group of stragglers from the picking mission to Blueberry hill were just about to set off to our camp, an hour’s hike away and I gleefully regaled them with the story of the 3 miracles. As I told it I felt it anew and it seeped in deeper so that is connected and triggered a remembrance of other seasons of miracles that I had known.
Each time I opened my mouth or answered a question it began to seem less ephemeral and more sensical. Not miraculous, just efficient participation in the true Game we are all signed up for. I’d accidentally found a proper groove, a harmonic frequency of ease, joy and let go that let life just take total and beautiful care of me. I’d found the frequency that let the story of Life’s true Miraculous nature could write itself through the hieroglyphs of my humanity.
I got to talk with an old dear friend about miracles today when she asked me for how to advise a young friend on her life ahead. I said,