And above all watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it. – Roald Dahl
When I was a little boy, I spent every moment I could with my beloved grandpa. He lived next door, and whenever I could I wanted to be next to him, listen to him, follow him. We would wander down the alley to the liquor store – Don’t tell grandma – he would whisper, as he handed me a piece of candy before slipping his “secret” bottle of cheap wine behind the workbench. Months after he died, I was missing him terribly and couldn’t sleep. Through half awake eyes I saw a pale shape coalesce on the floor beside my bed. It appeared to the seven or eight year old me to be my grandpa, sitting cross-legged. The figure stood up, and joy spread over me as it passed my bed and was gone forever. Dream or vision – the fabulous occurrence soothed my grief and was a blessing.
Receiving benediction outdoors has always been my way to heal deep wounds, or to put to rest painful memories. Stepping into nature, alone, is like entering a cathedral. The sparkling light filtering through clouds is uplifting as any stained glass. The natural draping vestments of moss, lichens, and fungi offer comfort and grant authority to the scenery. After my grandpa’s death, I would climb up a tree, stretch out and empty my thoughts through the leaves towards the blue skies above. Enchantment became my companion.
Forces subtle and titanic reshape the landscape from one day to the next. It is tempting to try and divine clues from the shifting patterns. Conjuring hints from the altered air leads to misguided choices. No, the extraordinary thing is to release the need for control and instead ready your mind for the unforeseen. Discriminating the vital from the inessential requires reducing and not deducing. You must minimize the extraneous ties to unnecessary things. Reduce your wants and release your misery – drop by drop.
Previously unseen patterns will appear in your mind without forcing, without trying – without thinking. These are the uncanny impressions of the divine. Look not and you will see. Listen not and you will hear. Miracles emerge from hidden places and reveal to you the glorious world in which you already live. Believe in yourself.
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