Thursday, December 8, 2011

December Butterflies

I love going for walks. It's wonderful if I have company, but walks by myself are special in their own way
I took a walk on Tuesday. There's a loop that goes up Hampshire Country Road, onto Koski Road, then Bancroft Road down to North Main and onto East Main back to Hampshire Country Road to home. It's about a three mile loop and very scenic.
I know this will sound strange or out of character for me, but I pray while I walk. I say a string of novenas. For those of you who didn't go to parochial schools, that is 3 Our Fathers, 3 Hail Marys, and an Act of Contrition. Each novena has an intention behind it. I say one just for thanks to God for the day, one for Danny, one for Liese, one for my sister, Marie, and one for Danny's son, Erik. When I take a long walk, I add prayers for other friends and family, the whole country, the President, and any other little worries I might have.
Since I started taking TerryAnn's Yoga/Tai Chi fusion class, I've added some conscious breathing and Chi gathering to my routine. As I walk (if there are no cars going by or anyone to see me), I open my arms to the side and breathe in while I gather Chi in a scooping motion up over my head. As I bring my arms down in front of me, I breath out and absorb the Chi into my don tien (something like a chakra in yoga).
I was doing this breathing and praying as I started walking up Koski Road. Suddenly, I had an insight into the nature of God. Okay. I won't claim divine inspiration. I have no religious affiliation. I just feel that I am not alone...that none of us are really alone in this life. I am convinced that human loving kindness matters.
So, all of a sudden, I had this very clear image of a huge, glowing network of beings connected by our thoughts, prayers, and love for one another. I thought to myself that this is the true nature of God...God isn't one of us...God is all of us. I suppose this is a kind of heresy, but it felt so true and right, that I experienced a sense of spiritual elation.
At that moment, ahead of me in the road, a random breeze caught what appeared to be some falling leaves. As I watched, the leaves just kept fluttering and dancing in the breeze. When some of them flew upward, I looked again and, for just a moment, I could swear they were Monarch Butterflies. "Sure," I thought, "look at the colors. Those are Monarch Butterflies dancing for me!" I felt such delight! But then, I thought, "Oh no! Is this climate change? Are the butterflies confused by the warm weather?" Two or three dropped to the ground and the rest flew off into the bushes by the side of the road. As I approached the ones in the road, I could see that they really were leaves after all.
By way of full disclosure, I am very nearsighted, so it would not be unreasonable for me to mistake a falling leaf for a butterfly from a distance. Still the moment of delight and the sure feeling that I was in communication with God and the "Universe of us" persists. Some of the best moments in life are not "real" in the sense of being weighed and measured.
The rest of my walk, I sent my prayers, intentions and loving thoughts out over that amazing, glittering network, to beings of every faith or none at all. I promised myself that I would try to describe my experience on paper so that I can look back on it when I have those moments of feeling lost and alone. Somehow though, I don't think I will ever forget that moment of "December Butterflies."


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  4. Pat, this is one of the most beautiful things I've read in a long while (and haven't a clue where Anonymous is coming from.) Keep writing, Pat!!!

  5. Thanks,NH Gardener! That was very nice of you. Thanks for the encouragement!

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  8. Hi Pat

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