Friday, 22 December 2017

Solstice Magic

Why does a guy drive over 100 kms. each way to be part of a Solstice Celebration; where he doesn't even know how to get there, or anyone that will be there?

In a word: Guidance.

The synchronicity ladened signs appeared a plenty; which just served to kick my curiosity into overdrive. It began when, while having coffee with a new friend, the event was brought to my attention. Featured as part of the evening was to be a labyrinth walk. For anyone that is not aware, this is significant to me; as my recently completed and released book, which utilized a 40 day practice of walking a labyrinth. What better way then, to celebrate and reflect on the longest night and the return of the light. I completely understand if you, dear reader, do not share my enthusiasm.

I knew nothing of this venue before, or their labyrinth. It's name by the way: "Bethlehem Centre" their "Mission," - Spirituality Without Borders"

BETHLEHEM CENTRE!!! - 'Tis the season after all.. is it not?

And spirituality without borders....

I could tell you with a great deal more words, what my heart & soul lives for; or I could just say, "That's it!!"

My friend informed me she had contacted the person facilitating the labyrinth walk; to let her know I was coming. Her name was Holly!

So, we have a Winter Solstice Celebration, with a labyrinth walk, at Bethlehem, with Holly. Seriously how could I not go?" The only thing one might consider to complete the evening, would be snow (not assured here on the west coast at all) - but on this occasion, it was provided. Thank you to my ancestors from the North (of Ireland).

Regarding the snow, earlier in the week, when the reports of snowfall for points on the island north of Victoria (we got none in the city) and associated road conditions came out; I wondered if I'd be going at all.

With 2 or 3 days to go, during which, anything could happen, I decided to trust, that I was meant to be there - I would.

The day came, I looked online , the temperature was to drop to below freezing - but the roads were clear. Good enough for me! If more snow were to fall once I'm up there - no problem! I'd deal with what is - if and when, it was.

I took the extra measure to check with the rental car place, to see if they had chains available. When I got to their lot, I learned the car was already equipped with winter rated tires. Okay then, forget the chains..

I had performed some Jedi memory SNAFU and upon checking the event notice discovered,  the start time, was quite significantly earlier than I thought. This meant I wouldn't stop for fuel or a road trip beverage until I go out of the city traffic. I also knew, just outside of town, there is major construction on the highway.

Calling in all my angels and guides, I asked them to facilitate an easeful journey. Their answer to that was, "then you're going to want to take an alternative route out of town, to then connect with the highway north of the construction.

"Good idea, thank you!"

I have to admit as much as I understand the "flag persons" at the construction site, are just doing their job and are endeavouring to keep, a safe flow of traffic going through... Sometimes those neon signs and jacket/vests they wear, occur to me to be "bulls-eyes.." So then, so much the better, to peacefully avoid the whole thing..

Traffic was light and as I got further out of town the snow-line appeared. The remaining snow cover thickened as I proceeded north. When I approached the section of island highway that climbs to some three hundred odd metres, it was apparent, that there had been quite a snowfall earlier in the week. The roads were mostly clear.

I did encounter the "must carry chains beyond this point" signs
(Sign.. sign.. everywhere a sign...)

I've got Winter Solstice snow, a road trip - Van Morrison, Elvis Costello, Lenny Kravitz, Leonard Cohen and Stevie Ray Vaughn... Check!!

The "need" for chains would only really apply if there were an accident and I was found to not be carrying them..
And there wasn't going to be any accident was there, my angels..??? Check!!

Go North young man.....
There's not a sliver of a chance I'm turning around now! I'm only a few kilometres away from a Chai latte!! Check!!

Beverage in hand - I'm on the road again. Now the rental car's version of 2001 A Space Odyssey's "Hal" lights up on the dashboard and informs me the rear passenger side tire is low on air. No problem, I'm stopping for fuel - I'll top it up then.

Back on the road the onboard electronic seer then informs me, the roads may be icy and advises - drive with caution... "What have I been doing?" & by the way, thanks for the news flash on the driving conditions."

Hal responded, passenger side front tire now under inflated.

I've been driving around on & off with this car for days now, and not one, but two tires need air - not ten minutes a part??? So I pull into another service station and deal with that tire & resume the drive. Technology is in my life.. a serenity check... (sometimes I'm in awe and appreciation others times I'm visualizing smashing it, burning it, blowing it up and then having tea....)

It is lightly snowing now which adds to the magic. As I get closer to the city of Nanaimo, I switched on the data feature of my phone to take advantage of some Google Maps guidance. I'll have to visit the centre another time in daylight; I have no idea  how I got there; but God through google, got me there without incident, and with two minutes to spare before the start time.

From the car park I "followed the light" (it is Solstice after all) that took me to a cluster of buildings. When I was arriving, two other people got out of their car - however while I was securing stuff in the trunk of my car, I lost sight of them. As I was approaching the buildings which were all a glow; watching my footing on the icy road way; I was thinking, "those new hiking boots back home in my closet would be good about now &; I should have kept my eyes, on where those other two women went.

Just then another women came out of a doorway & asked me if I was here for the Solstice gathering. When I indicated I was, she said, "well then, you're going to want to follow me to the chapel.."

"Yes I am, thank you!!"

I got in, took a seat in the front row (one is always guaranteed a spot there, no matter when you show up at these events, as they're typically left empty).

And the music started.

We were led through a variety of call & response chanting - musical arrangements created by our host for this portion of the event- words by: Rumi, Hafiz, & Hilda von Bingen.

We wer also invited to join in and sing the chorus of "Here Comes the Sun" (a further synchronicity as only the day before, a dear soul friend, had posted her cover of that same song as a Solstice offering).

My angels are rather clever when it comes to conveying to me what I need to hear...
Thirty odd years ago, the night before my planned suicide, they spoke to me through the Beatles song "Help"

When I was younger so much younger than today
I never needed anybody's help in any way
Now those days are gone I'm not so self-assured
I need your help now - like I never done before........      Lennon/McCartney

Thank God!!!
Of course I didn't know what I was going to need to process for years to come, that were the roots of my intention to cut my life short.... (but that is just a blessed example of the wisdom and love of God) - if I knew, I would have bailed..

Back to Solstice.....

I get the "Long winter"
Return of the Sun/light association of - "Here Comes the Sun..."

But the song spoke differently to me this night..

I know only too well, of years of "long cold lonely winters " (even in summer) - completely disconnected from everything. Tonight the sun's return, symbolized directly and experientially, the reconnection to God & my soul

" I feel the ice is slowly melting...."

Is my heart awakening incrementally, to divine love; a piece meal journey, that has brought so many people & experiences into my life. I could feel it all sitting right there in my heart, in the chapel (& the chapel that is my heart) the vibrations of my own voice & all those harmonizing in the chamber..

What is a couple of hundred kilometres drive compared to a life time of disconnection? What a glorious evening, which had only just began. We hadn't even got to the labyrinth yet.

Or had we?

After the chanting portions was over we were invited to check out the gift shop & Labyrinth museum...


Gift abound!!

I wanted of course , to do it all!! I went to the gift shop where I loaded up on labyrinth related stuff (all of which I believe will feed into the expansion of the trajectory of my own vocation/services).

I was told by someone on the phone (Portia was here name) she was delightful, I'm sorry I didn't meet her this time; when I was registering for the meal; the gift shop is where I'd want to connect to see about having them carry my book. I spoke with the bookstore staff & they told me I'd want to send an outline of the book to the centre's executive director. One of the staff offered to get me one of her cards. I thanked her upon receiving the card; pleased that I had the opportunity to explore this possibility, and convinced I had done my "footwork."

I then went to the museum where there are some forty "finger labyrinth's hanging on the walls. Each is a hand made replica of various labyrinths from all around the world and from different times in history. All the labyrinths in the collection were made by a fellow that just passed over last year at the age of 91 ... he had created over 3,000 labyrinths....

I began talking to one of the other participants about my book & the forty day journey. Just then another woman turns & says, "I'm supposed to meet you," - aside from the fact I've never heard those words from a woman directed at me; I realized who she must be....

"Are you Holly?"

Indeed she was.... "I'm so very, very please to meet you!!" Our meeting and connection was rather well orchestrated. In the ensuing conversation, I offered her the gift of one of my books - she has labyrinth connections far & wide - behold the labyrinth weaving it's continued magic in my life.

As we were talking another woman joined us & Holly says, "Rob this is Kathleen - she's the executive director; you're going to want to tell her about your book!"

Indeed I am... and no better time than right now ... for me to present in the moment (rather than a scheduled meeting sometime in the future, over which I might ruminate, that my non-executive self, is going to present to someone in the realms of excutiveliness ) 

There was no such pretence in our conversation .. I turned to greet her and smiled in recognition and said, "why yes, hello again Kathleen, we met earlier on the road way"
She was the woman that greeted me & escorted me to the chapel to begin the evening..

I gave her a quick run down about my book, she said, "I very much think we'd be interested in carrying your book here. Do you suppose, you could leave me with a copy to have a look at and then we can be in touch in the New Year?"

"Absolutely - consider it done! "

We had dinner and then an opportunity to make lanterns to carry in the labyrinth. Holly gave a short talk about labyrinths and walking them. We were then led to the outdoor labyrinth at the centre. It is a replica of the pattern of the one on the floor at Chartre Cathedral in France. (it's only a matter of time before I go there ... I simply must!!) The path was delineated by the snow that had been cleared for our walk. It contrasted beautifully with the black stone slabs that make up the labyrinth's path. (8,300 of them) - the labyrinth is .61 km. in each direction. The whole thing was illuminated by lanterns.

I was the first to enter the labyrinth after getting an activating singing bowl blessing by Holly.

What a gorgeous sacred holy walk; each step brought forth waves of emotion, gratitude, love, wonder & awe. It took me through the innumerable steps around the labyrinth  6 yrs ago, that became the book that completed while I was in Ireland  this year. A trip that introduced me to some & deepened my connection with others - all of whom permanently reside in my heart. A book that continues even now to open doors, plant seeds, lay ground work and create possibility. This is more certainly a "Holy Book.." If you have one please don't let it languish on a shelf.... It is alive .. a portal to the grace and power of your own divinity. If you don't have one, first of all, if another author resonates for you please then, take their book of your shelf and let it work through you. If you are open to my particular style of expression then ... no collection is complete without this book... it is like no other book in the history of books.. I was reminded of a  "chance" discovery of a labyrinth in Cork, Ireland; while I wandered "lost" on my self-directed (though God directed) walking tour. All of it past, present & future a labyrinthine journey on the most awe-inspiring pathway through my heart & back to my Creator. I know less about that now; than when it was suggested over thirty years ago; that I find a "Power Greater Than myself... (a suggestion that was likened to ... if you jump from a plane ... it is "suggested" you have a parachute ... but, it is, up to you..)

But what I no longer "know" ....  is alive for me, within and through me
I want for every human being,  that they harness the potential within them and transform their world and our world in doing so..

Maybe it would all make a great book.... Then again - it has been & is, such a rich & eclectic journey; that I'm not sure I could articulate it comprehensively, or that anyone would believe it. I know that which I'm to express will be impressed upon me, when the time is to write (all I'll need to do is "take dictation..)

Now when I continue to proclaim: "What Goes Around Comes Around..."- which also happens to be the title of my book.... (you might consider the book) & you might recognize I'm not talking about some ego representation of retribution ... I'm talking about ... the limitless creative power, the source of all that is - that both created you and operates through you ... as you (and this story is just one wee example of what that could look like)

May your path - whatever it's design lead you to the divinity within & through you - and you know limitless connection and creativity yours for reclamation..

Happy Solstice......

1 comment:

  1. How beyond enchantingly magical is THAT?!!!! WOW! I LOVE how the Master Artist co~creates with us in such amasingness! And also, we did a labyrinth here as well which I created that in our write up of our evening here Oh I most certainly Am with you in every moment and I LOVE how you share from your heart and soul of your path. Perhaps you will take your journals here and make it be the book (another book) as what you share actually speaks for itself and I can feel your every moment in it as if I Am right there with you experiencing it and all the magic and synchronicity of it all. What you share of your path related to your contemplating ending your life, the Beatles song Help, and also of seeing with new eyes in REALEYESation is truly touching and beyond beautiful....and I humbly thank thee for also mentioning me within your writing of Here Comes the Sun. The funny (ironic funny) part of it all is I actually recorded that like 9 years ago and never put it out and just felt inspired to do so for several reasons personally never knowing the impact it would have on so many such as you. It brings me to such tears of love and deep appreciation for you, for Source's wisdom to post it, and for the flow of signs and synchronicities flowing through your life and mine as well. Thank you for touching me so deeply with what you have shared and I feel humbled to be part of your path in this way. Thank you beautiful heart. I appreciate you and I honour you ~xxxx 💜❄️💜❄️