It’s 4:20 am and I’m awake. Sleepily, my eyes open to the amazing night sky out the window just next to my bed. For some reason, even though this day is going to be a long, full one and I know I will need the sleep, I can’t sleep. The light from the soon-to-be-rising sun is just barely perceptible along the edge of the San Juan Mountain range outside my window, and even now at this early hour, the saffron-colored walls begin to come alive with this new day.
As I lie here hoping to go back to sleep, deeper within I know something different. I hear an inner voice say, “Get up and go outside.” This beautiful land is inviting me outside. The land called me here to Tara Mandala, and I responded. I am here for just a few days to co-lead WisdomWomen’s Visionary Gathering. My time here is precious.
So, I get up, throw on my clothes, grab my camera (phone) and journal. I head out into the early morning, down the stairs of Prajna Residence Hall, and out on the path to the community center. Along the way, I pass by the small pond along the road and turn to see the color of the sun barely noticeable in the water’s reflection. I take a picture. It is time-stamped 4:34. It is early and cold. There are no signs of anyone else up yet.
As I enter the community building, it is dark. The kitchen staff doesn’t begin till much later. I decide to have coffee, something I do when I am away, especially when I am on retreat. The coffee smells divine as it drips into my cup. I then take my hot cup and journal and go outside to a spot I’d found the day before, just off the side of the community building. There are two plastic chairs. So I sit down in one. My view is looking out at the Tibetan red temple up on the hill where we began our retreat the night before and where we will spend much of our full day ahead. It’s still dark so the temple is hard to make out, but even so, I can see the recognizable red from this distance. As I sit and take it all in, I can feel Her. I can feel the earth –swollen with life waking up from a night separated from the sun.
I pull out my journal and write:
The land here at Tara Mandala is incredibly powerful. She has a kind of holding I’ve never experienced before. I woke up at 4:00 am and felt Her pull in my heart. She told me to come to her, down into Her. To look directly into Her heart. To remember what it is to be Her daughter, and to now wake up to and grow into the sacred blueprint of what it is to be a mature human being who loves all of Her children as She does. To be here, now, fully and open-heartedly, as a vital member of Her joyful family. She longs for this. She longs for us to remember and see and know the beauty of Her heart and soul, and to walk on Her skin with delight and a fierce determination to return Her body to a home where all beings are safe and at peace.
This is the great trauma we have endured and are enduring- this separation from the Great Mother, from Her love, which is also the painful separation from each other and all beings. And She is clear, we can return to Her right now, at any moment by feeling how our blood and bones are held in the rivulets of her waters and the deep valleys of her heart.
Here, right now, I can feel her so clearly. I can feel her love. I feel immersed in her. Everything in me ripples with her love. Time seems to stand still as I watch the sun come closer, the Blue Jays flit between branches, and the Deer meander through the meadow directly in front of me. The Jays are noisy this morning. Probably they are noisy every morning, but their insistence on being heard reminds me of how life is busy at this time of day even though most humans are still fast asleep.
I sit and sip my coffee, just listening and watching as life emerges from night to day. To fall into her embrace, we must soften. We must let go into being here and being human.
I am softening into her, and as I do I am consciously choosing to be here, now. To be here fully in my life. To accept that she is my mother and I am her daughter. To no longer fight against life. To draw her nourishment up into me through deep strong roots into her. I never put these roots down into her because for most of my life I didn’t want to be here. I think this is more common than we believe.
Without the roots, we cannot be nourished by her.
Without the roots, we float in our human existence.
Without these roots, we cannot know the depth of love that is here for us, and cannot truly love her and be the eyes, the ears, the touch, and a voice for her soul.