On Saturday morning, I was sitting for my morning practice. Nora was up early and she came over to me wearing a bright pink wig and a belted tunic to announce that she was going outside. She walked to the door and as soon as she opened it, this damp, warm, earthy air pushed its way into the room and enveloped me. With my eyes closed, I could almost see this blanket of air moving in. This outside air was such a contrast to the cool, dry, climate controlled stuff I had been in. It brought with it all the wonderful smells that come after a rain and with the morning. I widened my nostrils to breathe it in and softened to better feel it on my skin. I was sad that it only lasted a few breaths. But I reflected on what was really gone — the delicious smells and the feeling of the moisture and the tangibility of the air. But, of course, the actual life-sustaining part still surrounded me and was in me. The air wasn’t gone, but my appreciation and awareness of it had changed.
All I could think is that this is very similar to my experince of the Divine. I have fleeting moments of awareness—when there’s this tangibility of Spirit that is deeply fulfilling, and has me so tuned in and fully oriented to the experience. But at other times the awarenss and appreiciation of God around me, in me, and sustaining me all of the time just moves into the background. It’s still there, but I’m not tuned into it. It’s like I forget how good it feels to breathe it in and connect to it.
These things are subtle. To be aware of the air I breathe or the presence of the Divine, I have to be willing to put my attention there, appreciating that both continue to sustain me in ways I don’t fully understand. Like air, a higher power has never not been there. Even when I deny a need or understanding of it, or just forget, I continue breathing. Still there.